It is always enjoyable to expound a conspiracy theory in football (or perhaps more accurately a piecing-together of various snippets of collected information..) What follows is my very Arsenal version of what-ifs, maybes and the ultimate 2-and-2-makes-5 at least!
- From what Wenger is saying – at least, what I am hearing – it seems highly unlikely that our esteemed (vain) manager will step down voluntarily this summer.
- This is despite the fact that the main Directors on the Board have made it plain they want him to do so.
- Apparently senior colleagues have made him aware how they feel, both internally and – when this approach has failed – we have to assume they have applied pressure by leaking stories to the press.
- How else would you explain virtually every media outlet reporting the same four names on the Arsenal short-list to replace Wenger, on the same day? Coincidence? Incredible investigative sports journalism? I think not.
- So despite I suspect now the majority of fans hoping for change this June and a worryingly emptying stadium we may have one more year of Arséne.
- This is despite the Board actively building a structure around him that is obviously designed to allow a pure footballing coach to arrive.
- Let’s bear in mind that Wenger said he did not know what a Director of Football was at one point and would certainly never work with one – one has now been appointed at Arsenal.
- Since Dein departed, Wenger had almost total control of the club’s scouting team for selected transfers and player contracts, which he wanted to maintain – We now have new high profile appointments for both these roles, which have been taken away from him.
- So now, we have a man who used to have almost total control, who is now solely responsible for the motivation and coaching of the first team squad, along with his own appointed coaching staff.
- A coaching staff who most believe, with strong evidence that are not allowed to devise their own coaching sessions as Wenger has total control of what they coach (or do not coach) on the training pitch.
- To summarise where we are so far – An isolated coach of the first team, who will not delegate and will not leave gracefully despite openly saying on many occasions he would never work with the set up the Board have now structured around him. A structure that is patently obviously in place for the next manager so Arsenal Football Club never find themselves so beholden to the whims and abilities of one individual again.
- We also however, have an owner who is not keen on spending money, his own or the clubs, unnecessarily. So – despite the club breaking its age-old wage policy, we are faced with the possibility of no Champions League football for another season and that means less disposable income.
- Whilst the club scrabble around for new income contacts, Adidas is exciting; there is still pressure on expenditure likely this summer.
- Given that backdrop and what we know of Wenger’s unashamed stance and Kroenke’s nature is it likely that our owner would sanction a payment equivalent to the last year of Wenger’s contract to see him leave ‘amicably by mutual consent’?
- I simply cannot envisage Kroenke agreeing to pay £9 million to Arsene, knowing that he would have to pay similar out to a new manager – Double Bubble – no siree!
- So what alternative course of action is open? I think we all take it as a given that Wenger seems less inclined to walk and Stan will not be the Man and sack his man.
- Well here is a final twist and a new possibility. Let’s just say it became an option to appoint a new first team coach, rather than Wenger’s choice, a Yes-man Assistant Manager?
- What if, this were fortuitously facilitated by Steve Bould deciding to leave the club for pastures new this summer?
- Perhaps this would allow the final piece of the Gazidis restructuring jigsaw by appointing a genuine coach with a compromise reached that Wenger would allow a more active role in his final season, for this new man.
- Who would that man be that was on the short-list Ivan quite possibly leaked to the press and that Wenger might actually accept?
- That man would be Mikel Arteta, a Premier League winning first team coach, who knows the club and would possibly be accepted by Wenger.
- The big question then would be could Mikel Arteta prove in the one season he had what it takes to be manager of The Arsenal?
Theorising done for the day but I bet I got you thinking!
Passionate fifty-something Arsenal supporter who has been making the journey to N5 regularly since the early 1980s – although his first game was in 1976. Always passionate when talking about The Arsenal, Dave decided to send a guest blog to Gunnersphere in the summer of 2011 and has not stopped writing about the Gunners since.
He set up his own site – 1 Nil Down 2 One Up – in February 2012, which he moved on in 2016 to concentrate on freelance writing and building Gunners Town, which he launched with Paul in 2014.
The objective of GT was to be new and fresh and to give a platform for likeminded passionate Arsenal fans wishing to write about their team. Dave still of course, writes for the site himself and advises the ever-changing writing crew.