The debate has once again started around Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger as the Gunners suffer their usual mid-season meltdown, and opinion is divided on whether he should stay or go.
The Frenchman has been at the helm since 1996 and has failed to bring a title to the club since 2004. His contract is up at the end of the season and while some feel he should step aside, the 67-year-old is keeping tight lipped (at least publicly) about his future plans beyond the end of the current campaign.
The Mirror report the Arsenal hierarchy have drawn up a managerial shortlist should their long-serving head coach decide to walk away this summer.
Borussia Dortmund boss Thomas Tuchel, Juventus manager Max Allegri, Bayer Leverkusen’s Roger Schmidt and Monaco’s Leonardo Jardim are all believed to be on the Gunners’ shortlist as they contemplate life without Wenger.
While Tuchel is the leading candidate, he is rebuilding the Borussia Dortmund project that was started by current Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp, and he may feel he has unfinished business at Dortmund, who currently lie fourth in the Bundesliga, with RB Leipzig having replaced them as Bayern Munich’s closest rivals.
Allegri has been hugely successful in Italy with Juventus following on from the work of current Chelsea boss Antonio Conte who has taken to the Premier League with ease, with Arsenal sure to be hoping Allegri could do likewise if appointed. Juventus are on top of Serie A, seven points clear of AS Roma.
Both Roger Schmidt and Leonardo Jardim are also on the shortlist although Leverkusen, under Schmidt, are currently way off the pace in the Bundesliga currently sitting in ninth place while Monaco and Jardim sit on top of Ligue 1, three points clear of Paris St Germain.
The club will be wary of making a change as they have seen the alarming decline of Manchester United since the relatively recent departure of their long-serving manager , Sir Alex Ferguson. They are currently on their third boss in nearly four seasons since the departure of the legendary manager, with Ferguson having spent 27 years at the helm.
Given that, understandably, Arsenal’s preference is for Wenger to sign a two-year extension and continue his work at the Emirates, this subject is sure to divide opinion between pundits and fans.
Damien McEvoy Pundit Arena