In the 3rd part of what has become a bit of an epic mini-series in this extended break between the AC Milan game and whenever the hell we play next, we round off who should replace Arsene Wenger by looking at who would be the best option as a People Manager.
If you have already missed parts of these articles, which have been labelled “The blogging version of the Peaky Blinders” then the rest of the episode are available on Catch Up.
We started by discussing what sorts of managers there are in the world. This came from a discussion I had in the pub with some mates over the lack of real top coaches in world football at the moment. And that top sides seem to employ managers who can cope and mould the egos of players, rather than improve them.
There are clearly two types of managers in the world, the People Manager and the Head Coach.
Depending on what you believe we need, and where we sit in the football spectrum, governs who you should be demanding we go for.
For those fans who want to see us develop players, rather than simply sign the best, Leonardo Jardim comes out as number one target. A brilliant coach who has shown on multiple levels that he is ready for a job like Arsenal.
But today we look at the complete opposite to Leonardo Jardim. A man with a relatively poor club coaching record, but has proven on the international stage that he can manage and mould some of the best players in the world into a successful team.
When Raul Sanllehi said: “Ivan explained the ideas he has got for the club and the people he wants to bring in, it was impossible to turn it down” at the recent Fans Forum, that was also attended by Ivan Gazidis and Mark Gonnell, He could have been talking about this man.
Joachim Low took over as German team national manager from Jurgen Klinsmann in 2006. He inherited a side that had just made the semi-final of the World Cup. Over the next 10 years, he would nail himself to the mast as the undoubtedly the best manager in international football.
In his first international tournament, he saw his side lose the 2008 European Championship Final to a brilliant Spain side.
In 2009, he saw the Germany Under-21 team win the UEFA European Under-21 Championship. With an ageing senior side, containing the likes of Michael Ballack, he realised quickly that he needed to integrate the talented youngsters that won that tournament into his senior squad.
The likes of Thomas Muller, Mesut Ozil and Manuel Neuer.
2010 saw Germany reach another World Cup Semi Final, and 2 years later they made the European Championship Final. Then in 2016 they reached the promised land.
In 2016, Germany destroyed all as they went on to win the World Cup. Memorably beating hosts Brazil 7-1 in the final.
Germany are favourites to win the World Cup this summer, and Low has a contract signed until 2020, but he might feel time has come this year, after 12 years in the job, to move on.
At Germany, he has not really had to improve players. He inherits top players from clubs, and has had to mould them into a formation and motivate them to success.
Managing Germany is a bit like managing a modern super club.
You do not need to overly improve your current players, you just need to get the best out of them. Get the tactics right, and keep everyone happy.
This is why Low’s poor club career is insignificant.
At club level, he never managed a top club. He clearly struggled at a lower level, to improve players. People are suited to a certain position, a certain club.
David Moyes was brilliant at Everton, but struggled when he took the step up. Likewise, Pep Guardiola has done it at Man City, Bayern Munich and Barcelona, but could he do it at Everton? Probably not.
Arsenal need to make the move forward as a super club, and Low could be the man to lead that.
When you look at the men in Arsenal’s backroom, many of whom have only recently been bought in, there is a massive Bundesliga / German link.
Sven Mislintat has recently joined the club as Head of Recruitment. Per Mertesacker is set to take over the academy.
Then you have Shad Forsythe. The American Head of performance spent 10 years working with the Germany national team and was part of the coaching set-up during their 2014 World Cup success. Low knows him, he knows Low.
Our playing side also has a German / Bundesliga feel to it.
Mesut Ozil, Shkdoran Mustafi, Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Granit Xhaka and Sead Kolašinac have all played in Germany at some point in the career. Ozil and Mustafi have played under Low in German.
Arsenal are also heavily linked with German goalkeeper Bernd Leno as a replacement for Petr Cech.
It just feels like a natural fit for where the club is at the moment.
A bit like when Wenger joined the club in 1996, Arsenal ended up with a Gaelic feel to it on and off the pitch, Low would be coming in to a club that already has plenty of Kraut’s in the set up.
Joachim Low could be the man to get the best out of what is a very talented squad.
So who should be next Arsenal manager?