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October 2016
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If Mr Wenger were to leave, who might replace him.

The view of the Untold editorial board has never shifted – we don’t want Mr Wenger to leave.  Indeed that is why Untold was set up.  However one day he will go.  So for when he does, here is 


by Don McMahon

This is a speculative article in response to the whining aaa plastic fanboys and the media’s constant dirge about replacing Wenger. I have made a matrix with various requirements based on Tony’s recent article and other factors I consider important for Wenger’s successor to demonstrate.  This  should clarify what it might take to replace him and how difficult or easy it might be.  Here are a few famous names for potential foreign managerial candidates.

Candidate Age Availability

& current




Awards Managerial


Media & Eng.


Overall Win% Interest Transfers


Joachim Loew 56 2018 0 1 WC

1 Pokal



1996 to present Yes


53% unknown unknown
Vicente Del Bosque 65 2018


0 Liga  2

Cups 4

CL 2

1987 to present No


55.31% unknown unknown
Guus Hiddink 69 Chelsea


6 years League 6

Cups 7

CL 1

1987 to




57.20% possible fair
Marcello Lippe 67 retired 2 years Seria A 5

Cups 4

CL 1

1985-2014 Yes


46.45% unknown good
Giovanni Trappatoni 77 retired 0 Seria A 10

Cups 10

CL  4

1974 to 2013 Yes


51.81% Not likely good
Ottmar Hitzfeld 67 retired 0 League 11

Cups  13

CL 2

1983 to 2014 Yes


54.09% Not likely fair
Johan Cruijff 68 retired 0 Liga 4

Cups 7

CL  2

1985 to 1996 Yes


48.7% Not likely Good


And here are a few British managers that could be considered:

Candidate Age Availability

& current




Awards Managerial


Media & Eng.


Overall Win% Interest Transfers


Roy Hodgson 68 England


7 years League 9

Cups 3

1976 to present Yes


43.5% yes fair
Tony Pulis 58 WBA


26 years 0 1992 to present Yes


36.73% no mediocre
Alan Pardew 54 Crystal Palace 18 years 0 1998 to present Yes


42.60% no mediocre
Sam Allardyce 61 Sunderland 24 years 1 1992 to present Yes


39.1% no mediocre


Based on what information I could gather off Wikipedia,the pickings are pretty slim among British-born managers. EPL foreign born managers: Claudio Ranieri at Leicester and Mauricio Pochettini at Tottenham appear to be stuck to their clubs. Some other criteria we would need to consider are the manager’s response to and control of officials (are they PIGMOB favourites?) and their ability to work with the Arsenal style, and within its budgetary limitations.

Of all the above managers, it seems clear to me that Loew is the best choice since he ticks most of the boxes and is a proven winner, available and perhaps interested, once Wenger retires.

Footnote from Tony

I get enough space on this site to write my views, without interfering with what my friends and colleagues write in their articles, but on this occasion I did want to add a little something.

Arsene Wenger came out of nowhere when he arrived at Arsenal, and the Evening Standard summed this feeling up well on 20 August 1996 with the headline “Arsène  who?”.   Tony Adams had a slightly different, but related stance on the topic the following day with his immortal words, “He’s French, what does he know about English football?”

Of course it wasn’t quite nowhere – he won the League and the Cup with Monaco, and a couple of Cups in Japan, but he certainly wasn’t on the radar of most supporters in England at the time.

Since then the club has revolutionised its vision of football across the world and must be better informed about potential candidates who are as unknown to most of us, as Mr Wenger was in that time.

And being unknown might be a big advantage here because the manager will almost certainly have the same treatment upon arrival as Mr Wenger had on 1 October 1996, with totally vacuous rumours created by supporters of other clubs being used by the media in an ultimately futile attempt to destabilise the club.

This desire to knock a new man off course before he’s even started, which Mr Wenger avoided so admirably and which led to the Double in his second season, is something we have to keep in mind.  The rumours that surrounded Mr Wenger were untrue, but picked up with such force by the media, they were widely known without being mentioned.

I fear that given the hysteria now in the media and their aaa allies, it will be a very bumpy ride at first for whoever take the job on and no matter how much experience he has.  Before we even get to the football there is going to be a need for resilience.

The Untold Books

Danny Karbassioon’s book “The Arsenal Yankee” with a foreword by Arsene Wenger will be published on Tuesday 29 March.   You can buy the book on line here for £14.95, or by phone on 01536 399 011 using a credit card.     A full list of our Arsenal titles is given here.  You can order by post to Hamilton House Mailings Ltd., Earlstrees Ct., Earlstrees Rd., Corby, Northants NN17 4HH.  The cost of postage is UK £3.95, EU £4.95, Rest of world: £5.95, and that applies irrespective of the number of books ordered.    We can accept orders by Pay Pal and details will be given closer to the publication date.

The book will also be available on Kindle via Amazon.

Details of these and our previous titles can be found at Arsenal Books on this site.

67 comments to If Mr Wenger were to leave, who might replace him.

  • WalterBroeckx

    LÖw might be the only one that could be really realistic of this list. The others are as old or even older than Wenger so mostly no go I think. And even Low will de 58 in 2018….

    I think the board will be looking for a new manager who is between 45-50 and hope they can have a new Wenger type of era with this new manager.

  • Saadman

    What do you guys think of ajax manager frank de Boer?

  • Kenneth Widmerpool

    Walter, one thing that must be considered when looking at Löw, his success with the German National team is based on a support structure that is nation-wide that was put into motion about eleven years ago. I mean the whole media in support (all forms),psychologists,politicians and hauling in the support of people that couldnt even normally give a crap about football.To win the WM they used everything they could to do it.
    Im not saying that hes not good, he obviously is, but he wont be getting that kind of support at Afc.So it really would be a test of his mettle. Just a thought.

  • Samuel Oluka

    Steve Bould
    Joachim Loew
    Diego Simeone
    Ronald Koeman

  • Major

    I like the idea of the Southampton manager he has worked miracles after selling all his best players.
    Ps i don’t want Wenger to go either.

  • Good question but a very weird list including several retired managers ? There is excessive worry about who comes next. I agree he will difficult act to follow more because of his involvement in every aspect of the running of the club rather than trophies won. Its not quite like replacing Ferguson.

  • Arwar

    put arteta or bould in charge

  • Andrew Crawshaw

    I have a feeling that our Ladies manager Pedro Losa might just be a possibility. He shares the same basic ideas as Arsène and comes with no baggage that I am aware of. A big step up yes but that would be true for just about everyone.

  • Olayemi, M.S

    i will prefer pep Guardiola if its possible to hijack him from Man City

  • Doctore

    If Wenger somehow drops dead today,then we could just shut down Arsenal fc and disband the team because no one can replace Arsene. Arsene built Arsenal fc as he arrogantly claimed recently,and yet he’s won the league thrice in 20 years. His arrogance knows no bounds.

  • Mandy Dodd

    Certainly won’t be easy to replace him when this, or the next contract is up.
    Think Lowe the most realistic out off that bunch.
    Sadly, I read the great Johan Cruyff is very ill at the moment , lung cancer I think, hope he can pull through that.
    Apparently Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe is the current AAA choice, done a good job, looks to have potential, and if he keeps it, may be suitable by the time Wenger calls it a day, but not for the moment.
    But, hopefully that day is a while off,and there may be someone else who fits perfectly who we haven’t even considered, or may not even know about today.

  • nicky

    We are all mortal and therefore no one is indispensable.
    Arsene Wenger could die at any time and would be replaced.
    In any event he will leave Arsenal sooner or later, most surely of his own accord.
    On the subject of his successor, the Board will be faced with two important decisions..
    1.Whether or not to seek the new manager from within Arsene’s regime, and
    2.Should Arsene play any part in the selection process.
    On the basis of past precedent it would be advisable to appoint from outside the Club.
    Over the past two decades, Arsene has cast his authority so indelibly over Arsenal FC via coaching, tactics and dietary means and with respect he should stand aside in choosing his successor.
    It could be felt that the new manager should be sought from mainland Europe, with some experience, yet progressive in ideas. Given adequate funds, two full seasons without interference from above. He would bring in his own coaching and medical staff.
    Personally, I would like to see DB10 considered although his reluctance to travel by air would count against him.
    Above all, the new man must be given time to succeed. Even if it meant not qualifying for the CL for a season, while rebuilding was progressing.

  • okey ozowalu

    Wenger is replaceable, inspite of his egotistical rant that he built Arsenal. My candidates to replace Wenger are Ronald Koeman, Michael Laudrup or Frank de Boer. We dont need the likes of Guardiola. Give any of these three guys the kind of freehand Wenger has enjoyed, without breaking the bank and maintaining our youth policy and about ten years on the job, we will get even better results.

  • Fishpie

    Call me sceptical (oh you have Arsene, well fair enough ) but I doubt if there is any alternative forward planning by the Club on Arsene’s replacement beside Plan A; which is of course to offer Arsene another 3 year contract. I’d like to think that well before the time Mr Wenger leaves, the Club will have compiled a short list and will have put feelers out already to judge future interest from prospective candidates. So for instance it would have been kinda groovy if the Club had had the foresight to have approached Pep Guardiola, with Arsene’s blessing, and made him aware that Arsenal thought he was the only manager who could build on Mr Wenger’s legacy and would be honoured if he were to join us after his Bayern contract ended. Yes and thus see Arsene leave before his contract expired. To do that, you’d need a Board who were driven to greater and greater things and a collection of leaders who were relentless and restless in their pursuit of a dream. Appreciate we might not have got the great Pep due to City’s deeper pockets and well, their restless and relentless pursuit of a dream, but I wonder, did it even occur to our lot to try. Based on our history, Arsenal tends not to fish for big fish. Apart from Herbert Chapman, who was already a big fish, successful and a winner in the 1920’s, most of our other Managers have either been already on the staff (e.g. Whittaker, Mee, Howe.), or ex players (e.g. Swinden, Neill, Graham) or relatively untried/ untested/ “lesser” managerial names (e.g. Wright, Rioch, Wenger). Some of those of course were very successful (not least Arsene) but that was then. None of us know how Kreonke & Son/Chips/Gazidis will approach this, their first big major decision. We will learn a lot about the modern Arsenal built by Arsene when they do.

  • rich

    A gargantuan post here, more suitable for an article if anything, but I can’t cover the topic otherwise. (apologies Don for the bad form of posting something longer than the article itself)

    As they have just started new jobs, all of Klopp, Anclelloti, Guardiola are ruled out. Conte,too, as he seems destined for Chelsea. Pochettino, too, for obvious reasons.

    Current prem managers.

    Koeman. Good job at Southampton. Primarily a defend and counter manager. Excellent career as player and maybe this would help attract big players. Slightly over-achieving on budget.

    Bilic. Quite similar in playing style to Koeman. Good start to premier league life. Would surely involve big departure in playing style. Over-achieving on budget.

    Eddie Howe. Remarkably good job at Bournemouth. Plays good football. Very young. No experience of a huge club. Would struggle to convince big players to join. Seriously over-achieving on budget.

    The legend route.

    Adams, Viera, Henry, Bergkamp. Adams managerial record pretty disastrous. The other three unproven. Don’t see why any top stars would be more likely to sign for them than for Wenger. Gigantic risk to install any in hot seat.


    I liked Bould the player, liked his work with the youth teams (solid, tenacious, strong, set up wonderfully to provide a platform for the stellar talent of Wilshere) and infer from his working with Wenger that he knows his stuff and is a competent coach. However, I know very little of his suitability for the top job. As with all brand new managers, he would represent a huge risk. Also, there is no reason to believe he would be as attractive a proposition for foreign stars as Wenger is.

    The dream of many.

    Simeone. Amazing job at Athletico Madrid. Would involve biggest departure in playing style and ethos imaginable. Must also be considered that his success has been achieved through excellent use of South American market and a number of those players would have struggled for work permits here, and perhaps not been as comfortable initially in prem as in la liga. More important than that, he enjoys a very close working relationship with Mendes. So to imagine him doing similar work, you have to imagine us becoming a Mendes club from head to toe.

    Other considerations : his team is tremendously robust and physical and makes full use of dark arts. In order not to lose most of the advantages that brings, his arrival would have to coincide with referees here transforming their behaviour towards us.

    We would also need the fans to accept the two decades of Wenger have been annihilated in an instant. The playing style would be a complete return to the Graham days.


    Blanc. Very happy at PSG.

    Deschamps. Reasonable club managerial career. A CL final, a league with Marseilles. Peaks and troughs, 12th in league final year with Marseilles. To be honest, no real idea of managerial style. in any event, very unlikely.

    Dortmund manager Thomas Tuchel. Good career so far and excellent beginning to Dortmund career. Know little about him and imagine he is happy at Dortmund.

    Napoli coach. Excellent job this year. Older, experienced. Never worked outside Italy and quite likely doesn’t speak English.

    Villas-Boas. Nah

    Coyle, Moyes, Laudrup, Arry, Allardyce, Pulis, Savage,Neville. No, you’re allright.

    Capello. Nope

    Hiddink, Van Gaal. Great careers but no.

    Wright, Merson, Owen, Smith, Ferdinand, Scholes, McManaman. Alas, management was denied their talents.

    Mourinho. If Pulis and Allardyce turn us down, maybe.

    Comes to something that, for different reasons, about the two best bets in there are Koeman and Howe. For different reasons, neither seems an exceptionally good bet to me.

    This does not mean that I think Wenger is irreproachable or that the club is likely to plummet without him. Simply it means, I am really struggling to come up with excellent candidates to be the next manager. Really struggling.

    It’s a fair point that I wouldn’t, at 14, have known anything about this Wenger fellow when he arrived, but even so…I’m not 14 any more and things have changed remarkably since then in terms of football coverage. In a couple of hours I could research every club in Europe and acquire sound information as to whether there are any candidates I might have missed.

  • rich

    Part 2 (yep)
    It seems fair to say there is a dearth of outstanding candidates. The growing power and might of the mega clubs appears to have shrunk the pool of perceived hotshots at any time through the use of a smaller group of managers- notably Mourinho, Guardiola and Ancelloti- moving among the most successful clubs, and by decreasing the opportunities for coaches to obviously overachieve in the top reaches of a league- for instance, in France and, to an extent, Germany, Spain and Italy, there is less chance for up-and-coming coaches to shine in the most emphatic way-i.e by winning titles or going very close.

    Meanwhile, should the club wish to continue playing attractive positive football, fewer clubs than before now play with his style. The premier league is an extreme example, but the trend is present elsewhere : results supposedly matter more (because of money and the extra attention- media coverage et al- the game receives) and generally there is more acceptance of ends-justifying-means football.

    Style or skill can still be appreciated, but they are largely a bonus. At heart, it is more prevalent in practice and more accepted that you do what it takes to win, including any amount of negative play. This translates, in the premier league especially, to it being acceptable to mostly rely on counter-attacking football. A basic rule of thumb is : if the game really matters, and if you are evenly matched or against a better team (either in the table at the time, or in terms of wealth, expectations, recent history,etc) the best course of action is to try induce the other team to play, and then hit them on the break.

    This approach goes hand in hand in almost every instance with robust play, tactical fouls and a belief there is literally zero duty to entertain. If the other team decided not to play ball and wanted to play in the same way- well, we cross that bridge when it comes to it. If every team had the same idea- well, thankfully there’s always the fact there are richer or bigger clubs, who are judged differently by their fans and the media and who, crucially, have a set of players with whom it often makes better sense to attack with- i.e their chance of victory, on certain days or over a season, is improved by playing attacking football.

    Anyway, this all combines to shrink the pool of candidates further for us, should we wish to stick with an attacking style. There are rare instances of smaller clubs trying a different approach – Swansea for years but no longer; Bournemouth currently- but they are the exceptions, and obviously provide few candidates, who must then be assessed in the normal way.

    It may be that among the bracket below Barca, Real, A Madrid; PSG; Bayern, Dortmund; and Juventus there are some candidates who have done excellent work in the last year or two, but I confess to not being aware of them. My presumption is that if there are any such coaches I would have heard plenty about them. Likely candidates include managers of Monaco, Lyon, Wolfsburg, Villareal, Sevilla, the Portuguese big clubs.

    None of this means we should stick with Wenger no matter what, nor that doom awaits without him, it is simply a calm attempt to evaluate candidates to replace him should he leave.

    Finally, Pellegrini. Seems a good manager and a good man. I’ve never had any sense though that this is a guy who’d give us a better chance than with Wenger. Maybe you have and can elaborate. If this season ends badly and Wenger thinks, fuck this, Pellegrini is probably the safest bet for us for a couple of years.

    A final thought on the task of judging a candidate on the basis of their work so far : The Pep principle. I regard Guardiola as having done excellent work so far. I like his football and his success is undeniable. But what does managing Barca and Bayern tell us exactly about how he is likely to perform elsewhere? I would say it tells you that he is pretty good at managing in the very exceptional circumstances of a mega club with fantastic players and the means to buy more, while outside that there is uncertainty.

  • rich

    Oh oh (part 3)

    A good way of examining the Pep principle is by looking at…Luis Enrique.

    Who is the best team in the world at the moment? Playing the most beautiful football and also happening to be the best team at winning things? It is Barcelona, by a distance, managed by one Luis Enrique. So, is he a leading candidate for the world’s best coach? To be honest, I don’t know what general perceptions of Enrique are and from that I reach the tentative conclusion that the football world is a little unsure also. The only reason there can be for this is because the football world figures, you know what, it’s not that easy to tell how good a manager is when he has the world’s greatest set of players to work with.

    Enrique hasn’t overseen quite the leap Pep did (though he,Pep, was working with players who won a CL three years previously), nor has he won as much,yet, but he is on track to, and stands an excellent chance of being the first manager in the modern era to retain the champions league. Anyhow, he handily comes with something Pep doesn’t- a track record at non-behometh clubs. One year at Celta with a respectable 9th placed finish; one messy unsuccessful year at Roma where he finished outside the European places.

    So that’s the Pep principle; it features a process that applies to all potential managers and even signings (though it’s relatively easier to judge a player’s work and worth, especially the best ones): trying to see through a mass of variables and information to find what matters and, effectively, isolate the individual from the surrounding circumstances : this is how he works there, in that particular environment, how will he work here in this different one?

    Finally, how can this guy not mention what Leicester and Spurs are doing?! The proof, the proof! That is the proof that all is possible, that Wenger didn’t do well with all those years of keeping us in the top four, that we should be bolder, that money doesn’t matter so much…ambition, ambition.. etc, etc.

    I won’t go into the details of the counter-argument; I’ll just say, look at the last guy/club who very nearly broke the money monopoly : Liverpool/Rodgers. That’s not a cry, or a squeak, to keep our heads and hopes down, stay very still and be careful what you wish for, it’s merely an illustration that while it is possible to have a great season and finish above clubs with significantly more money, the likelihood is that this will be followed by a fall or regression to the mean.

    Many would take that- a stellar year followed by a fallow period, worse than anything in Wenger’s time; or the reverse, apparently, a few fallow years, worse than Wenger’s time (yet also demonstrating progress?! One for another day)- but it is important to remember that is a matter of hope, and is not something with anything like a guarantee. In fact, a worse-than-Wenger year makes it more probable of another worse-than-Wenger year next time around.

    Leicester or Spurs winning this year would, I think, represent the first time (since 95) any PL club who did not qualify for the CL the previous year won the current year’s championship. I believe this is part of a period of relative flux caused by all premier league clubs having a lot of money relative to the rest of football, but that this should settle within a year or two, returning us to a state of play where the winner of the title invariably comes from a club who were part of the previous year’s top four.

    Whatever, it would be very premature and unscientific to take one example as being proof that a long-standing trend no longer operates. In other words, it should still be very harmful to your prospects and probability of title success should you drop out of the top four. A successful mega-spend should, sooner or later, correct this, but as we have seen with Utd and City this year, it may well take a few years and it is now much harder to pull off a Silva-Aguerro-Toure summer. Anyway, that mega spend every year option is not available to us.

  • rich

    Agreed Bard. We won’t be able to throw 100-200 million at it every year until something works

  • Fishpie

    Great stuff rich. Very good analysis. Based on what you’ve written, is a joint Wenger/successor working in tandom an option. where new coach steps up and Wenger sits back in a holding role, .e.g. “Steve you take the team, I’ll hold your hand for a few months” Could be Thierry or Dennis instead of Bouldie.

  • Elias

    How about arsenal men like bergamp, viera or even bould

  • Chrissie

    I hate the thought of Wenger leaving but I like Eddie Howe, his teams play good football and when you think of what he has achieved on a very small budget. Bournemouth were 23rd in Division 2 in 2008. The downside is of course he doesn’t have international experience.

  • para

    I would think Arsenal have already looked at replacement strategies anyway and constantly continue to do so.

    When ever it happens, Arsenal will need to be well prepared for the many possibilities of failure or even success by a new manager.

    I for one think it will not be any manager we are well aware of, more likely an “unknown”, unless there is one who is calmly waiting around for the chance of the job.

    Now who could that be i ask?

  • para

    Oh man. There i said it and than minutes later i saw this:

    “Arsenal are looking to take advantage of hesitation from Manchester United and appoint Jose Mourinho as Arsene Wenger’s replacement for the start of next season, according to Fichajes.”

    Oh man.


  • SamuelAkinsolaAdebosin

    I think appointing Steve Bould will be approprate and a continuation of Arsene Wenger’s Legacy at Arsenal. Steve Bould could in turn appoint his own assistant that will faithfully work with him, possibly Arteta who is likely to start getting a coaching role at Arsenal as from next season if media speculations on the Arteta are to be believed.

    It is true, the Boss has built up the morden Arsenal FC financially, infracturally, coachingly, footballingly, playersly and resultly on the field of play. This is the legacy of the Boss that should be entrenched for life at Arsenal. Which Steve Bould can improve on it by adding his own legacy if he’s appointed after the Boss has gone in 4 years time.

    Where will Arsenal be with their intricate fluent passing that is the Arsenal style and way of playing after the Boss is gone?

    We don’t want an external handler appointed to come and scatter the unique Arsenal style of playing thereby destroying the over 20 years legacy of the Boss in the name of rebuilding Arsenal.

  • Fishpie

    @SamuaelAkinsolaAdebosin, I agree it would be a kind of madness to appoint a manager who plays his football in a non Wenger style. The club changed from being a defensive/organised/team spirit oriented club (under Mee and Graham) to an attacking/jazz/technical/ creative club under Wenger and enhanced its reputation in doing so. However, I would hope any new manager would recognise the first part of Wenger’s reign (the trophy years) saw Arsenal playing great football in the context of having a strong defence and strong combative midfielders whereas in the second half of his reign we saw Arsenal still playing great football but with a weaker defence and less physically combative mids (the broadly trophyless years). Part of the frustration that has grown over a number of years now is that Arsene has either chosen to ignore the need for a better balance or has just failed to deliver it (not enough at least to win the very top trophies). So i’d be very happy for a new manager to adjust/recalibrate/revisit the balance between the technical and physical/organisational aspects of our game back to Wenger’s first period.

  • Saadman

    Some people on this comments section have started talking about Wenger dyin . What is wrong with you peuple?

  • Gooner S

    I’m sure that Arsenal already have a plan in place for successors on a number of roles, including that of the Manager, and I wouldn’t be surprised if the successor to Arsene Wenger is not one of the names thrown about by those that would like Wenger to leave. Personally I have no idea who will be next but i do think that Arsene Wenger will see out his remaining year and then call time.

  • Menace

    The success of a club in the EPL is controlled by FA & their satanic PGMOL. So the obvious candidate must be a PGMO official to front the club while the backroom get on with Wengerian football systems. The Riley run Arsenal would be in pole to win everything in England!!!!

  • serge

    I’m sure Arséne will retire when his contract ends in 2017 and find some lucrative but soft media work.
    As to who his replacement will be is far to difficult a call at this moment. The easy option would be to éromote from within, or take a risk and pair up some ot the younger untested coaches. I doubt if this time round there would be a left field appointment, we don’t have any visionaries at the club these days.
    It would be surprising if Arsène didn’t indicate at some point during next season what his intentions are and how the selection process will be actioned
    A smooth transition is essential.

  • nicky

    In case you are unaware, one day you will die. It’s an inescapable fact, quite normal and you mustn’t regard it as something preventable.
    And remember…you can’t take it with you.

  • Andy Mack

    I love the way people throw names around as replacements just because they’re doing OK (Or well, even) at the moment. I have seen posts I the past suggesting such mega talents as Paul Jewell, AVB, Mark Hughes, Owen Coyle, Brenda Rogers, Phil Brown (really!) and Benitez (and many more). Oddly the last name is the only one that could do the job but I’m not sure he could do it consistently well enough to live down his past (especially with the media).
    The fashionable names at the moment include Frank De Boer (whose management history consists of Ajax and…. well only Ajax actually, and I’m sure many on here know that’s not exactly a comparable league to the PL), Eddie Howe (who has pretty much zero experience of anything outside a south coast seaside town), Koeman (who clearly isn’t a bad manager but his management history also shows he’s been a bit ‘hit and miss’) and Simeone (Whose been even more ‘Hit and miss than Koeman and would probably result in a completely new squad to match his style of play).
    Personally I like the way Ancelotti and Pellegrini conduct themselves, but I’m not sure if either of them would actually come back to the PL or whether they could work ‘The Arsenal Way’.
    So whatever happens it’ll be a lucky dip, we could do well, more likely do lose our money but with an outside chance of getting out original money back…

  • Andy Mack

    If we go for someone inexperienced and if he’s over his travel problems then I’d have ‘God’ aka Dennis Bergkamp at the top of my list but if his travel issues haven’t gone then he can never be manager of a team that plays in European competitions. The manager must be able to manage everywhere.

  • Menace

    Whoever we might suggest, there just isn’t anyone who has all the talent necessary to replace Wenger.

    He is an economist, a linguist, a holistic health practitioner, a brilliant football mind & scholar. He manages several aspects of the club besides the football. There will be a need for several people to cover his responsibilities.

    On the footballing side none of the current trophy winners in Europe have built their teams themselves. Bought victory is not a measure of success.

  • Ben

    I think Marcello Lippi is now Football Director at the EverGrande club in China.

  • WalterBroeckx

    Excellent link Kenneth!

  • finsbury

    The only reasonable or sane suggestion I’ve ever heard from a ginormous football brain was Pellegrini just after City nabbed him.

    That’s right the same manager that’s just been dumped for Pep who as we all saw couldn’t produce as good or dynamic a football team as Jupp’s last hurrah. Old is gold, some say…
    …back to pellegrini though:

    I bet Pellegrini was upset that the canny old bird Arsene Vulture swooped in for Cazorla and Monreal before he was ready? Leaving him with Navas &, um, Demichelles haha!

  • Jerry

    Good starting list Don, I definitely do not envy the position the board will be in when the time comes to replace Wenger. When Wenger does decide to step down, I hope he will continue in some role at the club such as club director or president like Matt Busby.

    Another possible candidate I think is Jurgen Klinsmann (age 51), another former Wenger player, who has been credited with redesigning and restructuring player development and youth movements for the German national team, Bayern, and the U.S. national team. He has good responses to the media and will also have the added benefit of irritating Spurs fans.

    Remi Garde (age 49) is also not a bad candidate. A former Wenger and Arsenal player. He’s struggling now with Aston Villa, but had success with Lyon winning the Coupe de France (similar to FA Cup) and the Trophee des Champions (similar to Charity Shield) at the start of the PSG era.

  • GoingGoingGooner

    I think it would be a shame if football league managers were not considered.

  • Polo

    I would think it will be a manager who has EPL and UCL experience.
    Ancelotti could be a candidate if he fails at Bayern Munich.
    Sanchez Flores could be a candidate.
    Pellegrini he will probably join another club next season, maybe back in Spain could be Valancia.
    I don’t think Koeman will leave Southhampton plus do we want to be a wealthier version of Southampton. We bought some of their best young talents and now we want their manager?

    Arsenal still have the stadium debt to pay but it’s now manageable, I think the club is not really making much profit on the football side and the club commercial revenue side is starting to be more established but it is way below the other big clubs. I think the Board recognize it’s important for Arsenal to be in UCL as it needs the money to help pay the stadium debt and also to keep the sponsors happy, therefore I think because of this the Board will try to find an established manager that would give the club a higher chance of getting the UCL qualification.

  • dats

    I hope the man who replaces Wenger hasn’t been born yet!

  • jajai bushido

    why not arsenal try get jorge sampaoli if they really want to replace arsene. he’s a great coach

  • Al

    I hope they promote from within, to maintain the Wenger legacy. Look at what Barcelona did, Cryuff built their youth academy and introduced total football there and they have maintained it more or less by using managers who were trained under those conditions. Someone that played under Wenger and understands the Arsenal way of playing would do. I think Thierry might have ruled himself out by cosying up to Sky.

    The main issue we have at the moment is not many of the Wenger-trained players stayed with us till retirement; as the billionaire clubs kept circling and snatching our talent away during the dry spell, so they ended their careers elsewhere (possibly picking up playing styles that are foreign to Arsenal).

    I’m going to throw in a few names; Bould, Lehman, Vieira, Arteta (if he can stay with us), Keown, Pires, or someone that’s still playing for us. Someone who understands the Arsenal way of playing. It works for Barca so why wouldn’t it work for us too. Other than this then someone of Dutch origin would be fine, they do know how to play football over there.

    People like Guardiola and mourinho aren’t great managers. As said already anyone can win things with players like messi, Suarez,Neymar, etc in their lineup. I’d like to see Guardiola or mourinho do what Rafa Benitez did, go to a relegation threatened club first, then I’ll respect them.

  • Josif

    I work on my piece that tackles on this issue. It’s a huge one in terms of length and includes quite a few potential replacements.

    Re: Pellegrini. He is a gentleman but I think we have established that our next manager has to be the best one ever. Pellegrini has spent hundreds of millions, has had number of injuries of his key players and has failed to assemble a team that would repeat his success from 2013-14. He should build a statue of Steven Gerrard and kiss it every day because only thanks to him he has won a title with City. Thanks but no thanks.

  • nicky

    A down-market site reports that Peers Morgan urges Arsenal to “break the bank in order to secure Mourinho as next manager”.
    That figures.
    The two most narcissistic, self-styled bores on our planet deserve each other.

  • omgarsenal

    Great comments everyone, especially from Rich! I definitely want Wenger to sign another contract but we have to be realistic….being a Football manager takes it out on you and he has aged over these last 18 years. That said, he appears to be in great shape and still pretty alert and astute at 65!
    some of the alternate suggestions are very interesting. Those who say that AFC haven’t done succession planning are talking out of their hats as Wenger said a number of times that there is a list of potential replacements but that it is way too soon to start promoting one candidate after another. We have to remember that almost every top coach would love to come to Arsenal, as they respect out values and traditions as being true Football ones and also admire our rational development approach rather than our throwing money at fleeting and maybe unobtainable success against bigger spending teams.

  • finsbury

    Well I put the mortgage down on Bould some time ago now, about the time he won the youth cup.
    Of course that didn’t stop the kind of people who’d abuse Pat Rice on these pages and elsewhere from freaking out when Bould was appointed. Oh. Those were the days. People trolled by sad trolls freaking out left right and centre: “Michu! Bergervic! FELLAINI!…Moyes”

    Almost as if, you know, some small people have some kind of a small agenda. I dunno what it is that gives the game away? The stink? The friends in low places such as dear old grotty grubby and perhaps criminal Aunty Bleeb and her stable of studs such as: Robbie “I don’t need international or other medals with this ponytail” Savage?

    Yes. It’s good to see the AAAA have been able to progress like the club they claim to support has been doing.

  • finsbury

    Did anyone suggest Gary “Clogger” Neville?

    Can I?

    He only had tens of thousands of people calling him a donkey or something like that this past weekend. a penny to have seen Reyes face! He who laughs last Rodders…

    …and we might see AFC get some Webbalties! At last.

  • Mick

    I propose Stewart Robson.
    He is a tactical genius, I’ve heard him on Talksport, and has played and worked for the club.
    He has vast experience of managing and coaching at the very top level of football, just look at his impressive CV.
    Reserve team coach at Southend United and director of football at Rushden and Diamonds just before they folded.
    He’s the ideal candidate, it’s a ‘no brainer’!

  • Dec

    I reckon that with the advances in cloning technology we’ll be able to clone Arsene and sit back for another wonderful 20 year adventure such as the one he’s taken us all on.
    In Arsene we trust, long may he reign.

  • porter

    Most managers bring their entourage with them , Frank De Boer would bring his brother Ronald ( Ajax & Barcelona )
    Bergkamp and Overmars with him .Not a bad group of Holland’s finest. Add Jonker already here and that’s a fairly powerful group.

  • omgarsenal

    Thanks for the footnote Tony….it added clarification to my initial intentions!

  • finsbury

    How about joint managers that works well and has a great track record. Almost as good a record as people in Newcastle who blame managers for their strife.

    Even better. We could pair up a celebrity fan with a coach a season at a time, I’m sure one or two or one Groaner that likes to comment to itself could do a good job. I sincerely hope no one from BT is reading this.

  • No matter who comes give it two years if he has not won the league (not going to mention FA Cup as it really is not a cup anymore) it’s all going to kick of yet again. Whoever he maybe he will have to be his own man who holds his values with that of the club. Big broad shoulders is a must and a really thick skin to go along with it. Hopefully that will not be for sometime yet.

  • Pat

    Am I the only person who finds it distasteful that we are even discussing this – again – while our great manager is still in situ? I find it disrespectful and in essence no different from the howling mob in the press.

    Sorry everybody, mostly I love what you say, but not this time.

  • rich


    Can only really speak for myself, but no way I could keep quiet in the current climate where many are pushing so hard for Wenger to be replaced.

    If things were as I’d like them to be and feel they should be, I wouldn’t be discussing the topic in any depth.

    Think I can understand where you’re coming from, though. If I were to shift slightly, or let my guard down a bit I suppose, I could look at the topic and just think ‘eurrgh, this is wrong; this is shitty’

    Maybe even someone like me- who thinks it would be preposterous for Wenger to leave during this (or any) season, and who likewise thinks the only sound and right decision if for him to be in charge for next year also- can slip into the wrong tone at times, but if this happens I think and hope the context provided by the whole of my posts makes clear where I stand.

    I figure there is zero per cent chance of changing a person’s mind in the slightest in these matters by telling them to shut up or piss off, or even with politer versions of that.

    Only keeping it cold and detailed seems, to me, to provide a small possibility of doing so. That’s my real aim in this and similar debates.

    I don’t think we can afford to let the conversation be dominated by those who want Wenger gone.

  • Mandy Dodd

    Depending on when the great man goes…..if it were to be sooner rather than later, think Bould would be in with a shout.
    If later, rather than sooner…maybe arteta with a DOF if he has gained reasonable experience.
    If, heaven forbid it was this summer, Bould all day long.
    But it won’t be this summer.

  • Dec

    With you 100%.
    That this topic is even being discussed on UA at this time of all times is just wrong (sorry but there’s just no other word for it) I’m not doubting for 1 second, the loyalty or integrity of UA nor indeed of the vast majority of regular contributors, but maybe the wisdom and timing of the article. I feel extremely uncomfortable discussing the issue right now. We claim to support Arsenal AND our manager, through thick and thin. That’s what makes UA special. If we’re playing this dangerous game (even in idle speculation) we’re deserting our post at the very time we should be the rock solid bastion of sense. Somebody has to stand firm in the face of the lunacy of the banner brigade, it should be Untold Arsenal. If not we should look closely at our raison d’être and be a little bit sad.
    Allez les gunners et Le Boss. 🙂

  • omgarsenal

    Pat……it seems you and Dec ARE the only persons objecting to this exercise. It is rather difficult for any Gooner to think ahead and hypothesize about the after-Wenger period BUT just because it leaves a bad taste in your mouth doesn’t mean we have to pretend it shouldn’t be discussed.
    I find it extremely distasteful that the aaa CONSTANTLY scream and whine for Wenger to go and yet when we propose an intelligent discussion of the alternatives, someone like you makes an issue of rationally discussing Arsenal’s options.
    Dec, what is WRONG is that your discomfort means that we shouldn’t currently look ahead and discuss, in an unemotional and pragmatic manner (my article was written in this spirit) the after-Wenger options.
    You don’t need to participate in the debate itself but at least respect those of us who do want to look to the future a bit. I am among the firmest supporters of Wenger and the Arsenal but I don’t shrink from the important questions about the future of our club and its succession planning….after all it is a BUSINESS and all great businesses do succession planning years ahead….Wenger will be here for years to come but if that doesn’t happen, there’s no disloyalty or harm in looking at the alternatives now. I know the Club has done that as had Wenger.

  • Dec

    Nothing wrong with planning ahead, in fact it’s essential for any intelligent person or business. My difficulty with this issue being discussed publicly on UA of all places is with the timing of it. Now, right when the biggest Arsenal related story in every media outlet seems to be should Arsene Wenger be sacked or not is the very time we at US should be most steadfast and uncompromising. By all means dream and speculate and consider all the options at a time when it won’t add fuel to the fire. When the AAA are back under their rock and not grabbing the attention of cameras at every match they’re allowed display their rubbish.
    The time for this article is after we win our next trophy (who knows, maybe in a few weeks) when Arsene is not under attack and our harmless musings can’t be misinterpreted or misused.
    Discussing the merits or otherwise of a debate IS valid comment and necessarily showing disrespect to those partake in that debate. If criticism is a problem for some, that’s unfortunate!

  • Dec

    * NOT necessarily showing disrespect ….

  • Brickfields Gunners

    I would love to see Steve Bould working in tandem with a young manager ( one , probably from the Ajax Dutch contingent ) to keep the continuity going.

    But I do hope to see AW continue for quite some time more.

  • Brickfields Gunners

    @ finsbury- March 21, 2016 at 9:47 pm – Your suggestion that a celebrity fan working along with one of our coaches ,in a reality tv format has me licking my chops in anticipation !

    Ah …the glare , the bright lights , the fanfare , the razzmatazz, the millions of new tv and/or plastic fans ,as well as millions of Pounds in sponsorship and endorsement that he/she would bring . And they get to spend some fucking money !

    Kim Kardashian for the first season for me . She would raise the ratings amongst other things ! The tv cameras would be spending as much time on the Hollywood who ‘s who crowd in the stands as the game itself .

    Very much like now , where they divert viewers attention away from any ‘ controversial’ replays by showing AW trying to zip up his overcoat or some cute child or SYT , or some of ‘them’ with their moronic banners !

    They could hire American commentators who would say it ‘as it is’ and laugh at the referee ‘s bumbling and bloopers . Or then again they may get those WWE commentator types to cover them up by plying the bull .

  • Andy Mack

    jajai bushido, jorge sampaoli may well be a good coach but with no experience of the PL or CL or Europe even, I can’t see him being a viable proposition yet. Maybe if he gets a position at a club in Spain/Italy etc where he can show he can handle European football and the major differences from Sth American football, then he could be an option.

  • Andy Mack

    Pat, Dec, I think the point of the article and the discussion is that the man is pretty much irreplaceable. There are very few names mentioned here which are really viable for various reasons from inexperience through availability and onto coaching style.

  • omgarsenal

    Dec…………I encourage debate but it seems to me that we are fast approaching the time when Arsene decides retirement is more attractive than the pressure of managing Arsenal. He will likely move up to the board or perhaps even move on to a more administrative position in Football but we as AFC supporters should be looking at alternatives now, regardless of whether we have silverware or not. ….we don’t need to justify our interest and concern about succession based on results, that is an aaa mentality. We deserve to be involved and alert now, as the time of his departure approaches….anyway whatever happens, it is out of our hands!

  • Dec

    ‘ as the time of his departure approaches’,
    The very kind of language that increases the pressure on Arsene, pressure which in turn can grow and grow and ultimately become a self fulfilling prophecy. Of course that time will come, of course there should and must be plans or more likely plans to plan for such a time, but for a group such as UA to discuss such a topic in public at a time when Arsene is under attack is tantamount to treason in my view.
    I accept it’s not meant that way and don’t want to offend decent supporters of the club and the manager in any way, but question the wisdom of having such a debate on this of all forums at this particular time.

    On a far more important topic, I hope and pray that all our Belgian friends are safe and well today. Football can seem so trivial sometimes.