Wenger out? But who would YOOOUUU get?
OPINION: Forget the scouts and headhunters, how the Wenger Out brigade have been assigned the task of finding a new Arsenal manager
10 February, 2017 — By Richard Osley
THINGS people ask me at least once a week: “Why are you not wearing your glasses in that squinty pic of you on the back page?” “What happened to the girl who used to write about Spurs on the back page? She was really good.” And most regularly: “Well who would YOOOUU get instead?
Yes, Ozley, you pound shop Nick Hornby [ for all of us are a pound shop someone these days] you keep writing Arsenal need to change manager, but who would you have instead?
Who would you get? Who? Whooo? Come on know-it-all, who would you get? Name him, name this magic man who is going to emerge from over the hills to lead us out of this stalemate, and will somehow be better than Arsene Wenger? Who? Be careful what you wish for, now. Who?
And yet the last time I looked I’m a paunchy reporter on a local newspaper, not a globe-trotting international football headhunter. I would be happy to consider a swap, of course, as long as you throw in a gold seat in the directors’ box at the Emirates, and lobster is brought to me at half-time, and grapes, and peach melba. But until then it is not my job to source, interview and recruit a new manager for Arsenal.
Nor is it a task for anybody else who dares to think that as great as the Invincibles season was, a reboot is needed at the Emirates Stadium. It’s a ridiculous idea that you can’t feel the club needs a freshen up unless you can name a suitable successor or somehow predict exactly how things will pan out post-Wenger. Neither should we be serenaded by told-you-sos, if whoever comes next finishes mid-table and fails to qualify for the Champions League.
For even a bum campaign or two would break the asylum-calling cycle of watching an identical season every single year; being locked onto an annual see-saw of dreamy, early season promise pivoted by crushing disappointment come January.
It’s become water torture. Arsenal fans are under the dripping tap: from the outside it doesn’t look so bad, just a bit of water and a top-four finish, but the relentless nature of inexplicable defeats and a second-round Champions League exit eventually sends you spinning.
For one twisted moment at the weekend, counsellor, I found myself consoling myself after the annual headmaster’s office caning at Stamford Bridge that Chelsea are somehow more likeable under Conte and without Jose Mourinho and John Terry. Yeah, but who would YOOOUU get?
After two crucial defeats in a week, and a start to the year like all the others, the answer is getting dangerously close to anybody, but the people paid loads of money to make that call, can make that call.