There is clearly a need and indeed an obligation for a top football club, such as Arsenal, to have begun the intricate process of longer term planning for the managerial succession once Le Roi, Monsieur Wenger, finally calls it a day as he seems to have obliquely indicated from time to time.
The conundrum the Board have is that it may not be as straightforward as it might seem on the face of it.
All public limited companies, including Arsenal Football Club, are subject to the requirements of the Companies Act to avoid foreseeable risks and therefore they need to plan for the inevitable succession and also carry out due diligence which would seem to rule out any appointment from left field which would create its own problems, as they would not want an unstable regime such as the Moyes appointment after Ferguson retired.
For myself, I have absolutely no doubts that conversations between the Board and Arsène have already taken place, and he will surely have an input as to who his likely successor might be.
The need to carry on the momentum of the club and also its need to remain at the top of the footballing tree, would seem to rule out any appointment from left field which would seem to rule out the appointment of an inexperienced wannabe manager including someone who is currently taking his coaching badges, such as Thierry Henry and the like.
What is needed, you might think, is an established, successful, well grounded, experienced manager conversant with the needs of a top, top football club, and that would bring its own problems in terms of the timing of Arsene’s retirement, and the then availability of the required quality of managers, with an eye on the advancing age of those currently managing other top clubs, as that is part of the price that is paid for experience.
I do not have any real idea who would be the fans’ favourite to take over, other than the obvious one of Guardiola, but no doubt you guys will have your own ideas on who should be recruited when King Arsène steps down and who should be crowned the new king of Arsenal.
There is an alternative to the above, which despite my pooh-pahing of a left field appointment could actually happen if all the pieces fall in order.
Arsene’s contract has been extended for another three seasons, of which another season or two remains, or so I have heard, finishing in the summer 2018.
Meanwhile, the appointment of Remi Garde as the Aston Villa manager for a similar period has also been announced, and this may not be entirely a coincidence. Training for the ‘Big One’? Maybe not.
Anyway, if an ‘Arsenal man’ is the preferred option for both the Board and the fans, other than the inexperienced ones – and it may not be, then it is entirely possible that someone, like Garde, who has had experience of running an EPL club, by then, and has also managed a top French team could be the answer.
Whatever happens, or whoever is appointed, it will be a novel experience for many of us after all these years of the Professor, but everything and everyone has a beginning and end, and I for one will be sorry to see Arsene step down, it will also be an exciting move into an new era at the club.
Vive La France, Vive Arsene, Vive L’Arsenal. 😀
Now let’s be ‘avin’ yer! Who do you want?