When it comes to Premier League managers, there are not many that stand out like Arsene Wenger. The Frenchman has been the Gunners’ boss for more than 20 years and it is hard to imagine top flight football without him prowling the touchlines of stadiums across the country.Embed from Getty Images
However, Arsenal fans have become disillusioned with Arsene at the helm. With his contract up at the end of the season, no league title since the 2004 ‘Invincibles’ campaign and only two FA Cups since, Gunners fans could be looking at saying ‘Au revoir’ to their legendary boss.
There is no doubt it would be a sad day for English football if Britain’s longest serving manager was axed. But is it time for a fresh approach in the summer? Below we have selected five possible candidates for one of the biggest jobs in football. Whether Wenger is there or not you can still buy your Arsenal tickets today from Football TicketPad.
Eddie Howe:Embed from Getty Images
The current Bournemouth boss remains the favourite to get the job if Wenger was to go. Howe has worked wonders at both Burnley and Bournemouth implementing a similar passing style of play based on the Arsenal model. He is a young, hungry manager who would be ideal replacement for the long-term. It would also be a refreshing site to see an English manager get given a top job in the Premier League and the opportunity to prove himself.
Howe has managed to work on a shoestring budget and has been able to trust younger players and develop them into Premier League regulars. Arsenal will no doubt be looking to see how the Cherries manager handles midfielder Jack Wilshere after he convinced the England international to sign on loan.
The fact that Howe has not managed a ‘big club’ in his career could prove detrimental, but he is a strong believer in youth which could prove to be a particular benefit. Defensive frailties have always been an issue for Eddie Howe teams and if given the opportunity at Arsenal he will have to address this fast – especially at Arsenal where they are expected to challenge for top honours every season. The 39-year-old may also find it more difficult to attract world class players to the club as opposed to other possible candidates. Rating: 7/10
Diego Simeone:Embed from Getty Images
Perhaps one of the most exciting managers in Europe at the moment who has managed to turn Atletico Madrid into a La Liga challenger to rival the monopoly of Barcelona and Real Madrid and a European contender with four European finals in five seasons with Atleti.
The Argentinian has established a reputation as one of the world’s best coaches and certainly fits the calibre of manager that Arsenal should be targeting. A manager of his standing will surely be enough to keep the likes of Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil at the club.
Simeone will be desperate to add to his pedigree in the Premier League and the opportunity to pit himself against some of the world’s most high-profile managers may be too good to refuse. The prospect of locking horns with Pep Guardiola, Jose Mourinho, Antonio Conte, Jurgen Klopp and former team-mate Mauricio Pochettino for top honours can only add to his profile as a leading manager.
Simeone has publicly announced his intention to leave at the end of the season after declining an option to extend his contract until 2020. This could possibly pave the way for a move to the Emirates Stadium after growing frustrated with the financial restraints placed on Atletico Madrid in Spain. Despite already expressing an interest to one day manage Inter Milan, Simeone ticks all the boxes. He may need some time to settle into the demands of English football with the speed, language and tenacity of the English game having never played or managed in England before, but he would certainly be a bold addition. Rating: 9/10
Joachim Low:Embed from Getty Images
The 56 year-old German is a proven winner and it is difficult to overlook a manager who has won the World Cup while in charge of Germany.
Despite his glittering international success as manager, Low has not managed a club side for over ten years – his last club being Austria Wien in 2004. This would be a potential sticking point for the Gunners because they will want a manager who can bring them instant success without a prolonged transitional period. Besides this, Low has never played or managed in England. However, his relationship with his fellow German players like Shkodran Mustafi, Per Mertesacker and Mesut Ozil could prove pivotal.
Low’s contract with the German national side runs until after the 2018 World Cup and they may see him leaving midway through qualifying as a distraction to their hopes. If anything, it looks like Low may be staying where he is until after the next World Cup. He may need some convincing. Rating: 6/10
Thomas Tuchel:Embed from Getty Images
The Borussia Dortmund boss was tasked with replacing Jurgen Klopp in 2015 and he managed to restore the club to the Champions League status in his first season at the helm and has been a success in the German Bundesliga with both Dortmund and Mainz.
His work with Mainz and Dortmund has drawn comparisons with Klopp after he took a similar career path in the Bundesliga, and he has since shone in the Premier League with Liverpool.
Tuchel’s potential availability could alert numerous top level clubs after German magazine Sport Bild reported of an ongoing rift between Tuchel and his chief scout, Sven Mislintat. Arsenal will surely be monitoring his situation; However, his lack of Premier League experience and knowledge of the English game may go against him compared to other candidates.
Tuchel was excellent at FC Mainz, first keeping them in the Bundesliga after being promoted in 2009, and then elevating their standards so that they became one of the better teams in the league. Since joining Dortmund, he has enjoyed a 70% win ratio, leading them to the Europa League quarter-finals last term and finishing behind Bayern Munich in the league last season. Who knows, Tuchel could soon follow in Klopp’s footsteps with a switch to the Premier League. Rating: 8/10
Brendan Rodgers:Embed from Getty Images
The Ulsterman began his career at Chelsea under Jose Mourinho and earned one of the top jobs in English football when he took over at Liverpool in 2012 after earning his stripes as a manager at Reading and Swansea City.
He has a good reputation in the Premier League despite being sacked by Liverpool in 2015. He will surely feel that he has unfinished business in the top flight after nearly guiding the Reds to the title in 2014. There will be a burning desire for Rodgers to return and Arsenal could provide the dream ticket. He also plays a brand of football which draws similarities to Arsenal under Wenger and his tactics and methods should be a good fit for the current crop of players at Arsenal.
However, after uprooting to Scotland to take over Celtic in the summer, it is unlikely that Rodgers would make such a swift return. His work at Celtic appears to be very much a work in progress and I would be surprised if he was to make such a swift return to English football. Rating: 6/10