Ahead of the Big Game at the Weekend….. A “What if “…….
Charybdis. If you value your health ….. don’t read this.
Some of our younger bloggers may not know that Sir Alex Ferguson almost became Arsenal manager before Mr Graham. The Don Howe era had come to a sticky end with Steve Burtenshaw acting as caretaker manager, therefore Ferguson who was the hot young manager following his superb job at Aberdeen was approached by Arsenal and according to him, turned them down after lengthy negotiations. Rebuffed, the Board signed the young Millwall manager, George Graham.
But what if Sir Alex had agreed?
It may be a controversial viewpoint but perhaps the Board made a mistake in not signing him, a mistake up there with missing out on Gullit and Maradona and Ronaldo!
At the time SAF went to MU who were quite frankly, a club in the midst of decline. (at the time of his signing MU had gone 20 years without winning the League ) much as we were. It took a Scotsman to change both of our fortunes.
Could SAF have taken us to the EC and all those trophies? Would we give up the wonderful football and the Invincibles for the SAF trophy cabinet? I can’t answer for you but I have to say it is a difficult question to answer. Imagine Cantona strutting the fields of Highbury- But against that who could imagine living without the warm cuddly feeling of having seen the genius of DB10? Because SAF may not have signed him.
Could the Board have put up with SAF’s tantrums and his need to have total control? Would they have allowed a manager to break the transfer record again and again? Could they countenance having a £35m reserve (Berbatov)?
Whatever we may think of Mr Wenger as a football tactician what is clear is that the modern Arsenal is a reflection of our urbane manager. Mr Wenger has been able to maintain our reputation as a club with class and a wonderful heritage,; a club of almost unimpeachable honesty (apart from the sorry business affairs of GG). I doubt whether we would be in this position had SAF in charge because the same can be said of MU – they are a reflection of their manager; aggressive, over-sensitive to criticism, bullies with a built -in sense of importance, arrogant – The Cocks of the North!
AW has an acceptance of change and the need for cutting edge technology hence the youth policy and the development of superb youngsters from Anelka through Fabregas to Wilshere; who has SAF brought through since the Becks, Scholes era? And yet SAF has built at least 3 great teams in his MU career.
Would SAF have allowed Cesc to leave? If so, Cesc would have gone on crutches and for €20m more than Barca paid. For SAF the club is everything, he couldn’t give a monkey’s cuss about a players feelings. OK, Ronaldo left but who could turn down €80+m and then go on to win the league title the season after? Whatever we may think of Sir Alex as a man, he is a colossus of a manager.
There can be little question Arsenal under SAF (given that they won the same number of trophies) would have become a bigger worldwide attraction and have the international status that is the domain of MU (let’s be honest, we are minnows compared to them in this area).
Mr. Wenger has been, in my opinion, the perfect fit for Arsenal since the day he walked through the Marble Hall and the bust of Herb, but it is an amusing diversion to imagine how things could be different, which is what occupies Big Raddy whilst waiting for the minestrone to boil. Such is the mind of an Arsenal (and football) obsessive.
Written by Big Raddy