I’ve been thinking about what Arsenal will do when Wenger finally decides its time to go to the retirement home (or manage France!) and after listening to what Gilberto Silva said about the relationship between Le Prof and the club, I think he should train his replacement completely from scratch.
Gilberto told Sky Sports: “He’s always been strong, no matter what the situation is, he will always support the players and embrace them. He will always stay in front of them, protects them, especially when the pressure is there, that’s just his style.
“He was the same last season when the team were struggling; he behaves like a big father to everyone, and takes the responsibility.
“But behind the scenes for him it is important that the older players take a lot of responsibility and help the younger players. Now they have a new chance, a new season and a new outlook.
“Honestly, it was not a surprise for me that he stayed. He’s got the desire inside of him to carry on and win games. It’s special because he loves Arsenal too, it is very unique and personal to him.”
Gilberto, who played under Wenger during the Invincibles era, then talked about how Arsenal would try to get someone to fill his boots when he’s gone. The Brazilian continued: “When it happens it will be difficult for any coach coming to replace him. Because there is one kind of style and philosophy, everyone would have to adapt to a new manager.
“I hope that when the time comes for him to leave they start to prepare a new manager to replace that ability.”
Well I agree, and that should be taught by Wenger from the bottom up. Per Mertesacker is Wenger’s captain and has been his voice in the dressing room for some time and knows exactly how things work. The BFG has already announced that he will be coaching the academy players when he retires, then perhaps he could move up to the U23’s and carry on absorbing the Wenger way of management without any pre-conceived ideas from other clubs. The Boss obviously trusts him and maybe he is intending for the German to replace him?
Another one managing the academy this season will be Jens Lehmann, who was also an integral and vocal member of Wenger’s best team. If the BFG is going to replace him next summer, will Lehmann be the first to move up the ladder? He has already told us that this job is a stepping stone to management.
Do you think Wenger is training them to ultimately be his replacement? Or who else could do the job in ‘the Arsenal way’?