For many Gooners, Arsene Wenger is the only Arsenal manager they’ve ever known. For those whose fandom predates Wenger, it’s difficult to remember the club without the man. But sometime after the final whistle on Sunday, May 13th, when we’ve finished fêting the greatest manger the club may ever know, the focus will shift to the future. There will be an Arsenal after Arsene, and there will be a new manager.
The appointment of that new manager may come sooner rather than later. According to John Cross and Mirror Sport, Arsenal are expected to name Wenger’s successor before the start of the World Cup on June 14th.
That timeline makes sense. The World Cup provides clubs with a tremendous opportunity to identify talent, scout players, and plan summer transfer business. But to do all that, you need to know what formation you’re going to play, what types of players fit that system, any positional needs you may have, and which players might fit the bill. And to know that, you need a manager.
Since Wenger announced his plans to step down, Arsenal have been linked to just about every manager in the world (or at least it seems that way). The Mirror article above adds current Juventus boss Max Allegri to that list, one that includes Luis Enrique, Patrick Vieira, Julian Nagelsmann, Mikel Arteta, Leonardo Jardim, Brendan Rodgers, etc.
What’s not clear from all the reports and rumors is what “type” of manager is preferred. Ivan Gazidis is reportedly interested in younger candidates while others at the club want an experienced hand at the helm. I think most of that conversation is media noise and oversimplification - I doubt any candidate will not be considered based on the presence or absence of any one particular trait. Well, except for personal hygiene. I don’t think anyone wants a manager with poor personal hygiene, which might be bad news for Joachim Löw fans.