Tag Archives: Thierry Henry

Who is in line to replace Arsene Wenger at Arsenal?

Yesterday we discussed who would replace Arsene Wenger in the short term, were he to leave his role before the end of the season.

The reason this was discussed was mainly down to top targets not being available in the summer. Someone like Joachim Low is busy with preparing to led Germany to the defence of the World Cup they won 4 years ago. He will not chuck that in to become Arsenal manager 4 months early.

The likes of Andres Jonkier, Marco Silva and Carlo Ancelotti were mentioned as possible short term replacements, if Wenger were to leave this week. So who are the long term replacements?

Carlo Ancelotti – The experienced Italian is immediately available and could come in as a short term option who could be kept on for the long term if the club performs.

He is a Premier League winner with Chelsea and is one of the most highly rated managers in the game.

However, he has only won 4 league titles since 2000, despite having managed AC Milan, Chelsea, PSG, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich. Critics will say he is too similar to Arsene Wenger. That he does not concentrate on tactics to stop the opposition and leaves a lot to the players to make decisions on the field.

He left Real Madrid and Bayern Munich in similar circumstance, and there is talk that his methods are now outdated. Would he just be Wenger Mark II?

Leonardo Jardim – when you have unlimited funds, and manage the likes of Manchester City, PSG or Manchester United, you do not need to be a coach. You do not need to improve players. If someone is not good enough, you merely sign a replacement.

In 2017, Leonardo Jardim led Monaco to the French league title, as well as a Champions League semi-final, with a vibrant young team. Up against PSG in France, he had to bring through and develop talents like Kylian Mbappe, Thomas Lemar and Fabinho.

His team knocked Arsenal out of the Champions League three years ago and he has a contract until 2020. At just 43, he is young and fresh, whilst also have 10 years experience as a manager.

Joachim Low – With a set up that is set to include Germans Sven Mislintat & Per Mertesacker, German national team manager Joachim Low looks a fairly natural fit. Add in Shad Forsyth, who spent 10 years working with the Germany national team, and Low could fit right in.

With Mesut Ozil,  Shkdoran Mustafi, Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Granit Xhaka and Sead Kolašinac all having come from the Bundesliga, German could be the new French at Arsenal.

The only question mark over Low is his club management credentials. He has not managed at club level for 14 years and he had 7 jobs in 5 years.

Brendan Rodgers – A lot of fans will mock any opinion that Brendan Rodger should be anywhere near the list of potential Arsene Wenger replacements. But it has to be remember he was one Steven Gerrard slip away from winning the title with Liverpool.

He has since gone to Celtic to rebuild his career.

Whilst any success in Scotland with Celtic is nothing to shout abut, his methods and experience would be suited to Arsenal. The biggest problem is the supporters. His appointment would fail to unify the fan-base following the intense and often angry debate that has surrounded Wenger.

Mikel Arteta – Currently working as an assistant to Pep Guardiola at Manchester City and, while he has no managerial experience and would represent a gamble, he is well regarded at Arsenal following five years there as a player, including two as club captain, between 2011 and 2016. He is well known to Raul Sanllehi, Arsenal’s new head of football relations, as well as to Gazidis.

Roberto Martinez – I thought Martinez’s name would no longer appear on lists involving “next Arsenal manager” after he was sacked by Everton, but he needs to be added back on. Not because of himself, but because of who he might bring in as an assistant.

Currently managing the Belgium national team, Martinez was joined in the set up by Arsenal Club record-scorer Thierry Henry, who saw working with Martinez as an opportunity to gain experience.

Henry returning would unite the fans. The only issue is having said that being managing Arsenal  would be a potential “dream” job , would he really give up that comfortable, warm, 2 days a week job with SkySports, for a similar paid job as Martinez’s assistant at Arsenal?

No Henry, no Martinez.

Keenos

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Saturation of Statues Spoil the Significance

Arsenal have recently been running a poll about what 1970’s legend’s name should be engraved on a bench that will go outside the stadium.

This led to a reopening of a debate as to who should be next when it comes to statues outside the ground.

As you are probably aware, currently there are 4 statues around the ground. Herbert Chapman, Tony Adams, Dennis Bergkamp and Thierry Henry. Following the bench naming, there has been a lot of talk about who should be next. GC had his opinion:

This led to an afternoon long debate in a WhatsApp group as to who should be next. GC was adamant that it should be Rocky and Wrighty. A few disagreed, a few put forward other suggestions.

Now with being too disrespectful, I questions why Rocky should have a statue. Why not Paul Merson or Ray Parlour? Two players who were at Arsenal longer, won and contributed more.

Why not Robert Pires? He might not have been home grown but he actually ended up playing more games than Rocky.

GC was adamant, Rocky should be next. And this where the issue now arises.

Everyone has their own legends. Icons. Greats.

Now if you look into it, the majority of these will be from their adolescence. When they were a late teen or early 20s. When they were growing up and have an idol, a role model, was a thing. When they were going week in, week out, before they had other priorities like families.

Ask someone what music they love, I bet they usually say it was the music of their youth. That current bands were not the same. They were inferior. Nothing will beat The Who, Weller, Oasis or Arctic Monkeys, depending on what era you are from.

Football is the same.

And this is where the problem is when it comes to statues.

GC will ask for Rocky, as he is the icon of that generation. Someone older will be asking for Liam Brady, Charlie George or Frank McLintock. An even older generation (possibly no longer with us) would ask for Clif Bastin or Alex James. Someone my generation already has their hero, Tony Adams.

Ask a 14 year old in 8 years time who they want and they might say Alexis Sanchez.

We all have different ideas on who should be the next statue.

What is the criteria? Is it objective? Is it subjective? Is a player who played for us 7 years deserving of a statue? How about David O’Leary? Our record appearance holder?

If someone breaks Thierry Henry’s goal scoring record, do they automatically get one? It really is a minefield.

Herbert Chapman is perhaps the most important man in Arsenal’s history. He deserves his. Adams as our greatest ever player and most successful captain, he is Mr Arsenal and fully deserving. Likewise Henry, our top scorer, and perhaps the best player most of us have ever seen.

We then get to Dennis Bergkamp. What is the reasoning behind him having a statue? Yes, he was a great player, a modern day great, but was he any more deserving then Bastin, James, Brady or Rocky? I honestly do not know.

Outside of statues, Geordie Armstrong has a pitch at Arsenal’s London Colney training ground named in his memory. Should he be in the hat for a statue? What about Kenny Sansom?

Then we come to Rocky himself.

The Hale end Academy in Walthamstow has already named after Rocastle. The David Rocastle indoor centre  was opened up in August 2006. So Rocky already has an honour within Arsenal, and taking into account he was an academy graduate, it is a very touching one.

Now this is not to say Rocky, Armstrong, Brady, Bastin or anyone else is not deserving on an honour, or are more deserving than others in the list. It is simply a show of how problematic it can be if you open up a discussion on who should be next to get a statue.

And if you leave it in the hands of fans to decide, it will be even worse. We all remember the Gunners Greatest Players list. It was horrendous. Marc Overmars above Rocky, Sylvian Wiltord above Geordie Armstrong, Anelka above Ted Drake (another who is in the statue hat) and Kanu above Alan Smith.

We can not be trusted to make a decision.

I am of the simple opinion that no one should be next. That the more statues you have, the less value each one has. That if you accept what everyone wants, you will end up with 100 statues all around the ground.

There is one statue that does need to go up, however. Or when I say a statue, I mean a bust. George Graham deserves his place next to Herbert Chapman and Arsene Wenger.

Keenos

Francis Coquelin demands number 14 jersey at Arsenal

French central midfielder Francis Coquelin has claimed first dibs on Theo Walcott’s number 14 jersey next season if the Englishman leaves the club. Coquelin believes he is the heir apparent for the shirt number made famous by club legend Thierry Henry.

ZZZZZZZZZ

That is a load of rubbish, and the headline itself probably got a load of your knickers in a twist.

I also hear that Mohamed Elneny wants to wear number the number 1 shirt in 2018/19 and Hector Bellerin wants to wear a Petr Cech style hat with his top knot sticking out.

So rumours surfaced earlier in the week that Mesut Ozil would only stay at Arsenal if he was given the number 10 shirt. This is literally a made up story for RTs and hits. As fake as my Francis Coquelin demands number 14 jersey at Arsenal headline on this blog.

Firstly, I would be surprised if Ozil signing a new contract hinges on the shirt he is going to wear.

Players are motivated by 3 things:

    1. Money
  • Success
  • Love of the club

 

Now we can get rid of number 3. Ozil is motivated by money and success. And probably more money than anything else.

I imagine Ozil would wear Joe Willock’s number 69 (wah-hey!) if we were to pay him £300k a week.

It really is a non-story. People coming out and saying Jack does not deserve to lose his jersey and others saying Jack is always injured, give it to Ozil if it means he stays.

Why does it matter what number you wear? Whether it be William Gallas in 10, Abou Diaby in 2, Or Ozil in 11. It is just a name and a number.

Bring back the days where everyone wore 1-11 without the names on the back. But the marketing and sales boys would not have this. Getting a name and number is just to generate money for the club with idiot adults who still buy club shirts with a name and number on the back.

Ozil should be playing for Arsenal because he wants to be at the club, not because of the number on the back of the shirt.

And if he really is demanding the number 10 shirt to stay, he knows where the door is.

The number on the back of the shirt is not important. The performances on the pitch are.

Keenos