Arsenal sacked Unai Emery without much of a managerial plan for the future. Assistant coach and club legend Freddie Ljungberg was installed as interim manager but thus far, results haven’t improved under the fill-in coach.
The Gunners are searching for Emery’s permanent replacement and someone to rescue their season. It may not be a foregone conclusion that Arsenal won’t make the Champions League for next season. However, whoever takes over for Emery will need to get his players onside quickly in hopes of improving results.
So, who are the five most likely replacements for Emery at Arsenal?
5. Niko Kovac
The former Bayern Munich manager was sacked last month after a 5-1 drubbing at the hands of German rivals Eintracht Frankfurt. Kovac won the German Cup and Bundesliga with Bayern Munich last season but was always under fire at the club. His tactics and man-management always created conflict at the Allianz Arena drawing criticism from the board. Kovac was recently at the Emirates to watch the Gunners play and reports indicate his representatives have spoken to the club.
4. Massimiliano Allegri
Massimiliano Allegri’s name keeps coming up when big managerial vacancies open up. The former Juventus man was a huge success in Italy winning five Serie A titles with the Bianconeri and one with AC Milan. His sacking at AC Milan has seen the club sink into midtable football ever since. Arsenal reportedly didn’t like Allegri due to his “arrogance” and lack of English speaking ability. Still, the club could find Allegri to be an option for role.
3. Nuno Espirito Santo
Wolverhampton Wanderers manager Nuno Espirito Santo is building something big at the Molineaux. His name has been linked with Arsenal, Tottenham Hotspur, and Chelsea, and it isn’t out of the question that Santo could move to one of the Premier League’s big traditional clubs. Santo has coached at FC Porto leading the team to a runner-up finish in Portugal. He also spent time in Russia with CSKA Moscow. If Santo did go to Arsenal, it would be a huge blow to what has been built at Wolverhampton Wanderers.
Former Valencia boss Marcelino is reportedly the No. 1 target for Arsenal. Marcelino was sacked three games into the season after a poor start saw Valencia post a 1W-1D-1L record. Marcelino led Valencia to the Copa del Rey final last term where they lifted the trophy against Barcelona. He also led them to the Champions League qualification for the second straight term. According to Marcelino, he was sacked by Los Che for winning the Copa del Rey as the club’s board prefered him to focus on Champions League qualification. Arsenal and their supporters would currently take any silverware offered.
1. Patrick Vieira
Nice manager Patrick Vieira would be a natural fit at Arsenal. The former midfielder won three Premier League titles at Arsenal and was a part of the club’s biggest successes under Arsene Wenger. Vieira began his coaching career in Manchester City’s EDS system before moving to sister-club New York City FC. He was expected to be Pep Guardiola’s eventual replacement but moved to Ligue 1 side Nice in June 2018. There, he has compiled a 38.9% win percentage building an extremely defensive team.