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February 17, 2017

Comments

From Arse To Elbow

There is of course a risk in changing manager after a 20-year incumbency, however Arsenal will have to do it at some point (Arsene isn't immortal) so it makes sense to grasp the nettle at a time when the club's structural advantages (increased revenue, some promising youth) may offset the cost of change.

The window of opportunity has been open since 2014. Had it not been for the two FA Cup wins, and the belief that these heralded a step-change, I suspect Arsene would have called time a couple of seasons ago. Arguably, our failure to finish above Leicester last year (despite beating them home and away) was the decisive moment. Ironically, this was obscured by the hilarity of Spurs screwing up.

I suspect most Arsenal fans have now come around to the view that a season of turmoil (not qualifying for the CL, finishing behind Spurs) would be worthwhile if the club then met the expectations associated with its current capabilities, i.e. that the 5th richest club in the world should at least make the CL last 8, rather than always going out in the round of 16, and should be able to challenge for the Premiership until April most years.

Wenger's place in history is assured, not just the history of Arsenal or English Football but of the global game, however his time has passed. His insistence on playing the last pure number 10, on crafting a team out of unusual individual talents, and of wanting to win more than to avoid losing, is beautiful but quixotic, showing the formative impression that Platini's France of 1984 had on him (he started his managerial career at Nancy in the same year).

Change is gonna come.

AndrewD

As a non-arsenal supporter I think he should stay, as Napoleon said "do not disturb your enemy when he is making a mistake"

Billy H

It's the wrong shaped ball for me and I have little time for football, but by any standard, 20 years in a highly pressurised job is an awfully long time. There cannot be many who have held senior management/coaching roles at one club, or in the sporting world in general, for that kind of period.
Doesn't there come a time when the energy levels dip, where the desire isn't quite what it used to be and the message doesn't carry the same conviction?
Wenger's tenure has been extraordinary but he's probably just come to the end of the road.

Andrew S.

Even if Great Men are rare, they do exist (Sir Alex springs to mind, of course); and a club of Arsenal's stature can't be seen to not hire someone of the best credentials - if they appointed a nobody and he failed the club's directors would be much more vilified than if they hired the best manager available. Even though Moyes and van Gaal did not crack the code at Man U, nobody could accuse them of not being qualified...

Doug

'Even though Moyes and van Gaal did not crack the code at Man U, nobody could accuse them of not being qualified...'

Van Gaal had won stuff but Moyse was a gamble. By common consent he had Everton punching above their weight on restricted resources but he had no championships or trophies to show for it.

Good to see the deeply unpleasant, misanthropic narcissist in charge now hasn't cracked the code either.

reason

"One is that in hiring someone what matters is putting round pegs into round holes. Productivity often results not from the intrinsic quality of a worker, but from the match between his skills and the job."

On the other hand you could adjust the shape the hole to fit the shape of the peg. Some managers seem to do this with players for instance (adjusting the system according to the players available), others not (they play the transfer market to find players to suit their system). It seems a skill more essential to managers of national football teams - especially those not quite at the very top in terms of available talent.

Clubs with lots of money available can do it either way. But I would have thought if a club really wanted a long term solution, then molding the club to the vision of the manager was the way to go.

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