Arsène Wenger and Arsenal have endured another dismal season domestically, finding themselves over 10 points off the top four and over 30 points off the league leaders Manchester City, this has led to banners, protests and empty seats and many fans are just simply fed up and want change. One of my colleagues even suggested that Wenger is destroying the club he claims to love. Here I look at 3 replacements for the Frenchman.
The Venezuelan-born Portuguese man led Monaco to their first title in 17 years last season as well as reaching the Champions League semi-finals, he is starting to make a name for himself with his tactically astute teams who can score in abundance whilst possessing high defensive qualities.
They scored 107 times in Ligue 1 as they stormed to the league title, a style with which not even PSG could keep up with. Despite claims that Jardim’s Monaco were boring during his first season (2014/15) scoring just 51 times, it was to much surprise that they played arguably the best football in Europe. The pace in wide areas from Benjamin Mendy and Djibril Sidibe, the creativity of Bernardo Silva and Thomas Lemar and the finishing prowess of Kylian Mbappé and Falcao, this team that Jardim had assembled had everything and just seemed to destroy every opponent they played. His club tied him down to a new three year deal but an approiach from Arsenal might make it hard to hold the manager to it.
But then in the summer of 2017 the plethora of attacking quality this Monaco side possessed was soon banished as Europe’s biggest vultures gathered. Benjamin Mendy, Bernardo Silva, Tiemoue Bakayoko, Kylian Mbappe all left for pastures new as PSG spent big and Monaco had to start a major rebuild to defend their crown. PSG’s financial power has been too hot to handle and Monaco have struggled to keep up with them, but Jardim had his entire squad ripped in half and they’ve struggled to match last season’s expectations. Tactically, Arsenal would do well to find better in Europe, Jardim would be my second choice as next manager and he is a shortening pricce with the bookies if you want to take advantage of a Ladbrokes Promo
Coach Rating- 7
The Italian has made Juventus a Champions League contender with 2 finals in 3 years, despite losing at the hands of both Barcelona and Real Madrid in 2015 and 2017 respectively. Allegri has made the Italian champions hard to beat as well as being tactically astute, they’ve also been clinical in their attacking aspect. Allegri has won the Scudetto at AC Milan and 3 consecutive Serie A titles in Turin with Juventus, as well as 3 Coppa Italia trophies.
Allegri has been constantly linked to Arsenal over the past couple of years and with Wenger’s time seeming to come to an end, he fits the bill as the perfect head coach for the north London side. His sides have always been defensively strong, able to absorb pressure and hit on the counter attack, as we’ve seen during both of their Champions League games v Tottenham this year, Allegri may want a new challenge and with Arsenal potentially having to play Europa League football next season, will Allegri be tempted? He’s certainly a manager many Arsenal fans crave, his ability to grind out results when needed and make exceptional tactical decision in big moments will separate him from the rest of the pack.
I think 2 Champions League finals, 3 Scudetto’s and 3 Coppa Italia’s in just over 3 years is an exceptional achievement and Allegri would be my choice if it came down to it.
Coach Rating- 9
The third of 3 candidates I think Arsenal should look at, Maurizio Sarri has been winning many plaudits for his tactical style in Italy and Napoli have been one of the most attractive sides to watch in Europe since Sarri’s arrival in Naples. Sarri has been in management for 15 years and has never won a trophy, often found in the lower tiers of Italian football. Main recognition came when he joined Empoli from Pescara, defying expectations by staying up and his attacking, slick brand of football meant he joined the club of his city of birth in Napoli in 2015.
They finished runners up in his first season and lost Gonzalo Higuain to Juventus in 2016. This prompted Sarri to change Dries Mertens from a wide forward into a central role and it paid dividends with the Belgian scoring 28 goals and Sarri won Serie A coach of the year for 2017, Sarri’s Napoli also set an Serie A record for 8 consecutive victories. Although Maurizio Sarri has never won a trophy, it’s worth mentioning that the process is often greater than the outcome, his teams are aggressive, play on the front foot and won many plaudits for his style across Europe, and with Chelsea sniffing around him, he’s obviously a hot property. Instead of naming managers like Diego Simeone and Carlo Ancelotti who are household names, I think a more left-field appointment would be fantastic and Maurizio Sarri fits the bill, his style would fit Arsenal superbly and would make them more resilient and much more aggressive which would be a breath of fresh air for Gunners fans.
Coach Rating- 8
Occasional writer who follows the Arsenal home and away. Dennis is our greatest ever.