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4 Managerial Candidates to Replace Arsene Wenger at Arsenal

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.

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  1. Todd

    February 20, 2012 at 11:57 am

    This is not going to be a popular comment. I am a Gunner through and through, but I think everyone over reacts and does not understand the brevity of the situation and I think this knowing and admitting this is the worst Arsenal side in 10 years.

    Sacking Wenger right not would be a bad plan. Spending the transfer kitty that is there would be a good plan. So many of the names brought forward would not even cope with the Arsenal environment and are not nearly as gifted as Wenger himself. I mean, really…why do we keep reading from amateur blog pundits and journalists alike who do not know the nuances of football on the field or in the board room that Wenger is somehow after 15 years time lost his tactical genius…really!? I coach for a living. You know what you know. You do not lose anything like it is losing your car keys because you forgot to hang them on the hook when you got home. Sometimes tactical decisions work and you are labeled a genius and sometimes they do not work and you are labeled a mutt even though you have never been one. YOU all have the hindsight of 20/20, the coach in the moment of decisions DOES NOT and newsflash–they are all so much more highly trained than you that they are for the most part all smarter than you in the game of football. YOU do not sit in their seat, YOU do not have the information and resource they have on the training ground, in the physio room, or anywhere else on the Arsenal facilities that THEY as coaches are allowed in and YOU as blog pundit extraordinaire are not allowed in unless The Arsenal GIVE YOU a special pass. Arsene Wenger was supposedly a tactical genius with Henry and the Untouchables. Now to many fair weather fans and pundits alike he can’t do anything right. Look with brevity and see the crisis (and it is a crisis) for what it is. The reason for the decline since the Untouchables is building the new stadium, an organizations CHOICE to get the numbers right financially, and players of world class ability who made a world class team achieve things never dreamed before at Arsenal all under WENGER’S WATCH getting replaced by players of youth and promise with some players of average ability that together have not made it work. The reason is because on the whole of what we have, money has not been spent. That is not just down to Wenger, it is down to everyone who makes decisions at Arsenal.

    To the point, on this list. The ONLY coaches who could even be in Wenger’s conversation are Guardiola, Sir Alex Ferguson (my list), and Morinho (my list). WHY on earth would any of them come to Arsenal and do you actually believe Arsenal would pay them and open up their transfer kitty to their liking (not your liking or my liking). Sure it could happen, anything could happen, but is it likely to happen. NO. So, if you do not get a legitimate replacement who is better than Arsene Wenger himself the answer is to open a war chest and actually spend the money you have with the hope FIFA fairplay actually is delivered to a dying climate of football. I have not even talked about how our most important players would leave since players (like RVP) have a great relationship with their manager and actually believe in him (more than YOU do). If Arsenal make Top 4 the answer is spending to go further. If they do not, then a lot of the people in question may leave for themselves and everyone will be sad at what this club has come to and happy at the prospect of the new guard. We will all see, that is why we watch the beautiful game.

  2. Sam

    February 20, 2012 at 5:44 am

    I’d love to see either Brendan Rodgers or Paul Lambert. They’re both performing miracles with Swansea and Norwich. Rodgers is probably closer to the current philosophy but I think Lambert might get us playing a bit more direct, which would imo be a good thing.

    I’m not sure how either would deal with large transfer fees/prima donnas but I really think young upcoming managers should be given a chance.

    Of your four I’d go with Remi Garde. Van Gaal and Hitzfield are past it and I’m worried how good Guardiola might be when he doesn’t have the best players in the world to work with. Also Remi actually played for Arsenal.

  3. Muga wainaina

    February 20, 2012 at 12:42 am

    Josep guardiola could do much better with gunners than anyone

  4. Gerry

    February 19, 2012 at 11:51 pm

    Guus hiddink!

  5. Efrain

    February 19, 2012 at 7:12 pm

    Pep would be sweet!

    Would be sad to see him leave Barcelona, but the Gunners need him more. And if he were to stay on a year to year contract (like he does with Barca)…. and do well… the board would probably give him all the support/cash he needs for players, to keep him in London.

  6. Jason

    February 19, 2012 at 6:51 pm

    Sam Allardyce. He once said he was good enough to manage Real Madrid. 🙂

    Seriously, I think the best candidate would be Pep Guardiola but Arsneal will have to pay Barcelona a fee for him and Arsenal will not do that.

    • Efrain

      February 19, 2012 at 7:14 pm

      Jason, I dont think Arsenal would have to pay a fee for Pep as he is on a year to year contract. I think it expires at end of this season and he has not resigned yet. Could be wrong though.

  7. Edwin

    February 19, 2012 at 6:48 pm

    LOL Rijkaard is the reason for Barca’s success. He created that team and Pep only took the credit because by the time he came in the team was molded. Arsenal should try to get Rijkaard.

  8. reidscott

    February 19, 2012 at 6:11 pm

    By far Pep is the man to actually win trophies for The Gunners…and he would keep the Total Footbal philosophy in tact…I would love to see him there…he has to be getting tired of La Liga by now…has won everything there is to win…except EPL hardware,,,no brainer…

  9. Lizz

    February 19, 2012 at 5:30 pm

    Fabio capello

  10. Martinjairey

    February 19, 2012 at 5:07 pm

    If Remi Garde can win with a 422 formation we should sign him immediately. Just think how good he would be with the extra 2 players!!!

  11. Fred

    February 19, 2012 at 4:21 pm

    You guys do not get it. Blame the board, the money sucking vampires and not wanger.

  12. dean0002

    February 19, 2012 at 3:34 pm

    … agree with above comment that DAVID MOYES would be a good fit and yet a new broom!..

  13. cory

    February 19, 2012 at 2:39 pm

    Brendan Rodgers? He’s got a Swansea side that is a fifth of the cost of Arsenal’s & plays a more attractive style of football overall. I think the Swans have even kept more clean sheets than Arsenal. Then again, if I were Rodgers I’d probably want to stay at Swansea and continue a good thing.

  14. Cc

    February 19, 2012 at 2:25 pm

    What of Joachim Loew,the current German coach.He will be nice for arsenal,with steve Bould as assistant.

  15. methode zigama

    February 19, 2012 at 2:19 pm

    it’s possible that wenger live Arsenal

  16. Michael

    February 19, 2012 at 2:09 pm

    There is one outstanding British candidate you should have listed – David Moyes. Done absolute wonders at Everton with NO money and the cash available at Arsenal would seem like the equivalent of Man City’s millions. Oh, and actually knows how to organize a team offensively AND defensively, the knack of which the current incumbent seems to have lost….if he ever really had it.

  17. Samuel Ademuwagun

    February 19, 2012 at 2:08 pm

    Guardiola or van Gaal.

  18. IanCransonsKnees

    February 19, 2012 at 1:45 pm

    Tony Pulis?

    • bill

      February 19, 2012 at 6:22 pm

      you must be joking…

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