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Ranking the candidates to replace Wenger

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Arsene Wenger still has another year to run on his Arsenal contract, but the Frenchman’s 21-year stay with the Gunners appears to be edging towards an end, once again.

[ MORE: Wenger’s bizarre reaction

Following their 3-0 hammering at the hands of Manchester City in the League Cup final on Sunday, The Telegraph are among several outlets who have released a list of managers reportedly lined up to replace Wenger, 68, at the end of this season.

Unless Wenger leads Arsenal to the UEFA Europa League title, which would ensure a return to the Champions League as finishing in the top four of the Premier League now seems increasingly unlikely, his time seems to be up.

Wenger has delivered a trophy or a top four finish in each of his 21 campaigns in charge of Arsenal but with that streak potentially coming to an end, it appears the Arsenal hierarchy are concerned with the dwindling chances of a Premier League title race in the past few season and for the foreseeable future.

Here’s a closer look at the five candidates being mentioned in dispatches.

1. Joachim Low – It feels like Joachim Low’s time as Germany’s manager may be up after the 2018 World Cup, but he does have a contract through 2020. Arsenal should break the bank to get Die Mannschaft’s main man on board and Low’s ability to develop a strong team identity and have a structured plan for a youth system would surely translate well from the national team to club level. Low would be perfect to bring defensive balance to Arsenal, while also keeping their flair intact. Low could also be key in getting the best out of Mesut Ozil after his long-term deal at Arsenal.

2. Patrick Vieria – Not mentioned as being on the shortlist, but the current New York City FC boss should be. An Arsenal legend, the former captain of the “Invincibles” deserves to be in this discussion. His relationship with Arsene Wenger may not be the best and that could be a sticking point as Wenger will likely move upstairs in some capacity after his time managing Arsenal comes to and end. Still, Vieria has done extremely well in Major League Soccer with NYCFC but his relationship with the City Football Group may complicate things.

3. Leonardo Jardim – Monaco’s manager led them to the French title last season and they’re in second in Ligue 1 this season despite selling on Kylian Mbappe, Benjamin Mendy, Tiemoue Bakayoko and others. Wenger’s close links with Monaco in the past may make this attractive as the French connection would continue, with Jardim perhaps being able to bring plenty of Monaco’s stars (Thomas Lemar and Fabinho) with him. Jardim’s teams play attacking, attractive soccer and the Portuguese coach could perhaps reinvigorate the squad rather than totally demolish it. That would be a more frugal option than a complete squad overhaul.

4. Eddie Howe – Seen by many as the long-term appointment Arsenal need, Howe’s Bournemouth side play attractive, flowing soccer and Wenger letting Jack Wilshere go on loan to the Cherries last season showed how highly he rates Howe. Do Arsenal’s board feel the same? Howe has no experience of European action but his feat in taking Bournemouth through the leagues and now establishing themselves as a PL club has been remarkable. May be too big of a job too soon for the 40-year-old.

5. Brendan Rodgers – Stylistically this would make sense but there’s no doubting that Rodgers’ record in the Premier League is a little tainted after his project at Liverpool unraveled so quickly. He’s had plenty of success with young players at Celtic to rebuild his managerial career, but it seems like he may fancy a move back tot he Premier League sooner rather than later. Arsenal may be too big a move for Rodgers who could have to take charge of a mid-sized PL club, overachieve and then get his move back to one of the big boys. Wouldn’t be the worst appointment but not one that would excite Arsenal’s fans.

5. Carlo Ancelotti – Ancelotti’s sublime experience and resume speaks for itself. He’s won trophies wherever he has managed and he’s currently out of job and has been seen back in London recently. Reports say he’s ready and willing to take charge of Arsenal whenever they need him as the former AC Milan, Chelsea, Real Madrid, PSG and Bayern Munich boss would be the type of coach to excite fans. You just get a sense that Ancelotti isn’t quite why Arsenal are looking for as he’s used to going into established teams and working with star players to fulfill their potential. This Arsenal project would be a major rebuild.

6. Mikel Arteta – Another name mentioned on the shortlist, Arteta, 32, only stopped played 18 months ago but he has been part of Pep Guardiola‘s coaching squad ever since. Arteta is a former Arsenal skipper and the Spanish midfielder is highly thought of at the club. Like Howe, could be a case of too big of a job too soon, but then Arsenal gave Wenger a chance back in the mid 1990s when hardly anyone had heard of him.

Dream hire: Diego Simeone – The fact that he’s not mentioned on the shortlist proves that this is very much a pie in the sky appointment. What Simeone has created at Atletico, while also balancing the books impressively, is totally different stylistically to what Wenger has created over two decades a Arsenal. Simeone’s arrival would spark a wholesale clear out of the playing squad

Relegation rivals react to big day at the bottom

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It was another big day at the bottom of the Premier League table.

Crystal Palace moved out of relegation zone with a win at relegation rivals Huddersfield, while Stoke City suffered a damaging defeat at home to Everton in the snow and Bournemouth fought back late on to seal a dramatic win against basement boys West Brom.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings

Below is a look at the contrasting emotions of the relegation rivals after Saturday’s three early games in the Premier League.

West Brom led 1-0 at Bournemouth but Alan Pardew‘s side conceded two late goals from outside the box to lose 2-1 and they’re now 10 points from safety with seven games to go. The Baggies are all but certain of being relegated.

“It is just tough for us, we have had one of those seasons when nothing has gone right for us. The players have worked so hard, it is hard to look them in the eye when they haven’t got anything for it. They are walking out of here injured animals because they didn’t deserve it,” Pardew said. “We are not getting the results and that is the business we are in. I have to take responsibility for that. It is more and more difficult [to stay up] as the games tick by. It is just galling. It was a really committed effort to get something.”

Roy Hodgson’s Crystal Palace won 2-0 at Huddersfield to move out of of the bottom three as the Eagles ended a run of seven games without a win. Wilfried Zaha‘s return made a big difference and Hodgson believes the away win at Huddersfield was a big moment in their season.

“It is vitally important. All the points teams get down near the bottom are vitally appoint. We have had a difficult run of games and not got any points but to get something here at least puts us back in some sort of equilibrium,” Hodgson said. “I don’t think I have ever had a feeling we are on a slide. We are getting players back to fitness and our squad is looking like what it was when we were getting results.”

Everton moved onto the magic 40-point marker after winning at 10-man Stoke City and Sam Allardyce believes they’re now safe from relegation and he can start planning for next season as Cenk Tosun made it four goals in his last three games.

“Under the circumstances we are extremely pleased. Considering the elements both teams competed with today they’ve given everything – even Stoke after they went down to 10 men,” Allardyce said. “It looked a bit iffy for us again but Cenk popped up with a super goal and that’s why we bought him. It’s paid dividends for us and it puts us on the 40-point mark, and even though mathematically we are not safe I don’t think anyone can catch us now and we can start to prepare for next season.”

Huddersfield boss David Wagner didn’t seem too worried about his team moving just two points above the relegation zone with seven games to go and other teams have games in hand around them.

“Credit to Crystal Palace; they deserved this win. We were below par, particularly with the ball. There’s no doubt about our attitude and effort – we fought – but in ball possession, we were not good enough,” Wagner said. “We were two steps too late today. It’s important how you manage defeats and a disappointment like today. The good thing is that we know what we have done wrong and what we need to put right.”

Stoke City manager Paul Lambert didn’t have any complaints about Charlie Adam being sent off in the first half of their defeat against Everton.

The Potters now have an incredibly tough run of games coming up and time is running out as they second from bottom in the PL table.

“I couldn’t ask more for the effort. We had 10-men for most of the game and got ourselves back into it. It’s a disappointing result but effort, I couldn’t have asked for anymore,” Lambert added.

VIDEO: Salah scores sublime goal for Liverpool

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Mohamed Salah is at it again.

After two games without a goal (a serious drought by his standards) it took Salah less than four minutes to give Liverpool the lead against Watford at Anfield.

The Egyptian wizard danced past multiple Watford defenders before slotting home a cool finish for his 25th goal in the Premier League this season.

Salah has now scored 33 goals in 41 games for Liverpool and his incredible season continue.

Watch his latest moment of magic, here.

Bournemouth 2-1 West Brom: Cherries fight back

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  • Late goals from Ibe, Stanislas seal comeback
  • West Brom 1 win in last 28 games
  • Baggies 10 points from safety

Bournemouth launched a late comeback to beat West Brom 2-1 at the Vitality Stadium on Saturday.

West Brom led through Jay Rodriguez but two spectacular goals late on from Jordon Ibe and Junior Stanislas sparked a dramatic comeback.

With the win Bournemouth move into 11th on 36 points, while West Brom stay bottom on 20 points.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ] 

West Brom started well and Salomon Rondon’s header was saved by Asmir Begovic after good work down the right from Allan Nyom.

Rodriguez then forced Begovic into another save and Bournemouth were forced into a defensive change as Simon Francis was replaced by Charlie Daniels.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

Some hefty challenges flew in as both sets of players were fired up and ready for battle, with Josh King going down in the box at one end and Rondon at the other end as the Venezuelan also forced Begovic into another save.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ] 

Early in the second half West Brom went ahead as Kieran Gibbs‘ cross found Rondon who nodded down and Rodriguez finished to breath new life into the Baggies’ survival hopes. Or so they thought…

Junior Stanislas put a free kick just over as Bournemouth started to turn the key and soon they were level. Ibe spanked a shot in from distance which skipped into the far corner to make it 1-1, then came Stanislas’ heroics.

[ MORE: Premier League schedule ] 

The winger curled home a sumptuous free kick to make it 2-1 and send the home fans wild as Bournemouth’s Premier League status was all but secured for another season.

Watch Live: Liverpool v. Watford

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Liverpool host Watford at Anfield on Saturday (1:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN and online via with Jurgen Klopp‘s men aiming to go third in the Premier League table.


With Liverpool’s other top four rivals Manchester United, Tottenham and Chelsea all in FA Cup action this weekend, this is a chance for the Reds to give themselves some breathing space.

Javi Gracia and Watford know the pressure is off as they sit in 10th place in the table and they will see this game as a free hit.

In team news Liverpool bring in Joel Matip, Joe Gomez and Georginio Wijnaldum come into the starting lineup.

Watford bring in Britos for Janmaat.