Whisper it quietly around a code that has lurched from crisis to crisis in recent years, but there’s suddenly an air of optimism as the new A-League season dawns.
The list of brilliant players that morph into husks of their former glorious selves as they step into the managers dugout is a long and storied one.
No-one is too big to fail, as evidenced by the likes of beleaguered Birmingham’s Gianfranco Zola and Alan Shearer at Newcastle. John Aloisi was just the latest in a line of unsuccessful players-turned-coaches.
His ice-cool demeanour from the penalty spot failed to translate into off-field success, as his Brisbane team blew hot and cold. He finally fell on his sword after four straight defeats.
So far no-one has been linked with the suddenly vacated position, so I’d like to propose one: Arsene Wenger, OBE, one of Europe’s most successful managers and, famously, coach of the Invincibles in 2004.
While his pedigree is unquestionable, his desire to come Down Under might be. Why would the AC Milan-linked Wenger be interested in a comparatively small club like the Roar?
Well, there’s always the pressure. European football at the highest level is a cutthroat business replete with behind-the-scenes politics and other pressures that often intrude upon the authority of the coach. Wenger, at this stage of his career, might fancy a smaller club that gives him more autonomy and control.
There’s also the lifestyle. Australia is a beautiful country, and while the Roar might not be able to compete financially, they can offer a better and more idyllic lifestyle.
It might be a long shot, but it’s worth noting that Sydney were linked with him just a while back, proving that him coming to Australia is not such a farfetched proposition.
So what do you think? Is this a flight of fancy or a genuine proposition? Let’s start the discussion in the comments below!