At this point in the Arsenal fan civil war, the #WengerOut crowd is ascendant. Pundits who previously had defended the Frenchman are now on the frontline of questioning how the club can operate without publicly stating their future intentions at Manager. We Arsenal fans are just sick of it all, and many of us take solace in thinking about who will be the next manager.
Right now we are hearing the same rumours – Max Allegri wants out of Juventus, Arsenal have approached Bilbao, Thomas Tuchel has denied interest in Arsenal (kind of) etc. But the soccer world is a wide world and the last time we hired a manager, we went to Japan to get him. There are a number of managers out there that are not sexy rumours in the press that, if you think about it, should be considered.
This article highlights four names of managers (and one non-manager) who would be good fits for the Gunners. One thing to note in this article is that at times it falls into fancy. This is because we know that regardless what happens, Wenger will have an oversized role in selecting whose next. Some of these names will not be acceptable to the current manager, but in a normal environmental they would be under consideration.
With those caveats, let’s have some fun.
Naming the Sp*rs manager as a candidate to many will be laughable. Setting aside the rivalry, it makes sense to check in with his agent. He’s more than proven that he can build a team with younger players and smart moves in the transfer market. His teams play an attractive style of football. He will finally achieve what decades of Sp*rs managers could not do – finish above Arsenal in the standings. So why would be abandon Tottenham? It could happen if you make this pitch. Sp*rs are building a new stadium and, even if the finances are not as tight as when the Emirates were being built, the funds from a fancy new stadium will not actually be realized for a few years. Meanwhile, Arsenal are finally reaping full benefit of a new stadium financially. If the owners of the club auditing agency KMG named the fifth most valuable club in the world (above Man City and Liverpool) make a huge salary offer and offer a larger transfer purse, that has to be a tempting target instead of a club that has pinched pounds in the past.
Remember him? The Spanish manager has gotten some press speculation but not nearly as much as his pedigree suggests. He checks a lot of boxes, including past success in the Premier League and Champions League. He has also feuded in the past with Jose Mourinho, Sir Alex, and Sam Allardyce, which should make him immediately acceptable to all Arsenal fans. The current narrative has him brought into helping return Newcastle to glory, but I suspect a call from Arsenal and the promise of allowing him some money and transfer leeway should easily attract him to us.
If you don’t get the first place team’s manager, go down one spot. Roma have been an excellent side under Spalletti 2.0, but have been overshadowed by the historical dominance of Juventus. Regardless, Roma have been the one closest to dethroning the Old Lady the past three seasons and a major part of that is due to the controversial manager. He makes questionable starting XI choices at times, but he enjoys a more attacking football and has brought out the best in a number of players in the Eternal City. He also had a five-year spell at Zenit St. Petersburg, where he had some success in the league and in the Champions League. Far from a sexy pick, but his style would work well in the Premier League.
If he were appointed Arsenal manager, it would be called a stunt. But it would not be the first time Nagelsmann being hired has been called a stunt. The German manager is not even 30 but was well regarded enough for Bayern Munich a few years back to try and recruit him to serve as their U23 coach. He spurned them and ended up at seemingly relegation bound Hoffenheim. He led Hoffenheim to safety and this season have them in a Champions League place, currently ahead of Thomas Tuchel’s Dortmund. He’s incredibly respected in German coaching circles and would be a gamble, but it may be better to get him now before he becomes the next Klopp.
I know, I know. To many fans, this is almost as bad as suggesting a Sp*rs manager. But if people want Arsenal to interview Thierry Henry, a former player with no managerial experience, they could do one better and interview former player Robson. The well-known commentator has scant managerial experience, but he is incredibly well connected in the soccer world and knows many people at Arsenal. It would be a major gamble, but I’d be more comfortable with Robson on the bench than Henry.
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