F.A Cup victory aside it’s fair to say that Arsene Wenger has been living on a knife’s edge with regards to his support from the Arsenal faithful.
There are periods where the Frenchman finds himself hailed as an unparalleled pioneer at Arsenal Football Club, but more often than not his days are awash with criticisms over his handling of squad affairs in recent years, and the idea of him being given the old heave-ho is never truly out of the question.
Arsene Wenger's successor?
An element that contributes to the masses of Gunners fans busy polishing their boots with an intent to kick Wenger out of the Emirates exit door is naturally the pretence of his successor lifting the club out of the mire it appears to have been grounded in.
It’s been a while since the Arsenal bandwagon could profess to being one of the meanest in the Wild West of the Premier League and if an individual could promise to fix the wheels and get them rolling again, well that would be more than just fine and dandy.
Perhaps that’s why the yearning to see Borussia Dortmund manager Jurgen Klopp being handed his inaugural job in English football in the red half of north London is so strong. The German is relatively fresh, undeniably talented and most importantly, if the rumour-mill is in the least bit credible, soon to be in the shop window.
Jurgen Klopp claim
A man who has made his name defying the odds at Dortmund, Klopp’s inspired style of management and impressive ability to create a side capable of challenging for major honours on very little money - at least in the grand scheme of football - is infectious.
Up until this season there’s barely a club in the world who would have passed on his resume had they been handed it as an application for a job, and although Dortmund are in danger of falling off the rails this term, he remains an extremely desirable candidate for any role.
Yet it’s at Arsenal where he’s not just ‘desirable’, but instead perfect. Forget those potentially prepared to offer him a ridiculous contract in the hope that his success will survive the transition between jobs; he couldn’t just be the next Arsene Wenger, he could be better.
Similarities between the two
In a variety of ways the Gunners aren’t too dissimilar to Klopp’s Dortmund, and not just with regards to their playing style. Both side’s are deployed with instructions which allow their respective players, when things are going right at least, to not just break down the opposition, but do so in a beautiful manner. Fluid, unabridged build ups are routinely attempted by Arsenal and their Bundesliga counterparts, and there’s not many players of Wenger’s who wouldn’t fit into Klopp’s system seamlessly, and vice versa.
However in assessing the tendencies of both clubs when it comes to the development and integration of new players one can see why Klopp is truly more suited to Arsenal than any other team.
It’s fairly easy to determine why Chelsea and Manchester United were considering him before appointing their current bosses, heck the latter still might return to the charge if things don’t workout with Louis van Gaal. Neither though, despite their affluence and reputation, can offer the 47-year-old what the Gunners can.
The right move
In a manner Wenger would be proud of Klopp took a Dortmund team with potential and came within 90 minutes of conquering Europe. During his time there he’s proven himself to be an expert at assembling squads to compete with the very best, whilst spending a fraction of the money his rivals do. Sound familiar Arsenal fans? The competing with the very best part might not, but spending hardly any money certainly will.
It’s become a frustrating trademark of Wenger’s recent years with the club, his frugal manner when operating in transfer markets. Without neglecting the fact that the Gunners had a shoe-string budget forced upon them for many years as a result of the self-funded move to the Emirates there remains a strong Arsenal contingent unhappy with how their manager has been performing of late.
In truth it remains to be seen just what will become of Wenger if he cannot mastermind a turnaround in fortunes, but the premise of getting Klopp in as his successor when the time does come to hang up that padded trench-coat of his is one that makes sense.