Arsene Wenger

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Arsene Wenger will not manage Bayern Munich

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Arsene Wenger has just popped his famous long jacket back in the cupboard. For now.

After reports suggested that the legendary manager was in the running to take charge of Bayern Munich, it has been revealed that the man who managed Arsenal for 22 years is now out of the running.

According to Raphael Honigstein and other outlets including Sky Sports in Germany, Wenger spoke with Bayern’s chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge on the phone over the last 24 hours but he will not be considered for the vacant position.

The Bavarian giants sacked Niko Kovac on Sunday after they lost 5-1 to Eintracht Frankfurt and were said to be keen on making a short-term appointment between now and the end of the season.

Hermann Gerland and Hansi Flick have been placed in caretaker charge of Bayern for the time being, and they beat Olympiacos 2-0 in the UEFA Champions League on Wednesday to secure their spot in the Round of 16.

Perhaps they will continue in charge as they eye Erik Ten Hag, Thomas Tuchel and Ralf Rangnick but all three have ruled themselves out of a mid-season move.

Arsene Wenger refuses to rule out Bayern Munich move

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There’s still plenty of life left in that old zipper coat…

Arsene Wenger has been heavily linked with a return to coaching with Bayern Munich.

The Bavarian giants sacked Niko Kovac on Sunday after they lost 5-1 to Eintracht Frankfurt and are said to be keen on making a short-term appointment between now and the end of the season.

Would Wenger be interested in coaching Bayern if the opportunity came up?

“Of course. Coaching was my whole life until now,” Wenger said on beIN Sport in his current role as a pundit. “Everybody who has coached will tell you the same. You miss the intensity but some things you miss a lot, some things you don’t miss. I enjoyed the things I don’t miss too much… But on the other hand, football games, winning football games, preparing the team for the game, and getting satisfaction and shared emotions. That is something that you miss.”

Hermann Gerland and Hansi Flick have been placed in caretaker charge of Bayern for the time being, but it is clear they want to act fast to replace Kovac as they continue to lose ground in the Bundesliga title race.

Other contenders for the job include Ajax boss Erik ten Hag, who has confirmed he will not leave midseason. Ralf Rangnick has turned down the chance to talk with Bayern and Thomas Tuchel has said he isn’t interested.

Wenger is now 70 years old and it has been almost 18 months since he left Arsenal after 22 years in charge of the Gunners.

For a while it has seemed like Wenger would not return to management at all, with perhaps an international job his only option in the future as he also weighed up offers to become an influential figure at FIFA.

But this opportunity to coach Bayern would work well for everyone. The players are clearly talented enough to go far in the UEFA Champions League and challenge for the Bundesliga title. Wenger will be keen to take on a new project after resting and he could prove to those who doubted him at Arsenal that he can win trophies and his methods can still work.

Another plus for Bayern is that Wenger can speak German as he grew up in the French town of Strasbourg, Alsace, which is close to the German border.

It would be lovely to see Wenger back in the game at a massive club and this seems like exactly the opportunity he has been waiting for since leaving Arsenal.

This move makes sense for pretty much everyone, right?

Reports: Mourinho wants to be Arsenal’s next manager

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According to multiple reports, Jose Mourinho is “very interested” in becoming Arsenal’s next manager if Unai Emery is fired.

Digest that. Let it swirl around in your stomachs.

Mourinho managing Arsenal. Somewhere in France, Arsene Wenger has just spat out his coq au vin.

This has the whiff of Mourinho and or his agent ‘briefing’ certain outlets that he’d love to coach the Gunners, as a few weeks ago there was talk about him being interested in the Tottenham Hotspur job with Mauricio Pochettino under pressure.

It is clear Mourinho has itchy feet and even though he’s a regular at Premier League games in his role with Sky Sports as a pundit.

Mourinho, 56, has been out of work for almost a year after he was fired by Manchester United and the way they’ve struggled in his absence suggests that a lot of his failings at the Red Devils may not have been all his fault.

The Emery experiment at Arsenal hasn’t really worked and coming up to 18 months in charge of the Gunners, there’s been no real progress when it comes to pushing the north London club on from Wenger’s reign.

Given the history between Mourinho and Wenger, and the Portuguese coach often having less than subtle digs about Arsenal’s lack of success in terms of winning trophies, could this ever happen?

In brief stints together in a pundit role, Wenger and Mourinho have gotten along. In a weird way, would Mourinho coming in and ripping everything up at Arsenal give everyone a massive kick up the backside?

Hiring Mourinho would scream short-term from Arsenal’s owner, Stan Kroenke. But with the Gunners for silverware and to get back into the top four, desperate times call for desperate measures.

But this would be other level desperation for Arsenal.

We know that Mourinho has enjoyed incredible success and won trophies wherever he’s gone, but his model works for two or three years before it all comes crashing down.

Unless he’s learned some huge lessons over the past 11 months while he’s been out of working, his methods are outdated and he can no longer rule with an iron fist as he used to.

Would Mourinho win a trophy at Arsenal? Sure. The League Cup, FA Cup or Europa League is probably likely and his name still attracts plenty of top players from around the globe, so he could reshape this Gunners side which is in dire need of a stronger defensive backbone.

Mourinho would improve Arsenal defensively and they have plenty of attacking flair, so there’s not a lot to improve in that department.

File this one under: probably not going to happen, but nothing surprises us anymore…

Pepe: I hope to play more with Auba, Lacazette

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Arsenal winger Nicolas Pepe may have had his breakout moment on Thursday after scoring two tremendous free kicks to lead Arsenal to victory.

The two Pepe strikes off the bench helped Arsenal to a 3-2 win over Vitoria SC of Portugal, overcoming a 2-1 deficit and a performance that seemed heading towards defeat at home. It’s been a struggle for Pepe early on in London, as he admitted in an interview with the Telegraph, but things could be turning around as Pepe adjusts to life in the Premier League.

It certainly helped Arsenal and Pepe that Alexandre Lacazette returned from an siz-week ankle injury and played 75 minutes on Thursday, and with Pepe getting regular Premier League minutes with teammate Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, it’s only a matter of time before we see a Pepe-Laca-Auba trio up front, which could be a top-3 Premier League attack on paper.

“We have played very little together but we get on well, we are all French [speaking], Pepe said of Aubameyang and Lacazette. For us, it is to understand each other. I hope we will play more together.

“As soon as I arrived they [Lacazette and Aubameyang] helped me. I talked a lot to them. Matteo [Guendouzi] too. I also manage to talk to the other players because it is important to learn the language to communicate with everyone.

Later in the interview, Pepe added what could be the most important aspect of his adjustment: the trust and blessing of his manager, Unai Emery. The Spaniard has come under a lot of scrutiny this season with Arsenal struggling at both ends of the pitch, but Emery has never wavered in his faith of Pepe. In 12 matches for Arsenal so far, Pepe has three goals and three assists in all competitions, including the two against Vitoria. The speedy French-born, Ivory Coast International looks to finally be finding the confidence and form that made him one of the top goal scorers in Ligue 1 last season, and what helped him become a high profile transfer to Arsenal in the first place.

Former Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger used to comment that it takes at least six months for a player to settle into the Premier League, so fans will have to stay patient as Pepe continues to adapt. However, with the breakneck speed of the Premier League, Pepe could be able to take his game to new heights.

Top Premier League storylines: Week 10

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Matchweek 10 of the 2019-20 Premier League season sees the games spread across three days

[ STREAM: Every PL match live

Below we take a look at the key storylines to keep an eye on across the PL this weekend.


Liverpool and Spurs meet in repeat of UCL final

  • Liverpool v. Tottenham, Sunday, 12:30 p.m. ET, on NBC

Since Liverpool’s narrow win against Tottenham in the UEFA Champions League final in Madrid in June these two teams have headed in very different directions. Spurs have been heading in a downward spiral since January, and heading into this clash Liverpool remain unbeaten this season and top of the PL table. But there have been a few cracks appearing for Jurgen Klopp‘s side as they drew with Man United last time out and have got the rub of the green in recent wins against Sheffield United and Leicester. Spurs haven’t had much luck with injuries, on the pitch and the fact that Mauricio Pochettino seems to be battling against a constant stream of negativity.

Much has been made about several stars soon being out of contract, with the futures of Christian Eriksen, Jan Vertonghen, Toby Alderwiereld and Danny Rose still up in the air. Spurs have shown signs of regaining their confidence and they’ve fared well against Liverpool in recent seasons. Harry Kane will need to be at his best in terms of finishing and creating, while Mohamed Salah being back for Liverpool is a big boost as their fluid front three was back to its best at Genk. These teams are heading in two different directions since the dour, tense final in Madrid four months ago. But we can expect a similarly tight encounter at Anfield this Sunday.


Man City hope to cut the gap to three points

  • Manchester City v. Aston Villa, Saturday, 7:30 a.m. ET, on NBCSN

Liverpool’s main title rivals, once again, are Man City. The reigning champs showed plenty of grit to win 2-0 at Crystal Palace last time out and they have the chance to momentarily cut Liverpool’s lead atop the table to three points. They host Aston Villa on Saturday, an in-form and dangerous attacking team who have found their feet in the top-flight. Jack Grealish, Wesley and John McGinn will look to create danger for City’s makeshift defense, but we’re not sure how Pep Guardiola will line his defense up after yet another injury. Rodri, playing as an emergency center back, hobbled off in the midweek UCL win against Atalanta and Fernandinho and John Stones are likely to be the center back pairing against Villa. That was a shame as Rodri and Fernandinho had looked comfortable against Palace, albeit against a less than ambitious Palace attack, but whenever Stones or Nicolas Otamendi have played this season, City’s defense looks shaky. In truth, their attacking talents of Sterling, Aguero, De Bruyne and the Silva’s are in form and capable of ripping opponents apart. City will look to score early and break Villa’s resistance as they put a little more pressure on Liverpool ahead of their game against Spurs, and before they host Man City at Anfield on Nov. 10.


Arsenal aim to get back on track, but wary of away day specialists

  • Arsenal v. Crystal Palace, Sunday, 12:30 p.m. ET, on NBC Sports Gold

Unai Emery and Granit Xhaka have come out in support of Arsenal during the week as pundits (in particular Patrice Evra) have criticized their backbone away from home. The Gunners have won just three of their last 11 Premier League away games and at Sheffield United they were guilty of lacking creativity in attack, being outfought in midfield and showing hesitancy in defense. Not a great combo… The Gunners face a team who love playing away, with Crystal Palace picking up the third-highest number of points on the road since January. Wilfried Zaha is almost back to his best and Roy Hodgson‘s side relish the tag of being the underdog. That is something this Arsenal side first under Arsene Wenger and now under Emery have never seemed capable of grasping. Their star players Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Matteo Guendouzi are trying to hold things together as best as they can, but with criticism of Emery growing, the best way his players can support him is by getting a much-needed hefty win against Palace. Their narrow victories against Newcastle, Burnley and Bournemouth have been far from convincing and it’s time for this Arsenal team to put aside their egos and dig deep. We know they have the talent to be in the top four, but do they have the grit?


Chelsea’s youngsters aim to stay humble

  • Burnley v. Chelsea, Saturday, 12:30 p.m. ET, on NBC

Frank Lampard‘s youngsters are flying high after six wins on the trot in all competitions and their best win to date came away at Ajax on Wednesday. Inspired by Christian Pulisic and Michy Batshuayi who combined for the latter to score the win and put them on course to reach the UCL last 16, this young Blues side is showing plenty of grit. They will need all of that, and then some, if they’re going to extend their winning run at Turf Moor on Saturday. What you see is what you get from the Clarets. They work hard, Sean Dyche has them solid defensively and Chris Wood will bully you and win balls in the air to score or create goalscoring chances. Jorginho has been impressive in breaking up play, with and without N’Golo Kante, and he will need to plenty of the dirty work before helping the Blues launch searing counters for Callum Hudson-Odoi, Mason Mount and Tammy Abraham to make the most of. Lampard’s youngsters have taken a while to find their stride but that was inevitable. Now they’re in full flow, they look the most likely to finish third. The season is still early and picking up a win at Burnley would underline this young Chelsea side are growing up fast. Lampard has urged caution and wants the Blues to stay humble.