Sir Alex Ferguson, a man who knows a thing or two about managing a big club for a number of years, has recently commented on the ongoing situation at Arsenal. The famous old Scotsman, a fierce rival of Gunners boss Arsene Wenger in his day, posed a question with a rather obvious answer.
Exactly. There isn’t anyone. The Frenchman has steered the club in the right direction for pretty much all of his 19 years in charge, a feat made even more impressive when you consider he had to negotiate some financial restrictions for a number of years.
While Jurgen Klopp was available, a temptation may have been there to indulge in thoughts about a potential change. However, following his appointment at Liverpool the pool of top level talent available grows ever smaller.
Perhaps it’s unfair to state Wenger should remain in charge simply due to the lack of other options. He’s achieved too much for that notion to be even remotely entertained, and can still offer more.
Despite some disappointed losses this season, they sit second in the league and are in keeping with the expected title challenge proposed at the start of the campaign going. Over the past two seasons, the Gunners have started to excel in bigger games, beating the likes of Chelsea, Manchester City and recently Manchester United. The perception that Arsenal don’t perform in the big games is being proved false, with dominant wins over Manchester United and Chelsea (albeit in the Community Shield), and a sound defensive display against Manchester City away last year.
Further to this, talents such as Mesut Ozil, Alexis Sanchez and Petr Cech have arrived at the club across the last two years… How many other sides outside of Barcelona, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich can point to such quality signings over a similar period?
Calls for a top defensive midfielder to be introduced into the side were answered, with the emergence of Francis Coquelin. Granted, an element of luck has been part of his rise as one of the most ferocious tacklers in the league, but Wenger’s decision to deploy him in a holding role speaks volumes about his ability as a coach. He’s not just a chequebook manager.
Theo Walcott is another who’s been coached into a different role with much success, crafting himself into one of the most lethal forwards in the league.
After the David Moyes fiasco, it’s clear that changing a long term manager is a very tricky situation to manage.
Wins against their biggest rivals, bringing in quality players and excellent coaching. A pretty good record, wouldn’t you agree?
Not to mention the consecutive FA Cup wins, finishing above fierce rivals Tottenham for 20 years and always steering the club to the Champions League.
Arsene is irreplaceable.