Prediction: Wenger Will Get Pep For His Replacement

There has been much twittery about the succession of Arsene over the last 12 months since Steve Bould was brought in as assistant while the ever tantalizing Pep Guardiola butterfly has yet to alight on the English Rose of his choosing. While ruminating on such matters, a vision formed…

I’m sick of @goonerdave66 whipping out blogs from the past where he predicted everything from why Arsenal should sign Poldi and Giroud to who the fifth scorer would be in a future 6-1 defeat of Southampton. It sickens me. That bastard.

I assume he is doing it by writing every possible kind of random blog with every possible permutation. Et voila, he whips out one he wrote earlier. It pisses me off.

So I fell upon a cunning plan. Rumours that Dave kept a Crystal Ball next to his bed haunted my waking dreams.

And so I shimmied up his drain pipe (Oi Oi!) in the dead of night, stole into his bedroom, rummaged around his dusty old sack dangling over the side of the bed, and low and behold! There it twinkled, The Precious.

So I shined his orb, squinted with my good eye, and here is what I saw:

wavy, wavy cloudy vision slowly becomes crystal clear…

It’s 20xx, and for years the top clubs have been in a death match to capture the services of one Pep Guardiola. Chased by United, City, Chelsea, the Spaniard is much in demand. But Arsenal and Wenger in particular have had their eye on the Spaniard. They have wooed and seduced, and beyond everyone’s expectations Arsenal have once again got their man!

Yes, we got him! This #4, this genius of a deep lying midfielder, this midfield general who surveys all before him, this puller of strings, this leader of men.

As was clear from many interviews, Arsene is an aficionada  of Spanish midfield tiki-taka. Many thought the promotion of Steve Bould to the first team coaching ranks presaged a further promotion to the top spot.

But Wenger hadn’t moulded Arsenal into one of the most progressive teams in world football to then hand it to one who did not share his vision of sublime attacking, passing football, knowing that everything in modern football flows from the number 4 position. And no country better exemplified this philosophy than Spain. Wenger just HAD to go Spanish.

For Wenger, defensive failure was a failure of the midfield. Therefore he needed someone who was wired the same way. Someone who, in their darkest moment, saw salvation emanating from midfield. A Barca man.

He moved for the man who could bring pep to Arsenal’s midfield, the man who had mastered the light arts of Tiki-Taka. Retiring as a player, the Spaniard entered coaching by taking over his club’s 2nd team at the age of 36, and was very soon after promoted to coach the 1st team. He was reaching the zenith of his coaching powers in his 41st year. It was a natural progression for one who loved the club that had brought him to the spotlight of European football that he so craved.

How had Arsenal achieved this coup, when the world was chasing Pep Guardiola? Well…it was rather straight-forward. Why wouldn’t Mikel want to take over from Arsene.

Say what, now? *Screeching of tyres.* Exqueeze me? Mikel? As in Mikel Arteta? But you said, Pep, didn’t you…?


Why bring in their Pep who, let’s be realistic, isn’t coming to Arsenal anyway, when we can have our Mikel – home-grown keeper of the Tiki-Taka flame? Our very own Barcelonan.

We don’t buy Superstar coaches, we make them.

Mikel and Arsene: they were birds of a feather, kindred souls: classy, intelligent, obsessed with attacking, flowing football. They shared a vision of what the Arsenal Way could be. As Arsene moved gracefully into his 70’s he could then enjoy the rest of an old man who knows the farmstead is in safe hands.

The latter third of Mikel’s playing career would be spent at Arsenal, weaving and dancing with Santi and Wilshere, to produce the best Spanish tiki-taka played by any midfield anywhere. This was burned into the psyche of club and player. This was The Arsenal Way of playing.

Mikel could transition into management at Arsenal on a similar path and  timeline as Pep  at Barca.

Here is what Santi had to say to Arteta recently:

“Here at Arsenal, you’re a real leader. Upon my arrival, I was a little surprised at the level of respect that everyone has for you in the dressing room. But when I saw you play with the group and on the field, it is obvious that almost all consider you Captain. You are a leader. I’m no good at that, nobody would listen to me! But when you talk, they listen. You are already a leader of the team, and if we follow your lead, we are trained to fight for everything.”

Now, I hope current captain Vermaelen never lays eyes on that interview. Maybe the simplest explanation for the quote is that Santi’s English is non-existent and Mikel is the only player he can understand.

And then there are the things Arsene has said about Mikel:

“He is always 100% focused and committed and that is what you want from a real professional. He brings the best out of other players.

“I believe he is a winner and a fighter as well. I think he possesses both aspects of the game of a real midfielder – that means he can defend and he can attack. That is what we looked for.”

And later, after the 1-0 City game at the Emirates last year…

“He is a player you don’t like to lose, because he is an organiser, a winner and has great qualities.”

“He first won the ball back through complete focus on what the opponent will do and where he could lose the ball. He then finished the action and scored the goal. That is what I call a real midfielder, a guy who is always in the game.”

The more I ponder it, the more obvious the future seems. Get thee to the bookie’s office before everyone else sees it too.

There are many names who the faithful throw about as a possible future manager. But Mikel Arteta fits the bill perfectly, hand-crafted by the football gods themselves.

Move over @goonerdave66. Nostradamus, me arse! If you want your crystal ball back, come on over and shine my orb for me.

“Mikel Arteta, Arsenal Manager.” Anyone got a problem with the sound of those words? Nope. Me neither.