For the first time in almost 22 years Arsenal will have to start a managerial search.
And if you believe the reports, Chief Executive Ivan Gazidis has been busy on this for at least a few months with candidates lined up.
[ MORE: WENGER’S DEPARTURE ]
Speaking at a press conference on Friday after Wenger’s announcement that he will step down as Arsenal’s manager at the end of the season, Gazidis revealed the qualities he and the Arsenal board are looking for in a new manager.
“Tomorrow we have to start thinking about how we move forward. We are going to take what Arsene has given us and continue the values he has instilled,” Gazidis said. “It’s going to be a condensed summer with the World Cup in the middle of it. Having clarity sooner is better. We want someone who plays progressive, exciting football that gets people interested and excited in games we play. Another significant piece is how the candidate represents the club and it must be someone who gives youth a chance.”
That’s a pretty long wish list, Ivan.
The crux of this is that Arsenal want to get this sorted quickly but it seems like they may wait until after the World Cup to see who’s available.
Joachim Loew would be the main man they would wait for, but the likes of Carlo Ancelotti and Brendan Rodgers could come in soon and get started on LAW (Life After Wenger) ASAP.
Rodgers seems to tick the most boxes out of the candidates mentioned so far, with the current Celtic boss always keen to promote youngster and he has always produced exciting, attacking teams at Liverpool and Swansea in the past.
Yet Ancelotti would be a safe hire with his glut of trophies and his experience of managing huge clubs, something owner Stan Kroenke would surely favor in order to safeguard his investments. Get ready for weeks of speculation about Wenger’s successor but it appears Arsenal want to move on quickly as Gazidis has a big decision to make.
But as we saw when Sir Alex Ferguson was replaced at Manchester United, the man replacing a legendary figure such as Wenger will have a huge task to steady the ship, let alone turn Arsenal back into a top four force.
Perhaps the second manager to come in will have greater success as younger managers, and former Arsenal midfielders, Patrick Vieira and Mikel Arteta have been mentioned.