For many of you, Arsene Wenger is the only Arsenal manager you've ever known. Now that Sir Alex is writing 17 different memoirs, Arsene is the last long-tenured manager left in the English game, and (please correct me if I'm wrong) one of if not the last in the world to hold the same managerial job for almost two decades.
We all know that the day will come when Arsene steps aside - the old cliche "age is undefeated" doesn't just apply to players, after all. At some point, he'll lose the desire, he'll lose the drive, and he'll want to slow down a bit. And no one can argue that it's not richly deserved.
No one - not us, not the media, not Arsene - knows when that day actually is yet, and that's good. But today, Arsene talked a bit about the future, and about what he sees as Arsenal's future direction once he does go. People tend to see things in the future through the lens of the way they currently are, so of course there are people who expect that Arsenal will be looking for a manager who will last 15-20 years, despite the fact that that model is more or less dead.
Arsene, however, is not laboring under any such illusions. In an interview today, he was asked about succession, and he said
"Anything is suitable," he said. "Every manager has his own way to run and model his career. There's not only one way as long as they give their best to the club where they are."
Which, when you think about who is available or desirable right now, is a great way of looking at things, as far as who is next for Arsenal. Wenger's not dumb - he saw what happened at Manchester United, and will make sure that the same problems don't happen at Arsenal when he does go:
"I can only make sure of one thing, that the guy who comes after me finds the club in a very strong position with very good players in a very good, strong financial situation. I hope I can convince you that I can do that."
No convincing necessary, my good man. And long may you stay - but I'm confident that when you do go, things will continue to go as smoothly as they are now.