Who should succeed Arsene Wenger when he decides to retire?
Todays blog was inspired by the results of a poll conducted by JJ one of our regular visitors to the site. The poll was conducted before the Man United victory, and therefore is a barometer of fans opinion in Eastern Europe of our great manager. I find the results reassuring, yet it confirms what I have often felt, and that is, the existing anglophile support base have grown intolerant and spoiled. Having gorged themselves upon the riches of two doubles, several FA cup triumphs and an Invincible season, they are getting the severe stomach pangs of hunger as they await the next offering of success.
Russian speaking Arsenal Supporters POLL RESULTS
ARSENAL. November 2008. Game week 11/12.
Total voted: 82
1. What is more important for you?
a) any trophy this season with result displays = (68) 82%
b) beautiful and attractive Arsenal game but no trophies = (15) 18%
2. Whom Wenger must buy in January?
a) a few more unpolished germ diamonds = (5) 6%
b) experienced keeper & CB = (3) 4%
c) experienced CB & DM = (48) 58%
d) experienced DM & keeper = (27) 33%
3. What legacy Mr. Wenger should leave with club (after retirement )?
a) memory of beautiful and attractive football = (33) 40%
b) titles & trophies = (50) 60%
4. Can Arsene Wenger change his views and principles?
a) YES = (30) 36%
b) NO = (53) 64%
5. Who from the below list of managers could follow Arsene in manager’s
Marco Van Basten = (15) 17%
Frank Rijkard = (18) 20%
Jose Moriniho = (9) 10%
Martin ONeill= (6) 7%
Louis Van Gaal = (3) 3%
Manuel Pellegrini = (1) 1%
Slaven Bilic = (1) 1%
Gerard Houllier = (2) 2%
Walter Smith = (1) 1%
Don’t Know = (32) 36%
6. Will you keep on supporting Arsene Wenger?
a) Yes, if Arsenal will keep place in BIG 4 = (11) 13%
b) No, if Arsenal will be kicked out of BIG 4 = (3) 4%
c) Yes, if Arsenal will be in the first 10 of EPL = (3) 4%
d) No, if Arsenal will drop down below the middle of the table = (2) 2%
e) No, fed up with him, he is way out = (11) 13%
f) Yes, he is the best manager on earth = (53) 64%
totalling only 6% = we don’t believe to be out of TOP 4
totalling 17% = we want CL next year
The results of a very small sample cannot be relied upon from the statistical point of view, as we have no indications of the numbers of Arsenal fans in Russia. However, it demonstrates that Gooners (Arsenal Supporters) the world over share the same feelings about Arsene Wenger. One could argue that their responses have been influenced by the reading of supporters blogs on the Internet. But those sources are representative of our fraternity. There are many Gooners who read this blog, yet have never commented.
What I take from the results is a sense that despite the many shared concerns about the man and the way in which he conducts the affairs of Arsenal Football club. These Russian speaking Arsenal fans have made it clear, that overwhelmingly they have voted that Arsene Wenger is the best manager on the planet.
I found the choice of successor very interesting. I was surprised that Slaven Bilic didn’t score more highly as he is someone who a proven track record of working with young players. My own choice for what it is worth is a Marco van Basten/Dennis Bergkamp team. This is because I believe that Dennis Bergkamp was the most technically gifted player that I have ever seen play for the Arsenal in my lifetime. He could do things in games, that other players could only dream about. If he could coach our youth to adopt his mentality, then we would as a club be unbeatable in my opinion. Marco van Basten is an established winner as his record of honours confirms from FIFA World player of the year in 1992, he has collected many top goal scoring records and League and European titles.
Please understand that this blog is not yet another veiled suggestion that Arsene Wenger must move on, it merely to provide a platform for further discussion about the potential successor/s to the greatest ever manager this football club has ever had in terms of overall trophies and and success. In two or three years time the choice may be completely different, I cannot see any circumstance where Tony Adams would be the successor, but in two years time who knows? Neither is this blog a nudge to Arsene to consider his position. He should only go if and when he feels that he can take this club no further. My plea to Mrs Arsene Wenger, is that you allow him to stay for five more years. We have two Champions League titles to win with the likes of Jack Wilshere, Aaron Ramsey and Carlos Vela.
So I throw this out to the rest of the Arsenal Insider fraternity. Who should succeed Arsene Wenger when the time comes and why? I am not going to conduct a poll as such, because I would like Insiders to justify their choice. I believe that the next manager of Arsenal must carry on the legacy of Arsene Wenger and be true to his desire to provide total beautiful football. The person must be able to bring on the young talent nutured by Arsene, and be a proven winner himself. But perhaps the second most important aspect of the appointment in going forward, is that in this mainly anti-Arsenal driven media, the ability to defend the club and and extend it’s marque throughout the world is essential. So he must be able to communicate well.
For me personally, the most important criteria is that he must have Arsenal in his blood. Arsene Wenger came to this club and became an Arsenal fan. How much easier will it it be if the next manager of Arsenal is able to understand the heritage of our great club. We are an English club in a cosmopolitan set of Leagues. We hold values that I believe to be more than just quaint upper class dignity,. We hold the values of high quality football and fierce loyalty to the club with a intense desire to achieve success with sensible means. Success that must be shared all together, fans, manager and Board members and of course the players. “Victory through Harmony”.
Fabregas the King.