Who Will Replace Arsene Wenger at Arsenal?

Friday, April 20, 2018 12:28 PM UTC

Friday, Apr. 20, 2018 12:28 PM UTC

The world of soccer is reeling after Arsenal announced that the end is nigh for manager Arsene Wenger’s 22-year reign at the club. 

The world of soccer is reeling after Arsenal announced that the end is nigh for Arsene Wenger’s 22-year reign at the club. The Frenchman, who has won three league titles and five FA Cups since joining in 1996, is the longest-serving manager at any team in Europe’s top leagues and a real titan of the game. But results have gone south over the past couple of years and supporters have voted with their feet, leaving The Emirates stadium half-empty, and that has hit owner Stan Kroenke in the pocket. The US businessman, who also owns the LA Rams, Denver Nuggets and Colorado Avalanche, has steadfastly backed Wenger in the past, but it has now been decided that the French coach will leave at the end of the season. Speculation now rages as to whom will take over from him.

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#MerciArsène pic.twitter.com/bjP0wLMgee

— Arsenal FC (@Arsenal) April 20, 2018

William Hill has made Celtic boss Brendan Rodgers the favorite at +300. The Northern Irishman has Premiership experience at the highest level as he almost won the league while in charge at Liverpool. His reputation was dented as the Reds struggled towards the end of his tenure at Anfield, but he has since earned rave reviews in Scotland. He guided Celtic to a domestic treble last season, and it became the first team in Scotland to finish an entire season unbeaten -- a feat Wenger pulled off with Arsenal in 2003/04.

However, Gunners fans will demand someone of a higher caliber. Former captain Patrick Vieira is next in the betting at+350, but he does not quite fit the bill, either, as he is very inexperienced. Next up is Joachim Löw, and that is an intriguing option as he has already won the World Cup with Germany. He may consider a move into club football after this summer’s tournament, and if he brings a bunch of world-class German stars with him, Arsenal supporters would probably be happy enough.

But the really exciting names lie further down the list. Juventus boss Massimiliano Allegri is +1600, Atletico Madrid manager Diego Simeone is also +1600 with William Hill, and Luis Enrique, a former Champions League winner in the Barcelona dugout, is +2000. If the Gunners are really ambitious about catching up with Man City, Man Utd, Chelsea, Liverpool and Tottenham, they will need to recruit a big name, and those three fit the bill.

A more realistic option might be Carlo Ancelotti at +800. The veteran Italian has won heaps of silverware with Real Madrid, AC Milan, PSG, Chelsea and Bayern Munich, and he has previously expressed an interest in the role. He looks a good bet at those odds. There are a few young German coaches in the mix, as Arsenal’s head of recruitment used to work at Borussia Dortmund and he knows the league well. Thomas Tuchel looks interesting at +800, and so does Julian Nagelsmann at +2000. There is also a bunch of former Arsenal stars in the running: Mikel Arteta is +1600, Dennis Bergkamp is +2000, Steve Bould – currently Wenger’s assistant manager – is +2500 and so is Thierry Henry. It will be fascinating to see who lands the role, but right now Ancelotti and Tuchel look the best options, with Monaco boss Leonardo Jardim an interesting dark horse at +1600.

There will now be pressure on the Arsenal players to send Wenger off in style by winning the Europa League. The Gunners are in the semifinal, but they are underdogs against a strong Ateltico Madrid side. Whoever wins that clash should go on to win the trophy, as the other two teams left in the tournament – Marseille and Red Bull Salzburg – are not of the same caliber. Arsenal is +161 with Pinnacle to advance to the final at Atletico’s expense, and +300 to lift the trophy. Both of those options look appealing now that Wenger’s future is settled and the Arsenal players need to buck their ideas up and impress the next coach.

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