All good things must come to an end. so must all mediocre things and all downright bad things.
Arsene Wenger and the Arsenal fans have endured all three during his tenure at the London club, but after Sunday’s humiliating loss to Bournemouth, the Frenchman’s time at the Emirates must surely be up.
Many Arsenal supporters have been calling for his departure for four or five seasons now and after 21 years and three-and-a-half months in charge, it seems those fans may finally get their way.
Wenger’s side are without a win in five games, out of the FA Cup in the third round and five points adrift of fourth place in the Premier League.
So whom do the Gunners board turn to next when the Premier League’s longest-serving manager departs?
Here is a quick look at the likely and not-so-likely candidates:
The Italian has been out of work since he was shown the door by Bayern last September. He seems to be almost the perfect man for the job, bags of experience and success, but at 58 may be a bit on the old side to show the fans he is committed to a long-term recovery plan.
Staying in the Bundesliga, Tuchel has been looking for work since he left Borussia Dortmund at the end of last season. He is almost the flip-side of Ancelotti as he has relative youth on his side at 44 but has only one senior trophy during his managerial career.
The Atletico Madrid would — in theory — be a great fit with the Arsenal ideology. He is young, plays forward-thinking and attacking football. However he just signed a contract extension with Atletico in September, tying him down until 2020, so the Gunners would need to spend big to get him in.
The New York City FC coach has been earning his coaching badges and experience since before he quit playing the game. This job may be coming to soon given his relative inexperience in the dugout.
See Ancelotti. Experience: Check. Success: Check. Old: Check. Also, still in paid employ with Serie A champions Juventus, so would be a pricey acquisition.
Only joking. The Germany manager would only become a free agent if the national side have a terrible World Cup in Russia in the summer. Even then, after 11 years in charge of Germany, who is to say he would even want such a demanding role in London?
Now this is more plausible. The former Barca voluntarily manager took a break from management at the end of last season and departed Camp Nou with a bag load of trophies to his name. Having rested up for a while, he may be ready to jump back in and pull Arsenal out of the mire.
This would raise eyebrows, given Howe’s Bournemouth just dished out the latest defeat for Arsenal. But, again, youth and a dedication to a long-term plan could make him an attractive proposition.
The Celtic manager has won everything in the domestic game — twice — with the Scottish champions and will feel he has unfinished business in the English Premier League after he was sacked by Liverpool.
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