Arsene Wenger’s future at Arsenal has hit a new level of uncertainty following recent dismal results, while the board are doing all it can through sources to sound out to potential candidates to replace the Frenchman, his future remains in his own hands, rather than Arsenal or their board
In an extensive report on Dailymail, which highlights much of Arsenal’s new problems and future strategies, there is a suggestion that Joachim Low could be targeted to become the Gunners’ new manager, preferably next season. But Low is not the only target to replace Wenger, as there are others, but the problem is not in finding a suitable replacement, but with dealing with a much more significant issue brewing at the Emirates.
Wenger has managed Arsenal for nearly 22 years now, and in light of the recent plight of results and performances, many believe it’s time for the Frenchman to step down and make way for a new era at Arsenal. Wenger only signed a new two-year deal at the beginning of the current season which ends in the summer of 2019.
Arsenal’s current run of form includes a four-match losing streak as well as the hopes to finish in the top-four this season all but faded. As things stand, winning the Europa League is the only way Arsenal can get back into the Champions League next season, but not many are banking on Wenger delivering this task given the current state of affairs.
Fans, ex-players alike are all calling for the Frenchman to step down from his post, in a bid to improve the fortunes of the club, they feel has now stagnated under Wenger. Despite the negative atmosphere around, Arsenal remain one of the biggest football clubs in the world and are in line to attract top playing and managerial prospects to the Emirates.
In the past week, there were a few names suggested after losing the Carabao Cup Final to Manchester City, including Monaco’s Leonardo Jardim, Celtic’s former Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers and Carlo Ancelotti, who reportedly had an agreement with Arsenal. The new entry into that list is German national manager, Joachim Low, who will be defending the World Cup crown in Russia this summer.
Additionally, there are other names such as Hoffenheim coach Julian Nagelsmann as well as former captain and current Manchester City assistant coach Mikel Arteta as a possible replacement for Wenger, although there is feeling that they might be considered doubtful considering their lack of experience at club football. Likewise, club legend Thierry Henry is also linked with the position.
Although Low possesses an admirable CV considering his exploits with the German National team, but he has not managed a team at club level since 2004. That said, Arsenal may have a different purpose into luring Low to the Emirates, as they view this a building block to the future with possibly German players in the forefront of change.
Low, however, is an accomplished manager who is expected to be on the toes of new management styles that have emerged since he last managed a club back in 2004. Post that time, Low joined Jurgen Klinsmann as an assistant when they led Germany at the 2006 world cup at home, and eventually taking over from him.
Since then Low has taken German football to new heights. Germany under him have twice finished as Euro semifinalists and finalists in 2008 while also reaching the last four of the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. The icing on top the cake was when Germany lifted the World Cup in Brazil in 2014.
Arsene Wenger, on the other hand, has not won a Premier League title since guiding Arsenal to an unbeaten season back in 2003-04. Since then he has won four FA Cup titles, Community Shields and reached the Champions League Final in 2006 and now the fans, hungry for silverware, want him out of the club.
But there could be complications in luring Low out of his contract, as he has a deal with the German national team until 2020, and it could yet turn out to be an expensive affair for Arsenal. First, it is convincing the German FA to release him and then to persuade Low himself about the club’s ambition in taking him to the Emirates.
Arsene Wenger, touted as the ‘Last Premier League Emperor’ has to make a call on his future, which in simpler terms does not lie solely in the hands of the club. The matter is much complicated than a simple sacking as Wenger holds the backing of majority shareholder Stan Kroenke on his side and it will be his call that will bring about the change.
Arsenal CEO Ivan Gazidis mentioned being the ‘catalyst for change’ for the last few months, and started execution of his plans by bringing in Sven Mislintat (head of recruitment), Raul Sanllehi (head of football relations) and Huss Fahmy (contract negotiator), thus ensuring he has his men surrounding Arsene Wenger.
It will be interesting to see if there would internal conflicts in deciding Arsene Wenger’s future or if the Frenchman voluntarily steps down in light of the performances this season. There could be further twists in the saga, if Wenger manages to win the Europa League and that might give him another shot at the Premier League and Champions League, considering his actual contract runs until the summer of 2019.
On the other hand, there is Josh Kroenke, who at just 37-years of age has assumed the role of a director with the Arsenal board. Josh has been getting involved with pressing matters of late, although his initial tendency was to look after the commercial and digital success of the Club’s brand, meaning more of an involvement with the media side of things.
The latest setback in the financial results showed otherwise. Arsenal have been dealt a blow with turnover sums. The cost of missing out on the Champions League has been felt profoundly, and the Europa League does not offer the same kind of revenues generated through gate receipts, broadcasting and other commercial revenues attached to the competition.
The fans must be hoping a swift resolution to the same, while all the buzz around ‘Wenger Out’ banter had a mixed reception last time around, this time there seems to be certain support behind those protesting. In the end, the decision is entirely left to him, and it looks like an accumulation of his powers accumulated over his tenure at Arsenal.
Arsene Wenger’s power at the Emirates is much more than any fan knows. It seems that he practically runs the club as well as the deep sown political influence that he has obtained after years of service. All this indicate the job to replace him is only secondary, the primary concern is to convince the Frenchman to step down and make him feel his time at Arsenal is done.
Will Joachim Low or any of those others mentioned be a suitable replacement for Wenger? Or will there be more names thrown into the mix in the coming weeks? A lot has gone against Wenger, but as experienced as he is, and the power he holds at the Emirates, it will be him, and no one else who decides his future at the Emirates.