Press conference

Gazidis on the criteria for our next manager

Ivan Gazidis spoke at length on Friday about his admiration for Arsene Wenger - and how we plan to move on when the manager leaves at the end of the season.

At his press conference, our chief executive outlined the qualities required to take on one of the biggest jobs in world football. Here’s what he said:

on whether the club will be unstable now…
I certainly don’t think it heralds a new era of instability at the club. One of our challenges and one of the things that will inform us as we move forward are the values of the club and the values that Arsene has instilled in the club. This relationship with Arsene was not a one-way relationship of loyalty, it was a mutual relationship of loyalty. And so Arsene’s values play a part in that but so do the club’s values. We need to take those values forward, both in the appointment but also in the environment that we create.

on the challenge of appointing a new manager…
Actually we have a tremendous amount of experience in the football club. I’ve been involved in professional football for 25 years, overseeing the football side of Major League Soccer, with multiple coaching changes there. Raul Sanllehi has been through five or six different Barcelona coaching changes and presidential changes. Sven Mislintat has been through a number at Borussia Dortmund, and then on the board we have board members who are old enough and experienced enough to have been through Arsenal changes. And then of course Stan Kroenke and Josh Kroenke themselves have been through many, many coaching changes in different sports. All of that experience exists, I doubt there is a more experienced group in handling changes of coaches. Having said all of that, it is a very unique situation. None of us have been through a coaching change and a managerial change that will be like this one. I recognise the size of the challenge but I do think we have the resources and the people and the experience and the knowhow to make the right choice for the future of this football club.

on the profile the club is looking for when it replaces him…
I think that process starts today. What I will say is that it’s important to me that we continue the football values that Arsene has instilled in the club. I want to see somebody who can continue that for our fans, and our fans want to see that. Somebody who will continue to play exciting, progressive football that gets people interested and excited in the games we play. But I also think there is a significant piece with Arsenal Football Club of how the candidate represents the club. That’s important to me and I think it’s important to Arsenal fans. Those qualities… you mentioned again, ‘replace Arsene’, but that’s not going to happen. But what we have to do is that we don’t lose his qualities and his values within the club, and that we take them forward. I’m absolutely committed to doing that.

on the criteria for a new manager…
We have to go through that process. There is another value which I didn’t talk about which is young players. Our academy teams are doing extremely well and under the radar we have got a lot of players coming through into our first team, not just ones that you already know about but the next generation as well. So that value of giving youth a chance is also very important to the football club. I think we have got to be open-minded and also brave in the decision. When Arsene was appointed, I don’t think he was on many people’s radar screens. That doesn’t mean we have to make another appointment that not everybody is thinking about and talking about but it does mean we need to be bold and get the person we believe is the right person.

Fixtures

Premier League
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Premier League
Ticket Info

Results

Europa League
Premier League