A Better Arsenal? A plan for the future

My personal opinion on a future Arsenal FC management structure:

(A) Board & senior management:

Chairman: Sir Chips Keswick
Chief Executive Officer (Executive & Supervisory Board): Ivan Gazidis
Director (Supervisory Board): Arsene Wenger (replacing Ken Friar)
Director (Supervisory Board): Lord Harris of Peckham
Director (Supervisory Board): Stan Kroenke
Director (Supervisory Board): Josh Kroenke
Chief Financial Officer (Executive Board): Stuart Wisely
Chief Commercial Officer (Executive Board): Vinai Venkatesham
Technical/Sports director (Executive Board): (Thierry Henry)
Secretary: David Miles

(B) Coaching staff:

Manager: (New guy)
Assistant manager (Defence): Steve Bould
Assistant manager (Attack): Dennis Bergkamp (replacing Boro Primorac)
First-team coach: Neil Canfield (Mikel Arteta understudies him at some point!)
Goalkeeping coach: Gerry Peyton
Head of athletic performance enhancement: Shad Forsythe
Fitness coach: Tony Colbert
Head of medical services: Colin Lewin
Club doctor: Gary O’Driscoll
Kit manager: Vic Akers
Head of player recruitment (youth to senior level): Steve Rowley
1st-team chief scout: (Neil Banfield – change of roles)
Academy manager: Andries Jonker
U-21s coach: Steve Gatting
U-21s assistant coach: Carl Laraman
U-18s coach: Frans de Kat
U-18s assistant coach: Kwame Ampadu
U-16s coach: Jan van Loon

(C) Arsenal Foundation (Ambassadors)

Arsene Wenger
Bob Wilson
Liam Brady
Martin Keown
Robert Pires
(Tomas Rosicky)


Key points:

(1) Arsene Wenger to eventually moves up to the club’s supervisory board, replacing Ken Friar. He can still contribute with his knowledge on improving Arsenal FC further and advice to the board on footballing matters.

(2) Thierry Henry to take up a new post as technical/sporting director in the club’s executive board. He would work alongside Gazidis(CEO), Wisely(CFO) and Venkatesham(CCO) on the business side of things; with the new manager and Rowley (head of player recruitment – youth & seniors) in negotiating of players recruitment and sales, contracts and bonuses etc. Henry to help bridge the needs and wants for both the club’s senior management and coaching staff. He has some business acumen with his numerous endorsements off-field, being the public face of PUMA and has a string of business and stock market investments. He has made contacts in US (when playing in MLS), Spain (when with Barcelona), France and England. He should have some influences on Gazidis and Kroenke when making decisions.
Thus, Thierry Henry is the best candidate: one of our ex-player sitting in an important role at executive board and administrative level (as spoken by Bergkamp in his interview with Keown).

(3) Dennis Bergkamp to come in as a new assistant manager/1st team coach, taking over from Primorac. Bould would be defending coach; Bergkamp would be attacking coach.

(4) Mikel Arteta to understudy Banfield and eventually take over (Banfield to move up to chief scout role – he has already been doing scouting for the club). Arteta has the football intelligence and temperament to be a good coach. Wenger hoped that Arteta becomes a coach; both Guardiola and Pochettino wanted Arteta to be part of their coaching staff.
Arteta is multilingual, speaking fluent Spanish, Basque, Catalan and English, and speaks some French, Italian and Portuguese. (which is ideal, given our multi-national mix of players). Helps to compensate the departure of Primorac – as chief interpreter in 1st team.

(this was written before MA left the club but there remains hope he will return)

(5) Neil Banfield to move to 1st-team chief scout role.

(6) Club legend Tomas Rosicky to become the latest and new ambassador with the Arsenal Foundation.

Lucky No. (7) The new manager –
(a) Rudi Garcia (Age: 52)
Currently free agent. French/Spanish speaking. Advocate attacking football as the best means to achieve results (plays 4-3-3 offence). Favourable achievements in Ligue 1 (Lille) and Serie A (Roma).

(b) Frank de Boer (Age: 45)
Currently Ajax’s manager (plays 4-3-3 offence). Would be available when contract ends in mid-2017 (similar time frame as Wenger – currently). Arsenal’s approach with Andries Jonker, Frans de Kat and Jan van Loon managing the club academy’s development system to a one familiar to Ajax’s.

written by JM 


45 Responses to A Better Arsenal? A plan for the future

  1. JM says:

    Thanks BR, for taking time in searching and uploading my comment/post.

    Frans de Kat has, of course, left his U18 coach post to join up with the Dutch FA’s football academy.

    And also Freddie Ljungberg is on his coaching stint with the U15 and U14 squads as part of his work towards obtaining a UEFA license.

  2. JM says:

    A further update:

    Both Rudi Garcia and Frank de Boer (after leaving Ajax at the end of season) are free agents at the moment.

  3. Gilly says:

    Wenger’s influence even at that level of the Board will be so overbearing that nothing will change. Things will remain the same as when he was coach. I am not complaining. I am only stating a fact.

  4. Big Raddy says:

    JM. Thank you for a well-researched post.

    I have concerns for the future.

    The timing of AW’s retirement is a concern as all the big name managers whom I hoped would succeed him have been snapped up by our direct rivals.

    It will be a major test of AW’s ability next season.

    De Boer leaving Ajax is too early for us and I cannot see our board doing the same as Man U have reputedly done in paying Jose a €4m sweetener to stay on gardening leave until LVG was sacked. AFC will not offer a deal like that to De Boer.

  5. Big Raddy says:

    Gilly. That is not a fact- it is purely your opinion.

    Arsenal finished 2nd in 2015/16. That is a fact.

  6. mickydidit89 says:

    Superb piece of work JM
    Thank you very much

    Can I add three more roles:

    1. A God
    2. A witch doctor
    3. A motivator

    I’ll elaborate later

  7. Jim says:

    When Wenger goes..it needs to be a clean break.

  8. JM says:

    BR @10:07 am,

    Here a who’s who’s of football coaches around the world

    The club might not appoint a “big name” manager after Arsene. While the Rudi Garcia and Frank de Boer names are a couple of examples, he could well be Thomas Tuchel (Dortmund), Unai Emery (Sevilla), Tite (Corinthians), Phillip Cocu (PSV), Michel Preud’homme (Club Brugge) and any other unknown managers around the globe.

    The new man must have strength and belief to hold his own when managing his “internationally make-up” Arsenal team, playing the media game, working with his backroom staff and answering to the senior management and board.

    Thierry Henry has to have a bigger role to play at senior management (The previously “David Dein” role). A technical/sports director can also be a trained coach. He can be our face to the media (which he is no stranger to, being a pundit and held interviews before).

    Next step for management is to improve on our commercial deals and be less reliant on matchday proceeds (thus gradually lowering ticket prices to normal levels in PL).


    Gilly @10:02 am and Jim @ 11:42 am,

    All the more for the need of footballing men in the club’s supervisory and executive boards. Arsene Wenger’s and Thierry Henry’s presences at board and management level could strike an equilibrium between the business and the football side. Without which, Arsenal FC would well truly turn into a full blown corporate business venture for the owner.


    mdi89 @ 11:15 am,

    1. A God (Herbert Chapman, with blessings from above)
    2. A witch doctor (Cockie/Cornwall)
    3. A motivator (TMHT)

  9. Gööner In Exile says:

    Pretty sure in the past Arsene has says when he retires he will be retiring full stop from the game.

    Would he take on some arbitrary board level role of offered? I don’t believe so. I’m also not sure it would be offered, he would’ve welcomed by the club whenever he wanted to turn up I am sure but he wouldn’t want to be the cut away shot that TV sports directors have enjoyed so much at Old Trafford.

    As for rest of the board? Well Ken Friar is Arsenal through and through, was a key driver of community and social projects outside of the club before other clubs even thought it was important, I’ve met him, my Dad had a lot of dealings with him sponsoring the community schemes and junior gunner events. You won’t find many as seeped in Arsenal as he is. Personally he’d be my choice as Chairman.

    Sorry not been round much, laid up by flu…..not fun.

    Anyone else confused by events at OT? Is it just a result of severance payments that Maureen couldn’t be installed straight away? Or is there still an element of all the noise and force coming from the Maureen camp? I’ve got a feeling Giggs might get the job.

  10. Gööner In Exile says:

    By the way does anyone really think the “football names” on boards lends any weight to the decision making at board level?

  11. Big Raddy says:

    GIE. Good to see you have recovered from manflu. Vicious and nasty disease.

    I think MU are in chaos both on and off the field. Which is very amusing.

  12. Big Raddy says:

    Strange that a post which has attracted more views than any other for over a week has so few comments.

    Perhaps JM covered all the bases

  13. chas says:

    Brilliant research/suggestions, JM.

    I don’t even feel qualified to give an opinion on who our next manager should be, let alone any other position at the Club.
    I’d imagine many others feel the same, hence the lack of comments.
    You’ve covered everything I know about the management structure at the Club plus ten times more.

    I love the names Jonker, de Kat and van Loon, by the way.
    Maybe van Loon could become next manager.
    “Make a change van Loon”
    “Time to go, van Loon”. I’d love to hear the moany boys near us shouting that out. 🙂

  14. chas says:

  15. chas says:

  16. Big Raddy says:

    Peter Marinello and ?? Bob Mcnab?

  17. Nice one JM

    I don’t like change mate. I still miss my old home back in Stepney were I grew up as a kid. I often go back and stay the night, only leaving once the new owners find me sprawled out in there living room and call the old bill.

    I can’t contemplate Arsenes departure. The thought makes me sad, and when sad, I tend to talk to women as a friend rather than a potential bunk up.

    I could motivate our players. For the teamtalk I would simply show them a photo of the great Liam Brady and say “Look at this man lads, you will never be as good as him. Now look at this picture of Brian Talbot. This fatty won the FA Cup and scored some 30 yard thunderbolts. And how did he do it? By telling those bastards that insisted he drove a tractor and shovel manure to eff off, and that one day he would play square passes and win the cup with The Arsenal. Belief comes from within you wankers, and from a fear of dairy products. Now go out there and bloody win”

  18. chas says:

    Yep, Bob McNab

  19. VP of Oz says:

    I don’t like to comment because that would make me a troll but I do like to read other football articles and then read their fans comments, it helps to maintain perspective.This one caught my eye today –

    At least Arsenal are still in the Prem, give the Toon fans half of what they have achieved in the last 20 years and we would be more than patient

  20. chas says:

    We only need ten players next season

  21. mickydidit89 says:


  22. chas says:


  23. mickydidit89 says:

    I’ll tell you something amazing. Photos from my Apple telephone are 4MB once I’ve cabled them across on to my laptop

  24. Big Raddy says:

    Morning All,

    6.30 Flamini and Jack in 20 years?

  25. Big Raddy says:

    Wow. 4mb!. That has made my day

  26. mickydidit89 says:


  27. mickydidit89 says:

    What with you being a professional photographer (and musician) like me, I bloody knew you’d be impressed

  28. Big Raddy says:

    And like me you can’t work out how to publish a pic

  29. mickydidit89 says:

    We need help
    A lot of it 🙂

  30. mickydidit89 says:

    Chas knows but when he tries to explain he speak in strange tongue

  31. Big Raddy says:

    Perhaps he could post an instruction video on Youtube.

    I am writing a post but am bogged down thanks to having a mind full of other stuff. I fear its is my age. I have reached The Age of Confusion.

  32. mickydidit89 says:

    Beginning to come around to the idea that Maureen may be an excellent choice of manager at Utd

    Could so easily go very badly wrong. Highly unlikely he’ll have the best players or the biggest budget to change that.

  33. Big Raddy says:

    Let’s hope so. Shit club, horrible man and manager

  34. mickydidit89 says:

    Let’s face it, there are many reasons footballers would want to work in London, Paris, Barcelona or Madrid, but only two reasons they’d choose Manchester.

    One is cash, the other is trophies.

    City is a better option on both fronts to Utd.

  35. mickydidit89 says:

    Oh oh, three reasons. Style of football. Maureen’s or Pep’s. You choose.

  36. Big Raddy says:

    4. Rooney or Silva

    5. A club in development or one in decline

  37. Gööner In Exile says:

    I’d still have Rooney in an Arsenal shirt, think he is underrated as he adapts to the manager. Reminds me of our back four under Graham and the same players under Wenger, the players had the ability to do whatever was asked of them, who knew until Arsene arrived that they could pass the ball five yards to feet.

  38. Big Raddy says:

    Iwobi is the new Rooney (I can dream)

  39. Big Raddy says:

    There is a New Post

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