Arsene Wenger’s probable successors
Arsene Wenger, a name that has become synonymous with Arsenal Football Club, the man who rejuvenated the London outfit from English mediocrity to very near to the pinnacle of continental glory.
But with the rolling away of years, the once innovator is no more the man that the Gunners are wanting to see at the helm of their beloved institution. The club and the supporters feel its really high time to show the French Professor the door and do the golden handshake with him.
Though the club management has shown many positive signs about Wenger’s future but still the 67 year old Frenchmen has not decided on his future. So if he decides to leave who would replace him? This is the million dollar question that is arising in the mind and brain of every football fan.
Many names has gained prominence over the past few days but I have decided to filter out 4 of the most realistic options that the club hierarchy may go for:
1. Massimiliano Allegri
If Arsenal want a manager who has proved that he can win titles with big clubs, Max Allegri is an obvious pick. He won Serie A with Milan and is now on his way to a third straight Scudetto with Juventus. He has taken on the team that Antonio Conte built and even did what Conte could not, taking them to the 2015 Champions League final, only to lose to Barcelona.
Allegri is a canny man-manager and tactician but ultimately he may be like his compatriot Carlo Ancelotti, a good manager of top players rather than a dynamic team-builder. He could improve Arsenal but may not provide the serious change of direction they need at the top.
2. Thomas Tuchel
The man who replaced Jurgen Klopp at Borussia Dortmund in 2015 has a similar commitment to aggressive pressing football. He joined after impressing at Mainz, guiding them to their best-ever Bundesliga finish and taking them into Europe. He is now trying to revive Dortmund with young players after so many of the top players having been sold in the last five years.
Tuchel is a very different personality from Klopp, lacking his explosive charisma, but has a much more studious approach. He is close friends with Pep Guardiola and greatly admired by the Manchester City manager, who sees him as the next best manager in Europe after Antonio Conte. Tuchel speaks perfect English and his contract expires in 2018. He ticks more boxes to replace Wenger than most.
3. Ralph Hasenhuttl
A surprise candidate, Hasenhuttl hinted recently that Arsenal had spoken to him about the big job at the Emirates. He is only in his first season at RB Liepzig but has guided them to second place in the Bundesliga, just four points behind Bayern Munich, a remarkable achievement for a recently promoted club.
Before that he guided Ingolstadt from the far end of the second tier up into the top flight, showing that he is not just reliant on Red Bull’s corporate money. Again, there are concerns about the relevance of his experience, but for a job like this no candidate is perfect.
4. Leonardo Jardim
The AS Monaco manager has emerged as one of the leading candidates to succeed Arsene Wenger if the Frenchman decides not to sign a new contract and walk away at the end of this season.
Jardim is a pragmatic and versatile coach, able to work under significant budget restrictions. The Portuguese tactician has taken Monaco to the top of Ligue 1, and with an incredible tally of 76 goals in just 26 domestic matches.Jardim seems well suited to the demands at Arsenal, and it seems a move to the Premier League is on his agenda.
There are many names that have been linked and will keep being linked. But if Emirates wants to see a replacement to the lanky French then the odds for the four above seem to be the highest.
But at the end of it all there is that eternal ‘If’ that we have to end with, ‘if’ and only ‘if’ Wenger bids ‘Adios’, untill then just keep searching for the ‘Wenger Out’ banners!