OT: Arsene Wenger set to retire from Arsenal FC

Submitted by Salinger on April 20th, 2018 at 9:33 AM

I know this is completely off topic for the board, but Arsene Wenger, long-standing manager of Arsenal FC, announced that he would step down at the end of the season. Thus ends his 22 years of service to the club (a club I do NOT support fwiw). Many speculate whether he will be the last premier league manager to hold down a post for so long.

Relative to Michigan, do we think that there still remains a space in big-time college sports (basketball, football) where a coach could stay at a single destination for anything remotely close to that amount of time? Or has the landscape changed so much that the "destination job" is no longer a thing? By this I mean for a coach to have started in the last 3-5 years and stay at a school for the duration of his long career?

Lastly, congrats to Arsene for an outstanding career. I know lots of Arsenal fans are tired of his penny pinching and poor results, but he really is a fantastic mind and a good steward of the club.


uncle leo

April 20th, 2018 at 9:40 AM ^

You don't need to apologize or justify things being off-topic. It's a sports message board, and it's nearly May; there will be very little serious stuff to talk about until August.

This is big news in the sporting world, and I'm just now hearing about it. 


April 20th, 2018 at 9:50 AM ^

The board is fickle. I never know when an OT post is going to get blasted.

This seemed worth posting though as I know there's a pretty good Prem League following among this cohort and Arsene Wenger has been a staple in the league for the duration of my fandom. I remember when I hated Arsenal more than almost any other club (Roy Keane style) but in the last few years, I've grown to respect Arsene even though I think his tactical prowess has lagged some.

uncle leo

April 20th, 2018 at 9:58 AM ^

It's just a few people who are fixated on some arbitrary rules that the majority don't or shouldn't care about.

As far as I'm concerned, no matter what, if it has something to do with sports, it's fine to talk about. If you are posting random crap during the middle of a Michigan game, yeah that's silly. But otherwise, who cares?


April 20th, 2018 at 9:50 AM ^

As an Arsenal fan, this is the ultimate "Thank you for everything and that one memorable season, but the game passed you by years ago" retirements.

Just hope the club actually spends the money needed to bring in a top manager. I'm not holding my breath.


April 20th, 2018 at 9:54 AM ^

To you, who might represent a top manager (caveat: you can't say Pep or something like that... someone who might actually be lured away)?

I think they should go for someone like Brendan Rodgers who in my opinion got pretty bad treatment from Liverpool. Not sure if he's big enough though.

With your luck you'll end up with Mark Hughes. That would be such an Arsenal thing to do.


April 20th, 2018 at 10:42 AM ^

Arsenal Manager Brendan Rogers would rank only slightly higher than Arsenal Manager Jose Mourinho in my personal Arsenal hellscape.

Diego Simeone would be the dream for me. Joachim Low is also unlikely but a nice thought. Out of the realistic candidates, Tuchel would be my preference. I would like to see what he could do with the budget Arsenal has, compared to Dortmund.

If I have to reach, I'd rather see Patrick Viera get the nod over Eddie Howe or Sean Dyche... I just don't have a lot of faith in mid-level Premier League managers. Not that Howe or Dyche are poor managers, just that doesn't feel like a move an elite club (in name and resources, at least) would make. 


April 20th, 2018 at 10:55 AM ^

I love what Sean Dyche has done at Burnley, but I think you're correct. I too thought of Simeone but I don't think he'll be moved from Athletico as long as they are able to retain their top talent. 



April 20th, 2018 at 12:49 PM ^

Vieira is a good choice but may be a few years down the line. He knows Peps system since all of the City affiliates play the same style. He’s doing well at NYC. Really like him as a coach. Mikel Arteta has been a great coach for City too. May be a few years for him also though


April 20th, 2018 at 2:31 PM ^

Like I said, Vieria be my pick if you made me reach. You're correct, he's not ready at this moment for the Arsenal job... but like a Harbaugh or Scott Frost, I'd rather be a year or two early than spend 3-4 years under a Brady Hoke or Mike Riley and trend even further downwards (we know how slow Arsenal management is on the trigger in being that they never fired or forced Wenger out these last 4-5 years). 

I love Mikel Arteta. He would be another great future candidate... but he's a few years behind Vieria on the coaching track and needs to take on a head managerial job before he can get serious consideration.


RHammer - SNRE 98

April 20th, 2018 at 1:28 PM ^

most rumors I've heard involve Low, Allegri, or Monaco's Leonard Jardim (maybe he could bring Lemar with him?); Enrique rumors seem a bit unfounded/unlikely to me... I too doubt they'd hand this large a job to Howe or Dyche, and whomever comes in I'd guess we're in for a good amount of roster turnover...


April 20th, 2018 at 4:28 PM ^

One magical season?  Red won it all twice.  

Wenger never won the Champions' League, which IMO would be the equivalent of the NCAA title (the EPL being a CCHA/Big Ten equivalent).




April 20th, 2018 at 4:38 PM ^

I was speaking from the Wenger point of view, but I think the Invincibles is somewhat equivalent to two national championships. Wenger also took Arsenal regularly deep into the Champions League in the 00s, before becoming annual exit-ers in the Round of 16 this decade. 


April 20th, 2018 at 4:52 PM ^

Outside of England, Wenger's Arsenal was, frankly, regarded as a paper tiger.  That may have been unfair, but his UCL record was undistinguished.

Englishmen saw the "Invincibles" as a legendary team (and in the context of the EPL they were), but the rest of Europe saw them as a typically overrated Wenger team that didn't get it done on the biggest stage.  You could compare that to one of Red's numerous Frozen Four teams, but not the national champs.



April 20th, 2018 at 9:55 AM ^

if you sign up to be on the UM athletics e-mail list on Mgoblue.com. You get a promo code and can get tickets.

I met Arsene two summers ago in a San Jose hotel lobby when Arsenal played the MLS all Stars. I thought  he would be a whiney unfriendly guy but he was very pleasant, but looked so thin and tired. One of the great soccer minds of all time.


April 20th, 2018 at 10:00 AM ^

As a Tottenham fan, I wanted him to have a few more seasons now that Spurs can actually beat the Gunners.

That said, he's a legend and one of the greats of the game, the Undefeated season was a wonder and he was the head of some amazing teams. He's going out at a good time as Arsenal still have a ton of talent and with the right manager can still do some great things.  Here's to a well-deserved and hopefully well-enjoyed retirement.


April 20th, 2018 at 10:03 AM ^

Should have ridden off into the sunset after one of their recent FA Cups. Would have been a more satisfying ending. Though he could still have a storybook ending with a Europa League title, though it’ll be tough going against Atletico Madrid. Though if they get to the Final, they’ll have an easier match against Marseille or RB Salzburg.

Would have liked my Wolves to have a shot at him, as my Wolves haven’t ever beaten Wenger in any competition. We’ve beaten ManU, Chelsea and the other big clubs since the turn of the century, but not Arsenal while Wenger has been in charge.

Also, this Premier League season has been very dreadful. Man City wrapped the title up long ago, there’s very little drama involved in the Europa and Champions League places. And unless Southampton and Stoke actually win a game in the next week or two, relegation race is over as well. Bleah

The Krusty Kra…

April 20th, 2018 at 10:55 AM ^

Hopefully this is the kick in the ass Arsenal needs to win Europa League to set up the successor nicely. The rebuild has already started with the acquisitions of Mkhitaryan and Aubameyang but there's still some improvements that need to be made. I had one friend suggest Antonio Conte, which I am not crazy about. Jogi Loew would be ideal but he may never leave the German national side. I really do think they could pull Diego Simeone from Atletico, especially if Arsenal beats them in the Europa semis. Another candidate that comes to mind is Vincenzo Montella, he's only in his first year at Sevilla but they've had quite the season and he's in year 8 of managing top flight sides.

Wettin 3's

April 20th, 2018 at 11:12 AM ^

Been an Arsenal fan since the Thierry Henry days and going to my first Arsenal match this Saturday against West Ham while I am visiting London for work. Anyone else going or anything I should be mindful of to make my experience the best it can be?


April 20th, 2018 at 12:54 PM ^

They're meh.


I also know when long time managers leave, the next guy usually struggles to meet the expectations fans have of him and the club.


Arsenal's 6th best in England right now and the 5 ahead of them aren't moving backwards anytime soon.


April 20th, 2018 at 2:29 PM ^

I'll back you up on this. Arsenal is not prepared to contend now or in the future. This is a veteran club with almost no young players to get excited about. We don't have a Harry Kane, Marcus Rashford, Mousa or Ousmane Dembélé, Leroy Sané or Gabriel Jesus... a 21-24 year old whose future is very, very bright and can be the face of the club in 4-5 years. And when we were presented with the opportunity to get a young player of that caliber (Mbappe), we whiffed on the first pass and then balked at the price on the second pass. Instead, we spent nearly the same amount of money on two older and underwhelming strikers in Lacazette and Aubameyang.

It's not 2009 anymore with a young, promising roster consisting of players such as Walcott, Wilshere, Ramsey... We're an old, worn-down team consisting of far too many almost-great-but-flawed veterans. 


April 20th, 2018 at 3:31 PM ^

Without Lacazette and Aubameyang, exactly who would be scoring for Gunners? I'm a Spurs fan, and I would kill to have Aubameyang playing on Spurs front line, replacing Dele Alli. It's not Aubameyang's fault Arsenal's midfield can't generate a buildup to properly feed their finishers.


April 20th, 2018 at 4:42 PM ^

DANNY WELBE... hahaha. I'll try to be serious.

The problem (for me) wasn't that they brought in a striker. They absolutely needed to and I actually really like Aubameyang; it was the allocation of those resources. The unfortunate fact is that he's 28 years old. He's going to lose a step of that speed sooner rather than later and he isn't the natural finisher to continue producing into his 30s. Lacazette's decent (not 60 million decent), but he's 26.  You spent 130 million euros on those two players... take whatever you could have gotten for Sanchez last summer (instead of a Man U cast-off and Ozil-redundant Mkhitaryan) and you have enough to get a Mbappe, who is only 19 years old...  

Which is important because most players reach their ceiling and stop developing at the age of 22-23. Let's check in on the Arsenal roster:

  • Cech -35
  • Koscielny - 32
  • Monreal - 32
  • Mkhitaryan - 29
  • Ozil - 29
  • Aubameyang - 28
  • Welbeck - 27
  • Ramsey - 27
  • Mustafi - 26
  • Wilshere - 26
  • Lacazette - 26

And that's not counting basically retired players like Mertesacker (33) or Cazorla (33). In soccer, that's an ancient roster. I would go as far to suggest that the ONLY current Arsenal player under the age of 25 that other big clubs actually want is Hector Bellerin. I don't see other clubs trying to break down the door for Alex Song or Mohammed Eleny. 


April 20th, 2018 at 2:33 PM ^

Is it possible that Arsenal mirrors (or will mirror) Michigan? As a Gooner, my hope us that the results come quicker than we have seen; i.e. no Rich Rod or Hoke eras. Plus we are still waiting on JH to bear fruit. Wenger and Carr very similar.

the fume

April 20th, 2018 at 12:27 PM ^

I always thought there was a loose comparison between mid to late stage Wenger and Beilein. Both ran offenses that were incredibly easy on the eyes, both seemed to have defensive issues, and both competed without "money." By money I mean neither had bagmen or oil barons to help them get the elite players.


Beilein of course figured the defensive issues out and that's why while it's time for Arsene to do something else, John can stay as long as he wants.


April 20th, 2018 at 12:31 PM ^

I used to support Arsenal. The fact that this man kept his job for as long as he did is proof to me the club only cared about money, not winning as he always maximized profitablity over winning. Not surprisingly, Arsenal are the most expensive ticket in the EPL. Dave Brandon F.C. No thanks.

and good riddance to Wenger.


April 20th, 2018 at 12:43 PM ^

Arsene was just not effective anymore as the game seems to have passed him by. I’m a Man City fan, but have a lot of respect for him and what he has done. But it was time to hang it up. Who does Chelsea get and who does Arsenal bring in to replace him? Big questions for next season. Thankfully my City boys wrapped up the league without giving me a heart attack, although we had a 3 game typical City stretch of choking, but this season has been amazing for us, and honestly can only see Liverpool as main contenders next season. They have to be more consistent in the league, but they seem to have our number. United, as long as Jose is in charge, does not strike any fear in my heart. Tottenham continues to show flashes of great play mixed with serious inconsistencies. I know we are going to try to get champions league in the next few years, but I don’t see us getting worse. City are filled with young talent, and the best coach in the game. The league is light blue for a while to come.


April 20th, 2018 at 1:33 PM ^

Success is the bar for a job being a long term "destination" job.  Change is the only constant and the period in which coaches need to adapt is shorter.  Combine that with the amount of money invested into sports and you get coaches who don't have time to get results like they used to.  


April 20th, 2018 at 2:07 PM ^

I have only been following EPL for the last 4-5 years, but I think Arsene has been a poor leader for Arsenal during that period. He offers nothing but excuses for their failures, though I will admit that his excuses are so creative as to be often be quite entertaining.


I think fans of the other big clubs were hoping he would hang on for another year or two. The competition to make top four in EPL is only going to get tougher.