Who should replace Arsène Wenger at Arsenal?
Arsenal’s demise from being a top European heavyweight to a club that is living off scraps and is in a state of uselessness is not new. Their cyclical season pattern has been a prominent feature year after year, for the past half decade. And, unfortunately for those in favour of keeping Arsène Wenger at the club, things will not change until Arsenal part ways with the manager that has given them so much.
No one should deny that Wenger hasn’t brought a lot to English football, as well as Arsenal, especially when he first joined in 1996. Bringing in a newfound professionalism, that consisted mainly of strict dietary plans, as well as improved training facilities and introducing sports science, Wenger changed the history of the Premier League whether people like to admit it or not.
It’s unfortunate and sad to see a manager of Wenger’s stature, for all the good he has done in the game, have his legacy tainted, especially in the last few years. It would be pleasant to think that Arsenal fans will remember him for the exceptional achievements he recorded, and some most certainly will, but, in this day and age, there will also be a lot of (understandable) relief that Wenger’s time is up.
And when that time does come to passing, the Gunners will have an important decision to make as to who succeeds the man who delivered three Premier League titles, seven FA Cups, and seven FA Community Shields.
Perhaps an outside choice for the Arsenal job, Arteta has been excelling under the guidance of Pep Guardiola at Manchester City this season.
The 35 year old is said to have impressed the Citizens massively in his approach to leading meetings, deploying tactical instructions, and his overall influence over the current squad.
Even if Arteta might be an outside choice for the Gunners, he is likely to be in demand over the summer as Everton are reportedly registering an active interest in the former Spanish midfielder, as they look to put their dreadfully tumultuous season to one side and regroup for next year.
If Arteta was to take the reins at Arsenal, Wenger, who would be in favour of his former captain taking over, is likely to have a consultancy role at the club, in a similar position to what Sir Alex Ferguson has undertaken at Manchester United.
No one can know for sure how likely it is to work with Arteta at the helm, but possibly the most important factor is that there’s no real pressure on the new boss, for they are not stepping into a club who have won Premier League titles or have a trophy cabinet made up of recent success.
Arteta would be given time to implement his own ideas and recruit his own players, and he could well become the latest ex-footballer-turned-manager that achieves immense success at their former club.
The current German manager has been tipped as the next Arsenal boss for a number of years now, and will continue to be linked with the position with the increased uncertainty over Wenger’s future.
Löw’s biggest achievement to date is winning the World Cup in 2014 with Germany, a feat he will hope to repeat when he defends it in Russia this summer. The former Stuttgart boss has shown his credentials throughout the years of dealing with a dressing room made up of egos and high profile characters.
The 58 year old has experienced most things in football and is a safe choice if he is the man to succeed Wenger.
Two queries that the Gunners’ fans might pose are: 1) Löw hasn’t experienced club football for 14 years, having last managed Austria Wien in 2004, and since then, the game has considerably moved on and changed. And 2) Actually acquiring Löw will be harder than some think, bearing in mind his contract with the DFB runs until 2020; and even if he does decide to quit Germany, there will be plenty of offers on the table, one possibly coming from Paris Saint-Germain, who will be looking for a new coach after their recent failings.
Löw would be a fantastic coup for Arsenal and one that would reinvigorate the players and the fans’ attitude towards the club, but it’s going to be a hard and testing slog to try and get any potential deal over the line.
Jardim has been on Arsenal’s wish list for some time now, with the Monaco boss being in the potential shortlist if Wenger had decided to leave a few years ago.
The Portuguese coach delivered a masterclass last season with Monaco when they won Ligue 1 ahead of title favourites Paris Saint-Germain. The unity of the squad, as well as bringing the very best out of every player, was noted by many clubs around Europe, and was a great sight to see such attacking and fluent football being played.
Jardim’s philosophy is clearly based upon attacking intent, and you can see that through how he plays his football with Monaco at the Stade Louis II. Setting up his team in an orthodox 4-2-3-1 formation, it mirrors what Wenger is currently playing at the Emirates.
The use of young, fresh and fearless players has been a common theme throughout the former Sporting coach’s time at Monaco. Relentless waves of attacking brilliance wore Ligue 1 teams down with ease, as well as making the Champions League semi finals for the first time since their impressive run in 2004, an achievement that PSG are yet to achieve even with their outlandish spending under Qatari ownership.
With a more solid foundation, money to spend, and knowing that not many of their players will be poached or sold onto bigger clubs, Jardim could really excel at Arsenal. He has the coaching intellect to go and change the atmosphere at the club, as well as bringing in some top talent when working with new Head of Recruitment, Sven Mislintat.
Arsenal are clearly going in a new direction, even if it is a slow burner, but with Jardim’s quality in the dugout, the Gunners could really elevate their club back to where it belongs: challenging on a domestic and European scale.
Liam Canning has written this article exclusively for Soccer Box, an online store where you can shop for all the latest and official Arsenal Kids football kit, training gear and accessories.