Should Gazidis get on the phone to Manuel Pellegrini? By Twig
Although he initially denied it, it has recently emerged that Arsene Wenger might have taken a walk had Arsenal failed to beat Hull City in the FA cup final 2 years ago. The pressure on the boss leading up to the FA cup final was immense; He hadn’t won anything for almost 10 years prior to the game and his position as Arsenal manager was coming under increasing scrutiny. In fact, for the first quarter of an hour of that tie, it looked like Arsenal will once again succumb to the pressures of the big stage, however Santi Cazorla came up with that free kick which gave Arsene Wenger respite for a few more years.
This season, it appears Wenger is once again on the crossroads. Dumped out of the FA Cup by Watford, swept aside easily by Barca (that seemed to play more leisurely than purposefully for the most part) and trailing Leicester and Spurs by 11 and 6 points respectively, it appears the prospects of a title this season are non-existent. Former Arsenal fans such as Ian Wright and Thierry Henry feel that Wenger’s position as manager would be untenable should he fail to deliver the title this season, where familiar foes such as Chelsea and Manchester United have all failed to fire. It was to be Arsenal’s season, but somehow we conspired to to seize the opportunity. If Arsenal could be forgiven for losing out to the likes of Chelsea and City (due to their much higher player investments), what excuse could we have to lose the title to a Leicester side whose top 4 players (Vardy, Mahrez, Kante and Okazaki) were assembled for practically a lesser fee than Oxlade-Chamberlain?
Many names have been suggested to take over from Wenger if he leaves. Bergkamp, Henry, Koeman and even Mourinho have been suggested. However, just up in the north of England, Manuel Pellegrini would be available in the summer having been replaced – for inexplicable reasons – by Pep Guardiola. Pelligrini is very experienced, non-controversial, a proven winner and a gentleman. In addition, his team plays in a style that Arsenal fans – long spoiled with free-flowing possession-heavy football – will not find repulsive. Out of all the names that have been mentioned, Pellegrini seems to tick most of the boxes of whom should be the next Arsenal manager. With regards to Bergkamp and Henry, the experience of Gary Neville at Valencia has shown that simply being a great player is not a guarantee of being a successful manager, as such Gazidis and Co should exercise caution before handing over the club into their hands. At 62 years of age, Pellegrini may not be a long-term solution, but he will hopefully stay long enough to allow the likes of Mikel Arteta and Thierry Henry to acquire all their coaching badges and gain some experience managing another club.