It’s a Thierry kind of Monday, the great man had this to say on replacing Wenger.
‘There are things to be respected. It’s my club of heart, but I do not have any right. My name is quoted to succeed Wenger. I hear that. But it’s hard for me to talk about it. I have a lot of respect for everything the coach has done. Am I ready? I don’t know and nobody knows, but I also need to learn my job.’
You have to learn the job Thierry, the idea of you rolling in with your greatness and turning The Arsenal around is beyond absurd. There has to be a qualifier to running a major company. There’s a reason so many great entrepreneurs find themselves kicked off their own business as soon as the investment starts to roll in. Not because they can’t become a great leader, more because, in the fast paced world of making money, time for learning is not something that is often afforded.
We’d not be handing the reins over in good times. This isn’t Sir Alex giving over a title-winning side, Wenger would be handing over a ship with a slow hole in the hull. This is more than a new job, this is a transformational role. This is a position that needs a big helping of ‘been there, done that.’ You need part man-manager, part construction worker, part visionary and most of all… you need someone the players believe in for more than the great goals.
I can believe in Theirry, but that’s because I love him. That love, in the working-world, would extend three months before the players realised he didn’t have all the answers.
‘But imagine with Patrick, Bergkamp, and ALL THE INVINCIBLES’
Sure, what a pipe dream. But be real here, if you’re thinking like that, you’re an amateur hour fan who needs to go and look at some of the legend stories peddling around the backwaters of failure in Europe. Seedorf and Inzaghi at Milan. Alan Shearer at Newcastle. Ryan Giggs as an assistant at United. Tim Sherwood at Spurs!
Sure you find the odd Pep, Simeone and Zizou. But two went to functioning setups with incredible players, the other had been a very successful manager (who’d experienced some real lows as well). All three had an education.
Anyway, give me an Allegri over a Thierry. The club can always insist on who the backroom team is. Bring Thierry in as a striker coach. Let Patrick V, a man who has actually dedicated some serious time to his craft be the assistant. Find a role for Jen Lehmann as the keeping coach. But let’s not assume that the best course of action for the club is the one that feels the warmest.
In other news, Martin Samuel suggested Brian Marwood as the director of football when Wenger lets Ivan do his job. The name doesn’t really fuss me, more the fact that Martin likely has contact with Brian. It’s an interesting suggestion. Particularly appealing because he’ll have been watching the Spanish crew at City build out the backroom team and he’ll know what it’s like to work under hideous pressure. Not just that, he did oversee their original team that won some things.
Anyway, fascinating that these stories are starting to creep out the woodwork.
How practical the integration of such a figure is… well, I’ll leave that up to you.
P.S. Absolute banter that injured Sanchez and injured Ozil played this break. Unreal carry on.
Also, last call for our podcast.
Vive la révolution!