Who Could Replace Arsène Wenger at Arsenal?
With only a couple months left on his current contract and following the humiliating UEFA Champions League exit, many now expect this to be Arsène Wenger’s final season at Arsenal.
The French manager has spent more than 20 years at the helm of Arsenal but has failed to bring the Premier League title to the Emirates having won it in three of his first eight seasons at the club.
Arsenal are out of title contention already this season and have a battle on their hands just to make the top four. Whilst few gave them a chance versus Bayern Munich in the second round of the Champions League, fans did not appreciate the 10-2 hammering on aggregate.
The Gunners have now lost three consecutive games by the scoreline of 5-1 versus the German Bundesliga champions and only Bayern’s 12-1 thrashing of Sporting Club of Portugal over two legs in 2009 has been a bigger aggregate score in the knockout rounds of the competition’s current format.
With Wenger widely-expected to leave Arsenal in the summer, here are five names the bookmakers think could take charge next season:
The current Juventus boss is less than 2/1 and clear favourite to be the next Arsenal manager. Despite a rather poor spell in charge of AC Milan between 2010-14, Massimiliano Allegri was surprisingly named as Antonio Conte’s replacement in Turin for the start of the 2014-15 season.
In his first season, Allegri did what Conte never did at the Juventus Stadium and took the Italian giants to the Champions League final, losing 3-1 to Barcelona. The Old Lady are on course to win Serie A for the third time in three seasons under Allegri.
It’s hard to predict how Allegri would get on at Arsenal. They are not the strongest team in the league like he inherited at Juventus, whilst his record at AC Milan previously could give Gunners fans a few nerves if appointed.
Now in his second season with Borussia Dortmund, the German coach is surprisingly number two on the list according to most bookmakers. This despite Thomas Tuchel failing to put up any serious title challenge in either of his two seasons with Germany’s second biggest team.
Even with the likes of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Marcos Reus and Mario Götze, Borussia Dortmund have not been consistent under Tuchel domestically, dropping several points in games they were heavy favourites. They are at least into the quarter-finals of this season’s Champions League.
He’s somewhat of a tactician, but doesn’t have huge experience at the top and his inconsistencies could make him similar to what Wenger has produced over the past decade or so.
The current Barcelona head coach has confirmed he will be leaving the Camp Nou at the end of the season despite his side being favourites to win both the La Liga title and Champions League.
Luis Enrique inherited the likes of Lionel Messi and Neymar but also added astute signings such as Luis Suárez, Ivan Rakitić and Marc-André ter Stegen. You can also give the Spaniard credit for shipping out Claudio Bravo.
With a squad that he has it’s hard not to win La Liga and be very competitive in the Champions League. Things would not be the same in North London – especially should Alexis Sánchez leave before he even arrives. One thing that he hasn’t done at Barcelona, like managers before him, is build a solid defence. That is one of the priorities among Arsenal fans right now.
The Bournemouth manager has seen his odds drop from 3/1 to 14/1 in recent weeks by the bookmakers. Bournemouth are on a horrible run of late, especially when it comes to shipping goals, at least prior to their 1-1 draw versus Manchester United.
Again, Eddie Howe is another manager who has not proven he can built a secure defence – something that every title challenger needs. Whilst many expect him to be England manager one day, the 39-year-old looks far short of being a genuine Arsenal candidate right now.
Howe lacks tactical nous for the big games and experience in general. It would come as a shock to see Wenger replaced by the Cherries boss.
One of the highest-rated managers in the world right now and soon to be hot property. Diego Simeone has shorted his contract at Atlético Madrid to last until the end of next season, whilst many think he could leave at the end of this season.
The Argentine has taken Atléti to two Champions League finals, losing to Real Madrid in extra-time and on penalties respectively. He also pulled off one of the biggest shocks in football history by winning La Liga in 2013-14.
Aside from Fernando Torres and Jackson Martínez, Simeone has brought in a number of great strikers to the Madrid club. He has also built a fantastic defence in the Spanish capital. Many believe he wouldn’t join Arsenal in the position they are currently in, despite many suggesting Internazionale will be his next club. Either way, you cannot doubt Diego Simeone’s talent as a manager.