Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Wenger to PSG? Good move for all parties?

The rumors have been kicked around for a year now, that PSG will be looking for someone to replace Ancelotti. Let's face it, the Italian manager never seemed 100% committed to the Parisian side and with the potential lure of Real Madrid there clearly seems to be an escape path for Carlo. The new "leader" for the potential opening in Paris - Arsene Wenger.

Wenger has always had close ties to PSG and the management at the club, so a move back across the channel is not so far fetched. In addition, Wenger has to be feeling his back end getting a little warm in North London as the title-less run for the Gunners is getting a little absurd - no silverware since 2005. Throw in the possibility of the "Special One" coming back to Chelsea and Wenger might be looking to take on a new challenge...away from London. So will Arsene be tempted back to France? In a word...Yes. Here is why the move would make sense for all parties:

  • PSG would get one of the best brand names in management. Clearly Ancelotti was not 100% into managing the Ligue 1 leaders. From day one there were always rumors circulating about his long term commitment to the club. For PSG being able to land one of the most successful French managers would be a coup. PSG would get one of the better known managers in the game. Granted, one who's star might have lost a little luster - he is behind the likes of SAF, Mourinho or Guardiola when it comes to the superstar managers. However, Wenger's style could be perfect for PSG. His eye for developing talent would be allowed to flourish as he would have free reign in Ligue 1 and more importantly access in his own backyard to the entire Paris region. PSG's resources would ensure that they would have access to the likes of Ibra and Beckham to keep the veteran level on the roster. PSG's owners would have the brand name manager, who could find them the next super stars and would instantly be the biggest name in Ligue 1.
  • For Wenger the change of scenery would do him good. Other than Ferguson, Wenger has been the longest tenured manager in the EPL. Unlike Ferguson, Wenger has decided that winning silverware is no longer important...okay that was a little mean. But since 2005, when Arsenal defeated Manchester United for the FA Cup, Arsenal have won nothing and Manchester United have won - the league 5 times, 3 Carling Cups, the Champions League and the Club World Cup (oh and 4 Charity Shields). Managers like Ferguson are a rarity when it comes to tenure. Even the likes of Guardiola with Barcelona, Mourinho with Real Madrid run their courses with a club and have to move on. Wenger needs to change his surroundings to recapture some of his
    Seems so long ago!
    mojo. Going to PSG would allow him to continue to search for and uncover youth. He would be king of Ligue 1 and challenge for the league title every season without breaking much of a sweat. More importantly, should always qualify for Champions League football. Wenger would be able to tinker with the right combination of youth and experience on his roster. Have enough depth for Ligue 1 and more importantly, an easier path for his roster to then focus his attentions on winning the title he most wants - the Champions League. The one piece of hardware that missing from his trophy case is the trophy with the big ears. Ferguson, Guardiola, Mourinho, Ancelotti even Benitez all have a Champions League trophy on their resume...Wenger needs one.
  • Arsenal need a change in direction. 2005...the last time the Gunners put anything into their trophy case. Pat Vieira was still their captain! In that time span, the Gunners have watched the likes of Chelsea, Manchester City, Liverpool, Manchester United, Portsmouth, Birmingham City and even Swansea win some form of domestic silverware. That is unacceptable for a club of the stature of Arsenal. Has Wenger lost the plot? To some degree it appears that way. As he has allowed the likes of Nasri, Cesc and Van Persie walk out the door during that same time frame. Questions remain about whether or not this was because of Wenger being cheap or the board tying his hands behind his back. But you cannot fire ownership and you cannot fire an entire time. So that leaves the manager. The Gunners might also need to look to bring in a director of football, one who carries enough weight with the board to spend money and make bold decisions for the direction of the club. David Dein acted in this light during his tenure, his partnership with Wenger is a primary reason why the Gunners were so successful during that run. It is up to the club to try and recapture that magic. Potentially look for an up and coming manager coupled with a heavy weight director of football to guide the club. What Arsenal need now is some aggressive recruitment and player acquisition in order to keep up with the likes of Manchester City, Manchester United and Chelsea. Wenger is not willing or not allowed to do so. With new blood running the Gunners we will soon find out which it was for Wenger.
The move to PSG would be good for Wenger and all parties involved. Granted all this noise might also be a negotiation tactic from the wily Arsene, looking for the Arsenal board to give him a larger war chest for summer transfers...which he would use to purchase a bunch of unknown youth players that would pan out in 4 years and then promptly go to Barcelona or Manchester United.

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