Kroenke’s Other Coaches: Arsenal Manager Debate

Kroenke's other coaches
during the Premier League match between Arsenal and Burnley at Emirates Stadium on May 6, 2018 in London, England.

The Arsenal manager debate is really heating up. For some, Wenger’s successor must have experience, specifically in the Champions League. However, for others, experience is not an issue. Meanwhile, what does the board think? To try and answer that, let’s take a look at Kroenke’s other coaches to see if the Silent One prefers a veteran presence on the bench or fresh blood to take Arsenal back to the top.

Kroenke’s Other Coaches

Colorado Rapids

Kroenke Sports & Entertainment purchased the MLS franchise from Phil Anschutz in late 2004.

Fernando Clavijo

Age at time of appointment: 49

Managerial experience at time of appointment: six years

Gary Smith

Age at time of appointment: 40

Managerial experience at time of appointment: none

Oscar Pareja

Age at time of appointment: 44

Managerial experience at time of appointment: none

Pablo Mastroeni

Age at time of appointment: 38

Managerial experience at time of appointment: none

Steve Cook

Age at time of appointment: 45

Managerial experience at time of appointment: none

Anthony Hudson

Age at time of appointment: 36

Managerial experience at time of appointment: five years

A quick glance at Kroenke’s other coaches in the MLS, we see that the Silent One holds no qualms about young appointments. The oldest of his managerial appointments in Colorado was 49, a comparative spring chicken to the likes of Jupp Heynckes and Carlo Ancelotti.

Meanwhile, the youngest was just 36 at the time, the same as a certain Mikel Arteta right now. Out of the six appointments, only two had experience managing a first-team level club before joining. Even then, no one had more than five years’ experience.

Rams

Stan Kroenke first joined the Rams’ ownership group in 1995, with the team in St. Louis. Fast-forward to 2018, and the magnate has relocated the franchise back to Los Angeles, making a pretty penny in the process.

Dick Vermeil

Age at time of appointment: 64

Managerial experience at time of appointment: six years

Mike Martz

Age at time of appointment: 49

Managerial experience at time of appointment: none

Scott Linehan

Age at time of appointment: 43

Managerial experience at time of appointment: none

Steve Spagnuolo

Age at time of appointment: 50

Managerial experience at time of appointment: none

Jeff Fisher

Age at time of appointment: 54

Managerial experience at time of appointment: 15 years

Sean McVay

Age at time of appointment: 30

Managerial experience at time of appointment: none

Similarly to the Rapids, Kroenke’s other coaches in the NFL have been inexperienced. Just two of six were previously head coaches before their appointments. However, unlike his MLS side, Kroenke hires managers in the NFL with more years under their respective belts.

Colorado Avalanche

In the year 2000, Kroenke’s sports empire grew again. KSE purchased the Colorado Avalanche, the Denver Nuggets, as well as their stadium, the Pepsi Center.

Tony Granato

Age at time of appointment: 39

Managerial experience at time of appointment: none

Joel Quenneville

Age at time of appointment: 46

Managerial experience at time of appointment: seven years

Tony Granato (again)

Age at time of appointment: 41

Managerial experience at time of appointment: two years

Joe Sacco

Age at time of appointment: 40

Managerial experience at time of appointment: none

Patrick Roy

Age at time of appointment: 48

Managerial experience at time of appointment: none

Jared Bednar

Age at time of appointment: 44

Managerial experience at time of appointment: none

Kroenke’s other coaches in the NHL are, again, very inexperienced. Just two appointments have held NHL head coaching positions prior to being named. However, one of them (Tony Granato) got his experience in his first stint as manager. The Avalanche, under Kroenke, have yet to name a head coach older than 48.

Denver Nuggets

Stan Kroenke bought the NBA franchise at the same time as the Avalanche, his NHL team. They have named just four head coaches since then.

Jeff Bzdelik

Age at time of appointment: 49

Managerial experience at time of appointment: none

George Karl

Age at time of appointment: 54

Managerial experience at time of appointment: 13 years

Brian Shaw

Age at time of appointment: 47

Managerial experience at time of appointment: none

Michael Malone

Age at time of appointment: 44

Managerial experience at time of appointment: one year

As with Kroenke’s other coaches, the NBA franchise has a history of inexperienced managers. Out of four appointments, just two held head coaching jobs prior to their hiring. Meanwhile, one of those two were only in the job for a season.

Discussion

Out of 22 appointments with Kroenke’s other clubs, 14 had never held the position of first-team manager before. Meanwhile, they ranged in age from only 30 to 64. However, just three of the 22 were older than 50 at the time of appointment. In fact, the average age of these coaches is just 45 years old, and they average just two and a half years’ experience at the time of their signing.

While the North American market is different enough from the Premier League to merit noting, the dearth of experience with Kroenke’s other coaches just can’t be ignored. Even compared with other clubs in these leagues, we see that the Kroenkes operate in an unorthodox fashion.

For example, the New York Rangers, a less successful NHL club than the Avalanche since 2000, have named five coaches in the past 18 seasons. Only one had yet to coach at the highest level (Brian Trottier who lasted just 54 games). Two of the other managers held head coaching jobs for ten years or more (Alain Vigneault and Glen Sather), with one managing for eight years (John Tortorella) before assuming his duties.

Considering the facts, the prospect of Mikel Arteta as Arsenal manager must be considered a real possibility. While outside the norm in the world of football, the Kroenke’s habit of naming inexperienced coaches is very much reality.

Main Image Credit:
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