Former Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has hinted that he’d like another ex-player to follow Mikel Arteta as the club’s manager, with Thierry Henry perhaps his dream candidate.
The Frenchman spent 22 years in charge of the Gunners and is a club legend, with the north Londoners struggling in the rebuilding process since he left.
Unai Emery initially replaced Wenger but didn’t last that long after a poor performance as manager, though the team’s fortunes have improved since Arteta took over.
Another former Arsenal star embarking on a career in management is Henry, perhaps the club’s greatest ever player, and Wenger responded to the idea of him one day taking over in a Q&A in the Guardian.
“Well, I wish. I hope that Thierry Henry is successful in his career as a manager, and if he’s successful as a manager he might one day come back to Arsenal,” Wenger said.
“But I especially wish that we go back to win the championship before that happens. For example, now we have Mikel Arteta in charge, why should we not do it? A club is about identity. Identity is about values and values are about the people who carry these values. And so it’s important there is a continuity on that front for me.”
Arsenal fans will surely agree with this, as it seems very clear that Arteta has settled better than Emery did at the club due to his connection to the team from his time there as a player.
World and Euro Cup every other year
Also, in an interview published on Sunday by the German newspaper Bild, the former Arsenal manager and former French national team coach also suggested scrapping the UEFA Nations League to make football more attractive.
“We need to have as few events as possible,” he said. “One World Cup and one Euro Cup every other year would probably be more appropriate for a modern world.”
In such a scenario, Wenger explained, all qualifying matches would be played in just one month, since that would make it easier to sell them to broadcasters and sponsors.
FIFA has already been discussing the idea. “Personally, I think it would be a great step forward,” Wenger commented, rejecting suggestions that the image of big events would suffer if they were to be held more often.
“I always tell people who say this that the image is not linked to the time you wait before playing again, but rather the quality of the competition,” he said. “After all, people also watch the Champions League every year.”
“We need to get rid of the Nations League and find clearer events that everyone understands,” he argued. “If you ask people in the street what the Nations League is, you won’t find many able to explain it.”