Happy Friday, the first of the post-Wenger reign, and yesterday some footage emerged from Le Olde Boss from his usual media mouthpiece BeIn sports about who might succeed him and he had his say on Arteta as the likely candidate.
I’ve watched this interview a couple of times now and when you see what he’s saying written down on paper or online it certainly looks like he’s giving Arteta his backing. But perhaps it’s just me, perhaps after years of looking into Arsène’s eyes at press conferences, pre and post match TV interviews, but there was something in his eyes that said to me he’s not entirely convinced by what feels like the inevitable decision to appoint the Spaniard.
And that makes sense. It makes sense because whatever people say about him, nobody can argue that he won’t want the best for Arsenal Football Club and we’re all collectively saying (most of us anyway) that this is such a massive gamble.
It is a huge gamble by Gazidis. Imagine if we feet into December and we’re out of everything and further adrift than ever before. Imagine if this looks like a massive Ivan vanity project for his ego because much like Arsène, he’s wanted to do it ‘his way’ and it has failed spectacularly, with everyone on the clubs back again. Imagine the chanting in the stands. Yes, if it went wrong there’d be calls for Arteta to go, but I think the direction of fan ire would be more directed towards Ivan, rather than how it has been solely on Wenger for the last few years.
Wenger is gone. There’s no more parachute for the likes of Ivan. Sven and Raul are still new and so will probably be able to survive one dodgy appointment. But do you think after positioning himself as the main man, moving his office to London Colney, bringing in senior appointments as he’s done, Ivan could get a free pass from the fans, media and more importantly for his job security the Kroenke’s?
I don’t. I think this is his decision and he must know that if it fails it’ll be on his head. If he has the final say and he ends up betting the house on a risky appointment he must know that his head could – and probably should – be on the chopping block by the Kroenke’s.
Bringing in Arteta is a massive gamble on Ivan Gazidis’ tenure.
But if – and it is an ‘if’ because I acknowledge (and desperately hope) – it goes well, it will be the making of Gazidis. Arteta would get plaudits and it would be justified if he makes this successful, but I think the fans would also give props to Gazidis too. There are still many who think that he showed a bit of cowardice to not speak up at times last season and this season and many will probably see how Ivan manoeuvred Wenger into where we’re at now and think that there was a bit of backstabbery that went on. But I think a lot of the uncertainty under Ivan would dissipate if he puts his balls on the line and comes up trumps for the benefit of Arsenal.
And that’s what we are all collectively praying for. Whoever the manager is will get the fans backing come the first game of the season and all we all want is to see them do well.
It’s a an exciting and scary time being an Arsenal fan at the moment.
Catch you all tomorrow.