Arsene Wenger’s tenure at Arsenal has been longer than all of the rest of the Premier league’s managers combined. But after yesterday’s AGM is there a chance it is soon coming to an end?
The AGM speech from Wenger was one of sentiment and looking back on his reign in some harsh terms, saying that though he had a relatively easy early period (96-05) the move to the stadium was difficult, and that if he had to go back he would leave to someone else to do next time. Such talk makes you wonder whether perhaps the manager who has been in charge of the club since I was a small child is planning his retirement, and if he does decide to leave his post after 19 successful years who can take over that can stop a potential Post-Wenger funk like what happened with Ferguson at United.
FRANK DE BOER
The Ajax manager has been long touted as a replacement at Tottenham, but repeated approaches from Daniel levy have not seemed to have tempted the dutchman. Meanwhile there have been rumours from within Ajax that in fact De Boer has been waiting for an approach from the Gunners, and after all working with a team of former Arsenal players like Dennis Bergkamp and Marc Overmars in Amsterdam may have convinced him the Emirates was a good destination if he can take his backroom with him. Why not, the man has had to deal with an expectant fan base and a long term philosophy with which his sides must play, a fairly strong CV for any future Arsenal manager.
Despite Ronald Koeman rejecting advances from the Netherlands after their disastrous Euro campaign the lure of a Champions League side which Southampton are unlikely to be may be too tempting. Especially if Wenger leaves in a year or two and the Saints continue to stagnate and not push on from their success in recent seasons. Some could say he doesn’t have the experience of other potential targets but he has a proven track record at replacing sides which have been successful. A job that may be necessary when Wenger leaves as there is definitely a high chance of an exodus among players who joined Arsenal to just play under the Frenchman (Mesut Özil being just one).
God forbid, but many betting agencies put the former Liverpool coach as one of the most likely candidates for the Emirates hot seat. It’s not that Brendan is a bad manager, he created a great side with exciting players, however lets not forget that the key proponents of that team were not brought in by him in Gerrard and Luis Suarez, likewise neither was Sterling so he was not necessarily the architect of that side and neither did he ever win a trophy. Something obviously unacceptable for Liverpool managers. The problem is not necessarily his quality, it is more that Arsenal should be holding themselves to higher standards. If a manager is not good enough for Liverpool, he isn’t good enough to lead at the Emirates either.
The holy grail for many Arsenal fans but as much as the heart may want and it’s hard to admit, but he may be eyeing a bigger fish. Arsenal are obviously one of European football’s best but the financial muscle of Manchester City may prove too much and with Pellegrini slowly losing support, Pep could well be lined up for a place at the Etihad. Pep would obviously be a perfect fit for Arsenal but unless Wenger is leaving this summer at the same time as Pep’s contract expires I doubt it would happen. Unless he fancies a challenge that is.
Serial trophy winner Ancelotti seems to win everything everywhere so he would be a great choice for any club. The ultimate master of handling big personalities and the man with the most experience on the list would certainly not see Arsenal decline, but there could be questions raised as to whether its what Arsenal need. With Arsenal probably in need of another attacking coach as suppose to a people handler, other targets may be more suitable for the long term future of the club. After all Arsenal rarely have dressing room bust ups and there is the added factor that Carlo has done it all and it remains to be seen if he will ever actually return to management.
Also the curveball….. THIERRY HENRY
It may be a bit soon but Wenger has spoken of how he could make a great manager one day and being placed at the head of some the youth teams he is clearly going in the managerial direction.