9 months have now passed since Arsene Wenger last stood on the touchline. After what seemed like a lifetime at the helm in North London managing the aptly named Arsenal, rumours fly around daily in the media of how certain top clubs have approached the Frenchmen. I take a look at some of those options – and throw in a couple of suggestions myself.
It’s been no secret that the Spanish giants have been after Wenger for years. He has recently come out and spoken of how they made contact with him on numerous occasions to make the switch to the Galactico’s, and with their current predicament it’s more than likely they’re eyeing him up again.
3rd in the table, 9 points behind league leaders Barcelona and 2 behind local rivers Atletico Madrid isn’t something Real president Florentino Perez will be pleased about. Having already sacked Julen Lopetegui at the end of October after a dismal start, current boss Santiago Solari must have some doubts about his future.
However, Perez’s ownership style, as well as the general structure of the financial giants will be something that will surely put Wenger off of taking the job. Having become an integral part of Arsenal’s over runnings, the lack of opportunity to do that at Madrid will surely make him feel it will consequently effect his ability to make the team the way he sees fit.
Certainly one to raise the eyebrows, reports suggest Roman Abramovich wants Wenger to replace Maurizio Sarri and his failing ‘Sarri-ball’ at Stanford Bridge. Currently 6th, a huge game against Manchester City on Sunday in the Carabao Cup Final will be a big insight into the future of the Italian Mr. Bean. It’s clear that Sarri’s philosophy, revolving his play around Jorginho solely in the middle of the pitch, needs to be adapted, yet he remains stubborn to his ideology. This can be praised, supposedly, but what do they say about insanity being defined as trying the same solution when the same result occurs?
Similar issues with the Madrid job again arise here. The transfer policy of Chelsea isn’t Wenger’s style, with Chelsea wanting experienced talent at a high price, with the Frenchmen preferring lower transfer fee’s with the ability to nurture talent. Chelsea have proven in the past (and to this day) that young talent doesn’t get the opportunities to develop into top players. Mohammed Salah, Kevin de Bruyne, Marco Marin, Lucas Piazon, Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Callum Hudson-Odoi are just a few examples of an endless list of the club’s failings to bring through young players.
Not only this, it’s hard to imagine him managing anywhere else in England, simply for his loyalty to Arsenal. A servant at the club for 22 years when he had opportunities to manage anywhere else in the world but saw a project he was institutional to and that is hard to come across these days.
A more plausible option for Wenger, the German club too are another side in turmoil. Manager Niko Kovac sees his team 2nd in the league, although only 3 points behind league leaders Borussia Dortmund but with little prospects of closing that gap. Compared to the youthful Dortmund with players like: Jadon Sancho, Christian Pulisic, Achraf Hakimi and Julien Weigl, Bayern are an ancient side. Arjen Robben, Franck Ribery, Manuel Nueur and Robert Lewandowski are the wrong side of 30 and not getting any younger.
With a daunting task ahead to overcome a Liverpool team who reached the Champions League final last time around, it looks set to be a disappointing season for the German’s.
Could Wenger be the man to turn it around? Bayern do have a good reputation for giving young players opportunities however, and a chance to return working with winger Serge Gnabry could be a persuading factor. With an established brand, sound transfer policy and the chance to work in a new country – it could be a good suit for him.
Personally, I feel Wenger was made for international management. Prior to Gareth Southgate’s waistcoat making us fall in love with him as the England man, I, along with others I’m sure, anticipated a poor tournament – leaving the door open for the nation’s favourite Frenchy.
Nurturing young players through every age academy so that one day they can represent the country they’ve dreamed of seems like a match made in heaven (not to mention the drastically less regular workload). With England’s multitude of young talent in every rank, I must admit my desire for Wenger to rather controversially take the England job.
However, with the enlightenment of Gazza’s incredible time in the role so far – best leave it to him for now. However with other national side’s not at the level they should be at: Germany, Spain, Brazil, Argentina and Belgium to name a few, I really do hope to see Wenger barking orders from the dugout at the Euro’s in 2020.
Where do you think Wenger will end up? Do you think he should retire? Let us know your views below!