Arsenal: Who can actually replace Arsene Wenger?

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 05: Arsene Wenger, Manager of Arsenal reacts during the Premier League match between Manchester City and Arsenal at Etihad Stadium on November 5, 2017 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 05: Arsene Wenger, Manager of Arsenal reacts during the Premier League match between Manchester City and Arsenal at Etihad Stadium on November 5, 2017 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images) /

Arsenal are going to have to replace Arsene Wenger before too much longer, so it’s never to soon to start asking the question of who can fill his shoes.

Arguing about sports is something almost every sports fan has done throughout his time as a supporter.  We argue about team selection, players we like, players we don’t like; almost every aspect of a team will have different opinions.  The points of disagreement usually come from a broad range of issues.  The Arsenal fans’ arguments usually stem at only one person, however – the manager.

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If we overheard an argument between a group of Arsenal supporters, the chances that they are quarreling over the manager are extremely high.  It is a subject that has been a massive point of discussion for well over two years now.

One of the many interesting ideas that has emanated from this discussion is the problem of replacing Arsene Wenger. Who would take over the club?  Are they qualified?  Will they be able to do any better than Wenger? Would we drop out of the top four?

The manager at a club like Arsenal has to be of an extremely high caliber.  We need somebody who has had success throughout their career; someone who can use the transfer market to great effect, and someone who can develop players into world-class material.

The best men for the job are Carlo Ancelotti and Thierry Henry.

Carlo Ancelotti is almost a no-brainer.  The man has won the Champions League on three separate occasions with AC Milan and Real Madrid.  The AC Milan team of 06-07 was one of the best Italian teams of the decade, with most of the squad winning the World Cup in the same year as their Champions League triumph.  He has won a trophy in every top five league across Europe (England, Spain, Italy, Germany, France).

We know that he has the ability to adapt to new playing styles because we have seen him do it time and time again.  He has also managed in the Premier League with Chelsea, so he already knows what to expect.  He will not need any time to adapt to the pace of the league or the quality of play.  If Arsenal brought Ancelotti on board, the chances that Arsenal become serious contenders are very likely to skyrocket.

Thierry Henry is more of a gamble option.  He is currently the second assistant manager on the Belgian international team.  This is hardly anything to write home about in terms of coaching roles, but this is not the reason most Arsenal fans would want the Frenchman at Arsenal.  He is the best player to ever play in the red and white, and maybe the best player to ever play in the Premier League.

(Photo by Thananuwat Srirasant/Getty Images for ICC)
(Photo by Thananuwat Srirasant/Getty Images for ICC) /

Henry has the passion and the experience to put Arsenal back with the best teams in Europe.  He has played in France, England, Spain, Italy, and the United States.  He has seen everything there is to see and won almost everything there is to win.  The Frenchman knows the ins and outs of football.  He would also be able to provide an essential element to every team that Wenger can no longer seem to muster: spirit.

We see Wenger on the sidelines almost motionless way too often.  He is rarely animated or enthusiastic.  The only thing that can really lift him off the bench is a poor call from the officials or a water bottle that is giving him trouble.

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Henry would be vastly different in this respect.  Henry has a huge passion for Arsenal.  We saw it when he scored against Leicester City during his brief loan spell in 2012.  He came off the bench to score the winner and celebrated like he had just won the World Cup.

Henry is a gamble, but he could be a huge success.  It is a risk the club will have to take if they decide to appoint him.  Ancelotti is probably the first option, but Henry would be a close second.  The fact that he is an Arsenal legend puts him very high up in the pecking order.  He has so much experience is would be hard not to give him the reigns for at least one season.

The reality is, Wenger will have to leave sometime.  He cannot, and will not, be the Arsenal manager forever.  He will probably be gone in the next five years, if not sooner.  It will be very interesting to see how the club manage his absence and who they select as his successor.  It will be similar to the departure of  Sir Alex Ferguson.

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The newly appointed manager will have immense pressure on their shoulders.  Will they be able to cope?  Time will soon tell.