Football always brings exciting rivalries between managers. Wenger and Sir Alex Ferguson were always seen as foes over the past two decades, however after the Scot retired, Wenger had nothing but praise and respect for him – which shows that rivalry between managers is nothing more than just that.
It would be foolhardy to think that just because of the disagreements between the two managers that there is a lack of mutual respect between them, seeing as they are both two of the top managers in the game at present. Wenger, arguably, is the more experienced of the two having sat in the Arsenal managerial throne since 1996 and is currently the Premier League’s longest serving boss – with some pretty impressive honours to his name.
If you consider the pending retirement of Wenger (he could still have many years left as manager before this happens, but it is certainly a point worth considering-he is at the latter stage of his career) and compare it to the retirement of his previous rival and great manager Ferguson, then it is vital that the Gunners recruit wisely and do not end up making the same mistake as Manchester United did in appointing the wrong man for the job.
Fergie is partly to blame for the demise of his former club, purely on squad strengthening alone as he did not recruit to sustain the unit, which nobody can really fault him for. But the depleted resources in terms of strength in depth that he left behind started the ball rolling to United’s recent struggles.
Wenger is known for his patient re-building of squads when the time calls for it – he always seems to get in the right youth players just before they establish themselves as potential great players and nurtures their talent alongside the more experienced stars even during his times of struggle. It is a shame that so many of Arsenal’s players have abandoned ship over the recent three or four seasons, but Wenger has not flinched and he has merely continued to do his job as best as he can and continued to attract good quality players to his club.
This is the first thing that Arsenal must consider when looking at potential replacements for the Frenchman; a manager who can come in and attract the important/marquee signings as was shown by United with David Moyes. A relative unknown outside of English football, he did not manage to attract anyone significant from abroad. Louis Van Gaal came in and look at the difference in players United have signed. It isn’t always the club that attracts a player, the manager has a lot to do with it and if Arsenal end up with another David Moyes then they will struggle in the transfer market.
The second thing to consider is a winning mentality. You can’t expect a manager who does not have the experience of winning honours at the top level to come into a club that expects to win these honours (Arsenal’s current target is one trophy a year, so not too big an ask).
So who do you look for when you need a can-do, winning attitude with enough charisma to attract the best players in the world to your club, without undoing the last 18 years of work? Mourinho of course!
Some might say that his feud with Wenger is a valid reason to rule him out, others might say that the fact that his heart lies with their rivals Chelsea might be a good enough reason not to give the Special One the job whereas some would just look at his twitchy feet and argue that he never likes to stay in one club more than a couple of years, or however long it takes to win some honours.
Well as valid as all those points may be, they are still unimportant. By the time Wenger has retired, Mourinho would have got the record smashing trophy binge out of his system which could eradicate the need to hop from club to club and not consider staying somewhere for the long term. The ongoing bickering between Wenger and Mourinho is nothing more than two managerial greats who have a great rivalry and means nothing in the long-term. Should Mourinho replace the Frenchman as Arsenal boss then the two would probably get on just fine and have some mutual respect for each-other.
Mourinho is what encapsulates a true winning mentality. He is infectious. Love him or hate him, his players want to play for him, they fight for the club that he brought them to and play with honour and passion. The guy knows how to win things and he also knows how to attract top players to his clubs.
He might not be Mr Arsenal, but if the Gunners want to continue with success after the legend that is Arsene Wenger decides to hang up his tie, then they need Mourinho at the helm, as the Special One has more chance of success than the Chosen One did at Man Utd. Arsenal are too classy to end up with egg on their face and they need to start thinking early on about making the right appointment at the first time of asking, not once it’s too late.
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