The whole football world is anxious to find out where Jürgen Klopp will end up next summer. His departure from Borussia Dortmund will hand a lot of restless nights to many top managers in the game as the German will be the most wanted man this summer.
Arsenal have been connected with Klopp for a long time but it doesn’t sound realistic as Arsene Wenger has a contract until the summer of 2017. IMHO, Jürgen Klopp’s possible destinations are Manchester City and Real Madrid. If Carlo Ancelotti fails to win either/both La Liga or/and the Champions League (again), he might find himself sacked before you can say “Vicente del Bosque”.
At this moment, it’s difficult to predict who would be available and a desirable candidate to replace the legendary French manager in two years time but we can make our own analysis.
From my point of view, we’ll take one of two paths – either we’ll get an already established big-name manager with a vision and similar philosophy as Arsene Wenger or try to get a manager who is yet to enter the Hall of Fame to give him a chance to take us on from where we left off. There is a slight possibility that we’ll take a new course after Wenger’s departure though but it might be a huge risk.
When you take a look at Guardiola’s results at Bayern, one has to wonder why he’s been subjected to such pressure lately. The Spanish manager has been on course to win a second consecutive Bundesliga and despite the numerous injuries he could still complete a treble. He has mentioned Arsene Wenger as one of his role-models and would fit into our possession-based philosophy.
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It’s no wonder that he has been well-respected by Johann Cruyff who has adored him ever since his playing days. Even if there is no doubt that Pep is a perfectionist and a visionary, his ideas don’t always work well.
It would be absurd if Bayern decide to sack him before his contract runs out in 2018 but his Champions’ League performances – the disaster against Real Madrid last season (0:1, 0:4 at home) and a poor first leg against Porto in the quarterfinals this term – combined with a lot of injuries and conflicts with his medical team might make The Board of the German giants question Guardiola’s future at the club. After all, Bayern haven’t been dubbed FC Hollywood for nothing!
This might come as a shocker, especially given that Manchester City have been dreadful this season with the Chilean manager at the helm but one shouldn’t forget that the Chilean has already won the Premiership and is one of the rare managers who is actually a gentleman.
He likes to play possession-based football and his Manchester City side scored over hundred goals in their successful 2013-14 winning campaign.
Now, Pellegrini with all his qualities is only four years younger than Wenger. Also, he hasn’t been very successful in big matches and that goes back to his days when he was in charge at Real Madrid – he lost both matches to Guardiola’s Barcelona in 2009-10 and lost the title race in Primera by three points, has lost both matches in the league to Mourinho’s Chelsea last term and has won just one game out of five played against Wenger’s Arsenal. It’s unlikely that he’ll be picked.
I’ve already written a piece about Ancelotti and Klopp. Ancelotti fits the Wenger-esque profile the most – the Italian has given a chance to a lot of great talents to flourish (Crespo, Inzaghi, Kaka’, Pirlo), his teams play attractive football and he is a real gentleman. He has won the Champions League with two different clubs and is a bit of a ‘Nottingham Forest’ manager – he has won the Champions’ League three times (AC Milan twice, Real Madrid) with just two domestic league trophies by his name (AC Milan, Chelsea). One might even say he’s more of a George Graham than an Arsene Wenger as he looks more comfortable in cup-competitions than in the league.
Unlike the current manager of Chelsea, Ancelotti wouldn’t have any problems being accepted among Gooners. His teams tend to struggle at the end of a campaign which suggests that he has a problem with accepting the fact the league is a marathon, not a sprint.
Frank De Boer & Dennis Bergkamp
Pretty much like his former team-mate Guardiola, De Boer has been in Total Football ever since his playing days. De Boer had been part of the mighty Ajax team managed by Louis Van Gaal before the current Manchester United manager took him to Barcelona. He was respected because of his ball-playing qualities – intelligence, vision and a wonderful left foot. You might have remembered one of the best World Cup goals ever – the one our Dennis scored against Argentina at the 1998 World Cup – that was scored after a brilliant long pass by De Boer.
He is in charge of Ajax now and has already become a legend in the Netherlands. He has managed to win Eredivisie four times in a row after he had taken over from Martin Jol in December 2010 – nobody else has managed to do it more than three times in a row. He won’t make it five in a row as PSV have a ten point advantage with four matches to go and who knows, maybe De Boer will get interested in a new challenge. He has rejected Liverpool once to stay with Ajax but given that they are unlikely to return to the pinnacle of European football, he might consider his options next time his phone rings.
Years after that brilliant assist at the World Cup, Bergkamp has been returning the favour to De Boer – the Iceman has been his assistant. In a way, Bergkamp as an assistant manager might open the gates of the Emirates for Frank De Boer as an Arsenal manager. What a combo
The Spanish manager has been around for a while and has already won a trophy. Perhaps his last season at Wigan says all about Martinez – he managed to win the cup with a team that got relegated just three days later. His spell at Everton has gone through a similar swing – Everton were one of the best teams in the first half of 2013-14 and played eye-catching football. In April 2014 The Toffees had managed to squeeze us out of the Top Four after cutting a fourteen-point-gap between us both before they slumped in the final stage of the season. This season they have been more focused on avoiding the relegation zone than on fighting for European football.
Consistency is the keyword – Martinez has proven that he can over-achieve while playing attractive football which makes two good qualities for any football team but the problem is that he hasn’t found a way to keep up the good form throughout a whole season. His great escape with Wigan in 2011-12 that included heroic victories over Manchester United, Arsenal and Newcastle (all teams from the Top 5) in the last six matches could have been subjected to a pessimistic view as well. Wigan had lost eight in a row and the main problem seemed to lay with the fact that more water was poured into glasses that were either half-full or half-empty so no pessimist would have anything to work with.
There is another team that has managed to win eight in a row in big a European league. The Italian side Lazio have managed to win eight in a row and have taken second place from their arch-rivals Roma. Lazio, who have gone through years of cash restrictions, have played some really attractive football with players like Felipe Anderson, Antonio Candreva and veteran-striker Miroslav Klose particularly impressing.
They have already reached the cup final and, just like Arsenal, they play their next league match against the out-of-reach leaders.
Lazio have been in their first successful spell for some time and he is yet to fight against ‘second season syndrome’ combined with the European football distraction next season – which means Pioli has two years ahead to prove that he can be a manager at the top level.
This one might look like a surprise given Roma have been a shadow of themselves from last term but Garcia has been over-achieving with a team consisting of a lot of players past their prime (Ashley Cole, Maicon, Totti), injured (Strootman) or out of form (De Rossi, Gervinho). Garcia has been able to pull the best out of Gervinho with two different clubs which means he is a bit of a miracle-worker.
He won Ligue 1 with Lille while nurturing the talent of Eden Hazard and his first season at Roma was a huge success.
We all know this story. Henry is the best Arsenal player and top goalscorer ever. He is intelligent, a natural-born winner and he has been included into Arsenal staff. It’s unlikely that Wenger’s heir will be someone without managerial experience elsewhere but Henry is an exceptional lad so…who knows?
What are your thoughts Gooners? Share them below..