Saturday, May 21, 2011

Arsenal FC: 10 Candidates to Replace Arsene Wenger If He Leaves the Gunners

Arsene Wenger has been one of the most successful managers in the Premier League and has brought immense consistency of being amongst the elite teams in the world since he took over the reins. He has brought in several excellent players from different leagues and he is one of the main reasons for the financial stability of the club. LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 07:  Chelsea Manager Carlo Ancelotti (R) and Arsenal Manager Arsene Wenger speak during the Barclays Premier League match between Chelsea and Arsenal at Stamford Bridge on February 7, 2010 in London, England.  (Photo by Mike Hew
After winning numerous trophies since he joined the Gunners, they have endured a six year long trophy drought. There are a number of factors why the Arsenal boss has not been able to win trophies in the recent past. Arsenal's decision to move from their beloved Highbury to the Emirates has meant that he did not have enough money to spend in the market in the following two years.

Also, in that period, Chelsea and Manchester City have been taken over by two of the world's richest men and their spending has led to further inflation in the transfer market. As a result, the frugal Frenchman has adopted a policy of developing youth players from around the world into world class talents.

However, with experience and leadership missing in the side in the last few years, the Gunners have stumbled at important times in the past few seasons. Wenger's questionable decisions in the transfer market have further frustrated the fans and he has also made some errors with regard to football decisions as well.

There are a number of supporters who are in favour of Wenger leaving the club and the ticket rise by the Arsenal board have contributed to the unrest amongst Arsenal supporters, who are divided on whether they still trust Wenger to bring trophies to the Gunners. Players like Bacary Sagna and Wojciech Szczesny have placed their full faith in Wenger and are desperate to win trophies for the man who has helped them in their personal careers.

Every Arsenal supporter would love to see the Gunners' long serving manager lift trophies at the Emirates but should the team be unsuccessful yet again, it could force the manager to leave Arsenal which is a situation no Arsenal supporter would want to envisage. But if that is the case, let us look at the 10 possible managers who could possibly replace the Frenchman.

1. Carlo Ancelotti

LONDON, ENGLAND - MAY 09:  Carlo Ancelotti manager of Chelsea celebrates with the trophy as they win the title after the Barclays Premier League match between Chelsea and Wigan Athletic at Stamford Bridge on May 9, 2010 in London, England. Chelsea won 8-0The Chelsea manager has had a lot of criticism this season for the prolonged slump encountered by the Blues before the turn of the year which led to the signings of Fernando Torres and David Luiz. The Italian has an excellent season last year where he was instrumental in Chelsea's double and he commands the respect of his players.

He is vastly experienced as a manager with spells with Regianna, Parma and Juventus but he was most successful with AC Milan with who he won the Champions League twice and also the Scudetto in 2004. He left the Italian giants for Chelsea and achieved the double in his first year. He could not survive for another season under Roman Abrahamovich.

He is a manager who can encourage an attacking style of play and has proven to be successful in the Premiership. The only question, particularly after Chelsea's spectacular slump is whether he can inspire this Arsenal team who have not had too any leaders in the past.

2. Pep Guardiola

VALENCIA, SPAIN - MAY 11:  Head Coach Josep Guardiola of Barcelona looks on during the La Liga match between Levante UD and Barcelona at Ciutat de Valencia on May 11, 2011 in Valencia, Spain. The match ended 1-1.  (Photo by Manuel Queimadelos Alonso/GettyGuardiola is one of the most successful managers in the modern era and has achieved amazing success with FC Barcelona. He is a manager who encourages a positive attacking style and emphasizes on the passing game. Though the Catalans are keen for the former Barcelona midfielder to continue as the manager in the future, Guardiola could opt to move on in the near future for a new challenge.

He is young and has proved to be a successful manager reaching his second Champions league final in three years in addition to securing three straight La Liga titles. He would be a manager who would inject optimism in the Arsenal supporters considering his previous record with Barcelona.

However, he is linked with the Manchester United job while Chelsea could also be interested in signing Guardiola. Also, his record with transfers has not been great with Barcelona incurring huge losses with the transfers of Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Alexander Hleb and Dmytro Chygrynski.

3. Didier Deschamps
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - MARCH 15:  Didier Deschamps coach of Marseille looks on ahead of the UEFA Champions League round of 16 second leg match between Manchester United and Marseille at Old Trafford on March 15, 2011 in Manchester, England.  (Photo by Alex
The Olympique Marseille manager was extensively linked with the Liverpool job but he stayed on as the Marseille manager for this season.The former France midfielder had a hugely successful career as a footballer and has also a good career so far as a manager. He took the unfancied Monaco team to the final of Champions League in 2004 where they lost to Jose Mourinho's Porto.

After a one year spell with Juventus in the Serie B, he returned to France to take the managerial post of Olympique Marseille. In his first season with the club, Marseille won the Ligue 1 after a span of 18 years. Though he did not win this year, they are likely to be the runner-up and has overall had a decent season.

Also, with Arsenal having many French players in their squad, Deschamps would ideally be able to adjust to the team's needs and also as a player and manager, he has always had a winning mentality.

DUBLIN, IRELAND - MAY 18:  FC Porto Head Coach, Andre Villas Boas looks on after the UEFA Europa League Final between FC Porto and SC Braga at Dublin Arena on May 18, 2011 in Dublin, Ireland.  (Photo by Jamie McDonald/Getty Images)4. Andre Villas Boas

Any article on the potential replacement of a manager at a top club in Europe is likely to have the name Andre Villas Boas on their list. The current Porto manager is already touted to be the next Jose Mourinho after his amazing exploits as the manager of the Porto team, which has won the Europa League and the Portuguese League without losing a game.

He was the assistant of Jose Mourinho at Porto, Chelsea and Inter Milan before he left the Portuguese tactician to pursue his own managerial ambitions. This season has been an exceptional one for Villas Boas but the next one will be his biggest test. All eyes will be on him in the Champions League and also, he would have to maintain consistency in the Portuguese league as well.

5. Jurgen Klopp
SEVILLE, SPAIN - DECEMBER 15:  Head coach Jurgen Klopp of Borussia Dortmund looks on prior the UEFA Europa League group J match between Sevilla and Borussia Dortmund at Estadio Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan on December 15, 2010 in Seville, Spain. The match ended
Jurgen Klopp has undoubtedly been one of the managers of the season in the world and has built an extremely strong winning team with Borussia Dortmund. He is known to provide opportunities for young talented youngsters and has proven to be an excellent tactician. The 43-year old previously managed Mainz for eight seasons before joining Borussia Dortmund.

Dortmund were the most consistent team in the Bundesliga this term and Klopp has been at the heart of the improvement of the team which finished 13th before he took over in 2008. They finished sixth in his first year, fifth in his second and are now the Bundesliga champions in this season. Klopp is certain to be linked with some of the biggest clubs in the world after his success with Borussia Dortmund.

6. David Moyes

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - APRIL 02:  David Moyes the manager of Everton looks on prior to the Barclays Premier League match between Everton and Aston Villa at Goodison Park on April 2, 2011 in Liverpool, England.  (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)David Moyes has been linked with the hot-seat at Manchester United when the legendary Sir Alex Ferguson retires from the game. However, he is a manager who could be amongst the names to replace Arsene Wenger. He is a manager who is proven in the Premiership and has worked on a shoe-string budget at Everton.

He has taken Everton once to the Champions League and has achieved consistency with the club. Moyes has developed many talents like Jack Rodwell and Wayne Rooney in addition to finding key players at a bargain price like Phil Jagielka. However, he has not had much experience in European competitions which count against him managing big clubs like United and Arsenal.

7. Ottmar Hitzfield
BASEL, SWITZERLAND - SEPTEMBER 07:  Switzerland manager Ottmar Hitzfeld looks on before the UEFA EURO 2012 Group G qualifier between Switzerland and England at St Jakob Park on September 7, 2010 in Basel, Switzerland.  (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images
The current Switzerland manager is one of the most respected figures in the game and is amongst the best managers in the world in the last decade. He is one amongst three managers in the world to have won the Champions League with two different clubs, Borussia Dortmund and Bayern Munich. He was voted as the best manager of the Bundesliga and led Bayern to a period of sustained momentum.

His quality as a manager is unquestionable and has the requisite experience in managing big clubs. However he is 62 years old and recently did not want to be linked with Ferguson's job at Manchester United citing his age and his preference to speaking German as the major reasons.

8. Louis Van Gaal

ROME - NOVEMBER 23: Louis Van Gaal the coach of FC Bayern Muenchen looks on during the UEFA Champions League Group E match between AS Roma and FC Bayern Muenchen at Stadio Olimpico on November 23, 2010 in Rome, Italy.  (Photo by Paolo Bruno/Getty Images)
The vastly experienced Dutchman is a manager who has been successful with various teams in different leagues. He started his managerial career at Ajax where he was hugely successful. He won the Dutch league and also the Champions League with a strong Ajax team in the 1994-95 season. He left the club to succeed Sir Bobby Robson at Barcelona and has further moved to clubs AZ Alkamaar and Bayern Munich in the past.

He has endured some tough moments as a manager but he is a manager who has regularly been successful as a manager. Though he has clashed with several players in the previous tenures, he has also been instrumental in developing several world class talents and believes in providing time for youngsters to develop.

9. Vicente Del Bosque

JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA - JULY 10:  Vicente del Bosque Head Coach of Spain controls a ball with his head during a Spain training session, ahead of the 2010 FIFA World Cup Final, at Soccer City Stadium on July 10, 2010 in Johannesburg, South Africa.  (P
He was the world cup winning manager of Spain and boasts an excellent record as a manager. He led Real Madrid through one of their most consistent spells in history and is known to favour attacking positive football. Real Madrid under Florentino Perez is one of the toughest challenges for any manager in the world and del Bosque showed his quality since he was appointed permanent manager in 1999.

He took over as the manager of Spain in 2008 and has been a key factor in their triumph in the world cup where he managed to create a healthy atmosphere within the team. His temperament is excellent and despite Spain losing their first world cup game, they managed to keep their cool to finish as Champions.

10. Laurent Blanc

LONDON - SEPTEMBER 15:  Laurent Blanc, Manager of Bordeaux, smiles during a press conference before the UEFA Champions League match between Chelsea and Bordeaux, at Stamford Bridge on September 15, 2008 in London, England.  (Photo by Phil Cole/Getty ImageThe former French centre back was recently in the eye of the storm caused by the racism situation discussed by the French Football Federation. However, Blanc has been cleared of any charges and will continue to manage the French national team. Blanc took over as manager of Bordeaux in 2007 and achieved immense consistency with the French club.

Bordeaux won the league in the 2008-09 season where Marouane Chamakh played an important role as the main striker. Since the debacle of the France national tea under Raymond Domenech, Blanc has taken over as manager and has been quick to establish his authority by dropping all 23 players from the world cup squad for his first game. He has united the French national team and has had good results in the Euro qualifiers and friendlies.

He has worked with many of Arsenal's players including the likes of Nasri and Chamakh in the past and has shown that he can be successful on a modest budget at Bordeaux. However, he has not had much experience in Europe and the Euro Championships in 2012 will be his biggest test at the highest level.

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