If there were such a thing as an actual stamp of approval, I guess this would be it. In an interview with BeIN Sports today, ex-Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger, a phrase I still struggle with, has given Mikel Arteta, the strong favorite to land the job, his blessing/endorsement:
He has all the qualities to do the job, yes and I think as well he is one of the favourites. He was a leader, and he has a good passion for the game and he knows the club well, he knows what is important at the club and he was captain of the club. Why Not?
“Why not?” is the most Wengerian endorsement phrase possible, isn’t it? Wenger also addressed the experience issue, saying that he “left a lot of experience behind” in Steve Bould and Jens Lehmann, and that learning under Pep (am I the only one that finds it charming that he refers to peers by their last names?) is a pretty good incubator.
Wenger also acknowledged his presence in this process, tacit or otherwise, and underscored that he doesn’t want to get in the way:
“I don’t want to influence that publicly because for me I believe it is important that they make their choice in an objective way”
Seems like saying that Mikel would be a good choice might be “publicly influencing” things, but I get what he’s saying.