Wenger: Successor must make Arsenal their life


Arsene Wenger says his successor must commit completely to Arsenal and work for the club as if his life depends on it. Despite the advice, he insists he will not play a role in picking the Gunners next manager.

The 68-year-old also admitted he’s still not sure whether he’ll take a break from management or dive straight into another opportunity.

Speaking to Sky Sports ahead of his final home game in charge at the Emirates, the 68-year-old was in a surprisingly candid mood.

On his departure…

I feel sad because I love this club and because I love what the club represents and you don’t give 22 years of your life and walk away easy. I have dealt with difficult situations in my life and I will as well, do it again.

On returning to the Emirates in the future…

Of course, why not? First of all, I have to decide what I do in the future and to take a little bit of distance. I don’t know if you’ve worked in a football club but that identity I have had for 22 years it demands a little bit to take a reflection and distance as well.

On whether he’ll need a break…

I don’t know. Maybe. After three weeks I could think come on, don’t be stupid and get back to work. I’m completely open at the moment, I don’t know.

On life without football…

If I don’t work, I’ll watch football every day. That will not change.

On whether he’ll have a say about his successor…

No, I’m not involved in that. It’s not my job. My job was to perform for the club with the team. My job is not to choose my successor. If somebody asks me my opinion I will give it, of course. I think a club works well when everybody does his job.

On the speculation linking Zeljko Buvac to the role…

I don’t know him well. Publicly I think it is better I do not talk about it. It can disadvantage some other candidates and I don’t want to put pressure on people. It is better that they feel completely free to take who they want.

On the credentials his successor will need…

He will just need to make this club the priority of his life and commit completely and totally like he owns the club. There is no other way to manage a club of this stature than to think that my life depends on what is going on here. They must give absolutely everything to do well.

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79 Comments on "Wenger: Successor must make Arsenal their life"

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To build a new team that can compete, the new manager must give all of his life.

The Director

The boss has certainly made Arsenal his life. He gave his full commitment and the club was very lucky to have him. If his successor would only put in half the effort Wenger has put in, it may all end up well.

Too Drunk To Be Offside
Too Drunk To Be Offside

With ‘all’ of Wenger’s efforts Arsenal are 6th in the league and frankly way off the pace of the big 5 (lets be honest its not really a big 6 right now). You want the guy who takes over to put in half the effort.

So not long before Arsenal are fighting relegation then.

A Different George

Well, thanks. Sometimes I forget that Arsenal supporters can be just as stupid as those of any other club.


why should arsenal supporters be different from any other supporters, we are all the same


All the same? One word : Tottenham.

(Apologies for the foul language)




Did you become an Arsenal supporter from 2016-17? That’s very short-sighted, and it’s forgetting two decades worth of effort he has put in. This season has been horrible, but let’s not trivialise what he did (and tried to do) for the 20 years before, based on 2 really bad seasons (and we still did win an FA Cup less than 12 months ago)

Too Drunk To Be Offside
Too Drunk To Be Offside

Its not about one season at all. The truth is under Wenger Arsenal have slid so far off the pace of the other top teams that its not funny. It didnt happen in one season, it was a continuous slide south.

Wenger oversaw that. I know a lot of people will say X no of UCL seasons, but what did the club achieve out of that besides a participation, much like in the Europa League.

Just making Rd of 16 is no achievement. Over a decade since challenging for the title, nearly a decade since getting into even the QFs of UCL, what are you guys even on about.

There was almost no improvement, just continuous decline. Any player worth his salt jumped ship the second he got the chance. All this doesn’t exactly add upto a great management.

Wenger’s early years were great, no doubt. However the previous decade has been nothing short of a disaster.


So ten disastrous years? How do you define disaster?


I don’t deny we have massively underachieved in Europe, even in the Invincibles years. But let’s face it, as a club we have won 2 only European trophies, and neither has been a European Cup. It’s quite baffling, given how we’re 3rd only behind Liverpool and Man Utd in league titles. Your initial comment was about our league position(s). People forget how Liverpool have been in the doldrums in the last 25 years in the league, and as for Sp*rs, 2/3 ‘good’ years doesn’t put them above us in the pecking order. I think our soon-to-be-former manager deserves a lot of credit for winning in the early part of his tenure, and keeping us relevant as a top-four side in the latter part. As we are probably going to find out now, attracting the cream of the crop as a Europa League club is going to be difficult, and it’s nothing short of a miracle how we managed to stay in a top 4 with a group of kids and a mostly negative net spend. Look at the figures from 2006-2013ish. Most of the ‘top 5’ as you call them spent WAY more than we did. It’s nothing short of genius, what Wenger did. He wasn’t perfect, but he deserves credit even in the latter part of his tenure


You really need some context bro, teams like villa, Leeds, etc can class their last 10 years as a disaster, ours have been frustrating as we have until very recently been close enough and good enough to compete.


Neither Villa nor Leeds nor any of those other clubs were ever (at least in the modern era) in a position to be one of the top clubs of the world, in terms of financial power, infrastructure, global following, or reputation in the game.

Relative to the standard of the top level of clubs in the game (which we have always considered ourselves to be), the last 10 years have truly been an unmitigated disaster. They haven’t been a full-blown existential calamity on the level of a Leeds (and a lesser extent Villa), but we fell farther and from a far higher starting point than those two clubs did.

That’s context for ya.


Forgive me….
“two decades worth of effort he in”?
did he not get paid? he has collected over 100 million in salary
that is adequate reward in my books…..
and did he not buy the 2nd rate players he has today?
22 years not ONE euro trophy?………
even G. Graham won a cup in Europe, and spent less than 22 yrs in doing so…….


Arsenal fans are immuned to success. If not why should fans in their right senses continue to disdain any talk on Wenger’s failures. The way to success is first, Anthony Joshua accepting Wilder’s challenge. Our overt attachment to Wenger portrays that even the fans are bereft of the mentality of success. A classic case of getting what we deserve. I am an employer of labour,I reinforce good employees from time to time. But I don’t praise any one of them overtly. They know that a pay rise depends on success and the way to the door is on failure. I do not at any time transmute your bringing in ten customers yesterday to losing ten customers today.

Bob's Mexican Cousin

Fuck off to chelsea Drunk. You’ll fit just fine.


I love how when people put emotion aside and speak the truth they are ridiculed. Wenger is and always will be Arsenal’s best ever manager. He revolutionised not just the team but the culture which surrounds this club. From 98-06 we were a force, whilst we lost the final in 06 we went toe to toe with Barcelona and would have most probably won had it not have been for the refs call. 06 onwards the club sold us a dream, the dream of moving to a new stadium and competing with the best, apart from knocking Milan out in 08, we have consistently failed to compete with be best in Europe. To the point where it become embarrassing. Similarity we saw a decline in our ability to compete for the premier league (note my use of word here being compete, I’m not mentioning actually winning) and as fans we continued to pay the highest price in football for the privilege of attractive attacking football, our ability to compete diminished but the culture still remained and it was entertaining. Then as our ability to compete diminishes those players who facilitate the culture we are all accustomed to begin to realise this dream the fans were sold from all those at the top was a farce and rightly so they decided to join those other teams across Europe who can compete. And so we have the inevitable decline, we become used to being knocked out of all completions usually between February to April, strengthening our rivals whilst becoming less and less of a threat. But the board are fine, we are still in the champions league and the Emirates is still filled, so this perfectly oiled business model keeps everyone happy from the top at board level to the bottom at player level and then you have inevitable complacency, everyone is safe regardless of how we perform. Then the murmurs begin the small, very small minority’s calling for Wenger out. And still we continue, we fail to compete in the two top competitions and suddenly this small minority’s begins to snowball. Every season fans, pundits, former player can all identify what we need to compete, who we should target, yet we bring in players in what is good business for the club, bar a couple of big transfers (one of which joins what used to be our biggest rival until we dropped off the pace) the majority of these players would not get into the top teams in England or Europe. We then win three FA Cups along the way, an amazing achievement and one to be proud of, could any other top manager have achieved this….possibly…but it’s brilliant and for that we should be thankful. But does that define success? Does that mean as a team we have achieved what we should have? Should we just shut up and be content with silverwear? I for one and this will receive a lot of criticism, would trade each of those FA Cups to actually be competing for the league and the champions league in April in any given season, again I use the term compete, we do not have a divine right to win, but fuck me nobody can argue we’ve come close to really competing in the last ten years. And no we are in a position where we have missed out on the champions league for a second successive season, that incentive of attracting top players with that initiative is well and truly gone, how do you bypass that and attract the calibre of players we need to compete, you pay over the odds. Now this club struggles to pay clubs the going rate for a player, how the hell are we going to operate now? Not only that but this culture of football developed by Wenger has well and truly gone, the play is flat, we have shipped more goals than Newcastle this season and will have our lowest finish with Wenger. My question to those who ridicule those who challenge, are you happy with our progress and performance? Do you really think Wenger is the man to turn this around? And if he were to stay at what stage would you satisfied that the time for him to move on has arrived. Wenger has been amazing, we are forever in his debt but at the same time we cannot be held to ransom by his success following what’s has become consistent failings. Wenger used to see what nobody else could, it got to the stage where everyone can see what he can’t. He’s not 100% culpable, the players are too comfortable and we need someone who will beat this team into shape. There also needs to be pressure upon the board, the crooks at the top are far too comfortable also. It’s worrying times ahead for arsenal but we have been slowly walking backwards for a while now, we may well take a couple more steps back before we move forward but it’s needed. Aside from holding onto the past those ridiculing anyone who dares to support Wenger leaving as means of moving forward have failed to provide a way of allowing this club to compete again….so speak up people put forward a constructive argument


@ Zakgooner

You have nailed it…it’s a sad story in the end, respect where it’s due but Arsenal will remain and Wenger will be remembered as one of the best Arsenal managers in it’s history and rightly so!

Faisal Narrage

Wall of text.

Please use paragraphs, man. It’s daunting even looking at that wall of text.

Matt P

Very fair and balanced assessment


He is Arsenal’s best manager to date because he was allowed 22years. Luiz Enrique won 9 trophies including two LA LIGAS and a CL, and was sacked in 3 years; Zidane, back to back CL, and his job depends on a third one; Benitez, a CL with Liverpool in a few years; Mou., with Porto in less than 3 years. I need not mention Gaudiola. Fans are here eulogizing a man in 22 years without an European trophy, a local champion of a decade and a local failure of another decade. I am beginning to question what really makes Wenger great, and you guys should better not force my hand.


If I had ‘ever’ considered fucking off to Chelsea, its no longer an option now because the man I wanted to fuck off has fucked off. You should have suggested it earlier.

Ooh ahhh Ray Parlour

Have a day off pal!…


Great response, constructive and to the point…pal!!


Why don’t you make a constructive point if you have one in your Arsenal or go have a day off with Wenger.


Yeah, a day off with a brand new coach.


It’s funny that the expectations that people place on this club, and ultimately what led to the criticism that Arsene has faced, is due to the standards that he has set, and the process into a modern football club that he has overseen. “Disastrous” my ass.


Bloody hell mate you’re obviously the angry drunk.

John Bull

When all is said and done , what anyone who has followed English football for the past 22 years has to accept what AW has done for the club :

– Distinct Arsenal way of playing

-one of the best stadiums – fully paid for – which has been Sold out for 22 years , waiting list for tickets

– The only Invincible PL championship winning season so far in history

– 49 games undefeated in PL

-Some victories and goals which will lead no lmore ever in memory

– the record number of FA cups won by 1 manager

– the only PL team to win 3 PL titles during the Time Man U had the biggest budget and stadium and Sir Alex

– the only PL team to have been in the CL for 20 consecutive years out of 22

– probably the biggest achievent has been competing for the title in the PL during the period 2006 – 2014 and getting in CL every year despite having to pay off the stadium debts and having a more limited budget in the era of oligarchs and other big clubs spending much more .

Such is life that people often do not realise what they have until that is gone ….

If a new manager can even deliver half of what AW has done , He will have been considered one of the greats ….

Arsenala Vista Baby

Merci Wenger!


What hard hearted person downvotes that comment?

Wilshere vs Barca

The same person that downvote that one^


Fat Cunt, John Cunt, Drunk Cunt, ex-Priest Cunt?

Wesley emmanuel

Arseneal wenger forever!!!


All I hope is that whoever replaces Wenger is someone who can build a team that puts Arsenal back where it should be – challenging for titles.


That’s going to require a lot more spending power to keep up with the Manchesters, and I’m not sure we can manage that. The last article I read back in January on the most expensive squads in European football put Arsenal at 9th, 40 million ahead of Spurs, 50 million behind Liverpool, 170 million behind Chelsea, 305 million behind United, and 421 million behind City (which more than doubles our squad value). Money isn’t everything, of course, but it clearly has something to do with who ends up winning the Premier League as only Arsenal and Leicester City have won it in the past 15 years since filthy lucre took over the game. We can hope and dream, but we should be realistic and expect that the new management setup brings back to AFC a powerful footballing philosophy and stylistic execution on the pitch that is entertaining and effective, much like Wenger did in raising Arsenal FC to worldwide acclaim. We all just want to be excited again about the football we play, and to be proud of how we go about our business.


No one can ever question his commitment or love for the club.
I feel he should have done like Fergie and let a number 2 do more coaching on the training field and keep changing coaches to keep it fresh and take on new ideas. Once performances started to suffer he was left trying to dig his eay out of a whole and the decline was hard to witness.
I wish him well in his next role and would have no issue with him returning to Arsenal in an ambassadorial role in a few years


First class blog today. Memories to live with us forever.
Merci Arsene


Sadly arsene no he shouldn’t. The club is his job. Do you really think klopp for example behaves like he owns Liverpool? No he has a life and does other things. You need down time away and acting like you own the club is partly why our squad is so badly balanced

the only sam is nelson
the only sam is nelson

Klopp – like Mourhino or Comte or any number of managers – will run up and down the touchline jumping around like a kid when their team scores, but they’ll do that no matter who the team is. AW has a deeper connection with the Arsenal than any current manager has with their own club, and that’s what he is talking about; and that’s what we’re really unlikely to replicate with the next manager or the one after that or the one after that.

George had it, and that’s one of the reasons why fans who were around when George was manager are still likely to hold him in high regard. Don Howe loved the Arsenal as well, unlovely as his teams were. We’ve been spoiled with managers who innately understand Arsenal, and I’d be a little surprised if we get somebody in who does (Paddy or TH14 do, but I don’t think the time for one of them is now). The best we can hope for is that if somebody with no Arsenal connection comes to us, they fall in love, like AW did – but Ashburton Grove is no Highbury and the aura around the club today is more generic than it’s ever been, so it’ll be a tougher pitch.

Knowing the manager loves the football club is pretty important, but there’s a number of fans who’ll only really discover that once they’ve experienced a manager who’s in it for their own career development or the money or because it’s the best they can get at the time.

A Different George

I agree with the substance of what you say, but I think you are unfair to Klopp who, it seems to me, understands and is very much in tune with the history of his club and its supporters. More like Ferguson and Wenger than the other big-time coaches in England and around the world, I think.

Matt P

Yes I think Wenger’s obsession was a part of his problem. I Think anyone in any professional field needs a balanced life to keep perspective

David C

has any of Wenger assistants ever gone on to do anything else/notable? not trying to be rude just curious…

Faisal Narrage

Arsene gave so much to the club and I will forever by grateful for it, however I respectfully disagree with this.

I don’t believe it is healthy for both the club or the individual to make Arsenal their identity. From a club perspective, it can often ensure objectivity is loss. Once your personal identity gets tied into the role, you end up feeling responsible of all aspects and also unable to let go. I think these were some of the demise of Wenger; not allowing or freshening his assistants to take over, not being able to objective stand and assess and accept maybe someone may be a better fit for a particular role (or even for your role), etc.

It’s one of the reasons why parents can sometimes be the worst coaches for their children (regardless of how good they are as a coach), as there’s so much emotional investment, it stops them from being objective.

So I think the next manager needs to be professional and be passionate and progress of the game of football, but ultimately I’m not sure it’s healthy to completely attach their identity to the role much like Wenger did, though the risk is that they obviously won’t be as loyal as Wenger will be.

Matt P

Agree – see my comment above


why should he, all managers manage in different ways


Patrick Vieira is my guy. He knows what it means and he will pass it on to the players. Although he likes to play attractive football i know he won’t let other teams bully us. Patrick is my guy.

I would love-
1.Head Coach – Paddy Viera
2.First team coach and player development – Dennis Bergkamp
3.Assistant Manager- Maybe Henry(Not completely sure about this one. Temperament issues with TH14. If he can accept working under Viera then great. With Henry he always wants to be in the limelight.)

We already have Lehmann as First team and GK coach.
Bobby Pires- Already an Ambassador and frequently visits the training ground.

I would love someone like Zeljko Buvac to take the Boro Primorac role but with full authority in training ground. We need a new training ground coach.
Zeljko Buvac could be that guy as he has got top level experience of working with the first team in the training ground.

I’m 100% behind the idea of Viera but we need to create new roles in the training ground to ease the pressure of Viera.
We need people with Arsenal DNA for sure but we also need to hire someone who is experienced in handling day-to-day training at the top level.

A dream team of Viera, Bergkamp, Henry, Zeljko Buvac for me.
Bouldy should continue in his role and organize the defence and set pieces.

Perfect mix of stability and new ideas for me. Most importantly we need someone who can speak the language.

Arsene earns 10 million a year.
If Viera, Bergkamp, Henry and Buvac can split a salary of 15 million between them then i can see an exciting future for us.


If that were the case, why would Buvac leave Liverpool to move laterally? If he gets to be head coach or whatever the title is going to be, then he might even come. I would however, like to see Bergkamp on the coaching staff!


Good point. I thought about that. By Buvac i don’t literally mean him but a similar profile,
1. We could offer more salary.
2. He could be the go to man for a young coach like Viera. He won’t exactly be the assistant here.
3. It could be a much more challenging role than the one he had at Liverpool.
4. We could be giving him a bit more freedom to implement his ideas.

We definitely need a training ground specialist. Someone who has done the job day in day out in top teams.

The point is Wenger did everything including the transfers. We now need new roles and new specialists. Also, some Arsenal DNA.


It isn’t a retirement home for ex-players.


As some have mentioned here, I believe that as noble as the sentiment is to have a manager who considers Arsenal their life and feel like they own the club, this sentiment is ultimately harmful.

The reason this sentiment is harmful is because the emotional and psychological investment required to have that mindset by it’s very nature compromises objectivity, which is the most important trait a manager can ever have.

When a manager starts feeling like they own the club, they become more and more invested and interested in making sure their decisions eventually get proved correct, even if (and at times ESPECIALLY IF) those decisions are proven to be wrong. They will persist with tactics and approaches that consistently fail, and will give chance after chance to players who consistently fail to perform; all in the name of hopefully seeing the day when they can turn around to all those critics who speak out against it and tell them “Ha! I was right all along!”.

We saw this happen with Arsene and Arsenal before our very eyes. How many years did Arsene persist in featuring “favorite” players like Theo Walcott, Kieran Gibbs, Lukas Fabianski, Denilson, and those of their ilk, even after it became clear they were never going to develop into anything approaching world class? How long did he insist on holding out hope for players like Abou Diaby and Tomas Rosicky to get healthy and contribute, neglecting to obtain adequate cover for them even though everyone could see how little their health could be relied upon? How often do we see him insisting on starting Xhaka, Ramsey, Wilshere, and Bellerin come what may, no matter their form or condition or what mistakes they made in previous games? How often did we see him neglect players who could have contributed, like Lucas Perez, Joel Campbell, Francis Coquelin, Serge Gnabry, and so on, even as they were working their socks off to give better performances than his “favorites”, only to see little to no playing time?

And most frustratingly, how often did we see him neglect to cut underperforming players loose and fail to use the transfer market aggressively to bring in replacements or contributors in areas of need, all because he didn’t want to “kill off” the careers of his favorites like Walcott, Denilson, Diaby, Gibbs, and so on?

Managers need objectivity above all, because with objectivity comes the ability to honestly judge a squad and it’s true capabilities, both current and in future. But a manager who feels like he owns the club can never have such objectivity due to the emotional investment such an approach requires. And that emotional investment blinds the manager to the point where they can no longer make the tough decisions that the job requires (ESPECIALLY if making that decision is tantamount to publically admitting he was wrong and made a mistake previously).

So for all I appreciate the bond Arsene has with this club, I sincerely hope the next manager prefers to take a different view of things. A view that allows him to make the sort of decisions the job requires, but which emotional attachment and personal investment prevented Arsene from being able to make sensibly anymore.

Yellow Ribbon

His only problem was he loved Arsenal way too much. No Arsene there will never another Arsene Wenger. They will all be come and go. We love you Arsene. We do.??


The incoming manager has a tough task in improving team morale itself. Regardless of the performances so far this season I was hoping that the team would up their game to give Wenger a proper send off. I don’t really need to elaborate on how we have played since then.
If nothing else, the fact that they were authoring the swansong of a colossus like Wenger should have spurred them to a better effort. Who ever is the next manager needs to kick out this complacency and instill some pride in this group.


It’s all a bit sad at the moment isn’t it. Let’s just hope we’re all in a better place in a few months time, including Arsene.


One of my favourite bands are Killing Joke who sang “I want to be in the place of beginnings, not endings”. Feel like we’re somewhere in between those right now.


Viera or Arteta at this point would be a stupid choice.

Very risky.

They are as yet unknown quantities and need to learn the ropes further first.

The big DANGER right now is the powers that be (Gazidis/Sanheli/Mslintat) may want to bring in a manager they can control.

This would be further problem for the club.

We have already seen a glimpse/warning signs with the conduct during the January transfer window.

All business made at expedience but not to the overall balance of the squad or strategic benefit in footballing terms in mind.

With the Europa possibly a route back into the CL, they conspired to fix what was not broken and bring in a cup tied striker. Instead of bringing in a wide creative players that can engage and beat opponents/make us transition quicker form the back, we get Mhkitaryan because they want to push Alexis out to United.

If we bring in what they euphemistically like to call “young and bold”…we are in effect bringing in someone who is a bit wet behind the ears.

He will have his work further cut out for him with the budget likely restricted since we have not made CL now, and we will also find a smaller pool of top players availalble unless we are willing to pay over which as we know we will not.

IMO I would prefer someone more experience come in in light of current circumstance/being out of CL for a second successive season.

To me, if we made CL, maybe we might consider a lesser known quantity, but at this point, we are asking for trouble.

Yes, he might just be the next Wenger circa 1997 but he may also more likely tank and we may end up in a management merry go round ala spurs for many seasons compounded and a further spiral.

One of the managers I feel we should have a serious look at is Laurent Blanc.

He’s cut his teeth with a more frugal club in Bordeaux and won the ligue with them. But he’s also met expectations with a more lavish one in PSG. And he has managed massive egos at the National level taking over from the disastrous Domenech years for France (and before the current golden generation)

I believe his win rate hovers around 60% and he is still only 52yrs (same as Allegri)

He is currently in limbo so available to come in immediately for pre-season.

He is also some years younger than Ancelotti or Joachim Low.

Another potential who has done it all is Mancini. Committed at the moment but he may be able to be prised.

I won’t muck around with unknowns if I was the board. Hear all sorts of spurious rumours with some Croat from Liverpuddle coaching staff or Fonseca at Zenit etc.

To me, we need a man at the helm who can hold his own and develop a level of autonomy from the Sanheli/Mslintat circle so he can truly dictate what he needs to rebuild. He needs the stature to be able to do this.

The likes of a Luiz Enrique (proven only at a club that boast one of the top 3 players in the world) with a need for a hefty budget to fix anything again sounds like someone who lacks the necessary experience travelling the path.

Viera and Arteta, you’re having a laugh.

Frank Bascombe

Perhaps you should apply?


I think you are looking past the goal entirely: Arsenal need to bring in a new coach they can work with, not control (as you rightly warn against) or go to war with (to which “autonomy” and “dictate” in your conclusions could well lead). I’m not against Blanc or Low, but I’m also not against Viera or Arteta or Buvacs, the latter of which are very risky, but I think we might benefit from that after 20 years of stability and consistency. What I think Arsene is trying to say above is that the next manager/coach at Arsenal needs to be able to subject himself to Arsenal FC, to be willing to serve the club resolutely, and not to think of his job merely as a stepping stone in his career or another notch in his managerial bedpost.



Spot on mate. That is exactly why i think we need Viera and Bergkamp back in the traaining ground. Arsene has built a culture here and we need to continue that with guys like Viera and Bergkamp.

IMO bringing someone like Allegri or anyone like him is undoing 22 years of hard work. I don’t want that. I want to continue watching attacking football. We should build an empire.

What we need is Viera, Bergkamp and Arsenal DNA.

More importantly we need a backroom/training ground specialist who can coach the team in
1. Build up play
2. Pressing/Counter-pressing
3. Defensive line
4. Off the ball organization

Guys like Buvac do that very well. They have the experience that Viera and Bergkamp don’t have.
Head Coach just picks the team and motivates the players. Pretty sure Viera can do that very well.

Bergkamp has done his time in Ajax backroom staff. He can command that respect in training ground at Arsenal.

We need 3-4 first team coaches who can work as a team to do Arsene’s job. It should not be about one guy anymore. It should be about Arsenal FC. We should do what Barca, Ajax and Dortmund did.


“Make the club his life”

Thats exactly what the club doesn’t need, another eternal incumbent who builds it all up only to break it down again.


I don’t think we will see another Guy Roux or Fergie or Wenger.

BUT the new incoming manager should IMO have enough experience in market even with Mslintat and Sanheli because we need the gaffer to be able to dictate what he needs to rebuild this squad.

We don’t need major surgery but we need 3 or 4 key players to come in and of course a different approach with the squad.

I would stay away from those managers who think they need to rebuild everything like a ‘young and bold’ Luiz Enrique.

I would also stear away from sentimentality and appointing ex players for the sake of it. That would be a grave error as they will be under the thumb over reliant on the DOF to call the shots in market.

The next manager needs to have been through the works IMO.

Managed both big and smaller clubs in equal successful measure and with experience in market on his own accord.

George Onyango

Benitez fits the bill!

Gooner Sam

Arsene Wenger has been Arsenals best ever coach. Fact. So respect and appreciation is for me unquestionable if you are an Arsenal fan. However we should also point to the decline in the second half of his tenure with eyes open. For sure there were difficult circumstances but ultimately he didn’t want to or wasn’t able to keep up. The past 5-10 years have been very decisive for the fan base largely because of opposing views on his merits / faults. For me that is the sadest part and the part that reflects so badly on the club and its fans, it’s hard to judge from the inside but I struggle to see a fan base more split. The one hope I have is that change can bring us all together as this is my second family and we have more in common than differences.

We need to remember both elements of our club motto ‘Victoria Concordia Crescit’ (pls excuse spelling). Victory through harmony.

Let’s thank him, draw a line under it and stay united for what will be a very exciting future!


Totally agree, i’m sick of the in-fighting between fellow Gunners, we’ve become a fucking laughing stock because of the likes of aftv and stupid fucking banners.

I hope we can all now get behind the club and whoever’s the new boss. If we keep anything of Arsene’s legacy, lets show some class. Time we made this stadium a united environment that away teams hate to set foot in.


We’re not a laughing stock because of the likes of aftv and “stupid banners”. If anything, they’re the thing others point at to show that our fanbase actually cares about how we’ve declined and flattered to decieve over the years.

You want to know why we’re a laughing stock? It’s because of results like Southampton 4-0 Arsenal. Results like Chelsea 6-0 Arsenal. Results like Bayern Munich 10-2 Arsenal on aggregate. And other failures of the squad itself like crashing out in the CL to Monaco, finishing 5th and 6th in the table (anywhere from 20-30 points off the title winners), crashing out in the 3rd round of the FA Cup to a League One side who did not even have a manager at the time. We have the resources, infrastructure, history, and potential to be the very best club in England, and one of the top 3-5 clubs in the world. Instead, we’re struggling to be the second-best club in the freakin’ PART OF THE CITY WE CALL HOME (let alone that city itself as a whole)!

It’s not the fans that have made Arsenal a laughing stock. And it damn sure isn’t the fans who are sick and tired of seeing the club flatter to decieve by making the same mistakes over and over again. The coaching staff, playing staff, and boardroom up top are what have made Arsenal into a laughing stock. The only way we will stop being a laughing stock is not by wishcasting disgruntled fans away, or ignoring what they have to say. It’s by the club itself doing better by all of it’s fans and restoring itself into the giant of English and world football that it should be. A state where losses like the above become so rare they are truly noteworthy, rather than such a norm that it’s never seen as beyond the realm of possibility no matter who we play against, where we play them, or when.


No, no no, I want a manager who actually has a life, and can be professional and objective about things. I never want to hear about sacrifice again, or have a manager who thinks he owns the club. Arsene is so wrong. Loving a club, caring, and doing a good job are absolutely not the same as making it your life.


Wenger: “Successor must make Arsenal their life.”

No he doesn’t. The successor must be able to do the things that you can’t. Here’s what he needs to be able to do:

1. Coach players to defend properly. Great defending isn’t about great individual players, it’s about team-mates working together as a unit. George Graham knew that, so does Simeone.

2. Manage games. The great managers know how to set up their sides for each game. Maureen would spend days preparing for a specific match. These days, sending out players unprepared is an absolute crime. But that’s what Wenger did. And substitutions need to be effective and game-changing, not just pre-planned.

3. Motivate players. Whether it’s by fear or encouragement, players need to be properly motivated. Arsenal’s horrible away form is no accident: how many times this season have we seen players who don’t seem to care? Ozil is the worst culprit. The club is far too cosy and tolerant of mediocrity. Players must either perform or get out.

4. Buy players to address the glaring squad deficiencies. Everybody and his mother knows that we need to buy a quality defensive midfielder – except Wenger. Le Prof’s answer to everything was to put square pegs into round holes – this must stop. We also need a new goalkeeper, a winger and a centre-half. BUY THE PLAYERS WE NEED AND THEN PUT THEM IN WHERE THEY ARE MOST EFFECTIVE! IT’S NOT ROCKET SCIENCE!!

5. Develop young players. The last quality player developed by Wenger was Ashley Cole. We’ve seen the likes of the Ox, Walcott and Bellerin all stagnate under Wenger’s rule. Now just look what Klopp and Guardiola are doing with the Ox and Sterling.

6. Only pay players what they are worth. Handing out lucrative contracts to average, under-performing players was probably Wenger’s greatest sin. Ozil Bendtner, Almunia, Walcott and Diaby all benefited from this madness. THE CLUB’S MONEY HAS TO BE SPENT AS EFFICIENTLY AS POSSIBLE IF WE ARE TO COMPETE WITH THE OTHER TOP-SIX CLUBS. Yes, top players should get big money – but they must earn it. Crap players should be told to get lost.

7 Create a winning mentality. Fourth is NOT trophy. First is first and second is nowhere. We are Arsenal: we should start every season with the aim of winning the title. Anything else is failure. This should be drilled into the players.

8. Unite the fans. Easy: just win.

I’m looking forward to the new guy.


Perfectly put

Oh the days of the socialist wage structure where Denison earnt similar to rvp! Thanks arsene


I think a football club works well when everyone does their job


Sadly arsene you’ve tried to do everything

Clock-End Mike

Let’s get one thing clear in this debate about the possibilities for the new Arsenal manager: there will almost certainly never be another like Arsène Wenger.

Opinions seems to be ranged strongly for and against the appointment of an ex-Arsenal player. I know times have changed; but let’s look at George Graham, arguably the most successful Arsenal manager after Chapman and before Wenger. He was a Scot, played his best years for Arsenal, signed by Billy Wright but mostly under under Bertie Mee (and went to Man Utd when he left the Arsenal, and Utd were relegated!); after a few more playing seasons, he went into management, learned his trade as a coach working with Terry Venables at QPR, then after managing Millwall, he was appointed Arsenal manager and stayed 9 years (and would probably have stayed longer had he not been sacked and then banned for taking a backhander, not for footballing reasons).

George was an Arsenal star — top scorer for 2 seasons running before John Radford and Ray Kennedy took over, and a member of the double-winning team of ’70-’71; as a manager, like Arsène, he was more of a Cup specialist than a League winner (in ’90-’91, the year we won the FA and League Cup double, we finished 10th in Div.1), but 2 years later we won the League losing just 1 game. He won Arsenal a lot of fans (and never got the stick that fans today give Wenger, though we finished his last season in 12th place). Don’t forget, he signed Ian Wright from Palace, and built the great defensive platform that Wenger inherited, but it was Arsène who drew the praise for playing entertaining football, and demonstrating that a team can entertain and win things at the same time. No one accused a George Graham team of playing pretty football.

I remember the Graham years well — he was an Arsenal player when I became an Arsenal fan, and the 9 years he managed the team were the best years Arsenal had had for decades.

I have no strong opinion for or against appointing an ex-Arsenal player, but there’s a lot to be said for it. And probably the nearest parallel to Graham who’s being talked about today is Paddy Vieira, though admittedly he has no experience as a manager in England (but then Graham only had a couple of years with Millwall in Div.3 and Div.2 before coming to Arsenal).


George Graham also came into the job at a far different time than the new manager will be coming into it now. Arsenal only had the likes of Man U and Liverpool to compete with when it came to being the top side in England (and the Red Scouse were beginning their decline at this stage). There were no oil-barons or Russian oligarchs singlehandedly providing clubs like Chelsea and Man City with financial power more in line with the Real Madrids of the world. Globalization and big TV money had yet to arrive in England at that time. Therefore competition was weaker back then, and a manager at a “top” club could afford to spend a year or two finding his feet before he truly was expected to deliver.

Today, things are different. Through our own mistakes and failures, we are starting from a position of ongoing decline. We are a team on the wane, not a team on the rise. We have at least 4 other rivals for the top level of English football (and that’s if you don’t count Sp*ds, who despite everything else have still finished above us in the league the last two years). Our financial power relative to the rest of the top level is not what it once was (and is a bit of a sleeping giant due to poor leveraging of our brand in the days of success, bad business deals, poor financial planning, and so on). Simply put, we cannot afford to gamble on a untested manager, no matter if he played for us before or what have you. We need proven winning quality, leadership, and experience.

We need to rebuild our image, rebuild our team, and restore our club to a place of prominence in both the English game and the World game. This is the job for a proven winner, not an untried young gun who only has potential to offer.


Thing is how much money has the club got to a) buy players b) Pay the new coach. No way are they going to pay him as much as Wenger, as he did everything on the football side. We’ve brought a fitness guru over from Australia, a recruitment guy from Dortmund, Sporting director from Barca plus the consultant from team Sky how much in those 4 appointments? If as reported we only have 50mill for new players that’s 1 Man city full back. Can’t see a big time manager being lured by that.


We can start making some money back by selling players whose quality suggests they shouldn’t be at the club, and selling other players that either don’t fit the squad or are being paid far too much to be here. That would raise money from sales, get people off the wage bill, and give the new manager the freedom to start shaping the squad the way he sees fit.

Here’s a list of the players I would definitely sell/decline to retain, with reasons given:

Wilshere (too much wages for too little performance, doesn’t fit in the first 11)
Ramsey (doesn’t fit well with Ozil, and with Ozil clearly better, we need to sell him while he still has value in the market)
Ospina (not good enough even as a no. 2, and we can either promote a goalie to no2 or get a new no1 and put Cech as the no2)
Welbeck (blocked by Laca/Auba, and we need a target man as a plan b, and Welbs isn’t it)
Jenkinson (yeah, he’s a Gooner, but no, he’s not good enough to make the grade, unfortunately. Cut him loose)

And here are the players who should be in consideration to be sold, or that would be if not for certain circumstances:

Mustafi (if Kos hadn’t ruptured his Achilles, he would be on the above list. But we need at least one central defender who has played a full season in the EPL, so he has to stay until one of the youngsters makes him expendable next year)

Xhaka (not anywhere near what we need as a DM, and not what we need as a CM either, especially not with Ozil in the squad. But the new manager might yet make something out of him, and with the British Core Midfield Twins [Wilshere and Ramsey] gone, we need some bodies in midfield. But if people progress and he doesn’t next year, we need to cut him loose)

Iwobi (has stagnated for the last 2 years at least, and if he doesn’t shape up should be shipped out. But a new manager might yet make something out of him, too)

And here is an option to sell that should be considered if the chips fall in a certain way:

Lacazette (I would only sell him if Griezmann leaves Atletico and Atletico offer us at least the same amount of money we paid Lyon, if not a bit more, to buy him as the Griezmann replacement. Doing this would compromise our forward line, true, but recalling Lucas and Joel Campbell, along with promoting Nketiah, would at least give us bodies to put there as the new manager decides what sort of striker he wants alongside Auba).

I reckon we can get at least 100M in sales from the players above, and shave almost a million a week off the wage bill, if we sell Ramsey, Ospina, Welbeck, Jenkinson, Xhaka, and decline to renew Wilshere. More if we sell Lacazette.

We need a new no1 GK, a new CD, a proper DM, and a wide midfielder/wing player. We could also use a target man on the cheap, a la Giroud when we first got him for like 12M a few years ago.

If we have 100 -200M in the war chest and enough wage bill to get new players on, we can reshape the squad and start the rebuild in earnest.

Clock-End Mike

So, you propose keeping Özil who’s been here 5 years, Chambers (4 years) and Holding (2 years), Cech (3 years), Mkhitaryan, Lacazette (perhaps) and Aubameyang who’ve not been here a year yet, Maitland-Niles and few other virtually untried youngsters. And you want to fill the empty places with players who won’t want big salaries. You really want to close the book on the last few years, don’t you?

A team is more than just a collection of talented individuals. I would suggest this is a recipe for mid-table obscurity, against the forlorn hope that a new team might miraculously gel. Sorry, that’s not the way it’s done. Especially at the Arsenal. I hope.

Clock-End Mike

Oh, and I forgot Hector Bellerín and Mo Elneny. Sorry to them.


Close the book on the last few years?


The last few years have SUCKED! We have underperformed and a lot of the mainstays of those years are a big reason why! Why insist on persisting with players who have already failed, let alone keep paying them big salaries with virtually no hope they will get better (I’m looking at you, Jack Wilshere!)? Why insist on keeping players who are bad fits with the best players on our squad when we can sell them and get enough money to bring in others who are better fits (yes, I’m talking about you, Aaron Ramsey and Granit Xhaka!)?

If we want to rebuild and progress, we need to trim the fat and make room for growth, both in potential and ability. Not persist with a foundation/structure that can never be much more than it currently is. And we cannot keep expending wage money and places on the team sheet for players who have the ability but don’t fit the best iteration of the squad.

We need to keep the players that either have potential (our youngsters coming through), have ability commensurate with their salaries, are absolutely needed needed for certain specific reasons, or are here for better or worse. The rest HAVE to go, even if some of their replacements demand big salaries (and we’ll have salary to use if we get rid of the part of the squad that needs getting rid of).

Players who we should keep for their potential:
Bellerin, Chambers, Holding, Mavro, Iwobi, Maitland-Niles, Neilson, Nketiah, the other youngsters in the system I haven’t mentioned.

Players whose ability fit their salaries and fit the club:
Mkhitaryan, Aubameyang, Lacazette, Monreal, Kolasinac(could fit the ‘potential’ group as well)

Players who are absolutely needed (due to reasons such as lack of bodies with EPL experience at their positions):
Elneny, Mustafi

Players who are here for better or worse (salary/ability, age):
Ozil, Cech

The rest need to go, either by not being offered a new contract, or by being sold for money in our warchest and available on our wage bill. Use that money to bring in players who can cover up the real holes in the squad (like at DM, winger/side midfielder, GK1, etc.) and other players who can provide cover at spots that need it (RB, target-man striker). Use some of our promising younsters and recall players like Joel Campbell, Lucas Perez, Jeff Reine-Adelaide, and Krystian Bielik if we need bodies in places after our transfer business is done. Replace the current tried and tested mediocrity with potential and fresh faces.

With the new manager in place, things are already going to change, and those changes are going to be wholesale. The trimmed squad above, with additions and recalls in the right places, is more than good enough to at least fight for a top 4 spot (which is what the new manager should look to do in the first year before moving onto bigger and better goals). We will not be a freakin’ mid-table side because we got rid or the Wilsheres, Ramseys, Xhakas, Welbecks, and Ospinas of the squad. And we will be far better off letting a rebuilt and remade squad gel (as if gelling takes a squad years and years, lol) than persisting with an “already gelled” squad who we’ve seen enough of to know will never reach the heights this club should truly wish to be at.

You’re right: a squad is more than just a collection of talented individuals. It’s a well built and managed collection of determined, inspired, and ambitious individuals who don’t settle for mediocrity. We have 11 starting spots, and 25 squad spots. We need to use them to best advantage, not collect and keep 4 starters who are best in one spot while 2 other spots lack a starting caliber player. And the players we have need to either be of a certain caliber, have the potential to be of that certain caliber. Or be useful in a certain limited role that doesn’t count on them to be among the most relied upon and well-paid members of the team. That’s the way it’s done at the biggest, most ambitious, and most accomplished clubs in the world.

And if Arsenal ever wish to count themselves among the elite again, they need to start getting things done that way, and yesterday.

Clock-End Mike

I beg to differ. True, Liverpool had been dominating the league around the time of Graham’s appointment, and Man Utd were on the rise; but they were by no means the only clubs with whom Arsenal had to compete, and we had no pretensions to being a “top side”; we were a regular top 10 side. Apart from one 3rd and a couple of 4th places, we hadn’t been challenging for the top for 10 years under Terry Neill or Don Howe, averaging about a 6th-7th place finish, neither a team on the rise nor particularly on the wane, when George Graham was appointed. He had to compete also with the likes of Blackburn, who threw money at coming 2nd, then winning the new Premier League title (then collapsed under the weight of the debt), and with Newcastle, Leeds Utd and Aston Villa, who were among the “big clubs” of the period.

Nor are we really on the wane now, we’ve had a couple of poor seasons in the League (but won 3 FA Cups), and are no longer competing only with Man Utd. To pretend that we can compete financially with the likes of United, City and Chelsea is wishful thinking; we have to be cleverer than they are, and we have the core of a very good bunch of players. We should be competing with the likes of Tottenham and Liverpool, and looking to compete with those three moneyed sides. We’ve beaten all of them over the last couple of seasons (well, except Liverpool, I think), just not often enough. We certainly have more money than we had, but the new TV deals have levelled the playing field more than ever in years past.

What we have going for us at the Arsenal are two things: first, longevity — no other team has been a constant member of the top division anywhere near as long as we have, since 1919; next longest is Everton, since 1954. Apart from them, only Liverpool, Man Utd, Tottenham and Chelsea have been ever-present in the PL since the turn of the century. We belong at the top, and we know we do. We haven’t been outside the top 6 since 1995 (fingers crossed!), which no other club can claim. And second, we have class. Something given to us by George Chapman, maintained by subsequent management, and greatly enhanced under Arsène Wenger. It’s what makes Arsenal special; it would be a disaster, I really believe, if we became just a pale copy of United, City, Chelsea or any other “win at all expense” club. I used to think we had a better class of fans too, perhaps as much as Liverpool or Newcastle, who probably have the most passionate and loyal fan bases in the league. Sure, we’d moan like hell when the team were rubbish; but we’d still support them in the next match. Our away fans are among the best; sadly, too many of our home fans (and non-attending fans) only support the side when they’re winning. Perhaps that’s the legacy of the unprecedented success of the early Wenger years, and of the reputation that persisted for playing entertaining football; it comes to be expected, and nothing less will do.

Even the last few years of Arsène’s tenure have been more successful than the last few years of George Graham’s: better league places, more trophies. They’re not the disaster they’re painted as; what hurts is that we know we can do better. If you look at home form this season, we currently lie in 2nd place, so we know what we should be capable of. I can’t explain our away form, and it’s clear it hurts and confuses the manager too. I hope the fresh enthusiasm of a new manager will reinvigorate the team. That’s what is needed most, whether the manager is a “proven winner” or a “young gun”. And it’s even possible he turns out to be somewhere near as good a coach as Arsène Wenger.

George Onyango

In one week I will be celebrating the appointment of a new Arsenal Manager! I can’t wait. Wenger will be back in France and all this debate that has been raging for three weeks since he was sacked will end! I can’t wait for that!


Merci Arsene!
Now we need someone who can get cash out of Plonker and add to a team who can challenge every team in the PL.