October 16, 2015

Back To Normal

By Michael Clements

After a successful International break from an Arsenal point of view, everything looks to be back to normal with the return of Premier League footy as we face Watford Saturday and Arsenal apparently 'on the verge' of signing Pep Guardiola as new manager. 

This is all great news, except I think perhaps the fact that we have a manager - a very successful, dedicated manager with another 18 months remaining on his current contract - might slow that imminent signing down a touch. Now, if this revelation came to light May or 2017, then it might spark some interest from the level headed Gooners among us, but for the moment it just seems to be fodder for a slow news day. 

Sure, Pep might be a great option once Arsene retires (or steps into a different role at the club...), but it would be the only time he's taken over a team that hasn't already been stacked to the brim with the best players on the planet. While I'm happy with our current squad of World class players, we don't have eleven players that could walk onto absolutely any team they wanted, which is what Pep inherited at Barca and at Bayern. The truth is, the Spaniard would have to be a lot more work to do at Arsenal than at his previous jobs. The job Wenger does is understated and under appreciated - the Frenchman has operated under a minimal budget (until now) and maintained a level of performance expected from a top four club. 

Guardiola is a top quality manager, but the point I'm trying to make is; the current argument of kicking out Wenger to make room for Pep Guardiola is ridiculous. I'm certainly not ignorant enough to believe he's just taken the amazing players he inherited, pointed them in the right direction and said 'Go!', but few managers on the planet have been gifted jobs with such enormous chances of success. 

Wenger's successes and failures have been constantly debated for years, but it's like a kick in the teeth for what he's achieved at this club if we're going to be so ready to rid ourselves of him and jump on the first available 'sexy' boss out there. For all we know he could be ready to hang up his zip-up coat after the 2016/17 season, and if Guardiola fancies taking another year off between jobs, then maybe it will all line up perfectly. A scenario that would (almost) please us all would be Wenger heading into the back office somewhere, so he's still part of the club he's done so much for and then we get Pep or the next glamorous managerial option on board. 

To be talking about signing a new manger in October, as we sit 2nd in the EPL is just nonsense. How about we continue the form we showed against United a couple of weeks ago and get the three points against Watford on Saturday. Almost every Arsenal player netted a goal or two for their countries during the break, so confidence should be running high. Back to work, boys.

Come On You Gunners!