After 22 years as Arsenal manager, Arsene Wenger is finally stepping down.
While his final few seasons, have been rather turbulent, one cannot understate his achievements. 473 Premier League wins, 3 titles, 7 FA Cups, and the only unbeaten season in Premier League history.
While the footballing community will undoubtably pay tribute to Wenger in the coming weeks, Arsenal must look ahead to a new manager. According to Bleacher Report, six candidates have been identified by bookmakers as favorites for the new position:
Patrick Vieira, 2/1; Thomas Tuchel, 4/1; Brendan Rodgers, 4/1; Carlo Ancelotti, 6/1; Joachim Low, 7/1; and Massimiliano Allegri, 8/1.
Let’s take a look at all six of those managers, and evaluate their credentials.
Current position: NYCFC manager (MLS)
Pros: He’s an Arsenal legend. Vieira was at the club from 1996 to 2005. He enjoyed an extremely fruitful spell in North London. Winning three titles and four FA Cups. Vieira knows the club well; is respected and beloved by fans.
He is currently in his third season managing NYCFC at MLS. City have finished second in the Eastern Conference and made the postseason each of his two years in charge, and are currently in first place atop the East. Winning 5 and drawing 2 they sit first in the race for the Supporters Shield after 7 games.
Cons: Vieira lacks real, concrete managerial experience.
While New York City’s media is unforgiving, their attention is almost always on the more prominent teams (think the Yankees and the Knicks). NYCFC, and MLS in general, receive a small amount of media scrutiny relative to their neighbors.
The British press, as well as Arsenal Fan TV, are hyperbolic and quick to judgement. While Vieira’s status as a club legend should grant him a grace period. If results don’t go his way, the media could turn on him.
Additionally, his failures in the postseason with NYCFC should not go ignored. In 2016, NYCFC lost their two legged tie with Toronto FC 7-0.
In 2017, they lost 4-1 to Columbus on the road, and were unable to overcome the deficit in the second leg. Vieira has 2 aggregate defeats, with 11 goals against and 3 for in his two postseason runs.
He has shown he can navigate a league season. However, his management in cup ties leaves something to be desired.
Current position: Unattached
Pros: He was terrific at Borussia Dortmund over two years. Winning the German cup in his second season and finishing second in his first campaign. Ten points behind Bayern is a success for any manager.