This season, Arsenal fans are finally realising that Arsene Wenger is no longer the man to take the club forward. After two consecutive FA Cup wins, the Emirates faithful appear to have lost all faith in the man who had once made them the best team in England.
They have blown their chance of winning the Premier League again this term, have been eliminated from FA Cup and are out of the Champions League. For a team of Arsenal’s standards, they really should be doing better. In the past they have been linked with Pep Guardiola, who is now on his way to Manchester City, Jurgen Klopp, who is plying his trade at Liverpool, and even Mauricio Pochettino, who is bossing it at north London rivals Tottenham.
With none of these three available to replace Wenger, which manager should the club turn to should they decide it’s time for Wenger to step aside?
In a dream world, many would love for Thierry Henry to get his first managerial job at the club where he made his name. Arsenal’s all time top scorer, with 228 goals in all competitions, is loved and cherished at the Emirates. Considering he has no managerial experience, he would be a real risk, but one fans would love.
Another club legend fans may want to see is Dennis Bergkamp. Since 2008 the Dutchman has been coaching in his homeland, and has gained experience at the Netherlands B team as well as Ajax U19s. Now assistant to Frank de Boer at Ajax, a manager role in the future looks likely. However, as much as Arsenal fans would love to have him, Bergkamp has a fear of flying, something which would make a managerial job at any big team impossible.
Speaking of Ajax, Frank de Boer is one manager who’s name keeps popping up whenever there is a big job in the open. When Spurs, Liverpool and even Swansea had been looking for a new man in the dugout, the Dutchman’s name was one of the first to be mentioned. Having been at the Amsterdam club since 2010, he has 122 wins in 206 games, and is one of the country’s most promising managers. De Boer is that one big move away from earning a label as a great manager, and the Arsenal job could be a great opportunity to do so.
If fans want a club legend with managerial experience, then they could look to Patrick Vieira. The Frenchman, who played an important role in the club’s best period, gained experience at the Manchester City Elite Development Squad, and is now at New York City FC. If he can do well, he could be a good choice for Arsenal’s next manager.
Similarly, if experience is the key, then Southampton’s Ronald Koeman would be a great choice. Since his move to St Mary’s, he has defied the odds by leading the Saints in to Europe and to high Premier League finishes.
Considering the squad he has, he has a great record of bringing through youth, and could definitely be the man to lead Arsenal to glory.
But with Arsenal seemingly unsure of whether or not the time is right to part with Wenger, especially after 20 years of service in north London, Arsenal fans know deep down they’ll probably be stuck with Wenger for one more season at the very least.