Mertesacker looking for ‘good fit’ as Wenger successor hunt begins

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Per Mertesacker says he hopes Arsenal find a ‘good fit’ when they start looking for Arsene Wenger’s successor and believes the club is dedicated to protecting the values brought to the fore by the outgoing Frenchman.

“To all the Arsenal lovers take care of the values of the club,” read a line of Wenger’s statement as he announced his departure on Thursday. For Mertesacker, due to hang up his boots in June before taking up a role as head of the Arsenal Academy in September, the words are particularly poignant.

The World Cup winner is well aware of the Gunners commitment to fostering young talent and playing exciting football and insists whoever is appointed will continue the philosophy with a helping hand from those already inside the club.

“As you could see when Ferguson left Manchester United it was a difficult decision for them who was the successor,” Mertesacker told Arsenal.com after Sunday’s 4-1 win over West Ham.

“I have absolutely no advice. Ivan Gazidis said it is going to be the toughest challenge for this club going forward. It is a tough decision.

“There are some names out there but I do not want to comment on that. It is now the club’s decision. We have people working for the club who can see where we are heading.

“We have a young team who stand for something and Arsene Wenger was the best possible fit. Now we have to find another good fit to start a new era.

“This is what this club stands for, to find someone who can start a new era. That is really tough because in modern football normally managers do not last very long. This unique story will be unique forever. Let’s find the best for our club.

“The club has the power to decide who is the best person. As I am well informed, a lot of people will stay because of the values they stand for and the club will protect these values.

“Whoever comes in is obviously someone very respectful who will lead this club forward. But this club as well stands for continuity and they have decided on a lot of people for next season already and I think they will stick to that.”

Mertesacker was also asked if the players felt responsible for Wenger’s departure, coming as it does off the back of a second successive year finishing outside the top four.

He replied: “We sit here in one boat and we have not been that successful over the past couple of years. We won trophies, we won the FA Cup, but in terms of achieving Champions League football every season we have not done it.

“In terms of top-four finishes, we are not able to achieve it this season. We have been outperformed by other teams and you have to admit that.

“There are a lot of people responsible, not only the manager. It has not sunk in enough to say we are guilty, but we are as well responsible for the situation.”

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A Different George

Some of the names thrown around (Simeone and Brendan Rogers) are terrible ideas; some like Patrick and certainly Arteta are not ready yet. I guess Enrique would make a statement about a commitment to competing at the top level. I think I would like to see Eddie Howe–but I know most people will want a much bigger name.

Anonymarse

As long as they don’t do anything stupid …

Pete

Gazidis throwing smoke. I would discount any name mentioned by him until after our Europa League involvement has concluded, whenever that may be.

Too Drunk To Be Offside

I agree with the Brendon Rodgers bit. However Simeone, are you kidding me. He is exactly the ‘good fit’ Mertesacker is talking about. He is perfect, know how to organise a defense, gets the team to be solid, is a giant killer known for going toe to toe with clubs with far bigger resources than his and doing a fine job of it.

Sure the team will be defensive but Arsenal will be winning the big trophies again, or atleast be in contention, which hasn’t been the case for a decade.

arsenal fan

it’s gotta be simeone. a solid base and counter attacking football!
he has the pedigree and the character.

Magneto

The Arsenal manager or head coach post is one of the biggest and highest profile jobs in English football. So a key requirement of whoever is appointed to the role is that they are able to represent Arsenal well, and that they are very resilient. I am not sure if Enrique has what it takes to withstand the “full treatment” that the football media over here will no doubt subject him to, were he to be appointed. And I say that bearing in mind his reported attitude towards and relationship with, the Spanish football media during his time managing Barcelona.… Read more »

Anonymarse

I would probably pick Benitez personally but Enrique seems to be the favourite.

Hopefully whoever it is we will give them a chance.

PeteyB

I think I’d also be on board with Benitez. He’s doing a pretty decent job just now and has plenty of experience dealing with big pressure positions… and dealing with twatty owners!

Equally I’d be happy with Anchelotti for a year or two then maybe take on the likes of Eddie Howe, or another younger model. The fella from Ostersunds?

Anonymarse

They seem like the safe options don’t they

Twatsloch

That fella from Ostersund is currently in custody for tax fraud.

Mayor McCheese

Graham Potter? He’s currently the favorite to take over at Rangers. I’m sure some of his team-building exercises — ballet performances, collective book writing, singing, etc. — will be warmly appreciated by the Glasgow faithful.

RiP

It is not Potter who’s in custody – it’s the chairman Daniel Kindberg. Potter is not involved in the scandal.

Ponsonby gooner

I sort of like the idea of bringing in someone cuntish like Enrique. Is that bad?

HeComesFromSenegalHePlaysForArsenal

Luis Enrique is a total knob. I know ive lived in Spain for 15 years and believe me i know.Hes a cross between Mourinho and Mr Meldrew, At least Jose is clever and sometimes funny wirh his sarcasm

SharpasFc

Clearly I missed that day…clever perhaps, but funny never!

thejw1

Feel that Mikel Arteta is ready. Has insights to City’s strategic mindset. Recent Arsenal DNA. Has learned at the knee of Pep and by playing for Arsene. Two of the best ever.

The club (regardless of the hue and cry from without) are not entirely ready.
Give the new backroom team the requisite time to complete the rebuild without the pressures on incoming personnel from a new, big-name manager.

Arteta for a year. Could be great.
If not, still a ‘no-lose’ scenario.

jw1

Mistafi

Worth giving a shot to one of our ex-players. I like Arteta especially since he has gotten insight into Pep’s standards and will bring a little bit of that back with him, and he was so well liked at Arsenal as well. Viera I think will bring a strength and power that we couldn’t imagine today. He is enough of a personality to actually fill the void Wenger left. I like what Viera has done with NYCFC. At the moment even if the results don’t come right away we need a charismatic guy, someone who galvanizes everyone kinda lika Auba… Read more »

Xstopper

I liked d way monacos coach makes his team play.
Low is already dealing with top top class players so he can control the dressing room very well IMO

santori

Its tricky. I think we should definitely consider LAurent Blanc. He is 52yrs as oppose to Low or Ancelotti who are 58yrs. Blanc has also done the rounds with experience in both club and managing country (as oppose to ex-players who have not really cut their cloth yet) With Bordeaux, Blanc showed he could play attractive attacking football and maximise a relatively frugal budget. He won the title with them and a couple of cups. Then he had to step in in the aftermath of the Raymond Domenech years and rebuild France whilst dealing with some rather big egos (Evra)… Read more »

Chrispy

I don’t get the clamour for Enrique. Anyone taking over Barcelona with that squad in that league can hardly fail. Jardin or Tuchel for me.

Timsh

Tuchel would be perfect in my opinion even if if I’m a bit suspicious about his dietary restrictions – apparently it was a strict low-carb diet for everyone at Dortmund. It may suit some but surely not everyone and I feel injuries could result in that.
I think it’s unlikely though because he’s apparently going to be the new man at PSG and I don’t know if his relationship with Mislintat can be resolved, as mature as that would be.
I don’t see any obvious candidates but feel Enrique is the most likely, because of Sanllehi.

Eternal Titi Berg Pat Nostalgia

Enrique and Henry for me. Both know the Barcelona system. Although Henry is not good at talking, he is very interested in tactics. Plus he will show videos of him to Welbeck and co and that is something.

jon

I too belive the current leadership in the club is looking to Germany. But Sven sacked Tuchel from Dortmund, and is hardly going to hire him for Arsenal. Hence Löw, Wagner, Nagelsmann, Tedesco..

We have just sacked the safe option, the predictable, steady and likeable Arsene Wenger. We don’t need another elderly gentleman now. Hence, I am not attracted by Ancelotti.

GMR

I love how whenever Enrique is mentioned people say anybody would be successful with that Barca team. Pep has managed Barcelona and Bayern Munich yet people wet themselves over the fact we never got him. How is Enrique any different to Pep? As for Jardin who wants another manager that cannot coach a team to defend? I don’t know anything about Tuchel really but was he even as successful as Klopp at Dortmund?

Atom

Yes – the critique that anyone would be successful in that league is really silly. You have Real who has won 3 out of the last 4 Champions leagues and Athletico to deal with. Success in La Liga is in no way guaranteed

Twatsloch

But but but, Brendan Rogers has won everything in Scotland you know.

RiP

? true twatsloch

locksley444

I agree with Jardim, seems like a shrewd manager with an eye for young talent, although that could be Monaco’s scouting team as much as him. I think he’s definitely a coach that has proven two things that are very important to Arsenal according to Gazidis’ statement : play attractive attacking football and integrate youngsters and develop them from within. On a purely tactical point of view, Sarri would be a top appointment too IMHO

Goonerink

Arsene for Jardine swap? Monaco would have him back in a heartbeat, his focus on youth is what their board aspire to.

Omo

I would also love to see Sarri at Arsenal, he has some pepesque football…gave Allegri some footballing lessons

thejw1

Feel that Mikel Arteta is ready. Has insights to City’s strategic mindset. Recent Arsenal DNA. Has learned at the knee of Pep and by playing for Arsene. Two of the best ever.

The club (regardless of the hue and cry from without) are not entirely ready.
Give the new backroom team the requisite time to complete the rebuild without the pressures on incoming personnel from a new, big-name manager.

Arteta for a year. Could be great.
If not, still a ‘no-lose’ scenario.

jw1

Anonymarse

He might be ready but he might not. He has never managed anybody. Seems like a risk given the circumstances.

Don’t get me wrong I’d be behind him if he gets it.

hahahaha

It has come down to Ancelotti or Jardim for me the former being my first choice. Ancelotti isn’t what many people think. He is a very flexible manager starting out with his famous 4-4-2 with Parma in his early days, which saw Baggio leave. But after he moved on to Juve and then Milan (where he really made a name for himself) he deployed the infamous Milan setup of 4-3-2-1 (Christmas tree formation) in which he had pulled back Pirlo from his then natural AM position to a deeper role with workhorses like Gattuso and Ambrosini and converted him into… Read more »

hahahaha

*Rma’s 10th CL

HeComesFromSenegalHePlaysForArsenal

We need to take a chance,something old(school),something new (2 years as manager),something borrowed(um), something blue (french).Vieira is that man. Wont be worse than what it is now. Guaranteed

HeComesFromSenegalHePlaysForArsenal

Luis Enrique noooo. Hes a total prick,an unfunny unclever Mourinho

Anonymarse

You are suggesting Mourinho is funny and clever?

Pete

Jardim please. He has won the league even with richer clubs in the mix and is performing credibly despite losing his best players. His record with developing young talent such as Mbappe, Lemar, et al and managing established stars like Falcao make him a strong candidate. We could even set it up as a straight swap with Monaco, if Arsene is up for a last hurrah with a Champions League Club that he enjoyed success with.

Winterburn87

Van Bronkchrost is not a bad candidate

n1 gooner

carlo ancelotti is a proven winner and has already proven he can do it in the premier league. He should be the no.1 target without doubt. I don’t get why he is not higher up on the club and fans agenda. I think personally that was chelsea’s best team under hes management.

Jean Ralphio

Next year will be a defining season for us….and some fans are throwing around names like Arteta and Howe. Maybe both are good, but managing a big club is not the same as managing Bournemouth. Has to be the likes of Jardim or Tuchel or Enrique.

Youthee

Nelson Vivas

Gereoma

Can someone tell me why Arsenal should pay Enrique 15quid, when Rafa earns less than five quid. I have thought about it, in terms of experience,generally, and experience in the EPL; cost, official likeability, and the overall politics of the game,Rafa is my man for this job.

jon

I don’t believe they would sack Wenger without a new manager ready in the shadows. One could speculate as to the reason why the new name is not official. A possible reason could be that Arsenal will play him before the summer. We’ll play Simeone, Wagner and maybe Jardim.