Five league defeats in 2018, shock FA Cup third round exit at Nottingham Forest and a Carabao Cup final crushing has left fans restless and Arsene Wenger fighting for his future at Arsenal.
As the media band around potential successors, Arsenal now surely must consider Wenger’s future at the Emirates even if they win Europa League or not.
Should the Frenchman go, Carlo Ancelotti and Luis Enrique will surely be in the frame alongside Brendan Rodgers.
Arsenal could however look to some solid if slightly surprising candidates like Eddie Howe and Julian Nagelsmann
Here at Sport Grill, we are going to look at some of our favourite candidates for a job that will have huge shoes to fill and rate their chances of succeeding Wenger.
Carlo Ancelotti is surely the odds on favourite with his experience managing likes of Bayern Munich, Real Madrid and A.C Milan.
He also boasts Premier League experience, having managed Chelsea between 2009-11, where he claimed a domestic double in his first season.
His Chelsea home record is also the third best ever in Premier League so Arsenal fans will have little to moan about.
Overall, the perfect candidate for a tough job and one that the fierce Gunner fans will be content with.
Potential successor: 5/5
This job would feel like a massive risk to give Mikel Arteta for his first managerial job, but the Spaniard could bring a touch of Pep Guardiola with him to the Emirates.
Currently assistant manager to Guardiola at Manchester City, Arteta will have learned from a top manager but translating that into being a manager himself will be challenging.
One issue is that Arteta used to play under Wenger so could the board decide to go for a fresh start and not take a risk on the young 35 year old, who has no managerial experience?
Potential successor: 2/5
Eddie Howe was mooted last season as Wenger’s successor so is he ready for a club of Arsenal’s stature?
At Bournemouth, he has done a solid job in keeping the Cherries in top flight even when struggling and facing the drop.
His cup record however slightly worrying with just three fifth round appearances and one quarter final, which came this season in Carabao Cup.
He is still young though but when he went to Burnley in 2011, he didn’t exactly shine so maybe he and Bournemouth have that special connection?
Take him to Arsenal now or in next few years and the Gunners could have their own version of Manchester United’s David Moyes.
In my opinion, he could be a top manager within the next decade but for now, he doesn’t seem ready for that massive leap.
That is unless Arsenal take a huge gamble on him and instead focus on the long term future, with Wenger maybe mentoring him from behind the scenes.
Potential successor: 3/5
Brendan Rodgers is definitely one to consider after what he done with Celtic, especially last season.
The Northern Irishman could be just what Arsenal’s talented squad need after several years of little evolution under Wenger.
Rodgers has Premier League experience, having brought Swansea up before joining Liverpool where he turned them into top four challengers.
Now at Celtic, he has turned them into world class performers at domestic level, achieving the domestic treble last season.
Arsenal will be a step up but could a move see him repeat what he did at Liverpool when fans want a manager who will bring them trophies.
Given the lack of world class managers available, Rodgers would be a safe pair of hands but not what the club needs now if want trophies.
Potential successor: 4/5
Laurent Blanc is similar to Arsene Wenger in that he has managed three French sides so would he be a decent candidate and finally move into the Premier League?
Admittedly, Blanc is circa six years older than Wenger was when he joined Arsenal in 1996 but would be a great manager for such a challenging job.
The 52 year old has also been manager of the France national team so knows about world class players, which could be beneficial in refreshing the squad.
Arsenal are slowly starting to spend big with last few summer transfer windows seeing them spend at least £41m on a player in three of last four seasons, with two of those deals being from this season’s windows.
Performance wise, Blanc won’t come in and change the style but will get the Gunners playing more direct football.
Backstage however might be an issue because the ex PSG boss has never been a sporting director.
Owner, Stan Kroenke would therefore have to hire someone to handle off field issues like transfers and finances.
That could bring problems itself, if whoever takes that role and Blanc don’t get on. Things then could descend into debacles similar to their London rivals, Chelsea who has had clashes between their manager and sporting director over the years.
I can’t see the players and fans wanting that route even though they are desperate for change, given the trouble it could create on and off pitch.
There is also the issue of Blanc never managing outside of France, which makes him a risk in an increasingly results based environment.
Like Howe, Blanc could benefit from some mentoring by Wenger in term of handling off field issues.
Should that be possible then maybe Blanc would be a good bet given that both he and Wenger are French.
Potential successor: 4/5
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