For the past 22 years, Arsenal like any other team in the world had some pre-season challenges to tackle while awaiting the start of the regular season. However, amongst all these challenges, there is one challenge the team never faced for the past 22 years i.e. searching for a new manager. Arsenal is sailing in new territory this pre-season and any football discussion that is taking place right now whether among the Gunners fans or fans from other clubs ultimately end up with the topic of Arsene Wenger’s successor. Many names have been touted for the Arsenal top job and among those names are two of Arsenal’s former captains in Mikel Arteta and Patrick Vieira.
At this stage, there is no clear frontrunner for the job meaning these two former captains have the same chance of succeeding Wenger for next season and possibly beyond that. As both have seemingly stellar though short CVs, will that translate to success on the field at Arsenal? Let’s take a look. You can have your say on who you want to see as the next Arsenal manager by tipping him at http://www.bonuscodeuk.com/.
The 41-year-old captained the Invincible side. On the field of play, Vieira was a leader, he organised and inspired his teammates on the field of play and was loved by everyone around him. To the Arsenal faithful, Vieira is a club legend. Despite all that Vieira has done for Arsenal, the talk that he might make a return to the Gunners as a manager has divided opinion among the Arsenal faithful.
Talking soon after the announcement that Arsene Wenger was going to leave the club at the end of the season, the Chief Executive, Ivan Gazidis said that the club was going to appoint someone that will carry on the philosophy and culture of the club.
In light of this, let’s see how Vieira fares:
Free flowing football – Vieira started out his managerial career at Manchester City where he was the Youth Coordinator in 2011. He was quickly elevated to become the Under21 manager from 2013 to 2015 before a brief spell with the Under19 side. In January 2016, Vieira took on his biggest challenge to date when he became the manager of the New York City football club. In his time in the MLS, Vieira has managed to finish in second place for two consecutive seasons in the Eastern Conference. With New York City, his team has been playing high pressing free-flowing football. Vieira’s style of play has caught the eyes of many teams including Saint Etienne in France which previously showed strong interest in him. Basing on this only, Vieira, therefore, will be a right fit for Arsenal.
Premier League and European experience– Vieira has not as a manager or assistant manager managed a game in the Premier League or in Europe before. However, he played in the Premier League from 1996 to 2005 with Arsenal before coming back for a brief playing stint with Manchester City in 2011. In that time, he also featured in Europe playing mostly in the Champions League. If he can manage to use his Premier League experience as a manager, then it’s possible that he will succeed in the manager role.
Player management– managing Arsenal means that one has to know how to manage some big-name players. Vieira has shown that he is equal to the task in this instance as he managed the Frank Lampard debacle intelligently when he arrived at New York City. He also managed to handle Andrea Pirlo while building his team around David Villa.
Free flowing football– Mikel Arteta has just one year of managerial experience i.e. from the just ended 2017/18 season. However, despite his lack of experience, Arteta has been praised for having a footballing brain by his boss, Pep Guardiola and other footballing minds including the departing Arsenal manager himself, Arsene Wenger. Having played under Wenger from 2011 to 2016 and spent a season learning the ropes from Pep Guardiola, it’s no doubt that Arteta is someone who will favour free-flowing football when finally given the chance to take the reins at a football club.
Premier League and European experience– Arteta played 427 games in his professional career with most of those coming in the Premier League. Though he didn’t feature much in Europe, he has some European experience from his time at Arsenal. His one year of managerial experience has also come in the Premier League thus it’s safe to say that Arteta will not find it difficult to manage in the Premier League if given the chance.
Player Management- Having worked alongside Pep at Manchester City managing some big-name players in Sergio Aguero, Vincent Kompany, David Silva and Kevin DeBryne, Arteta definitely knows a thing or two about how to handle egos in the dressing room.
Though these two former Arsenal captains may not have enough managerial experience, the Arsenal board has in the past opted for unknown and unproven managers including Arsene Wenger from Nagoya Grampus Eight and George Graham from Millwall. It will be no surprise therefore if either of these two manage to land the top Arsenal job.