After a miserable week, Arsene Wenger’s future at the club has never looked more unsecure. The tide is turning for the once untouchable Wenger with the rallying of fans, critics and players going against Arsenal’s greatest manager.
Fans have voiced their displeasure of the past few months; with a recent poll saying that it’s time for Wenger to leave. Former players and coaches have dived into the debate: Roy Keane calling this the “worst Arsenal team”; Dennis Bergkamp has said the side are “predictable, weak and lacking a winning mentality.” Even former AC Milan manager Arrigo Sacchi says it’s the “worst Arsenal side in 10 years”.
Critics and journalists have said “Enough is enough” and have asked how much longer Wenger can have the benefit of the doubt. When questioned about his future at the Emirates, in the post-match conference in the 2-0 loss to Sunderland, Wenger refused to answer, and instead replied, “I think it’s better we finish this press conference now.”
With loyal fans turning against him, the reputation of the club crumbling, the push it seems for Wenger to quit (or be sacked) has never been higher. So with the rumour mill picking up vibes that it could be the end of Wenger’s tenure, The Trequartista takes a look at some managers who would be able to replace the Frenchman.
(The managers mentioned are those of the Trequartista’s viewpoint of who would be best equipped to take over)
Remi Garde (Lyon)
He might be only one season into his tenure, but Garde has all the ingredients. Firstly, he’s a former pupil of Wenger; being part of the 97/98 Double winning squad. Secondly, he plays an attrative brand of football. Thirdly, he has the charisma and personality to handle players and to get them playing for their team, most notably in keeping Juventus bound Michael Bastos from leaving, prompting him to sign a new contract till 2015 saying, “I feel loved again here and that’s down to the coach”. Fourthly, he has experience in bringing in younger players, giving them the chance to impress; something the Arsenal board would love. He’s more tactically sound than Wenger; converting Lyon’s trusted 4-3-3 to 4-2-2 and to great success. A favourite.
Ottmar Hitzfeld (Switzerland National Team)
18 titles pretty much says it all. He’s probably the Bundesliga greatest manager with seven titles and two Champion League titles with two different clubs. Hitzfeld might be an odd choice for the roll, but he would definitely make Arsenal are true contender again. He’s a true German footballer; efficiency being the key to success. He believes in constructing harmony in the team; with all players focus on the one goal. One-nil victories would please Hitzfeld; known to build hard working teams defensive teams. It will not suit the true Arsenal faithful, but who’s going to complain if it leads them to a title?
Josep Guardiola (Barcelona)
Plays attacking football. Develops young players. Can keep team motivation at an high. Puts team success before anything else (Ibrahimovic, anyone?) 13 trophies in 3 years and only 41 years old. Has said he would relish the chance to coach outside Spain. A born winner. His contract finishes at the end of the season; give the man what he wants and sign him up!
Louis Van Gaal (Free)
The Dutchman might be very rough around the edges, but his record over his 25 year career says it all. Van Gaal is a very tough, fierce person, who will probably frighten the team into playing for their lives. He has been notorious in the past for clashing with several players, yet the results stand for themselves. Arsenal has lacked leadership over the years and Van Gaal is known for inspiring his players to play for the team. Tactically sound, he’s style is that of Dutch attacking taste, but will alter his ways for success (See his AZ Alkmaar’s 09 Championship winning side, playing a prodiminet defensive game). Also known for developing several world class talents. He would love the challenge.