Numerous reports claiming that Arsenal boss Unai Emery has come near the end of the road have created a sense of a change in the post being almost imminent. Given the results the Gunners have lately been getting, it’s becoming all too easy to believe in such an outcome. Naturally, under such circumstances, speculations about who would be the man to succeed the Spaniard have been coming thick as well.
Here are some names put forth by the media, and some – let’s call them developments.
First of all, it’s worth bearing in mind that the experienced Italian was being mentioned as a potential replacement for Arsene Wenger too, prior to Emery’s appointment.
At the age of 60, Ancelotti has won it all; the Serie A, the Coppa Italia and the Champions League twice with AC Milan, the Premier League and the FA Cup with Chelsea, the Ligue 1 with Paris Saint-Germain, the Copa del Rey and another Champions League with Real Madrid, as well as the Bundesliga with Bayern Munich. He is now back in his homeland, at Napoli, working hard to try and topple the reigning champions Juventus; where he also worked at one time and won the UEFA Intertoto Cup.
And he was in England with Napoli this week, playing a Champions League game against Liverpool at Anfield which ended in a 1-1 draw; his team’s organized defensive approach successfully frustrated the holders, having beaten them 2-0 in the opening round in Naples. While on Merseyside, he was asked about the Arsenal links.
He was adamant that there was nothing in them, no substance whatsoever, and that he would remain where he is despite recent troubles in their camp. Apparently, he’s been caught in a bit of crossfire between some of the players and club president Aurelio De Laurentiis.
Nuno Espirito Santo
Having been asked the same question while talking to the press ahead of his team’s Europa League clash with Braga in his native Portugal on Thursday, the Wolverhampton Wanderers manager refused flat to discuss the reports at all, saying it would’ve been disrespectful to Emery to do so.
“You know me well enough. You know I’m not going to answer about that and mention an issue that is not a reality,” he said.
Wolves goalkeeper Rui Patricio was asked about the future of his boss too, and he merely said it was important for them to do what they can to keep him at the club.
Still, Mirror believe Espirito Santo is the leading candidate to replace Emery due to Raul Sanllehi’s apparently close relationship with his agent, Jorge Mendes.
Another Italian name, another former Milan and Juventus boss. Allegri was sacked by the Old Lady at the end of last season as they probably lost patience with his lack of progress when it comes to their ultimate goal – to win the Champions League. During his time in Turin, he reached the final of UEFA’s elite competition twice, he won the Serie A five times and the Coppa Italia four times, but it was still not enough.
Be that as it may, Allegri certainly knows how to build and lead a high-quality side.
The two former Arsenal midfielders have also been linked with the managerial post. Mikel Arteta is currently at Pep Guardiola’s side at Manchester City, and the Catalan was asked about the situation.
Guardiola expressed firm belief that Arteta would become a manager some day, but he also pointed out the fact that Arsenal still have a manager, and his name is Unai Emery.
Having Freddie Ljungberg make the step up to the hot-seat, also reportedly a possibility, would probably be a very popular solution among the supporters, though his lack of experience in being the man in charge could perhaps be a problem.
Who would be your choice? Ancelotti, Espirito Santo, Allegri, Arteta, Ljungberg, or someone else? Or do you perhaps feel that Emery is being treated unfairly and should be given more time? Feel free to say in the comments below.