Friday, June 13, 2008

On Wenger's Legacy

There is no remembrance of men of old,
and even those who are yet to come
will not be remembered
by those who follow.

- Ecclesiastes 1:11

Okay, this one's about legacies.

At Arsenal, we pride ourselves on beautiful football played with budget players. We're not the most successful club, nor the largest, nor the most powerful, but we ARE the prettiest. And we hang out hat on that.

But it's all meaningless, a chasing after of the wind.

When Wenger leaves, what will happen to our beautiful club? Will we stay on the golden path, or will we hire a pragmatic bastard who'll revert to long balls and boring 1-0 wins? And will we really care, as long as we're still challenging for trophies?

I guess the question I'm trying to ask is whether Wenger truly has changed the DNA of our club. Will we stay as cosmopolitan as we are? Will we have the same Corinthian ideals? Will we still be tight bastards with wages and transfers? A lot of a football club's ideals come from the manager, and it'll be really interesting to see what happens with our next manager.

Nothing stays the same. I doubt Wenger's changes will last beyond the next manager. If we don't win anything in the next few years, and Wenger's time ends in a whimper, the next manager will be a low-rent Mourinho. We'll get the best from Spain and France, and we'll buy the league. And Wenger's legacy will be drowned out by the next wave of gloryhunters.

In twenty years' time, us old farts will remember the the glory years of Henry and Vieira, Ade and Cesc - the time when Arsenal played beautiful, beautiful Wengerball. And the younger generations won't have a clue, because a new manager with a new team would've captured their imaginations.

Enjoy it while it lasts, because it's not going to last forever.

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