It was almost inevitable, really.
When your team is in the doldrums and you need some results to save your own bacon, you need your high quality players to really come to the fore.
Unfortunately for Unai Emery, these days Arsenal don’t have many of those and so it was a question of when, not if, the Spaniard was going to get the sack.
That call came on Friday, with Gunners legend Freddie Ljungberg installed as the interim boss until a replacement can be found.
And what a job Emery’s successor is going to have in transforming an Arsenal squad ravaged by years of asset stripping from Arsene Wenger.
Remember, this is a cub that demands silverware and continental football, so whoever gets the job has our deepest sympathies!
Alas, here our the top five contenders to replace Unai Emery according to the bookmakers’ next Arsenal manager odds.
|Name||Age||Nationality||Most Recent Role||Guide Price|
|Massimiliano Allegri||52||Italian||Juventus (2014-2019)||Evens|
|Freddie Ljungberg||42||Swedish||Arsenal U23’s (2018-Present)||4/1|
|Nuno Espirito Santo||45||Portuguese||Wolves (2017-Present)||5/1|
|Mikel Arteta||37||Spanish||Man City Assistant (2016-Present)||6/1|
|Mauricio Pochettino||47||Argentinian||Tottenham (2014-2019)||9/1|
Massimiliano Allegri (Evens)
It was quite staggering that Massimiliano Allegri was sacked by Juventus, given that he led the club to four consecutive Serie A and Coppa Italia doubles. His win ratio of 70.4% is the highest in the history of the Turin outfit.
The 52-year-old is famed for his ‘Catenaccio’ philosophy of football management, which basically consists of a defence-first approach with slow build-up play in attack designed to minimise risk.
It’s not exactly the ‘Arsenal way’, but if he can sort out the Gunners’ shaky defence he will be welcomed with open arms.
According to reports in the media, Allegri is sweet on a move to London too, so this one looks like it’s got plenty of legs.
Freddie Ljungberg (4/1)
Could Ljungberg go full Solskjaer and earn himself a permanent stint in the dugout on the back of a successful caretaker tenure?
It’s certainly possible, and fan sentiment can often be a factor in these things – as it was for the Norwegian at Old Trafford.
However, it should be noted that Solskjaer had previous management experience, whereas Ljungberg’s most notable role to date is with Arsenal’s Under-23s.
Nuno Espirito Santo (5/1)
The Wolves boss has done a excellent job in the West Midlands, although his tenure has been aided by his friendship with super-agent Jorge Mendes, who has persuaded the likes of Ruben Neves, Rui Patricio, Diego Jota and Joao Moutinho to head to Birmingham.
Even so, Nuno Espirito Santo is regarded as a good tactician and man manager, and he might just have the spark that helps to revitalise the fortunes of the ailing Arsenal.
He speaks English, has managed in Europe and ticks most of the boxes that Stan Kroenke and co will be looking for.
Mikel Arteta (6/1)
Like Ljungberg, Mikel Arteta is an Arsenal legend lacking in managerial experience.
But he has been the assistant manager to Pep Guardiola at Manchester City for the best part of four years now, so surely the Spaniard has learned plenty along the way.
Is he ready for the hotseat as the head honcho? Perhaps there’s only one way to find out….
Mauricio Pochettino (9/1)
He wouldn’t, would he?
Barely a fortnight after getting the boot from Arsenal’s bitter rivals Tottenham, Mauricio Pochettino is being mildly linked to the vacant position at the Emirates Stadium.
He wouldn’t have to sell his home – that would be one advantage, but there is a sort of moral code in football and it would be a surprise if the Argentine made the switch across North London, especially as he has spoken of his desire to return to management in Spain.