With Arsene Wenger’s contract coming to an end following the finale of the 2016-17 campaign, the Frenchman could soon depart Arsenal.
Wenger’s relationship with the fans has not always been stellar. Currently the longest serving manager in the Premier League, his insistence that he will not needlessly spend huge sums of money on world class players has infuriated the Arsenal faithful.
However, in recent years Wenger has shown that he will do what is necessary in order to allow Arsenal’s ambitions to stay in reach of success. The acquisitions of Alexis Sanchez, Mesut Ozil and Shkodran Mustafi clearly show this.
Wenger has admitted that he does not know when he will leave the club and that retirement scares him, but with his departure likely to happen within the next two years, we examine who could replace him at the Emirates.
Be warned, Arsenal fans: Diego Simeone and Thomas Tuchel do not feature!
[tie_slide] Joachim Low
This certainly would be a coup for the Gunners despite the enormity of the club. A World Cup winning manager, you will struggle to find many football fans who believe that Low is not among the greatest coaches around.
Low has been the manager of Germany since 2006 and recently led his nation to the semi-finals of the European Championship in a team containing Arsenal star Mesut Ozil.
Low has pledged that he will remain an international manager at least until the next major tournament in Russia, but the temptation of joining a top European club in Arsenal could be enough to lure the German to the Emirates.
Of course, he would not be available if Arsenal’s board decided not to renew Wenger’s contract for a further year.
[tie_slide] Roberto Mancini
Mancini was abruptly sacked by Inter Milan after his relationship with new Inter owners Suning Holdings broke down over the summer. All things considered, the former Manchester City boss did far from a poor job at the Italian giants, and also left City with his credibility intact.
He may not be the man that Gunners fans would want, but he should certainly be considered as a viable candidate to replace Wenger. [/tie_slide]
[tie_slide] Manuel Pellegrini
Is the thought of the Chilean in charge of Arsenal so unimaginable? Evidently, Pellegrini did not enjoy his final season at the helm of Man City, with the full knowledge that Pep Guardiola would be replacing him for the 2016-17 season, but still managed to bring the Citizens to the semi-finals of the Champions League, losing narrowly to Real Madrid over two legs.
True, City’s league form suffered, but the distractions off the pitch hardly helped. Pellegrini has amassed an abundance of experience at various European teams, and has shown that he is not afraid to spend money to aid his efforts to acquire success.
Currently, Pellegrini is managing in China with Hebei China Fortune, but that should not last long.
[tie_slide] Claudio Ranieri
Following an indifferent few years which culminated in his removal as manager of Greece, there were not many hopeful faces at the King Power following Ranieri’s appointment. The rest, as they say, is history. Ranieri’s insistence on each player of his team working closely together to form a cohesive unit was one of the main elements as to why Leicester were so difficult to beat last season.
A move is certainly not out of the question with chairman Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha unlikely to stand in the title winning manager’s way if he wished to leave, but Leicester’s poor start to the season has to be rectified before Arsenal fans even consider Ranieri. Such is the fickleness of football..
[tie_slide] Eddie Howe
An unlikely contender for the throne, but one that has been talked about most often in recent days. Howe’s rise as manager, and by extension Bournemouth’s success has been nothing short of remarkable, and when Callum Wilson and Max Gradel suffered season-ending injuries during 2015-16, Howe’s resilience shone through.
His personal attributes is reflected in his management and in his teams, and is without a doubt in my mind why Bournemouth survived their debut season in the Premier League.
A man who favours fluid, attacking and attractive football when possible, at Arsenal Howe would not have to implement so many defensive safeguards in his team with the quality of player some levels above to what is available to him with the Cherries. It would be a bold and brave choice, but an exciting one.