More insight on new Arsenal manager Unai Emery from the Daily Mirror’s John Cross, who tweets: “It does feel like a departure for Arsenal. In new stadium with new manager with no club connection. Different times for a club based upon and proud of its tradition and history.”
Do Arsenal always recruit from the Both Room, then, or pick an old player to manage? No.
Thomas Brown Mitchell was Arsenal’s first professional manager, joining the club in 1897. Mitchell moved to Arsenal from his native Scotland in 1867. He resigned the post in March 1898. In 1919 Arsenal appointed Leslie Knighton as manager. In 1913, Arsenal had relocated from South London to the new Arsenal Stadium in Highbury, North London. Knighton got the job after stints as assistant manager at Huddersfield Town and Manchester City.
In 1925, Knighton was sacked. Herbert Chapman, who’d managed at Leeds City and Huddersfield Town, arrived. He’d played at: Kiveton Park, Ashton North End, Stalybridge Rovers, Rochdale, Grimsby Town, Swindon Town, Sheppey United, Worksop Town, Northampton Town, Sheffield United, Notts County, Northampton Town and Tottenham Hotspur.
The next time Arsenal moved stadium, they were led by Arsene Wenger, who’d joined the club in 1996. Like his aforesaid predecessors, Wenger had no links to Arsenal whatsoever.
Wenger’s immediate predecessor was Bruce Rioch. He’d been a player at: Luton Town, Aston Villa, Derby County, Everton 30, Birmingham City, Sheffield United, Seattle Sounders and Torquay United. Before Arsenal, Rioch managed: Torquay United, Seattle Storm, Middlesbrough, Millwall and Bolton Wanderers.
Arsenal have recruited from within, of course: Bertie Mee, who led Arsenal to their first Double in 1971, had been an Arsenal physio before getting the top job; Don Howe, George Graham, Jack Crayston, George Swindin and Terry Neill all played for Arsenal before taking over as manager. But to argue that Emery represents a departure from Arsenal’s tradition and history is absurd.