As of this moment, it seems a foregone conclusion that the next Arsenal manager will be ex captain, Mikel Arteta. I recall Arteta as a steady workhorse figure who captained us in some of the darker years of the late Wenger era. One of my fondest memories was seeing him lift the FA cup at wembley in 2014 ending the long barren years. After he bowed out he became joint assistant coach to Pep Guardiola at Manchester City, and has been there for the last 2 seasons.

When he came to the fore as likely next manager, I have to admit I was a little taken aback. It seems a very risky move to replace a longstanding club legend with someone who has never managed a team. However, when I happened upon a tweet by Piers Morgan who I always tend to disagree with, which said appointing someone "who's never managed a crisp packet, let alone a football match, then it will be a gamble of inexplicable, gargantuan proportions" - I started to doubt my gut reaction and went looking for another perspective. Generally in life, being on the opposite side of the fence to Mr. Morgan has left me in good stead.

After a bit of browsing I happened upon this piece written by well known Arsenal commentator LeGrove, who I don't know at all other than he apparently was a vehement Wenger Out voice, which in recent years I can understand. What LeGrove does do in this piece, is outline why he thinks appointing Arteta is "a brave decision, it’s also the most logical". Let's see if his logic holds up:

"[T]he front runners are Vieira, Nagelsmann, Arteta and Allegri." - With this I agree. Allegri the experienced proven winner. Nagelsmann the hot new thing strutting his stuff in Germany. Vieira & Arteta the ex captains who ended up in the Man City franchise, one managing in the NY sister club, one assistant to Pep. Not mentioned are Brendan Rodgers, the Celtic manager who has remained one of the bookies firm favourites.

The article then moves through the realities with Allegri & Nagelsmann - which I can't disagree with. Its a little quick to dismiss Vieira, but then gets to the meat of the matter and outlines the arguments for appointing the novice Spaniard:
1. "Leadership is in his blood." True, he was well respected captain of both Everton and Arsenal.
2. "He’s also been in on the ground floor at Manchester City, actively contributing to the creation of one of the best Premier League sides of all time." He certainly has been by Pep's side as he at first struggled but then put the pieces together of a record smashing second season. But active contribution to the team's creation is something I've seen little evidence of... Some of dismissed Arteta as a cone placer, which is obviously not true. But given Pep's track record without Arteta's involvement, and given other managers have won the EPL with Man City in recent years without either Pep nor Arteta... how can one really know beyond idle speculation, bordering on blind hope that Arteta made meaningful contributions behind the scenes? Jury is out for me on this point.
3. "Why would Arsenal not want to hire in someone with the hottest intellectual property in world football?" It is true Pep has the managerial Fairy dust, and if even just a smidge has rubbed off on Arteta shouldn't we be onto a great thing? But lets just step back one second... We're the club in world football with the 7th biggest revenue globally! Should we be choosing someone who MAY have some fairy dust on his shoulders (his hair is so perfect I'm sure it couldn't be dandruff)? Why not fork out on Luis Enrique, former world manager of the year, stablemate of chief fairy Pep, and not take a big gamble?
4. Pep's personal endorsement: "‘Mikel’s contribution was outstanding, amazing, and we have been so good together,’ ‘So, if he stays I will be happiest guy in the world." The issue here is I imagine no manager in the world is going to push their hand chosen assistant under the proverbial bus. After training a puppy in, no one wants to have to train in another dog. Its natural inclination to talk up hat you have if their a loyal servant. So this comment, while on the face of it is a ringing endorsement, has to be taken with a dollop of salt.
5. "[T]e guy cried on his last game with us. He loves the club." I'm a little cycnical on this. I guess most players cry on their last day after a long and rewarding career? That he loves Arsenal I am certain, but lets leave the tears out of it!
6. "You need a manager who is comfortable with the club decentralizing power and control." Given the rumours of ongoing transfer dealings, this comment does seem to be spot on.
7. "This is not us signing Steve McClaren or Carles Queiroz." This is pure conjecture. I would counter this is exactly like hiring McClaren or Queiroz, its the whole fairy dust principle.
8. "Finally, just remember, no manager guarantees success." Amen brother. The crux is whether experience trumps inexperience? Not always though,as LeGrove outlines multiple examples where young and inexperienced coaches became instant successes.

So, is LeGrove's logic twisted or is he spot on when he asserts that "[i]n conclusion, yes this a brave decision, it’s also the most logical." I for one don't know. But I respect he took the time and effort to make a somewhat compelling case, not sniping from Twitter like one P. Morgan. Has LeGrove swayed me, not 100% - but I think he makes some valid points and who doesn't love a good fairytale? COYG!!!