Arsenal Supporters Trust’s statement on emery Unai Emery’s sacking shone through the fog of commentary on the event.
“The dismissal was unfortunate but inevitable. Performances and results have been far below what is expected at Arsenal. But Emery’s departure is the easy part. The more difficult challenge is to recruit a suitable successor. We are far from certain that Arsenal has the right personnel to lead this process.
“The AST has long been advocating that the most important changes needed at Arsenal are in the boardroom, where Arsenal need better governance.”
Everything comes down from the top. And at the top there is an absentee landlord. The Kroenke Empire believes Josh Kroenke is filling that vacuum with power to oversee everything. But the problem is that he is also president of two sports franchises in the US – so in effect at best it is part-time job. And when he pronounces on English football, it sounds like it has gone through a US cultural translation.
Away from long term ownership problems – Arsenal apparently want a new manager to be able to speak good English and have a strong media profile. Asked to cite the most important quality in a successful manager, Jose Mourinho said charisma, someone with the natural authority and presence to command a dressing room. Something that Emery lacked – and it became more pronounced the further into his reign.
This is particularly true now in Arsenal’s case – given that Gazidis and Sanhelli were wowed by Emery’s technical presentation and statistical analysis at his interview.
I said on ANR years back that the longer Wenger stayed – the longer it would take to get Arsenal challenging for titles and trophies. So now it is pay-back time for procrastination.
The club needs a period of stabilisation. Although not the bookies’ favourite, Arsenal could do worse that appoint Carlo Ancelotti. His English isn’t too bad and you could argue his presence is stronger than Allegri’s, who at time of writing is 11/10 favourite with some media.
His experience is superior too with league titles in England, Italy, France and Germany, plus three Champions League successes. Detractors would argue it would be expensive and that in his sixties would he stick around for long term building. But that misses the point. He would be less of risk than a younger manager in his thirties or forties, would provide the solidification needed to fill the vacuum of the hollow created by the latter Wenger years – and provide something to build on.