As Arsene Wenger era ends, the Ivan Gazidis era begins

From Ian M

Hi Myles,

Interesting times at Arsenal.

I think you incorrectly called it as welcome to the Arteta era, when it should be welcome to the Gazidis era.

Ivan has been toiling away in the background for two years to attain this outcome, the appointments of Mislintat and Sanllehi a strategic move by him to isolate and drain some power from Wenger.

Now that he has administered the stiletto, quietly and without too much blowback, he might find himself a bit more exposed than his proclivity for the dark arts might be comfortable with.

It would seem that he also runs a press office with some of the same traits. With some strategically leaked titbits, he has dampened expectations for a manager with the pedigree of Allegri or Enrique.

They want too much money, they don’t like the structure (despite it being a familiar European set up) – sure, Ivan. What they undoubtedly would have wanted is power, to make the decisions regarding players, tactics and priorities.

But Ivan has been burnt by someone who spent the last twenty years building an empire around himself, and he has no desire for even a passing resemblance to that.

Instead, he is looking at the likes of Levy and Pochettino, and fancies himself, along with his two sidekicks, as the power behind the throne, the CEO of his dreams, wielding real power, the manager a mere coach, an employee.  And what better candidate than a new manager who will be willing and eager to fit in with this system.

But if you want to challenge in the latter stages of the Champions League, you need a bit of a bruiser with some experience. Unless  Ivan thinks that is some years away.

Of course, it may work. Nobody knows. But ask yourself what experience Ivan has which will endorse this approach – unless, of course, he is leaning heavily on M&S.

Whatever is going on, we are now entering the endgame of Dein’s betrayal and Kroenke’s takeover, as the club is remodelled along American corporate structures and business school ethics. The raft of sackings this week just reinforces the executive power change.

This is the Gazidis era, and we will find out if he is up to it.

Yes, maybe he will find a Poch in Arteta, but zero real management experience at a high profile club like Arsenal is an enormous gamble. He could equally be the new Villa-Boas – young, clever, highly though of, but out of his depth.

However it turns out, Arsenal will be prone to the managerial turnover at clubs like Chelsea and pre-Poch Spurs, if Ivan gets this one wrong. Heavy is the head that wears the crown.

Myles says: 

Yes, Ian. Gazidis has been humiliated by King Wenger for many years.

He suffered damage. He doesn’t want to be hurt even more, so he’ll really hope that August and September go well on the pitch.

Wenger admits he hasn’t even cleared his desk yet. He’s in denial. Probably thinks he’ll be back soon.

He wanted Martial as part of the Sanchez deal in January. But was told Mkhitaryan was coming. So Wenger wasn’t in charge in January and he is being paid £9m to leave and the FA Cup Final is coming up on Saturday.

But he still hasn’t cleared his desk?