Ten days have passed since Unai Emery left his role as Arsenal manager following a run of seven games without victory. Former assistant Freddie Ljungberg has overseen the Gunners’ two matches since, but so far no permanent successor has been identified. Here we look at some of the leading candidates and discuss their chances of taking the hot seat at the Emirates. You can bet on the Gunners’ match against West Ham on Monday night here.
Why? The Spaniard is a former club captain and was an experienced leader in the team that ended Arsenal’s trophy drought with back-to-back FA Cup wins. Since retiring in 2016, he has been Pep Guardiola’s right-hand man throughout his time at Manchester City, picking up more than a few skills along the way.
Why not? Despite learning from one of the best coaches in modern history, Arteta has no experience of his own at the helm of a club. He was rejected as a candidate at Arsenal 18 months ago and, while he may prove to be a great manager, the club may not want to risk a rookie in the role.
Why? As the current interim manager and former assistant, Ljungberg is well placed to understand the strengths and weaknesses of the current squad. He has also coached the U23 team, meaning he has an insight into the young talent within the team. Furthermore, he is less likely to receive criticism from the fans due to his status as a club legend.
Why not? Like Arteta, he lacks any experience of managing a club, let alone one of Arsenal’s magnitude. He has so far taken charge of two first-team games and has not impressed in either.
Why? The former Juventus manager is out of work, having left Turin in the summer. The Italian has won six Serie A titles and led the Old Lady to the Champions League final on two occasions.
Why not? He was another candidate to be rejected for the role in 2018 after Arsene Wenger departed. He has never worked outside of Italy and his inability to speak English could prove an issue, especially given the similar problems that Emery faced.
Why? Pochettino is currently without a job and, despite his availability, has not been recruited by any of Europe’s major clubs. He has six years of Premier League experience, during which time he has finished as a runner up once.
Why not? He was manager of Tottenham only three weeks ago.
Why? The current crisis at Napoli means that Ancelotti’s status is far less stable than it should be. He is one of Europe’s most successful managers with a joint-record three Champions League titles to his name and has Premier League experience from his time with Chelsea eight years ago.
Why not? He is still under contract at Napoli and acquiring his services could prove to be an issue. He may also not wish to take a job where he has such little chance of lifting major silverware.
Why? Benitez has managed three Premier League sides in his career and won silverware with all of them. His focus on defensive organisation would make him an attractive prospect for a team that has struggled in this department for ten years.
Why not? Having only recently joined Chinese Super League outfit Dalian Yifang, his signature would be costly. The Gunners would not only have to buy out his contract, but also offer a competitive salary.