An Open Letter to Arsene Wenger
Dear Mr. Arsene Wenger:
I am an American Arsenal supporter and have supported Arsenal since I was eight years old. I am now fourteen years old, my father and younger brother are both Chelsea supporters. My dad has supported them since he was my age and my brother since Chelsea won the Champions League in 2012. I am writing to you with a suggestion. A suggestion that I expect you will not like. You have been manager of Arsenal longer than I have been alive but I believe that it’s now time for you to move on.
You will always be the most important person in Arsenal’s history. You have made our club a modern force to be reckoned with but I believe you have brought the club as far as you can and that there are other challenges that you can take up to further enhance your reputation and career.
Your teams play for the joy of playing rather than just results. That’s one of the reasons that I decided to support Arsenal rather than Chelsea. Chelsea’s football was not bad but it was devoid of beauty. I could tell that they played for results first. My mother, being Mexican, taught me that the result is secondary to putting on a show for the fans. I respect this philosophy, and I think you do too. It is paramount to find a balance between playing for results and infusing the play with beauty and flair. The team should never forget that they have to entertain the fans. When they play your teams have always tried to play the right way. Unfortunately the majority of Arsenal fans would now settle for results over style and you should not compromise your beliefs to make them happy. You can move on to bigger and better things.
I think you should take on the France job. They are a fantastic squad and they could easily (under your guidance) win the 2018 World Cup in a style comparable to the greatest teams ever. All they need is a great manager. That’s you! If you win the World Cup you will certainly cement your place amongst the greatest managers of all time. Remember, Alex Ferguson, Rinus Michels, and Valeriy Lobanovskyi never won the World Cup and Mourinho never will. I’m sure I don’t need to tell you about the quality of the France squad. The midfield is unbelievably strong. You have at your disposal Pogba, Kantè, Payet, Matuidi, Cabaye, Bakayoko, Lemar, Nasri, and Ben Arfa to name a few. Your defense is not the strongest but, if healthy, is nonetheless extremely solid with a great mix of experience and youth Koscielny, Zouma, Laporte, Kurzawa, Sidibe, Rami, Varane and others. In attack you have talented and experienced players who would allow you to employ many different tactics using the likes of Griezmann, Ginac, Gameiro, Giroud, Lacazette, and Ben Yedder to name a few.
Now you are probably saying this boy is asking me to step down from the job I have held longer than he has been alive and take on a job that has no guarantee of success. That is true. Let me just say that I aspire to be a manager later in my life. You are the manager I have looked up to in terms of how you handle yourself. You have the tact and poise to rise above the criticism of the fans and an inactive boardroom but you can’t escape them forever. I cannot watch the manager I have looked up to go out with a whimper. The supporters turning on the man who has given them so much will come to regret their criticism. You are due much more credit than you are being given at the moment. You took this club from national prominence to international fame. Playing Champions League for twenty years straight and going an entire season unbeaten. Those are just two of your achievements that are unlikely to be repeated ever. Sadly, I didn’t see the invincibles play as I was born in May of 2002. But I have heard the stories of the battle of old Trafford, the duo of Henry and Bergkamp, of a midfield ruled by a powerful Frenchmen and a calm Brazilian. Of the grace and pace of Ljungberg and Pires, and the brilliant defense of Campbell, Toure, Cole, and Lauren. You should not suffer the criticism of you in the press. They seem to forget everything you have done and accomplished in twenty brilliant and vibrant years at Arsenal Football club. You can move on to bigger and better things your achievements at Arsenal will never be equaled.
So, in whose care should you leave Arsenal? I think it is time for another manager with youthful exuberance to try and uphold the principles that you have instilled in our club. Obviously, we should not bring in a manager who will throw away the innovation and philosophy that has become as much part of Arsenal as the gun on the crest. It wouldn’t be right. I would propose Jorge Sampaoli the current manager of Sevilla as a suitable candidate. He has several traits that make him ideal. He plays a very high intensity pressing game that appears to at the forefront of modern tactics. He has managed the Chilean National Team to great sucess, which will help us retain Alexis Sanchez while simultaneously helping recruit other high profile Chilean players such as Eduardo Vargas and Arturo Vidal. Similarly, his successful stint at Sevilla may bring us Samir Nasri and Steven N’Zonzi. Of course there would be some casualties if he was to take the reins. Ozil, Cazorla, Ramsey, Monreal, Mertesacker and possibly Walcott could probably all be off-loaded for a reasonable return. They would likely collectively fetch in the range of 152 million Euros if they go for their market values (transfermarket). With this amount of money he could overhaul the squad especially if the board provided a little more.
If he does take the reins at Arsenal and sells the players that I think he will my prediction is that he will look to first strengthen the defense. Because his style requires quick ball playing defenders Mustafi already fits that bill as does Thiago Silva who runs out of contract at the end of the season and so could be free. Next, he needs a fast attacking full back. Alex Sandro of Juventus and Juan Bernat of Bayern are likely targets. The Midfield could use some additional strength so perhaps Arturo Vidal could be prized away from Bayern. If not, he could target Marco Verratti of PSG. Of course he might also to bring Steven N’zonzi with him from Sevilla. If not, a similar player is Eric Dier who could easily be convinced to leave Tottenham as he is not getting much playing time and is stuck behind Victor Wanyama and Moussa Dembele. This would also weaken Tottenham, which is always good! As I mentioned before Sampoli could bring Samir Nasri with him who has enjoyed a resurgence under Sampoli in Seville. If that does not work or Sampoli wants to play Nasri on the wing, Marek Hamsik of Napoli is a possible solution to the vacant playmaker role. If he also wants to strengthen the attack Nasri can play attacking midfield instead of on the left wing. In that case Sampoli will need someone to play on the left wing. Hirving Lozano of Pachuca is a very good option and relatively inexpensive option. On the right wing a very affordable option is Eduardo Vargas who is playing in the Mexican league. All these players are very good options for Sampoli as they all fit his high intensity style of play but many of the existing squad could also flourish in this style of play. Sanchez, Bellerin, Welbeck, the Ox, Xhaka, Elneny, and others. I believe that he is a manager that is fit to succeed the most influential person in Arsenal’s history. Sampoli is not only fit tactically but his style is very good and he pays just as much attention to beauty as he does effectiveness.
I hope that you take into consideration my sincere advice. I believe that you have done more than enough for this football club and that we are forever indebted to you. You will forever be a legend at Arsenal football club but this is an opportunity to become a global legend.