Arsenal Without Arsene Wenger?
Chris Hughton’s sacking last week was a surprise to the footballing world. It was a shock to me personally. He looked like a confident young manager who was set to establish his own brand identity in the Premier League. Newcastle this season has been fantastic, as they find themselves in the mid-table and back in the Premier League for good. A significant amount of credit must go to Hughton for sticking to his side and bringing in some great reinforcements. But what happened? He was sacked for an absolutely ridiculous and unjustifiable reason. inexperience.
This just got me thinking, what if this happened to Arsene Wenger a couple of years after his appointment as Arsenal manager? He was brought into Arsenal with relative experience, but there were doubts as he joined Arsenal after managing a club in Japan! Would he have become this legendary Arsenal manager we all love?
This decision by Mike Ashley has probably sent a strong demotivating vibe among all young coaches all over the world. They will be wondering what Hughton needed to do and didn’t do in order to not have lost his job. Sadly, it isn’t much. If you have to win the Champions League and the Spanish Primera like Pep Guardiola (when much of the credit actually goes to the players that he has at his disposal), then life is difficult for these guys.
I hope other club owners are unlike Mike Ashley. Young managers need to be given a chance (and time) to assess whether they are truly quality or not. I hope Chris Hughton gets that chance with another club, he certainly does deserve it.
Sometimes I feel too much credit is given to managers of what happens on the pitch. A ‘result’ often is first associated with the manager rather than the players. A simple tactical change which leads to a victory is often over-rated and goes to the acknowledgement of the manager, rather than the players who are actually implementing them in those 90 mins.
I really cannot imagine Arsenal without Arsene Wenger. I have been supporting Arsenal for over 10 years now and seeing managers of other teams coming and going in plenty, but our one standing his ground. He has started to define Arsenal, turning a gritty defensive team into a youthful attacking team who are now the role models of fancy football.
Who is going to speak nonchalantly in that consistent French accent in the press conferences when he’s gone? Who will smash those bottles in the sidelines when the Gunners concede a goal? No, I can’t imagine anyone else. Do forgive me for even mentioning something like this.