Henry, Rosicky, Arsene – Will The Last One Out Of The Building Turn Off The Lights?

Sunday is the day for all the fantasy transfers to be contained in one bitesize chunk for the week. As per usual, Henry is off to Barcelona according to everyone for £20m. This represents an interesting exercise in Transfer Market Inflation; ten days ago, he was worth £15m, then £17m, now £20m so by the time Arsene sits back at his desk the value should be about £25m. Unless of course, it is complete crap in which case he is worth 30 goals next season as we storm the Premiership and Champions League, undefeated. Don’t snap my head off for making outlandish predictions, it’s Fantasy Football after all. On which subject, The People continues its campaign to bring you only the truth which this week sees Tomas Rosicky off to Atletico because Arsene’s future is uncertain, which seems to be the basis of all reports of a mass exodus from The Emirates.

To upset all those who believe we need experience, Kyle Bartley has apparently been signed from Bolton Wanderers with a fee to be decided by a tribunal. The massively experienced England Centre Half belies his tender sixteen years of age and represents a new wave of English players at the Club.

A thought popped into my head yesterday and got bored, so it went down the pub instead. However, faint traces of it remain and it concerns AW’s future. The first thing is that there is a strong indication that he will renew his contract at the end of the season and that is the appointment of a Director of Football. It has gone a bit quiet on that front but more than anything that is to do with his holiday. However, it was widely assumed that he would ‘move upstairs‘ in the near future to take on that sort of role. When someone else is appointed, that kind of blocks that route. After all, there seem to be all sorts of conflicts potentially arising if AW sits on the Board alongside a DoF, who would prevail in a disagreement over policy, for example.

Perhaps a more important consideration of this would be what I will term ‘Arsene’s shadow‘. Currently, there is no-one at the Club who could take over the reigns from AW when he left. It could be that someone like Bould is being groomed for such a transition but fundamentally, no-one has experience of successfully running a big club. Brady and Rice both held managerial reigns in the past but Celtic and Watford were hardly resounding successful during their tenures. That means an outsider would have to come in. That person would need to be a strong personality with clear ideas of how things should be done; how would AW react to that if they were not the same as his own? Not that I think this to be a problem that we will face for several seasons yet.

Looking back over the last forty years, I cannot think of one successful Club who have promoted from within and had an ex-manager on the Board. When Busby left the manager role at Old Trafford to move upstairs, McGuiness and Farrell both complained of being in his shadow. Liverpool promoted from within but Shankly, Paisley and Fagan all left the Club when their successors took over the reigns.

Which brings us full circle to how this ‘mess’ originally started. DD is being linked with a Director’s role at Newcastle if Mike Ashley takes over at Newcastle although if the press are to be believed, Freddie Shepherd does not want to sell to him. However, DD would feel right at home, being at odds with a Chairman although the difference this time would be that the major shareholder does not want his head on a platter. Still, it shows how little is happening in the World of Premiership Football if the tabloids think this is a major piece of gossip.

’til Tomorrow.

Posted on June 3, 2007, in Arsenal, Football, Premiership, Soccer, Transfer Gossip. Bookmark the permalink. 23 Comments.

  1. Flint McCullough

    Yes the Wenger going upstairs has to be a big question mark.

    I can’t think of a situation in English football that has been succesful.

    However AW is different to almost any other manager & it could just be possible that he remains an overall manager/director of football with a disciple head coach taking over the on pitch matters. I have said before it will be almost impossible for 1 man to do all the things Arsene does.

    I think Pat Rice was the youth team manager at Watford & just had a few weeks as caretaker with us. We actually know very little about his skills as a coach. The same could be said of Boro Primorac. They have both been at the heart of our successes so it could be one of them could work in the manner suggested with AW.

    Liam Brady has been entrusted with a major arm of the Arsenal operation, so it is quite possible he could fit the bill.

    Let’s hope all this is some years down the road.

    The DD to Newcastle bit is interesting if there is a grain of truth in it. Lots of avenues to explore there?

  2. Morning.

    Wenger has always said that when he steps down from Arsenal, it’ll be to spend more time with his wife and child.

    If you accepts a position on the board, I imagine it’ll be no more than a token gesture, perhaps no more than a consultancy role for others within the club, as opposed to a full time and hands on job.

    I’m not worried about that.

  3. I meant

    “If he accepts a position on the board,”

    Sorry for the typo.

  4. The usual end of season rumours. To be honest I think Henry will wait to see who we are signing (that’s if he does really want to leave) In all this mess & rumours at Arsenal there is one person to blame, that buffoon Peter Hill Wood!

  5. AW will do things for the futur. Now is the time to gather what he has done. for this reason he will not leave the managerial roll at all.
    For the other players starting from Henry will depend on the futur of AW’s managerial roll.

  6. All of the idle chatter about who’s leaving and who’s coming in is just that – chatter; a necessary evil during the close-season when the papers and web-sites still have vast tracts of space to fill, and precious little to write about.

    I agree that Henry is probably concerned about our signings over the Summer months – and the remarks made by Gallas about needing experience a few weeks ago probably reflect his views too.

    Which brings me to another point – we did sign ‘experience’ last summer – in Gallas and Rosicky, but if you contrast their contributions during the season to those of, say Fabregas and Clichy – it wasn’t the youngsters who let us down. Add to that the contributions (not) made by our more ‘experienced’ pros – Henry and Ljundburg, and you should get my drift.

    We probably need more seasoned pros in the first team squad okay – after all we did lose virtually half of our unbeaten team of 2004 during the last close-season (Bergkamp, Reyes, Pires, Lauren, Cole and Campbell), but one suspects that we will only hear about these signings after the deals have been done.

    I reckon that a centre half has to come in, and that we also need to restore some natural width to the side. I’m not going to speculate who, because chances are AW has some players in mind I probably will never have heard of.

  7. Perhaps he should try and persuade DB10 to come back on the coaching side and take over as manager, first team coach or whatever in due course. The travelling may be a problem though!

  8. Yogi,
    “That means an outsider would have to come in. That person would need to be a strong personality with clear ideas of how things should be done”.
    I agree entirely.
    I’d like to point out that a large part of our success under Wenger has its roots in the Wenger-Dein partnership: Wenger was brought to the Arsenal by Dein and given carte blanche to shape the club as he saw fit with very little interference, indeed with an extraordinary amount of autonomy.
    That’s precisely the model I aspire to.
    Just as it was Dein who was instrumental in bringing Wenger to the club, it is probably best, assuming Wenger is interested in a DoF role, to allow Wenger to choose the next manager. I trust Wenger sufficiently to believe he will choose wisely: he has literally remodelled Arsenal from top to bottom during his time here and I think he’s the kind of man who’d want to pass on the legacy to reliable hands.
    I must make clear that I’d under no circumstances want a Manager who’d be a “yes-man”, with Wenger managing by proxy. I’d rather have someone who’s resolutely his own man, and I hope there are managers Wenger respects sufficiently to entrust the club to and to work constructively with them in a DoF capacity.
    Paul LeGuen, despite a horrid stint up in Scotland, comes to mind. Hey, it’s a dull summer, so I figure if I can’t beat the sports dailies, I’d rather join them, as ham-handedly as I can!
    But before all that I’d like this team under Wenger to top the Premiership and the European championship. It’d be a travesty if that didn’t happen.

  9. I have a sneaky feeling that this may be AW’s last season as manager. Not that I want him to go but I think he may be looking for something new. I suspect that there’s plenty of money for transfers but AW wants to make sure his successor will be able to spend it on his own type of players. Whoever the successor is, he will have a large squad of quality and youth and a warchest to enable him to bring in who he wants. I reckon AW will make the CL his priority but if it doesn’t happen then he won’t turn it into a white whale like Ferguson has. I just have a feeling that AW fancies having a go at that vacant England job that’ll be there at the end of the season. The whole 2nd choice Steve thing feels so much like the Rioch plan before AW joined. But then I like consipiracy theories!

  10. I’ll eat my hat if Arsene leaves Arsenal for the England job. He’s no lover of international football and that would be the most poisoned of poisoned challices!

    Arsene loves the club so much I think he wouldn’t be able to stand being around to see what someone else does with the team. From comments he’s made I think he’d go to Africa or Asia and develop their youth set ups, whilst he discovers and nurtures future talents. I think that kind of role would suit him and he’d feel like he’s giving something back to the game.

    But I do agree with you Karthic that it would be a travesty if Arsene doesn’t win something with his third team before he goes.

  11. Long term, Claude Puel is a better candidate to replace Wenger than Paul LeGuen. Paul LeGuen is good, but necessarily for the long term. He had never stay in a club more than 3 years (rennes 2 years, Lyon 2 years, Rangers 6 months, …).
    Claude Puel on the other hand is somebody who likes to work in the long term.
    He also has the same philosophy of taking young players, nurturing them and transforming them into better players (Bodmer, the Nigerian striker, Jean II Makoun).
    Moreover, Claude Puel and Wenger like each other, so if Wenger were to move upstairs, they could work together in tandem. Claude Puel had already worked under Wenger at Monaco. He already know most of Arsenal scouts in France (Grimandi,…) and Spain.
    The transition would be the smoothest.

  12. Valentin,
    Claude Puel: Good call.
    Not win something; The premiership and the Champions league; not necessarily as a double mind. That is setting the bar high, but impossibly? Only time will tell. Methinks it will boil down to character.

  13. While we’re thinking about and hoping for good players to come in, it’s a good piece to keep our heads clear:

  14. ethan_gooner

    i think arsene will stay , the likes of fabs and other youngsters that look upto him , i think he would get a severe attack of the guilts if he left arsenal half finished ..
    And thats what it is currently
    Plus i think he has far more moral integrity than henry
    who really is a SHOWBOAT and for 2 seasons of no silverware
    has caused his arsenal marriage to break down..

    .. Obviously it is a cash flow problem .. which is actually how this all started .. selling patrick
    as we were probly cash straped which started this slide… and why ? cause of the stadium … i mean we invested (punted) on youngsters due to the stadiums financial commitments ,therefore we bought potiential stars not being able to buy the big names .. and keep up with the chelsea and man U JONES !
    in my opinion now we are moving into a great stadium
    50 000+ , but how are we going to fill it with 2nd rate players struggling to attain 4th spot…

  15. ethan that didn’t make much sense. Please try again.

  16. I actually think Wenger would prefer to move abroad again (possibly to Africa) and lend his talents to football development over there. He has no interest in negotiating contracts and all the tasks that occupy a director of football role, he has said as much in recent weeks. We will appoint an outsider and i just hope that he doesn’t try to overhaul the great structure that Wenger has built.

  17. Jimmy,
    I believe that the culture of feeder clubs is going to evolve into a very structured one in the years to come:
    A good number of clubs, atleast the “big” ones, are going to have a very formally defined relationship with feeder clubs, specially in Asia and Africa, that are entrusted the task of spotting, signing and developing local talent that is later promoted to the parent club, or sold on to other clubs, in Europe say.
    I foresee technical expertise and management practices filtering down from the “parent” to the “feeder”, and talent moving back up the other way. Think of them as a more decentralised and complex academy structure. I expect the parent to even be allowed a financial stake in the feeder .
    I also see a parallel evolution of the DoF role: Arsene, to hypothesise, will oversee the establishment and functioning of these “feeders”, and will likely have an assistant, someone with a background in the business world and knowledge of football who’ll do the negotiating and contract finalisation. That should suit Arsene just fine methinks.
    We’ll see.
    That said, I hope the present board and David Dein can find the maturity to come back to the table, come up with a mutually acceptable agreement, and set things back on course. Whatever the differences, unless utterly irreconcilable, which they rarely are, it is silly to put paid to one of the cornerstones of our recent commercial and footballing success, and growth: the Dein-Arsene partnership.
    I hope good sense prevails over everything else.

  18. ethan_gooner

    jimmy : my statement didnt make sence??
    and arsene moving to africa does?

    are you are tripping dude ?

    arsene is REBUILDING THE SIDE ..
    and he wouldnt leave it half finished .
    even thou DD is gone im sure arsene
    will stick around .. well atleast see out his contract and pray
    his team will get some results this year.(therefore not feeling guilty that he let his youngsters down)
    . then he will leave for EUROPE.. not africa you baffoon.

    Arsene isnt the talent finder is was more DD’s resposiblity,
    along with giles grimandi and steve rowley..
    Arsene wants results and real madrid want him..
    I can see arsene standing on a dirty football pitch in nigeria
    doing non profit work at his age.. yeah right …

  19. There was a good interview with Wenger about his future on one of the shows on my site. I think it was on the “Far post” Programme. Or maybe “Up all night”


  20. wow just wanna say, most fantasy hurts, like linking henry away, uh, just cant think of it, but honestly now that MANU has gone big into the transfer market we better act too, in case of any injure

  21. ( repeat as 1st line lost) think everyone is getting a bit overexcited. afc needs to be on a cool headed firm financial footing, the likes of villa and newcastle all spending to try unsucessfully to compete with chelsea is madness, the same player that was worth 3 mil is now worth 7 and he didn,t get any better just the borrowed funds available on collateral such as the ground and gate reciepts means that the spectre of multiple leeds united are now that much closer – anyway veron and shevva are prime examples at how 30 mil does not buy quality . saying that thought i might share a tid bit i have been keeping to myself- i was on business trip on 26/4 and stayed at the concorde lafayette in paris – instead of an early morning conference i got up late with a hangover and went to the 30th floor for brekky – on the next table was the great man mr wenger himself . i kept my ears open as his mobile just wouldn,t stop ringing but the usual oui and nons were all he was saying . the one that did interest me from my schoolboy translation was when he said ” oui c,est gerrad c,est oui certainement. now that left me thinking one of three scenarios 1)stevie g is leaving the bin dippers , 2) we are buying a championship grade past it keeper 3) or gerard houllier is going to be director of footy at the emirates. now at the time i thought well that can,t be right as he is the manager of lyon ….then on 25th may houllier resigned at lyon. now he is a big advocate of youth policy, one of his big grouses at lyon was he wanted to be in control of transfers and he,s 59 with a dicky ticker so he might want to remain in a senior footy position without the heart attack streess from management and he,s a great mate of arsenes …so just maybe he,s coming – lthough i wouldn,t mind a scouse midfielder either !

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