Five Contenders To Replace Arsene Wenger
Whether Arsene Wenger goes this summer or next, the Frenchman’s tenure at Arsenal is slowly but surely coming to an end. For the fans, there are mixed feelings in the air; his recent struggles have been well documented but his achievements will live long in the memory.
The Frenchman has won 15 major trophies during his 21-year Arsenal career; a decent return to say the least. But while Gunners supporters should feel blessed, it is hard to look back fondly over his recent career at the club. Since going unbeaten with “The Invincibles” in 2004, Arsenal have failed to secure another Premier League title and a large section of supporters are now ready for change.
We took a look at a few of the viable candidates to replace Wenger at the helm. If Arsenal go on to win the FA Cup and finish in the top four, the Frenchman could possibly do one more season before bowing out, but right now, a move in the summer looks likely…
The Paris Saint-Germain manager may be looking for a new job if the Ligue 1 champions lose out in the French title race. With AS Monaco and Nice both in contention to finish above PSG this season, Unai Emery may be out of work after just one year in the French capital. PSG supporters were devastated at the embarrassing defeat to Barcelona last month and ultras have already called for Emery to face the sack.
Considering PSG’s strength in depth, the Ligue 1 title should be won every year. Monaco are much improved this season but Emery hasn’t been good enough since arriving in Paris. He was sensational at Sevilla but managing one of Europe’s top sides is another task; he just hasn’t been up to it this year. Arsenal fans may be tempted to view this year as an anomaly but Emery isn’t exactly tailor-made for the Gunners.
Desperate fans may be calling for Emery but anyone with an ounce of common sense will be refraining from that just yet. Simply put, there are better managers out there. Emery’s lack of experience at the top level would hinder Arsenal’s aspirations of challenging for the Premier League crown and it would be worse than sticking with Wenger for a year. Mark our words, Emery is NOT the way to go.
After three years in charge of Barcelona, Luis Enrique will be leaving Camp Nou this summer and Arsenal may move for the Spaniard if Wenger decides to depart. During his brief tenure in charge, Enrique has matured into a fine manager but he is ready for change. A move to England’s top flight could be tempting for Enrique if an elite club comes in with a lucrative offer in the coming months.
In terms of managerial experience, Enrique might be found wanting. There are people out there with more knowledge and a better understanding of English football, but the current Barcelona boss might be the ‘best’ on the market. His win ratio is second to none and, while he is used to coaching some of the top players in the business, he might be the man to get the best out of this talented Arsenal squad.
Enrique probably wouldn’t be the first name on most lists but Arsenal could certainly do a lot worse than at least consider a move for the Spaniard. His affinity with Barcelona is clear for all to see but it is time for him to move on, and he could find a new home at the Emirates Stadium.
Source: UEFA Champions League via Facebook.
Howe has been linked with the Arsenal job since guiding Bournemouth to the top flight, and Gunners supporters may see the 39-year-old as the long-term replacement for Wenger. Has he had enough experience yet? Possibly not, but we’re never going to know if he is capable until he has had the chance to prove his worth.
Bournemouth have struggled to inspire confidence at times this year, but their shortcomings have been more down to injury issues than Howe’s failure as a manager. The Cherries were three-nil up against Arsenal earlier this campaign but let that lead slip; Howe wouldn’t get away with things like that if he was Gunners boss.
Howe’s chances of a surprise appointment as Arsenal manager rest on his ability to lead the Cherries out of the relegation battle in the coming months. As of March 24, Bournemouth are an industry-best 40/1 to go down according to Oddschecker and the Arsenal hierarchy may have a tough decision to make come the end of the campaign if Wenger goes.
The Atletico Madrid boss announced back in September that he had reduced his contract at Vicente Calderon by two years, meaning that he will be available on the managerial market as of June 2018 instead of June 2020. Arsenal fans would love for somebody as passionate as Simeone to take over at the helm and he would relish the chance to go up against the likes of Jose Mourinho and Pep Guardiola once again.
On paper, this may seem a little far-fetched, but Atletico might be willing to let Simeone go if the Gunners offer a cash incentive. If truth be told, the Argentinian has taken the Madrid side as far as they can go under his leadership and he looks ready for a new challenge. After taking the club to a La Liga title, a Copa del Rey crown and two Champions League finals, it might be time for both parties to move on.
Simeone probably wouldn’t be the first name you’d think of but he would certainly shake things up a bit. Atletico have prospered with a defensive-minded approach and the Gunners could benefit from his infinite wisdom; especially in Champions League games. You only need to look at what ‘defensive’ boss Antonio Conte has done with Chelsea to envision how successful Simeone could be in England.
Source: Atletico Madrid via Facebook
Given the chance to handpick, most Arsenal supporters would opt for current Juventus boss Massimiliano Allegri. The Italian has done all he can at Juventus Stadium and a new task may appeal to his better nature. With a number of key players potentially set to follow Allegri to the Emirates Stadium, this might be the ideal situation for Arsenal; both in terms of the fans and the hierarchy.
Allegri has been there and done it all on the big stage, but taking on the challenge of an elite English side must be tempting. If Arsenal come knocking and offer him a blank cheque to adapt the current squad, it would be very difficult for Allegri to turn it down. He has a secure job at Juventus, but what more can he do in Italy? The Old Lady are by far and away the best side in Serie A but they fall short in the Champions League.
Arsenal fans will be praying that Allegri considers a move to the Emirates at the very least; he would certainly give the Gunners an edge when going up against Chelsea. You only need to look at what the Blues have done with Antonio Conte at the helm to realise that going with a tactical Italian manager might be the way forward.