What is wrong with this picture?

Alisher Usmanov has told Thierry Henry not to return to Arsenal for a second loan spell next month. The club’s second largest shareholder would prefer Arsenal to appoint him to a permanent post that could support the manager Arsène Wenger.

Usmanov feels that club ought to have plans for Henry in a non-playing capacity and he does not want them to allow him to slip through their fingers on retirement, as another Arsenal legend, Patrick Vieira, has done. Vieira works at Manchester City as the club’s development executive.

In the rest of the sporting world, particularly in North America, you have team owners and you have team presidents or GMs. And never the twain shall meet, at least as far as sporting decisions go. Which is as it should be; owners fund the enterprise, and GMs lead it, presumably because the latter actually has experience in getting a team to win things and, by extension, draw more fans and sell more shirts to make the owners ‘happy.’

I don’t know much about Alisher Usmanov except that he quite clearly wants to be majority shareholder and doesn’t quite like how Stan Kroenke is running the football club. He also shares a “personal friendship” with Henry, which kind of puts the whole thing in a narcissistic, insidery light. His reasons for reinstating Henry in a coaching role involve this: “The presence of a champion can radically change the soul of a team, that’s what Thierry Henry showed last year when he came back to Arsenal.”

This opining on Arsenal’s optimal coaching set-up however is ridiculous. Usmanov isn’t a manager or technical director: he’s some tycoon. Like all tycoons, despite their claims to fandom, they are for intents and purposes in off the street. What the hell does Usmanov know about Henry’s ability as a coach, or if he will be able to work with Wenger in a constructive way? Because he’s the head of the international fencing federation? Because he owns a lot of Russian metal work companies? Because he’s on the board of Dinamo Moscow? In any case, he probably doesn’t know much more on that subject than Kroenke.

But neither should they. Making coaching decisions is not their job. It should be club chief executive Ivan Gazidis’.

Comments (9)

  1. At least he shows an interest in the club unlike kroenke. It may not be the interest we want but it shows he actually cares.

    We criticise silent stan for being silent and invisible. At least the Russian is trying to find solutions. Maybe he should hire a hit man to frighten the yank to sell his shares lol

    • usmanov is our solution. tottaly disagree with you. really doubt you know more about Henrys coaching abilities than Usmanov does. at least he met him and spoke about it. did you? will it make any harm to the club if Henry joins?

      • It is fair to say that Usmanov’s expertise isn’t found in making coaching decisions. It’s also fair to say that Arsenal are already employing an expert in that field. Therefore it’s fair to say that he’s out of his element in attempting to make a decision like this.

        Comparing Usmanov’s evaluation of coaches to Richard’s isn’t the point. We should be comparing Usmanov’s evaluation to what Gazidis offers.

  2. As long as his checks don’t bounce he can say what ever he wants. He is a winner and demands nothing less. He has a win at all costs attitude that the other teams now at the top have adopted, and if we don’t soon we will find ourselves in the middle looking up… Oh wait thats whats already happened the last 7 FUXKXING YEARS.

  3. And another thing — yes I think he is right to want to bring Henry in and show this bunch of sulking losers who have no right to wear the Arsenal kit what a winner looks like and remind them that yes this club is Great and was Great!!! They have to hold up a standard and obviously the players need to be reminded….. We are The Arsenal!!! Not this pathetic squad that shows up now and gives you nothing!! So yes bring Henry in and surround these slags with a proven winner!!!!!! They don’t just need great coaching they need great examples!!!

  4. Ah man that pic is hilarious!!! I hate to laugh but its the truth!!!

  5. And who the **** is Richard Whiteall? All you so-called football experts are rubbish! What puts you in a better position to comment about Usmanov? Kroenke n Gazidis are business people who knows nuts about football. They should be running a business n not a football club like Arsenal!!! How could an Arsenal legend like Viera be allowed to work for a rival? Pls go n cover other sports since u know nuts about football n Arsenal

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