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Report: Mikel Arteta gave Ivan Gazidis a watch, may become next Arsenal manager

It must have been a really nice watch.

75th Annual Golden Globe Awards - Arrivals
Will a gift of a nice wristwatch determine who becomes the next manger at Arsenal?
Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

Arsenal would be a great place to work. The club has international reach, financial muscle, a beautiful, modern stadium, and a great benefits package (I’m guessing). But job openings at the Emirates are rare and the competition is fierce, so you need to look for a leg-up.

It would appear that Mikel Arteta has found one. According to John Richardson of the Sunday Mirror, the Spaniard “left a lasting impression” on Arsenal chief executive Ivan Gazidis when he gave him an expensive watch a few years ago.

Gazidis must not have asked many questions about the watch because if he had, he might have stumbled across something a bit odd. The money used to buy it came from fines levied on players for breaking team rules that Arteta, as captain, had collected. Reportedly, the players were “surprised” the gift was made. But who cares if a couple thousand dollars are misappropriated here and there, right?*

Strange watch anecdote aside, questions about Arsene Wenger’s replacement and the timing of the head coach succession at Arsenal have been swirling for a couple years. Wenger is under contract through the end of the 2018-19 Premier League season but that contract contains a clause that allows both the Frenchman and the club to review the deal at the end of this season.

Richardson writes that Wenger “harbors doubts about continuing beyond this summer” but wants to have a significant say in determining his successor. Richardson also reports that members of the board may want “to bring in their own man rather than take Wenger’s advice.”

Following a legendary manager isn’t easy. Just ask David Moyes. Will post-Wenger at Arsenal be the same as post-Ferguson at Manchester United? Of course not. But for all the Arteta supporters out there, Moyes’ abject failure should serve as a cautionary tale.

Mikel Arteta may or may not be the right guy to succeed Arsene Wenger. He is, without a doubt, in the running. Whatever happens, hopefully all parties put their egos aside and do what they think is best for the club instead of acting to spite one another. But with high-powered executives and the contentious atmosphere at the Emirates, it’s best not to hold your breath.

*For the record, there is nothing to indicate that in buying the watch, Arteta did anything untoward with the money in question. Furthermore, TSF does not support, recommend, or endorse embezzlement and/or misappropriation of funds in any way, shape, or form.

The lawyers made us add this part.