Arsenal had a good summer transfer window in 2019 which raised the expectation levels of the fans. However, Unai Emery hasn’t been able to deliver the performances the fans demand and now his job is under threat. Here are five managers who can replace Emery at Arsenal.
#5. Marcelino García Toral
Marcelino and Unai Emery have a lot in common. They are both Spanish footballers turned managers who were in charge of both Sevilla and Valencia. However, Marcelino hasn’t won as many trophies as Emery.
Before Marcelino joined Valencia, the club had finished 12th in the previous two seasons. However, in both the seasons, he was in charge, they finished fourth and qualified for the Champions League. He also won them the Copa del Rey last season before his shock dismissal.
One of the benefits of appointing Marcelino is that Arsenal can finally play both Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette in the starting XI without having to play either one of them out of position. The Spaniard uses a 4-4-2 system which is defensively compact and relies on counter-attacks. Also, Nicolas Pepe can operate in the role of Goncalo Guedes at Valencia.
The 54-year-old’s teams were not high scoring ones but they are defensively sound and that is something Arsenal fans have craved for many years.
#4. Mikel Arteta
Mikel Arteta was one of the contenders to replace Arsene Wenger in 2018 but he was probably not given the job due to his lack of experience. However, the Gunners may be willing to take that gamble now that an experienced manager with an impressive resume has struggled to turn things around.
Arteta spent five years of his playing career at Arsenal before retiring in 2016 and therefore, he knows the club and the fans’ expectations. Also, he has a positive image among the fans and that could afford him more time than most managers to implement his philosophy even if the results don’t go in their favour.
Post-retirement, the Spaniard has been Manchester City’s assistant manager under Pep Guardiola and has learned from the best. Arteta’s influence at Man City has been widely praised and it is one of the reasons why Guardiola opted against replacing his long-serving assistant Domenec Torrent when he departed for New York City FC in 2018.
The former Arsenal midfielder has been compared to a young Guardiola for his coaching abilities and it will be interesting to see him in charge of a top club in a manager’s role.
#3. Jesse Marsch
Jesse Marsch is the current manager of Red Bull Salzburg and he worked at two other football clubs owned by Red Bull before joining the Austrian club as their manager this summer.
The former United States international started his managerial career as the assistant manager of the US Men’s national football team before a small stint with MLS club Montreal Impact. In 2015, he was appointed New York Red Bulls manager and replaced the most successful coach in the team’s history. In his first season in charge of the Red Bulls, he won them the MLS Supporters’ Shield, won a club-record 18 league games in one season and was named the MLS Coach of the Year. When he left the club in 2018, he had more wins than any manager in the club’s history.
Marsch spent the 2018/19 season as Ralf Rangnick’s assistant manager at RB Leipzig before joining their sister club in Austria. His Salzburg side is currently undefeated in the league after 12 games with 10 wins and 50 goals scored.
The Austrian club is also playing the Champions League this season after failing to qualify in the previous eleven seasons. Marsch’s side was drawn in a tough group alongside Liverpool and Napoli but they’ve scored 11 goals in three games including three against the defending European champions at Anfield.
#2. Chris Wilder
There aren’t many quality English managers at the moment but Chris Wilder has the potential to be world-class and win many honours if he’s given the reigns of a top club.
When Marsch was appointed the manager of his boyhood club Sheffield United in 2016, they were in the League One and in his first season in charge, they were promoted to the Championship with 100 points. In his second season, Sheffield finished a commendable 10th in the Championship before earning a direct promotion to the Premier League at the end of the 2018/19 season. His fantastic work was rewarded with the 2019 LMA Manager of the Year award ahead of Guardiola.
Wilder’s Sheffield has started the current season brilliantly and even beat Arsenal. They are currently eighth in the table and share the best defensive record in the league with Liverpool and Leicester City.
The 52-year-old unique tactical system in which ball-playing centre-backs join the attack has received widespread praise and has worked for them in the Premier League. Maybe, it could also work for Arsenal because David Luiz is fantastic with the ball at his feet.
#1. Massimiliano Allegri
At the moment, there are several top managers without a job including Arsene Wenger and Jose Mourinho but Wenger’s return is not the way to move forward and Mourinho at Arsenal is unthinkable.
So, among the free managers, the biggest name Arsenal could appoint is Massimiliano Allegri who is yet to take a job after leaving Juventus in the summer. Allegri has been linked with Real Madrid and AC Milan recently but Arsenal should be able to convince him to join them because of their financial strenght and the allure of the Premier League.
The Italian won 13 trophies with both Juventus and AC Milan combined and will bring a much needed winning mentality to Arsenal. At Juventus, he had an impressive 70.48 winning percentage!