Next Arsenal Manager Odds: Strong List In Line To Replace Arsene Wenger
Following a run of eight defeats already in 2018, questions have once again arisen regarding Arsene Wenger’s future as the Frenchman continues to struggle to convince Arsenal fans that he has what it takes.
Wenger signed a new two-year deal at the end of last season despite mass protest from his own supporters calling for his head, a move which the board hoped would put an end to the constant discourse about the 68-year-old’s future.
However, with the club in 6th place, 33 points off the league leaders, 12 points off the top four and out of the FA Cup, it’s looking shaky for Wenger.
With the latest reports suggesting that the Arsenal board have drawn up a list and are contemplating terminating Wenger’s career this summer, we take a look at the current favourites to take the hot seat.
5. Leonardo Jardim
Arguably the most suitable candidate for the Gunners, Jardim seems to tick all the boxes. The Portuguese coach is used to working on a smaller budget and competing against teams with huge resources – in some cases, infinite.
Jardim led Monaco to their first league title in over a decade last season ahead of Paris Saint-Germain, and also lit up European Football in the Champions League with such an outlandish brand of football.
His Monaco side eventually came unstuck at the semi-final stage against Juventus, but his reputation was already enhanced by that point.
Given the nature of the club he currently manages, change is something always on the horizon and so it wouldn’t take too much to release him from his contract.
4. Mikel Arteta
The man currently under the stewardship of arguably the best manager in the world, Arteta is paying his dues at Manchester City with the hope of one-day taking up a role as the main man in charge.
Arteta captained Arsenal with an utter class during his time in north London and will forever be remembered fondly as the skipper who ended the club’s painful trophy drought in 2014 against Hull City.
A product of Barcelona’s famed La Masia academy and a former teammate of Guardiola, Arteta’s view of how football should be played doesn’t need much consideration. He was offered a role as a youth coach by Arsene Wenger upon his retirement in 2016, but Arteta clearly felt he needed the first-hand experience at the top level Manchester City were offering.
The Gunners theoretically missed the boat on Guardiola a few times since he left Barcelona, maybe the Arsenal hierarchy could do worse than snatching up the man currently learning from him.
3. Brendan Rodgers
Ridiculed by many, Rodgers is undoubtedly the most talented British coach around. The former Chelsea reserves team boss is still the manager who got the closest to ending the Reds’ embarrassing league title drought after that memorable campaign in 2014.
Rodgers definitely ticks the boxes in terms of his philosophy and how he wants his teams to play football, with his Liverpool team producing some of the most scintillating Premier League moments we’ve seen this decade.
Having said that, the Northern Irishman has come under the same scrutiny as Arsene Wenger, he’s not adequate when it comes to teaching his teams to play without the ball and keep clean sheets.
Now in Scotland with Celtic, it seems Rodgers is only interested in returning to the Premier League for one of the big jobs – Arsenal fit that criteria.
2. Joachim Loew
Germany coach Joachim Loew has successfully positioned himself as the most dominant international manager in the world over the past few years having guided Germany to the pinnacle of football in 2014.
Loew remained in charge following that night in Rio and many expected him to clinch the Euros too 24 months later, only for hosts France to stun them in the semi-finals.
Given the heavy German influence within Arsenal at various levels, his appointment would make sense. The club’s talisman is Mesut Ozil, a man Loew knows very well from the Germany camp. Per Mertesacker will be the club’s academy manager from next season and the Gunners have recently recruited former Borussia Dortmund chief Sven Mislintat as head of recruitment.
Despite his accomplishments, Loew’s potential appointment would represent a risk given his lack of credible experience at club level.
1. Carlo Ancelotti
The only manager on this list who’s currently unattached, Ancelotti would embody the most sensible appointment given his pedigree – especially in England.
Ancelotti is out of a job since being relieved of his duties by Bayern Munich earlier this season following a fallout with some of the senior players in the squad in September. Given his current employment status, the Italian could be ushered in as Gunners boss before the season is even over should the situation deteriorate.
Ancelotti’s potential appointment would raise some trepidation among Arsenal fans given his similarities to Wenger. He’s a great creator of winning environments and often trusts his players too much, rather than the rigid tactician that the Gunners require.