Written by Carl Walker
In August 1996 Arsene Wenger arrived in England from Nagoya Grampus eight a relative unknown in management terms. His only major success was winning Ligue 1 with Monaco in the late 80’s.
When he arrived he wasn’t the favourite for the job, most bookmakers had Johan Cruyff as the man to take the helm from Bruce Rioch, the rest is history now.
Little did we know what he would achieve with Arsenal would be fantastic. His first 10 seasons would prove to be very fruitful with 3 league titles, 4 FA cups and 4 Community shield wins.
Along the way to this success were the teams that the Frenchman built, providing the Premier League with some of the greatest ever to grace the competition.
The likes of Bergkamp and Henry with flair and pace to burn up front, Pires with his trickery and finesse and the likes of Vieira and Petit providing the steel in the centre of the park.
However the last 10 or so years have been less impressive, yielding just 2 FA cup wins and 2 community shield wins. What has been impressive is the consistency of the club with its ability to qualify for European football.
20 consecutive years qualifying for the champions league and 14 seasons in a row they have qualified for the knockout stages. This itself is a brilliant achievement. (although they have never lifted the crown).
Arsene treats the club like his own, and is especially picky when it comes to transfers, looking to save money and not be bullied into asking prices has seen the club miss out on some major names in recent seasons.
One of the big reasons for this is the move to the Emirates, with Wenger stating this the reason they couldn’t compete. However the acquisitions of Sanchez, Ozil and Mustafi look like the purse strings have been loosened. Too little too late maybe?
In the more recent years there has been cause for unrest amongst the Arsenal faithful, who some believe its time for Arsene to move on. Time for a new more modern manager to take the club to the next level.
So who’s the man for the job? With Arsene Wengers contract due to expire in the summer I preview 5 possible replacements if the Frenchman does leave Arsenal.
Ralph Hassenhuttl – RB Leipzig (49 years old)
Former Austrian international Hassenhuttl is again a relative unknown outside of German football. His impressive record of promotion with FC Ingolstadt 04 after being bottom when he arrived saw his stock rise.
Summer of 2016 saw him take over at newly promoted RB Leipzig and they are flying, top of the Bundesliga by 3 points and unbeaten.
The squad itself has no major superstars and no massive ego’s and are a hard working group who play attractive probing football. There are big names players at Arsenal and the fans would require instant success, would this be a step up too soon, only time will tell.
Eddie Howe – Bournemouth (39 years old)
Eddie Howe is now well into his second season in the premiership with Bournemouth and there appears to be no second season syndrome settling in.
Eddie Howe has won the plaudits for his footballing approach and no matter the score he does not change his beliefs. He likes to get the ball down, play good football, he sticks to the philosophy that has served Bournemouth so well. Similar to Wenger in this respect.
Howe has been sounded out as a potential England manager, but he distanced himself from the position on this occasion. With his knowledge of the premier league and still at a young age, this dynamic manager could be the change Arsenal crave.
Diego Simeone – Atletico Madrid (46 years old)
A phenomenal player in his time, now a successful manager and still relatively young. He managed to break the Barcelona/Real Madrid bore fest that there has been in La Liga for the past 12 years or so.
He manages with the same passion and fire he had has a player. Builds his teams with solid defences and players that would give the 100% commitment he demands, he has turned Atletico into genuine Champions league contenders.
Winning La Liga in 2013-2014 and having reached two Champions league finals now, albeit falling short, Simeone has been linked with jobs all across Europe, Arsenal being one of them.
Very shrewd in the market and likes to develop players through the youth system, Arsenal would be a very good fit for this highly ambitious manager.
Recently he agreed a contract reduction up to the summer of 2018 which would indicate he may possibly be looking for a new challenge. The Timing on this occasion may not be right with Wenger possibly leaving in 2017.
Thomas Tuchel – Borussia Dortmund (43 years old)
Treading the same path as Jurgen Klopp, Tuchel guided Dortmund to a second place finish in the Bundesliga last season and a defeat, on penalties, to Bayern in the DFB-Pokal final has put Dortmund back where they belong in terms of challenging for titles.
Another teacher of the full throttle, gegenpressing football we are currently seeing from Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool in the premiership, at times Dortmund look unplayable.
Arsenal style of possession mixed with this school of gegenpressing could be the combination Arsenal crave to finally bring regular success to the Emirates.
Joachim Low – Germany National Team (56 years old)
Has been with the national set up since 2004 and been fully in charge since 2006, Joachim Low has brought through a golden generation of German footballers and in 2014 brought home the World Cup for the first time since West Germany triumphed in 1990.
On route to the win in 2014, they demolished the host’s Brazil 7-1 in Belo Horizonte. The teams he assembles are ruthlessly efficient and solid at the back with arguably the best goal keeper in the world in Manuel Neuer and Some of the worlds finest in going forward in Ozil, Muller and Reus the national manager is no stranger to big names and getting the best out of them.
However, again with this one timing could be all wrong, Joachim Lowe recently agreed to stay on until the end of the European Championships in 2020 and barring a cataclysmic implosion in Russia you would expect him to stay on and see his contract out.
Arsene Wenger – Arsenal Manager (67 years old)
There is the final option, and most likely of all, Arsene Wenger will stay on for possibly another 2 or 3 years with rumours of a new contact in the offing. This will surely divide fans once again unless he can delivery some major silverware.
One thing is for certain, no matter what happens, Arsene is the last of a dying breed, to have the longevity that he has experienced at one club is simply staggering, and when he does goes, hopefully he will be given the respect he deserves not just from Arsenal fans, but from football fans worldwide for what he has done for Arsenal F.C
What option should Arsenal take? Let us know in the comments below!
featured image by I30_