Former Arsenal midfielder Ray Parlour has suggested that Arsene Wenger will do a Sir Alex Ferguson and have a say over who replaces him at the Gunners.
Wenger’s retirement is not imminent, as he signed a new three-year contract in the summer, but Parlour believes that the Frenchman has complete control over his and the club’s destiny.
“Sooner or later it’s going to happen, Arsene won’t be the manager of Arsenal. Ultimately it’s down to the board to make the decision about who will be the next man to come in, they must have a plan,” Parlour told talkSPORT show Drivetime.
“But I think they’ll do whatever Arsene wants to do. I think they’ll ask him if he feels he can do another year and leave it down to him.”
“This contract might be the last one he signs with Arsenal, he’s got to look at his life sooner or later, a bit like Sir Alex Ferguson. He’ll start to think about taking a step back and let someone else run the team, though I believe he may still be involved in some capacity, just not on a day-to-day basis.”
When the time comes, the best strategy could be to avoid what Manchester United did when they tried to replace Ferguson.
It would be naïve not to let Wenger have a say in who becomes the next Arsenal boss but United tried to replicate the same trends as Ferguson in David Moyes, which didn’t work out.
United could have gone after coaches, who would now be considered better choices for the top job based on reflection after Moyes was sacked and replaced by Louis van Gaal.
Despite Wenger’s obviously impressive record, he will still have aims having not won the Premier League title for ten years and having not won the Champions League, with a runners up spot the best the side has achieved since he’s been in charge.
Wenger needs to measure the pressure of that at the end of his contract against his own motivation and also take a look at the managers across Europe who could be available when he’s thinking of calling it a day.
When the time is right he’ll step out but the decision of who comes in afterwards will ultimately rest with him. Should he suggest someone similar to himself or someone completely different? We’ll just have to wait and see.