Mikel Arteta as next Arsenal boss: Bookies suspend betting after flood of money on young favourite – while history shows ‘Silent’ Stan Kroenke not afraid to make bold appointments
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Betting has been suspended on Mike Arteta becoming the next Arsenal manager after substantial sums have been placed on the Spaniard.
According to a source the Islington Gazette understands the 36-year-old is set to meet his agent to discuss backroom staff appointments at the North London giants tomorrow, Wednesday, before any announcement is made.
The 36-year-old San Sebastian-born former Arsenal midfielder started working with City after retiring from playing two years ago and was a key member of staff during their runaway title success this term.
City boss Pep Guardiola has also said he would not stand in the way of Arteta becoming the next Gunners boss.
Arteta has been described by those who have interviewed him as a serious, considered, deep thinker with a dry sense of humour and an in-depth knowledge and respect of the traditions of Arsenal.
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Previous favourite, Juventus manager Max Allegri had been sounded out it is believed he is now looking to stay at La Vecchia Signora, unless he has a sudden change of heart.
Betway’s Alan Alger said: “After heightened betting activity this morning, running in line with reports that a deal is close, we’ve been forced to suspend betting on Mikel Arteta taking over as the Arsenal manager.”
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Josh Kroenke, son of majority Arsenal shareholder Stan, has been a growing influence at the club this season.
He is seen as the heir apparent to his father’s sports empire which also includes the NFL’s Los Angeles Rams and the NHL’s Colarado Avalanche.
Kroenke, is also president and governor of the Denver Nuggets NBA side as well as fulfilling the same roles at the Avalanche, alternate governor of the Colorado Rapids football team and non-executive director at Arsenal.
He graduated from the University of Missouri where he received a full basketball scholarship. After graduating he did a six-month internship at the NBA’s league office, before working as an underwriter for Lehman Brothers,
He is said to be humble and hardworking and has been described by the Denver Post newspaper as a ‘normal guy who just happens to run more sports franchises than you do.”
There is a precedent for appointing young managers within their organisation after his father Stan appointed 31-year-old Sean McVay as head of the Rams after he ‘aced’ a series of interviews with club executives – who decided his age was not a hindrance to installing him.
McVay accepted a five-year contract 12 days short of his 31st birthday in January 2017 to become the youngest coach in NFL history.
Rams general manager Les Snead, speaking to the Orange County Register newspaper said at the time of McVay’s appointment: “The nice thing with Stan is [he] is very innovative.
“He appreciates the young entrepreneurs, people like that in the business world who are bright and making a mark on the plane.”
A year later McVay was named Coach of Year by the Pro Football Writers of America after guiding Rams to their first play-off finals since 2004.