According to a report by the Daily Star, Farhad Moshiri wants to hire Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger. Now, I don’t consider this report especially reliable or this situation particularly likely, but in a world where the Gunners get rid of their most successful manager ever, the Toffees should absolutely have a look.
Imagine an Everton where we actually play attacking football. Just sit there for a second and contemplate long periods of possession and actual intent to score. Imagine being a club where you are upset about only finishing in the European spots, and where winning the FA Cup and/or the League Cup is a realistic possibility every single year.
Arsenal fans complain about Wenger but most of that is them being spoiled and not appreciating what they are as a club. The way the Manchester clubs are spending, it will take a Leicester City style ‘lightning in a bottle year’ to win a Premier League title. But a domestic cup? Far more doable. Consistently competing for top four? Very, very doable.
Let’s break down some of the honours. In the last 20 years, Wenger has three Premier League wins, seven FA Cups, and seven Community Shields (plus a finalist thrice in the League Cup). That’s 17 trophies in 20 years and six in just the last four years.
When was the last time Everton had that kind of success? Most of the folks reading this probably weren’t alive. His win percentage over 1,220 games at Arsenal is 57.2%, which is downright unbelievable.
Remember how for years the report on Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was that he would only leave for Real Madrid? Well, turns out he’d also leave for Arsene Wenger. Everton current spends on the net basis as much or more than Arsenal, and Wenger would improve the quality of the players we can get for that expenditure.
Arsenal under Wenger this season has the fourth highest xG of any team in the Premier League. xG rates the quality of chances that a team creates and projects how many goals you should be able to expect on average from them. Everton is currently 12th on the same list, below Newcastle, Southampton, and Crystal Palace.
Sure, they’ve gotten embarrassed twice trying to play open attacking football against Manchester City, but who hasn’t? They have also slipped up against lower quality opponents a few times, but that is more a symptom of Wenger’s message likely getting stale at the Gunners, and a change of scenery could befit him.
Arsene Wenger would not usher Everton into some kind of glorious renaissance where we are hunting for Premier League titles and always playing in the UEFA Champions League knockout stages, but he would present a vast improvement over what we currently have, and would give us a big name manager to attract talent with so that we could have a strong base from which to operate in the next managerial appointment.
Maybe Moshiri’s business partner Alisher Usmanov (minority owner at Arsenal) has even put in a good word for him in Wenger’s ear.
At 68 years old, Wenger is not going to be in for another 20 year project, but he could absolutely set the stage for this modern big spending Everton to transition into a team that does more than sit back and hope the other team doesn’t score.
Far be it for the club who currently boasts Sam Allardyce as their manager to look down their nose at Arsene Wenger.