“The Professor” as he is so adoringly called by the Arsenal fans has easily built the best footballing side in English football history. It is now a cliche to say that “Arsenal are wonderful to watch” and the best thing for Wenger is, that his youngsters are beginning to show signs that they have what it takes to be Premiership Champions.
A long term issue for Arsenal though is the prospect of when Arsene Wenger decides to call it a day where managerial duties are concerned. He will certainly be given a specific role “upstairs” most probably involving the development and scouting of talented youngsters, but who would be able to arrive at the Emirates and continue the same way that Wenger has created and built upon.
The answer seems rather obvious when you just look at how Pep Guardiola has done at Barcelona, the similar style of playing, passing, movement, judgement and creativity of Arsenal would need someone like the Barcelona coach to continue. Of course there will be slight changes but nothing major should he be targeted and made the next boss at some point in the future.
The ultimate difference between the two clubs only really relates to three players and that is the goal keeper and two centre-backs, in Pique and Puyol the Catalan club have a very steady and organised defence, that seems to be the only real thing missing at the moment. Whether Guardiola, or anyone else for that matter would be able to change that at the Emirates stadium is a question of funds or the right group of youths coming through the system.
Whilst it could be yet another ten years before Wenger decides to move on (He will never be sacked), Arsenal are a team that are now built in such a way, that to change the style of Wenger’s Arsenal would be almost catastrophic – can you imagine Allardyce being brought in to change the system around? thankfully for the good of Premiership football that won’t happen!
Wenger’s “cotton-wool” type handling of Theo Walcott and Samir Nasri may infuriate fans at some point but the future bodes well. Not only will they remain fresh and very competitive for the next five to eight years and will also mean Wenger’s successor will have, by that time, two world class talents, and there is perhaps no one better at handling world class stars than Pep Guardiola.