Arsenal director Josh Kroenke is right about Arsene Wenger

LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 09: Arsene Wenger attends the UK Premiere of "Arsene Wenger: Invinceible" at Finsbury Park Picturehouse on November 09, 2021 in London, England. (Photo by Dave J Hogan/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 09: Arsene Wenger attends the UK Premiere of "Arsene Wenger: Invinceible" at Finsbury Park Picturehouse on November 09, 2021 in London, England. (Photo by Dave J Hogan/Getty Images) /

It is not often that I can say that either of the Kroenke’s are doing or saying anything correctly in relation to Arsenal, and yet this is one of those rare moments. In a recent interview, around the same time as Mikel Arteta was saying similar things, Kroenke the Younger made clear that he would welcome Arsene Wenger back to the club in some capacity.

This is actually 100% correct, and whether it has anything to do with the relationship that Arteta and Edu might have with the Frenchman doesn’t much matter. The great Professor of north London must be with the club once again, in whatever capacity. Arteta carries on many of the lessons of Wenger, and many might be returned to the club were he to take an executive position with the team.

Wenger belongs at Arsenal, and nowhere else. He is a legendary figure and a transformative one at that; the team would be, as the new boss noted, better with him on their side than without him.

#WengerOut was a clear case of not appreciating what you have until you do not have it anymore. Once the great coach was forced out after a public and private campaign, neither the club nor the fanbase had the patience to allow for Unai Emery, his successor, the time and players needed to turn the team around properly, although the language barrier didn’t help either undoubtedly.

Arsene Wenger was put out to pasture at Arsenal in an uncouth manner but it can be remedied were he to return

Arteta is, indeed, the appointed successor to Wenger, and the Professor should be a part of this next chapter of Arsenal that he can still recognize in players like Bukayo Saka, Emile Smith Rowe, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Granit Xhaka.

Wenger deserved a better exit than that, and a worthier place in the organization after his departure too. That was all a product of the time and the circumstance, and while it can’t be undone, it can be made right by including Wenger in the team with a proper role for him. While he is a great ambassador to the game, and his work to get a World Cup every two years is, I think, both positive and reasonable, he could still impact the club as a whole in some positive regard.

While Edu has tapped into Brazil to fill spots on the team, and Arteta has his eyes on young men in England, Wenger might have his eyes set elsewhere. He might be able to catch some talent that the others had missed, and even were that not to happen, his clout, much like that of Sir Alex Ferguson over at Manchester United, might be the difference between attracting some players and losing others.

The Arsene Wenger effect for Arsenal might look similar to the Fergie effect for Manchester United

Cristiano Ronaldo was not going to Manchester United before Sir Alex made the call, and I believe there is a good chance that he would be enjoying himself more were he not back at United, but with Pep Guardiola at City instead. Yet he is not, and this is because of the relationship he has with Sir Alex, and the way that he continues to act as a legendary ambassador for their club is a testament to him and the way the team handled his departure.

Arsenal, while it is, of course, a very different situation, did not handle the outcry to fire their own legendary boss very well, nor did it come up with a plan or role to really honor or soften the need to replace him with someone else. It was all messy, and reeked of a situation where the team’s ownership did not fully understand just how much he meant to the club, or what the decision might mean in a greater sense.

That seems to have changed under a former player of Wenger’s, Arteta, has been brought back to the club. While there is an upside to Arsenal once again, one that is still not clearly reached, there needs to be some housekeeping done as well. Things that were not handled properly then can still be made right today.

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That means bringing Wenger back into the fold, so that he can make a difference for the club and in the world of football, and not just one or the other. Arsenal is now in a position to do this, and with a team that is growing into something that might look like a former Wenger team. He should be a part of it now, and in the future, because whatever success is won will be won upon the foundation that he helped to lay over two decades.