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Arsenal’s next manager after Wenger makes his move

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By Tony Attwood

From the moment they signed, I had the feeling that Gilles Grimandi and Rémi Garde were not just signed as players by Mr Wenger, but as future employees of the club.  Until now it has seemed that I was only right over Gilles Grimandi, but with the news that Rémi Garde has become manager of Olympique Lyonnais I am suddenly reminded of earlier thoughts.  If Remi brings the good times back to Lyon he could well be back with us in three or four years.

Rémi Garde was born on April 3, 1966 in L’Arbresle in France, and started his footballing with Lyon in 1982, when they were a league 2 side.  He became captain, was a part of the promotion winning side and in 1990 played for France getting the first of six caps.  In 1993 he joined Strasbourg before coming to Arsenal in 1996 – joining while Mr Wenger was still at Grampus Eight.

He joined Arsenal on the same day as one Patrick Vieira and played most of his 31 games as a backup to Vieira or Petit.  He got a league winners’ medal for the1997/8 season but was limited by a knee injury, which forced his retirement at the end of the 1998/9 season.

Rémi Garde then started to appear on French TV – sometimes alongside Arsene Wenger before returning to Lyon as coach in 2003.  He was part of the title winning team that worked under Paul Le Guen,  Gérard Houllier and Alain Perrin.  He moved upwards to become director of the club’s training centre finally becoming the club’s manager on my birthday (although I doubt that he knew it!!!) – 22nd June 2011, replacing Claude Puel.

It is, I believe, important to understand the significance of Lyon in French football, if one is to understand the importance of the appointment of Garde to the manager’s position yesterday.

Although the club was formed at the end of the 19th century, the modern club didn’t really come into being until 1950, and didn’t win the league until 2002.  But then it won the league seven times in a row!   They have played in the Champions League 11 times, reaching the semi-finals last season, and they are currently building a new stadium which will be open in 2013.  Such is their measure of their recently acquired importance that they were members of the G14, when that group represented the top clubs in Europe.

Despite the recency of their success Olympique Lyonnais is very popular throughout France, second only to Marseille.   They are also the biggest earners in French football.   In an interesting link with Arsenal Olympique Lyonnais also has a successful women’s team which has won their league seven times and was   UEFA Women’s Champions League in 2011.

But there’s always a down side, and after the seven in a row achievement came Puel, during whose reign Lyon have won nothing.  The last trophy was under  Alain Perrin, who gained the double in 2007/8.

I’ll try and stay in touch with Lyon under Garde this season on Untold Arsenal.

The History Index

The story of the last time something odd went on.

10 comments to Arsenal’s next manager after Wenger makes his move

  • chris

    This is fanciful speculation. The Board will make the next manager appointment,if they know how. Hopefully Wenger will not be allowed to appoint a disciple with the same obsessions about perfect passing football without shooting or heading.

  • My comments towards this report is that Aresen Wenger should try as much as possible to sign players so that the club can further in achievements.Meanwhile Aresen wenger is a good coach but need to sign players to support present players in the club. Up gunners! for life!!!

  • A manager Wenger has said he would like to succeed him at Arsenal is Dragan Stojković, currently at Nagoya Grampus Eight. Also I’m not sure if Lyon or PSG are the second most supported team here in France, but I am being pedantic (as ever).

  • Did I really just write my name as Tony? I meant to address the comment to you. Ooops. Still on my first cup of tea 😉

  • Namib-Gunner

    Good read as always. …we’ll keep wach.

  • Adam

    I think our present problems far outweigh who may or may not take over from Arsene. I can see this being his last year myself.

  • slick

    hello! i am arsene wenger ” we are motivated looking positive ………………….” we will be bzy in the transfer market i will be buying players for 2 million and will offer them 1 k a week if they ask for more i will show them the exit door then when i finally have mediocre players and kids in my team i would talk about it in the media saying we have quality em such a stubborn person u no y??? bcuz thz money goes frm my pocket money my main ambition left is to make sure arsenal don’t ever win anything “

  • Steve

    At the current rate of squad improvement (ie, zero: can’t count a teenager who hasn’t played above League One), Mr Wenger is done after this season. The club is fighting a mass exodus of talent and an incapacity to bring in quality players (due to its own waffling and small-minded ambitions). Their miserly ways will see Arsenal drop out of the Champions League and spiral toward mid-table mediocrity (see Leeds, Ipswich, Leyton Orient, and Huddersfield). It’s hardly his fault but he will be the first the supporters turn their growing anger towards and the ineffectual Mr Gazidis will use him as a scapegoat. That, of course, is the doomsday scenario. It is, however, plausible and the clock is ticking.

  • realistic tony

    I agree with steve…..its a bit early to slam wenger’s inaction in the transfer market….it doesnt officially begin till july. However, the signs are there that it will be a period of wenger haggling over relatively cheap deals like a feeble dithering bottle-job whilst man utd move on big money deals with the speed and directness of a warrior.
    Wenger views himself as some hard bargainer…it seems to be about his ego….the idea that no-one will rip him off and that he will decide on the price and wages…and not to accept a slightly inflated price.
    I hope wenger moves quickly with the defenders (particularly)he has been linked with and we get them integrated ASAP……a sensible strategy with champs league qualifier coming up soon.
    I also hope he has given nasri and even Cesc a statement of intent about the ambitions of the club. At this point in time (after an appalling relegation-form end of season), we need to establish our serious quest for major trophies by demonstrating a big and bold venture into the transfer market so that we can all feel confident that we are going to be a BIG club winning trophies again like our history, infrastructure and fan base warrants!

  • Limestonegunner

    The most important link between Lyon and Arsenal is actually that Lyon under Aulas operates according to principles and methods very similar to Arsenal under Wenger.

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