The world of football came to a standstill for a few hours on Friday, the 20th of April as Arsenal club legend Arsene Wenger announced his impending resignation from the managerial post at the club. The club, the fans and the entire football fraternity were left in dismay as they saw an icon of English club football promulgate his decision to retire from Arsenal.
As the football world was left to delve into sadness, for the time being, the hardship had already begun for the owners. For the first time in 22 years, Arsenal would join the managerial hunt. Stan Kroenke made the following statement.
‘This is one of the most difficult days we have ever had in all our years in the sport. One of the main reasons we got involved with Arsenal was because of what Arsène has brought to the club on and off the pitch. His longevity and consistency over such a sustained period at the highest level of the game will never be matched,’ said Kroenke.
Deep down it showed the worry Kroenke faces as he is already battling to replace Wenger. Amidst a host of new managers who have linked with him, one name that has popped up is Rui Faria. There is said to be a 14-man shortlist at the club at North London with Faria a possible candidate.
The Portuguese is Jose Mourinho’s number two at Manchester United. Faria has worked with Mourinho for over 17 years now since he joined the former Chelsea boss back in 2001. Although he has carefully studied the methods of his boss, he has never really taken charge of a side over a definitive period.
This would mean that in terms of managerial experience he is still in the leagues of the novices and the football world is unaware of his playing style. It is believed Arsenal are looking for an “elegant” replacement. They want a selfless man who can prioritize the club’s demands before his personal goals.
This would mean that although Faria may prove to be a success in the future, he is certainly not ready to take over the mantle at a giant club like Arsenal. Wenger is leaving behind his legacy and the new man coming in will either need to improvise on it with assertion or create his own style altogether. Such a dominant character is rare in football and Faria certainly is not ready to be that man yet.