With each passing day (more like each passing second), the future of Arsene Wenger becomes a hot topic. It’s like no one can avoid it. It comes up in the most unrelated conversations nowadays. For example:
Mr A: I don’t think Buhari is fit enough to continue this job…
Mr B: …and yet Arsenal are still keeping that old man there…can you imagine?
So hot a topic…that it got me wondering about who could possibly take over from him. The papers and news websites have been busy with that over the last few weeks so why shouldn’t I be? Even betting sites are rolling out the odds on this. It’s a circus out there. When Wenger eventually leaves, I know his replacement is not an obvious candidate. If Ferguson chose Moyes, then you can imagine what Arsenal have in store (actually you can’t imagine). Instead of stating who I think should be the next Arsenal manager, I’d rather talk about the qualities I think he should have…regardless of who he is.
First off, as much as I would want him to be English, English managers are not usually given this sort of opportunity. Hence, you don’t find many English managers who have managed at the highest level (which is sad and totally the reason why England has such a crappy national team). However, I want a manager who respects that having a British player core is essential. British players are more loyal to the club and if they’re important squad members, the better. Man United are great because they stuck to a British core that embodied the values of the manager, which made it easier to sustain the club’s competitiveness at the top for so long. Moreover, that British core stuck around for a long time…no wonder they won so many trophies. I want a manager that will get more out of Wilshere, Ox, Walcott, Gibbs, Ramsey, Holding, Chambers, Welbeck, Jenkinson(if he stays…I hope he does…he’s not dead yet). If he can do that, I don’t care which part of the planet he comes from.
Arsenal’s needs a manager who has managed at the highest level possible. Maybe not in England, but he should have managed in Europe. His teams must have been competitive in his time with them and he should be ambitious enough to want to make that step-up into managing a club of Arsenal’s size. It’s important we get a manager that wants to take the club…and his career…up another level. Arsenal needs that.
A new manager must recognize the need to work with the talented young players at the club. The likes of Rene-Adelaide, Ainland-Niles, Holding, Akpom, Iwobi, Bellerin, and even Bramall (yea, that guy) are great prospects for the future and should be nurtured. Just look at how Southampton and Tottenham are getting along with their young ones. More of that at Arsenal please.
Finally, Arsenal needs a manager who can help teach the team…to DEFEND. Christ, we are so terrible when it comes to defending. Many will point to how our game is as a result for conceding too many goals but defending is like the truth…it doesn’t change. Defending means organization at all times. Arsenal lacks organization at key match moments and while Steve Bould is there to ensure defensive steel, it takes a manager to maintain it as a theme. This is not to say that our attacking game should change (even though that needs work as well) but I will prefer to lose a few goals if we keep more clean sheets.