For the first time in nearly two years Arsenal will be managed by a proper Arsenal man. When Aaron Ramsey was allowed to leave, I worried less about the player we were losing more the person. Having been around for a decade, it was long enough for him to understand the values of the club and understand Arsenal’s identity.
With him joining other long serving British talent through the exit door, suddenly who was ‘Mr Arsenal’? Who was our version of Liverpool’s Gerrard or Chelsea’s Terry?
We bridged that gap by hiring Edu to work behind the scene,s while promoting Freddie Ljungberg from our underage groups. It’s something we should have done years earlier, especially when the leadership of our squad came into question.
The more you can surround yourself with winners, people who know the meaning of the crest, who have worn the shirt with pride, the better. Imagine surrounding yourself during the week with someone who understands Arsenal’s identity, who can empathise with the pressure that you’re feeling?
When Freddie swapped roles with Bould in the summer, I like to think he was being groomed for this opportunity one day. That wouldn’t have been a decision made by Emery but a club’s choice. Who better to educate the youngsters then a man would have been taught by Mr Wenger the right way of playing?
Freddie would have been supportive of the current regime, but I would be shocked if he agrees with 5 at the back or 3 DM’s. We need to be aware of mistakes made with the likes of Di Matteo and Solskjaer.
Interim bosses have an advantage of telling disgruntled players what they want to hear, it’s different when it becomes a full-time gig.
Just for a moment though, however short it is, maybe we have Arsenal’s identity back?