With Arsenal currently in the middle of a search to bring a new manager in and replace Arsene Wenger after 22 years at the club, I’m going to have a look at some of the managers being linked with the job. I’m going to go through a list, beginning with the favourite on an un-named bookmakers’ site (there’s no free advertisements here!).
Zeljko Buvac – 2/1
Jurgen Klopp’s assistant moved into the bookies’ favourite yesterday after there were reports in a Bosnian publication that he is set to succeed Arsene Wenger. It was announced at the weekend that he would be stepping down from his Liverpool duties for the rest of the season, for personal reasons. There was no suggestion that he was being lined up for Arsenal at the time of the announcement, but that all changed yesterday.
The publication responsible for the report, Pravda BL, were supposedly the first place to report that Jurgen Klopp would be joining Liverpool back in 2015. For this reason, their word is being reported as reliable. They seem to have some kind of connection to Buvac, so maybe something has been leaked to them.
I do think it would be a strange one, but it’s one that Arsenal could go for. They took a risk when they brought Arsene Wenger in from Japan, but I’m not sure that’s any kind of indicator as to what they’ll do since nobody with a big say in this decision was at the club at that time. I think it’s very strange that he has left Liverpool now though. The decision was announced with the Reds on the brink of a Champions League final. You would imagine he would hang around for the rest of the season at least, but maybe Arsenal want to announce who will take over before then so he had to leave.
I have no idea if that’s the case or not, but I’m just trying to come up with a logical explanation. Maybe he just had a disagreement with Klopp or somebody at the club, and it was decided he would step down for the time being. Or maybe he has some stuff going on at home that he needs to concentrate on. Whatever it is, it has to be serious for him to walk away from the 17 years he has spent with Klopp.
I think this would be a huge risk for Arsenal, and it’s one that could really backfire. He obviously has something about him, as Klopp calls him ‘the brain’ behind his coaching setup, but it could go really wrong for everybody. I will be quite surprised if they go for him, but this is Arsenal after all. They may look at him being a less expensive option, and one that won’t be in a position to demand a huge transfer budget.
Massimiliano Allegri – 4/1
I haven’t seen anything really thinking Max Allegri to the job, but he finds himself right up there as a potential candidate. I think this one makes sense, as they would be bringing a hugely experienced and successful manager in. He could really help steady the ship, so to speak, and he could bring Arsenal to the next level. He has really proven himself to be a top, top manager over the last few years.
He has won three Serie A titles in a row with Juventus, and is on the brink of winning a fourth. Those three titles have been matched with three Coppa Italia’s too, while he has reached the Champions League final twice in the last three years. They are on course for a fourth double in a row, as they play AC Milan in next week’s cup final.
I can see him being a good fit at the Emirates. I’m not really sure what his style of football is like, but with him being Italian it could be a little bit more negative than what Arsenal are used to. But the Gunners haven’t really played amazing stuff over the last few years either, so the transition may not be too bad.
Would he leave Juventus, a club where he has been so successful over the last few years, though? I’m not quite sure to be honest, but we often see managers look for new challenges. Arsenal, London and the Premier League are all extremely attractive, as I’m sure the wage on offer would be as well. I think this is one to keep an eye on.
Luis Enrique – 6/1
The former Barcelona man was favourite to take over at one stage, but he has drifted out a little bit. The reason he has drifted out is because of reports that he wants £200m to spend in the summer, while he is looking for an extremely high wage, of around £16m per year, according to reports. I would be very surprised if Arsenal made that kind of funding available, as they’re just not a club that spend huge amounts like that. I think they would happily go and bring somebody else in than spend that.
Maybe the reports that he wants that much aren’t true though? Maybe they came from nowhere and are completely made up. Maybe Arsenal really want to bring him in and are prepared to push the boat out for him. That’s a lot of maybes, and to be honest, I have no idea.
They could do a lot worse than bringing in a man that won two league titles, three Copa del Rey’s, the Champions League and the Club World Cup in the space of three seasons though. You also know that a former Barcelona player and manager is going to bring good football with him. This could be a good choice, but if the reports about the £200m are true, there’s no chance he’ll be the man.
Brendan Rodgers – 7/1
I really don’t want to get too far into the links with Brendan Rodgers. I would be really, really, really surprised if he was the man to take Arsenal forward. I don’t think the club can bring him in without there being absolute murder. The fans were split on Arsene Wenger for so many years, and the club will want to avoid that. I think it would be a huge mistake to bring him in.
I don’t mean to underestimate his qualities as a manager or anything, and I’m sure he’s a really nice man. He’s doing a great job at Celtic, but that is in no way comparable to what he would have to do at Arsenal. I just don’t see this one happening.
Carlo Ancelotti – 7/1
Ancelotti is another one that makes sense, but he falls into the same category as Luis Enrique. He’s a man with a proven track record, and a manager that almost guarantees success. I’m not saying they’ll definitely win the league if they bring him in or anything, but he has won something everywhere he has been. Again, they could do a lot worse than bringing in a man that has won everything. He’s one of the most successful managers around.
But he’s a manager that also likes to spend money. I think he’ll also be looking for a big transfer fund and a big wage. For that reason, I think it would be surprising if they went with him. Would £100m to spend in the summer be enough to persuade him? I really don’t know, especially since £100m doesn’t get you much anymore. Maybe it’s another one to keep an eye on, but I would be surprised.
Joachim Loew – 11/1
The Germany head coach has done great things there, but there’s a huge difference between managing at international level and at club level. He has little experience in managing a club and I think it would be surprising.
Eddie Howe/Mikel Arteta – 12/1
Eddie Howe has done great things at Bournemouth. He really has done fantastically well, and I really like him. But this would be a huge step up. It would be a big, big risk for Arsenal to bring him in. It’s a risk that could really pay off, or could go badly wrong. I think it would be interesting to see how he got on though, and there’s definitely a chance that he could do great things there.
Mikel Arteta is another huge risk. The odds on him were quite short at one stage, but he has drifted out now. He has no managerial experience at all, but has worked under Pep Guardiola for the last two years so surely he knows a thing or two.
Patrick Vieira – 14/1
I think this would be another big risk, but another that could pay off. He has been building experience over the last few seasons managing in the MLS, but is he ready for such a big job? I’m not convinced to be honest, but you never know. I think this may also be something that Arsenal are looking at.
I have no idea what Arsenal’s criteria for a new manager is, but we all know that it’s very unlikely they’ll spend a fortune in the summer. I think Luis Enrique and Carlo Ancelotti will want to spend a fortune, so that could rule them out. I can see it being one of the less experienced managers, who wouldn’t look for lots of money, but that’s just my opinion. I have no idea if Max Allegri would also want a ridiculous amount of money made available for new transfers, but if he’s happy working within Arsenal’s budget he could be a real candidate.
Only time will tell though, and nobody really knows.
I’m sorry the paragraphs got shorter towards the end, but I ran out of time so I had to hurry up a bit. I would love to keep going and write more, but I don’t think my job would be best pleased with me arriving extremely late.