Sir Alex Ferguson has issued a robust defence of Arsene Wenger, insisting the Frenchman remains indispensable to Arsenal. “I would like to know who is going to replace him” said the Scot. “The work he has done in the 15 years he has been at the club is the best in Arsenal’s history”.
True. However, in the last 6 years, Wenger has been exposed as a mediocre coach. Even Tony Adams, told to “The Independent”: “I love Arsene dearly, but coaching is not his strong point.”
Wenger is more a sporting director than a coach. The difference is that a coach needs to worry about next game and focus all his energies on that. A sporting director should have a grander vision for the club. Both should work together but some of their interests conflict, which, on some levels, is good for the dynamics of the club.
The coach always wants to improve the squad; the sporting director offers brakes and a different opinion. The coach works for the present and the sporting director has an eye for the future. In Arsenal, Wegner is the sporting director and coach. It might have been good for the finance of the club, but the sporting side has suffered, and if the sporting success won’t come soon, the financial side will suffer as well.
So, there are two answers to the question “Who can replace Wenger?”.
Arsenal need a sporting director. Liam Brady is an obvious candidate because of his experience and his Arsenal DNA.
Who can coach? I think there are a lot of great, offensive minded coaches out there: some young, some more experienced – that can work well with a sporting director.
Here are a few that can fit: For youth press: Jurgen Klopp, Paul Lambert, Owen Coyle or Brendan Rodgers.
For a gamble that will please the fans press: Dennis Bergkamp.
For experience press: Ralf Rangnick, Carlo Ancelotti, Louis Van Gaal.
For the ultimate coach press: Pep Guardiola.