Most Gooners are now Emery Out.
I am too, and the Sheffield United defeat was my personal tipping point.
I don’t think he can take the club forward anymore.
However, should we sack him, there is a thought amongst fans that grates me, to some extent.
Would it be “un-Arsenal” to sack a manager, and perhaps get on the continual managerial merry-go-round of the other big European clubs?
I say whether it’s “un-Arsenal” is moot, and perhaps immaterial. To get success, we need to exercise the ruthlessness displayed at all other big European clubs.
It’s why they win leagues, cups, and sustain themselves at that level – which is naturally something we aspire towards and see ourselves worthy of.
Wenger 1996-2018 – an anomaly in length
Arsene Wenger, the long-standing manager of Arsenal from 1996-2018, has shaped Arsenal in many ways.
Part of this was his longevity as a manager, and how it influences a lack of short-termism in managerial terms. Wenger’s long time as our manager has skewed perceptions here, and understandably so given what he achieved. In short, Arsenal shouldn’t rely on culture or “not being like other more ‘negative’ clubs” in changing head coaches. We used to use Wenger’s long reign as a yardstick against Chelsea, who has regularly changed managers at a whim.
In many places and industries, one has to adapt to the trends or die. We cannot let a tenure, which brought us unprecedented success, hamper us now or cloud our judgments.
Wenger’s position at Arsenal was an anomaly, and certainly in terms of his longevity. Not many other managers at headline clubs last for that long, nor will in the current climate.
It doesn’t undermine the point that the club is the star – and if any manager isn’t cutting it then he has to go. It’s that simple.
It was the case for Wenger – many even now say that he was sacked and he didn’t resign. So if we can sack our most successful ever manager, then we can sack Emery, or any future head coach.
Odd one out
Is there a reason why Arsenal should be the odd one out in this capacity?
Arsenal, by many people’s estimations, is one of the biggest clubs in Europe. Granted, it’s never won the Champions League. But in terms of revenues, fanbase, and media attention, it certainly is such. The Emirates Stadium, whilst 13 years old now, still stands amongst the very finest on the continent, and within the UK generally. If we believe we shouldn’t go down the route of regularly changing managers, then is there a reason why we’re different from clubs with similar revenues, fanbase sizes, or media attention?
Other big European clubs regularly change their managers – if things aren’t perceived to be going right.
Chelsea, Manchester United, Manchester City, Real Madrid, Barcelona, Inter, AC Milan, Juventus, Bayern Munich, and PSG all have had multiple managers apiece over the past 5 years.
An exception is Liverpool, but then there was always a long-term plan when Jurgen Klopp was appointed, and now this plan is coming to fruition.
If “loyalty” to Emery is an intended point here, then it’s irrational, given the environment clubs operate in and the actions of clubs Arsenal deems its peers.
Just very recently, on the day I’m writing this in fact, Bayern has sacked Niko Kovac. And in frankness, they are a bigger club than us. They earn more money, and whilst we may have more apparent fans in more countries, they do have more Champions Leagues and domestic titles than we do.
So if they can be changing managers regularly, there is no reason why we cannot.
Even since Wenger left, other big European clubs have had multiple managerial changes:
Chelsea – Sarri, Lampard
Man United – Mourinho, Solksjaer
Real Madrid – Lopetegui, Solari, Zidane
Juventus – Allegri, Sarri
Inter – Spalletti, Conte
As these are our peers, then there’s no reason we cannot be the same.
The key to success in modern football, especially from owners/club executives, is ruthlessness.
It has to be, as success is the bottom line. Anything that doesn’t contribute to this is superfluous.
There also is a perception that Arsenal is a club of class, and that values of decorum and upstandingness define the institution.
Sacking managers, seemingly, isn’t really attuned to that.
Arsenal has sacked managers in the past – there is evidence that Wenger was dismissed and didn’t resign. His predecessor, Bruce Rioch, was sacked also, as was club legend as player and manager George Graham.
The key point really is ruthlessness. And doing anything that is required to succeed is primary.
Arsenal needs to be attuned to the programme, and not be wedded to “class”.
Most big European clubs that have changed managers have won leagues, despite these shifts. They know that the riches of the Champions League, and winning their domestic leagues, is primary.
And anything that isn’t meeting this – whether player or manager – has to go.
We need to be the same.
We didn’t get rid of Wenger, install Sanhelli and Edu, and even get in Emery, if there wasn’t an intention for a new vision.
And part of this vision has to be a new culture – and adapting to the paradigm.
Let’s not forget that as money is crucial to footballing success, we need Champions League football. This ultimately ended Wenger at Arsenal. And it may too end Emery. The drive for financial benefits will force KSE’s hand, and perhaps we may benefit from this ruthlessness that we may need.
What’s certain is that more seasons of Europa League football will mean lesser revenues for the club, and being left behind in getting players. Yes, our name is an attractant. But then other clubs have a name too – and the likes of Liverpool or Juventus could offer CL football and their names. We can only do one – at the moment – and not both.
It’s time we joined the pack and became ruthless in our appointments – or we risk getting left further behind our peers. Being “noble” won’t serve us in the future, necessarily.