It's safe to say that the past seven days haven't been the best for Arsene Wenger and Arsenal. A disappointing performance at the Carabao Cup against Manchester City was followed by a second 3-0 defeat by the same side in the space of a few days. This was then followed by a defeat away to Brighton.
Since then there's been a lot of focus on the future of Wenger. Some have called for him to step down now, whilst others would like the board to announce that his departure will come at the end of the season. However Wenger is unmoved and still believes in his own ability to motivate The Gunners and sees no reason to step aside.
More Defeats Than Spurs
Perhaps that view will change at the end of the season when Wenger and the board take stock. Arsenal are currently in 6th place - 13 points off the Champions League places. They've lost more games this season (10) than their North London rivals, Spurs, have done over this season and last season (9). They are still in the Europa League Cup but defeat to Milan will pretty much conclude the season for The Gunners.
Arsenal can't continue in their current vein and the time has come for a change. Had Wenger left at the end of last season, with an FA Cup in hand, then he'd have been heralded as a hero. Perhaps if Europa League fortune shines on Arsenal he can still go out on a high, but all signals point to a painful departure - and we expect that Arsenal will start next season with a new man in charge!
Ancelotti & Loew Favourites
But who will take over the hotseat at The Emirates? Carlo Ancelotti is a 3/1 early favourite but we think he'd only come in as a stop gap should Wenger leave before the end of the season. Joachim Loew is also at 3/1 and would be a strong contender however his current focus is The World Cup with Germany.
Brendan Rodgers is 9/2 but we'd be surprised if he was Wenger's successor. Another surprise would be Thierry Henry was to take the job. He's at 6/1 and whilst he'd be a fans favourite we think Arsenal needs a man with more managerial experience.
Time For Vieira?
Patrick Vieira is one Arsenal legend that has more managerial experience but is a 25/1 outsider to be next Arsenal manager. Vieira is currently manager of New York City FC, a sister club to Manchester City. He would represent a gamble but could be a long term solution for Arsenal as opposed to them adopting the revolving door policiy many other clubs now have for their managers.
Whatever happens, there will be a lot of focus on Arsenal over the next few weeks and into the summer. If Wenger stays then will that signal player changes at the club? If he goes then who will replace him? The next few months are going to be a crucial one with regards the future aspirations of the football club.
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