Klopp: Why Arsenal fans shouldn’t be ashamed of wanting change

James McNicholas says Gooners feeling remorseful at the German's Anfield arrival have every right to do so... 

When Liverpool announced Jurgen Klopp as their new manager, there will have been plenty of Arsenal fans feeling a tinge of envy. That’s partially because the Reds have secured a coach often cited as an ideal fit for the Gunners. However, it’s also because Liverpool fans will be enjoying the excitement that comes with having a new man in charge. Despite Arsene Wenger’s renaissance, there are fans who would still welcome a change.

With his love of attacking football, success in developing young talent, and relish of battles against super-rich opposition, Klopp did seem well-suited to a role in charge at the Emirates Stadium. Instead, he will take up the reins of a rival, and Arsenal will continue to plough a familiar furrow under Wenger.

Arsene Wenger

Times have been tough for Arsene this season

Tired re-runs

Klopp’s appointment at Anfield does not guarantee success on the field. There are no assurances that he will lift Liverpool into the top four. However, you can be certain that his arrival will lift spirits on Merseyside. The garrulous German is a force of nature whose enthusiasm is infectious. What’s more, he’s new. 

The duration of Wenger’s reign is both remarkable and admirable, but it’s no surprise that every setback he suffers is greeted with an outpouring of anger

There’s something to be said for that. In the next fortnight, Liverpool and Sunderland will look to harness the ‘new manager bounce’. It’s a recognised phenomena whereby a club benefit exponentially from the arrival of a new boss. Players take to the field with a renewed vigour, eager to impress the incoming coach. The fans are enthused by seductive possibility: who can tell how an unfamiliar face might transform the team’s fortunes? The consequence is a cocktail of ebullience and optimism that can revive the fortunes of the dreariest club.

Arsenal have not had a new manager bounce for 19 years. The duration of Wenger’s reign is remarkable and admirable, but it’s no surprise that every setback he suffers is greeted with anger. After all this time, the patience of even the most stoical and supportive of fans has worn dangerously thin. 

Arsenal fans

Arsenal fans are still divided in their opinions of Wenger

It might not make for pretty reading, but a decent proportion of Arsenal fans are bored of Arsene Wenger. Their gripe isn’t results, it’s repetition

So much of the frustration that erupts every time Wenger’s Arsenal suffer a defeat is simply borne of weariness. Gunners supporters are tired of seeing the same story unfold time and time again. Football may be TV’s longest-running soap opera, but these days Arsenal’s seasons are as formulaic and predictable as an episode of Diagnosis Murder. The injection of a new leading man could be a welcome plot twist. It might not make for pretty reading, but a decent proportion of Arsenal fans are bored of Wenger. Their gripe isn’t results, it’s repetition. Their discontent comes not from Wenger’s inadequacy but his sheer longevity. 

For other supporters, that attitude is nothing short of heretical. Wenger is the greatest manager in the club’s history, and his achievements have bought him undying loyalty from some. That’s fair enough, but it doesn’t excuse the infighting and accusations of treason that fly every time an Arsenal fan suggests a preference for managerial change. It’s not blasphemous to be bored.

Arsenal should beware sleepwalking. They’ve already missed out on one ideal candidate in Klopp, and could live to regret any more slipping through their fingers

‘Novelty’ has become a dirty word at Arsenal. The club have, to their considerable credit, set themselves up as a model of stability; a clear antidote to the short-termism that is so rife in the modern game. The game is increasingly impatient with managers, so any expression of a desire for change is seen as against the club’s ethos. However, this is hardly Aston Villa fans calling for Tim Sherwood’s head six months into the job. Arsenal have been entwined with Wenger for almost two full decades. A managerial contract is not a marriage, and in this instance wandering eyes are not just permitted – they’re entirely reasonable.

Hey, wake up

Arsenal fans are regularly criticised for placing too much emphasis on the acquisition of new talent in the transfer market. However, perhaps that desire for shiny new toys stems partially from the fact that so much of the club remains locked in stasis.

Admiration for Wenger and eager anticipation of a new manager are not mutually exclusive. There was an Arsenal before Wenger, and there will be one after. Who knows – it might even be better.

It’s widely accepted that Wenger himself will choose when he abdicates at Arsenal. However, that’s not necessarily the best way to ensure a strong succession. Sir Alex Ferguson recently went public about the decision to appoint David Moyes as his heir, admitting that the unavailability of the likes of Jose Mourinho, Carlo Ancelotti and Klopp left him with little choice.  

Arsenal should beware sleepwalking into the same scenario. They’ve already missed out on one ideal candidate in Klopp, and could live to regret any more slipping through their fingers. Appointing the wrong man would only result in the instability and chaos Moyes’s miserable tenure caused United.

If Arsenal really are committed to retaining managers in the long-term, then identifying the right individual is surely more important than the precise timing of Wenger’s exit. There may only be one Arsene Wenger, but there aren't too many Jurgen Klopps either.

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Part of what this article says is true. But a couple of points:
Klopp was seen as a successor to Arsene Wenger because it's believed they share the same beliefs in terms of developing young players. But the Arsenal fans that call for change are the same Arsenal fans that call for big money signings so to change one manager for one exactly the same makes no sense.

The other point is that you mention Sunderland saying they're about to get a new bounce due to the excitement of a new manager. But they've had this bounce many times before and still they're in a mess.
At no point in this article do you mention that plenty of clubs change managers and suffer the same problems as the managers they replaced.
As an Arsenal fan myself Arsene Wenger sometimes infuriates me but if there is one thing I'll always love about him is that he loves my club as much as I do and not many clubs in the Prem League can claim that of their managers. They may have Klopp for now but an awful lot of Liverpool fans were calling for ex Liverpool stars to be involved in some way, and thats because they want someone at the club that loves it. We at Arsenal have that.

A good read, I agree with Wes to a degree too.
It sucks to see Klopp at Liverpool but I honestly think he will be a success there, I kind of don't want to see that happening but I also want to see him be tested at his worst as I was like thousands screaming Klopp when Wenger steps down.
However I don't think we're a club who will bring in a manager for the short term as everything we do is usually for the long term. Is Klopp there for the long term or the short term? Would he have wanted the same thing at the Emirates had he be managing us. Wenger's love for the club comes first before anything else and although I don't agree with everything he says and does I don't see any manager in the league that REALLY LOVE the club they are at. If Wenger removed his stubbornness which is the most significant obstacle he faces on the road to success then we wouldn't be crying out for a new manager. I genuinely believe we'd give the whole of Europe a battle. If Wenger acknowledges he's faults and addresses them;
1) Rids the main problem with our monthly injures and brings in new medical staff
2) INVESTS and freshens up the team when and where it is needed (ST & DM right now)
3) Allows coaching staff their time with players e.g. Steve Bould working with the defence, making the right tactical decisions during games and start treating these players like grown men who deserve a kick up their backsides when they're underperforming.
With those slight changes Wenger would reignite the man that once took the premier league by storm. The problem is, everything has to be done his way so it holds back the team and potential. Sad but the truth, and that's why he is stubborn.

Let's be real here. The average lifespan of a PL manager is 2 years. By the time Wenger retires a few years from now, it is statistically unlikely Klopp will still be at Liverpool. And, even if he is, I suspect that an offer from Arsenal would be quite tempting. The Liverpool job is just giving him something to do and helping him stay on top of his game in the meantime.

I refer you to a FFT piece from December of last year: http://www.fourfourtwo.com/news/arsenal-fans-would-prefer-wenger-over-kl...

1) we have new med staff.
2) we have the second best squad in the league. You can't just keep buying players on top of more players. That's how you fold.
3) Steve bould gets plenty of time with the defense.

Yes, Wenger can be stubborn but it would be dangerous to change just to experience "the bounce", especially in the middle of a season. Let Wenger have until the end of the season. There are many hungry young managers who would move Arsenal forward, Guardiola being one, in case of failure this season.