Now all of a sudden, the search for the next manager of Arsenal feels a little unsexy and a little bit too much like it’s only Enrique in the race.
Rumours of the Spaniard have been picking up pace, big newspapers are stating we’re deep in negotiations on money, and some places have gone far enough to say he’s bringing his old band back together, tapping into old coaches and scouts he wants to bring along.
That my friends is why Arsene can’t exist at the highest level, and part of the reason he’s off. The club went all out, purchased in some fancy red and silver flags, the fans came with their voices in full flow, but when push came to shove, we were undone by a long ball and another Koscielny big game mistake.
Wenger called the draw the worst result for Arsenal, and he’s not wrong. The only team to beat Atleti at home this season is Chelsea in the Champions League, they’ve kept 10 clean sheets in the last 11 games, and we’ve not been great on our travels this season.
Today, we’re going to talk social competence, because that’s often a consideration overlooked when fans think about a new leader for their club. We think tactics, trophies, hair density, how much they dance about on the sidelines.
Jokes aside, social competence is one of the most important aspects of a managers game, and quite often the defining factor in success. The man who represents your club sets the tone for how your brand is perceived, they can inspire sensational player to move to shitty areas, they can make average players believe they’re heroes.
Barcelona passed on Mourinho because he was a brand destroyer, but players like CR7 describe him as one of the best motivators in football. Jurgen Klopp has a band of average players on the verge of a Champions League final, those players feed off him. Leonardo Jardim took a group of inexperienced youth players and made them the most exciting attacking force in Europe. Social competence matters, and it comes in many different forms.
Well, the match day wasn’t quite the emotional response we expected from the players or the fans. Empty seats, a muted celebration of Wenger that only came when we were winning and a pretty bog standard 2017-18 game from the boys on the pitch.
The real interest was focused on the post-match comments. Wenger played the pity card, guilted a fan base he felt betrayed by and made it 100% clear the ‘resignation’ was not his idea.
I headed down to the stadium yesterday to pay my respects to the past, I’m gutted I won’t be there to wave the big man goodbye today at the West Ham game, I reckon it’ll be a bit of a party.
I’m pretty sure there won’t be empty seats in the ground for this one. Fans are gearing up for an emotional goodbye in the warm April sun. I hope it’s touching, I hope everyone goes all out for the ‘one Arsene Wenger’ and I hope he feels positive about the team’s reaction over the next few games.
A lot of managers are currently being linked as his replacement, and I think there’s inevitably going to be a lot of panic in the air around Gazidis and co making a shocking replacement. I’m not sure I’m so worried about that, this being the new optimistic Le Grove.
I think the signings that worry the fans the most are Luis Enrique, who did some great stuff at Barcelona but didn’t quite set the world alight like Pep G. There’s also the fear that any half competent manager with that side could win it all. I think his relationship with Raul makes him a candidate, I’m not sure his massive salary cap keeps him in the mix. But who knows…
The other manager people are worried about his Brendan Rodgers. He’ll be the plum choice for all the British tabs who think being British is some sort of achievement or skill. They’ll point to his record at Liverpool being good, and his stellar work at Celtic. Again, can’t have that. He bottled the league with Liverpool in horrendous fashion, then tanked the next year. Add to that he’s now manager at a club Phil Brown could dominate with.
The guy is also a cringe-machine. Sure, he’s not a bad coach, but is he really going to outthink Pep G? Is it really worth the club hiring a manager half the fanbase has zero interest in? Why would Ivan add pressure to his decision by bringing in a manager who will have the boo boys in at the first sniff of trouble? The same journos telling us he’s a great coach were the one’s telling Gooners to be careful what they wish for last year. Their opinion is null and void. I’ll be sending them cease and desists this afternoon.
Hopefully the CEO won’t go there, but there’s no doubt Brendy will be getting a phone call. I think the club have enough time to do their due diligence. I’d imagine he’ll shank the interview by talking about himself in the third person.
I’m still firmly of the belief that Ivan is going to have to make a compromise with the fans. He’ll want a manager who will fit into his carefully crafted infrastructure, that means plucking someone young from the tier 3 or tier 2 managers (see here for tiering info), but the fans will want a tier 1 manager. If he hires an Allegri or a Simeone, he’s going to have cede power to a reputation, if he hires in Arteta, Thierry or Paddy, he’s piling on risk, which is why I think he might land in the middle. Jardim is the perfect fit if you’re taking this logic.
I was wondering if Nagelsmann fits into tier 3 or 2. I think, given his experience taking Hoffenheim to the Champions League, he could sit in tier 2. He put on a big show yesterday against Ralph Hassenhutl in the race for top 4, he’s a tactical genius, he knows how to build out a defence, and he’d be a sexy balls-out signing. We also know Ivan loves a German coach after all the ferreting about there last season. A bit of a worry over whether a 31 year old can work with WC winners, but if the ideas are on point, who cares?
A friend did make an interesting point yesterday, that a clue of where Arsenal might head, could be anchored to the past. If the new manager is to gel, he’s going to have to have someone internally who can vouch for him, otherwise, it’s three totally new people working with another new person. That’s why Enrique is a contender. But we’ll see, certainly a very interesting point to consider.
At core, no decision has been made, so don’t get too worried that we’re talking to managers you don’t like. All you need to know is, whatever happens, it’s going to be more fun than watching Arsene Wenger’s brand of miserable football for another two years, and I’m convinced the club are going to do something big… no Koeman’s, Löw’s or Carlo’s (on the German, even if we wanted him, he’s at the World Cup until late July. He’s not a contender. Thank the lord).
Ivan has the chance to rock The Emirates with new and exciting brand of football. He has the chance to imprint his thinking on the club and make a true impact like he’s never been able to make before, and that’s damn exciting.
As exciting as Spurs dropping out of their 8th FA Cup semi-final in a row? As exciting as Pochetino talking about his team like he’s on the way out? Yes, as exciting as those things. Imagine if we pinched the Argentine as our next manager?! That’d be hilarious… what a coach he is!
Right, I’ll leave you to the game today, have fun, enjoy the moment, and remember good times are coming soon!