Friday, August 12, 2022

Is Diego Simeone The Right Man To Take Forward Wenger’s Legacy At Arsenal?

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Arsenal Manager Arsene Wenger is in the final year of his contract at the Emirates and the 66-year old Frenchman could leave at the end of this season if Arsenal fail to land any silverware in their current campaign. There were a lot of talks regarding a potential extension being awarded to the manager and even if he accepts to prolong his time at the club it would not be for more than 2 more years. According to the latest reports, one potential manager who has been tipped to replace Wenger at the Emirates, Diego Simeone, has negotiated to reduce his contract by two years at his current club, Atletico Madrid.

Atletico had a deal to keep Simeone at the Calderon until 2020 but the Argentine manager is believed to have reduced that duration down to 2018. This latest act has fuelled speculations of him actually replacing Wenger when he leaves the club. The question which is asked however is, ‘Will he be the right man for the club?’

Over the years, Diego Simeone has made a real name for himself excelling in his management and transforming the Los Colchoneros into a formidable force. After winning the Argentine Premier Division with both Estudiantes and River Plate, the manager stacked up his trophy hauls at the Calderon. Winning 5 major trophies in a duration of less than 5 years so far and performing brilliantly in Europe as well.

Simeone managed to break the duopoly of Barcelona and Real Madrid on the La Liga and established Atletico as a dominant challenger for the title. Having won the La Liga, Copa Del Rey, Supercopa de Espana, UEFA Europa League and the UEFA Super Cup whilst reaching the finals of the UEFA Champions League twice, the Argentine has acquired ‘Elite’ status already as a coach.

It is now considered that Simeone is one of those few managers who can successfully turn the fortunes of a club and fill its trophy cabinet. For almost all top clubs that is the primary requirement. At Arsenal, there needs to be something more, as we don’t only focus on winning alone.

Atletico Madrid football manager Diego Simeone speaks at a press conference prior to a training session at AAMI Park in Melbourne on July 28, 2016. / AFP / SAEED KHAN / --IMAGE RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - STRICTLY NO COMMERCIAL USE--        (Photo credit should read SAEED KHAN/AFP/Getty Images)
Atletico Madrid football manager Diego Simeone speaks at a press conference prior to a training session at AAMI Park in Melbourne on July 28, 2016. / AFP / SAEED KHAN / –IMAGE RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE – STRICTLY NO COMMERCIAL USE– (Photo credit should read SAEED KHAN/AFP/Getty Images)

The North London Club emphasises on the style with which a game is won. For Arsenal winning with style is everything. This has been one of the biggest changes which Arsene Wenger has brought into the club. Transforming the ‘Boring’ into ‘Breathtaking’ and establishing his own brand of footballing philosophy. When we talk about certain values and traditions we can identify certain things from that perspective which has always been held true by the club and its manager at Arsenal. This is where Simeone’s reputation takes a big hit. Right from his playing days, he was not an ideal character by any stretch of the imagination. As a manager, he displays his fighting spirit and determination but also the things that come along with it when things get a bit too tight.

His philosophy is also based on the same template as of Jose Mourinho. After being entertained for the last two decades in an utterly delicious fluid passing football the fans won’t be able to digest experiencing two banks of four at all times irrespective of the opposition. Sure, you can win trophies with that philosophy but the question is will you be fully satisfied with the performance despite the result? The answer to that question and the one asked in the headline for me is a resounding NO.

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