@GoonerReverend joins us this morning from the adjoining parish (I bet you were expecting a match review)
Arsenal have parted ways with chief scout Steve Rowley after 25 years and replaced him with ‘diamond eye’ Sven Mislintat from Borussia Dortmund. If you believe the press and some of the more fanciful Arsenal bloggers who have their own personal axe to grind this was a Coup d’état orchestrated by that fiendishly clever and devious Ivan ‘Brutus’ Gazidis in retaliation against his arch nemesis Arsene ‘Caesar’ Wenger in retribution for going behind him and getting Stan Kroenke to renew his contract for another 2 years without consulting Gazidis.
Like a Roman tale from the ides of March they would have you believe that Gazidis was so slighted by Wenger refusal to bow to his personal wishes of punishment by ‘decimation’ or failing that just leave without question that he decided without Kroenke’s knowledge or approval to completely re-shape Wenger’s back room staff on his own. This of course sounds ridiculous because it is, if we have learnt one thing about silent Stan it is that he may not speak in public but no decision is made without his direct approval.
Gazidis no more did this on his own than did Wenger go behind his back to get a new contract. One of the more hateful anti Wenger bloggers would have you believe that Gazidis was so tormented and traumatised by Wenger’s new contract deception that he considered walking away from the Arsenal football club but then suddenly conceived a fiendish plan and decided to take on the old dictator at is own game.
This makes great fantasy fiction for the believers who lap that sort of stuff up but again its absolute nonsense and purely designed for all of the click bait magnets out there. Gazidis had just been paid a huge bonus and he had absolutely no intention of quitting Arsenal. Further more when they finally sat down to discuss Wenger’s final contract Gazidis would have included succession planning provisions in the agreement to ensure the club was not left in the lurch as Man Utd were in 2013. Succession planning is a standard business function involving the formulation of one or two plans to achieve or maintain optimum balance. Wenger has been at the club for over 20 years and when he leaves a lot of the intellectual knowledge will go out the door with him. By having a succession plan in place and then successfully executing it will help to ensure that there will be minimal disruption when the transfer of managerial power finally occurs.
The 6 steps to succession planning are: 1. Analysis of the future 2. Role analysis 3. People analysis 4. Training, development needs analysis 5. Development Activities 6. Key employee placement.
If you look closely at what is happening at Arsenal with Gazidis moving from his city office to the training ground to be closer to the action the manager and the players along with the new head of recruitment & Mertesacker taking control of the youth academy in 2018 it all points to the fact that Arsenal have definitely implemented their succession planning and Arsene Wenger is very much a key part of the change management process. When people have been in an organisation for an extended period of time they become wedded to the system they have always used because it worked for them in the past. When the organisation decides to go in different direction it’s very difficult for some of these custodians to change their methods of operation and so new blood is bought in to make it easier to make that change happen. This was never more evident than when Sir Alex Ferguson suddenly retired at the end of the 2013 season. Utd clearly were not prepared and the significant issues faced with both Moyes and Van Gael bear testament to that. The notion by some fans that simply moving Wenger on and everything will automatically change is quite frankly naïve and ill informed. Once Arsene Wenger does go the whole infrastructure needs to change and waiting until the last minute or even worst after he is gone to do it is equally naive hence the succession plan that’s currently being implemented.
The next phase of the plan will involve bringing in a director of football like Michael Zorc as well as identifying a new potential manager for the 2019-2020 season and Arsene Wenger will be a key component in this decision-making process because he will be as keen as the Arsenal board to ensure that the transfer of power is as smooth as possible because any failure to do so will reflect as poorly on him as it will on Kroenke, Gazidis and co. Arsenal are a proud club steeped in history, tradition and sound business principles of self-sustainability so for anyone to suggest that what is currently happening behind the scenes is merely a feud between Gazidis & Wenger is either miss informed or is just grinding their own personal anti-Wenger stance to further their agenda. To suggest that the owners have no idea what they are doing is also a fanciful notion. These are very successful men who are extremely calculated in every decision they make and they know exactly what they are doing every day of the week. Just because they don’t personally tell the fans on a daily basis doesn’t mean otherwise. So, forget the click bait merchants who are merely trying to increase their follower count by posting unfounded propaganda and use a modicum of common sense when trying to read into the current events happening at Arsenal.