Who will replace Arsene Wenger at Arsenal?

Brendan Rodgers, Massimiliano Allegri and Eddie Howe: Three contenders to take on the tough task of replacing Arsene Wenger at Arsenal.
Updated 20 April 2018
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Who will replace Arsene Wenger at Arsenal?

  • Celtic boss Brendan Rodgers an early favorite.
  • Arsenal legend Patrick Viera would be a fan favorite.

With Arsene Wenger set for the exit door at the end of the season, we try to take a peek into the future and try to predict his likely successor.

Here are five main contenders...


EDDIE HOWE

WHY? Been  touted for a 'big club' for past few seasons, done well at Bournemouth playing the sort of attractive football Arsenal fans have taken for granted under Wenger

LIKELIHOOD? Howe would be a gamble, and you suspect the Arsenal board will want a ‘bigger’ name.


MASSIMILIANO ALLEGRI

WHY? Has likely taken Juventus as far as he can and is a suitable ‘big name’ appointment having managed the Turin giants and AC Milan.

LIKELIHOOD? Has been linked with a move to the Premier League with Chelsea a possible destination. Would be under instant pressure to achieve at the Emirates were he to replace Wenger.


PATRICK VIERA

WHY? One of Wenger’s first signings the Frenchman became an Arsenal legend. Currently coaching New York City.

LIKELIHOOD? The need for instant impact and Viera’s relative lack of top-flight coaching experience probably makes him too big a gamble for the Arsenal bigwigs. Would be popular with the fans, though.


BRENDAN RODGERS

WHY? Was one Steven Gerrard slip away from leading Liverpool to the Premier League title. Done all he can do at Celtic.

LIKELIHOOD? For all that the Scottish Premiership is ridiculed, his record at Celtic — led Celtic to an undefeated domestic season in his first year at the club, delivering Celtic's fourth treble in the process — is very good. The Arsenal fans, however, might be underwhelmed were he to be the new boss.


CARLO ANCELOTTI

WHY? Won titles and trophies at every club he has managed, his CV read like a who’s who of top European clubs.

LIKELIHOOD? Like Allegri would be the choice if the board are going for an immediate quick fix rather than a longer-term project. Maybe not an imaginative replacement but one which might please the impatient fans.


Bert Van Marwijk only has one thing on his mind: getting the UAE to the 2022 World Cup

Updated 21 March 2019
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Bert Van Marwijk only has one thing on his mind: getting the UAE to the 2022 World Cup

  • Former Saudi Arabia coach wants to guide the Whites to their first World Cup since 1990.
  • "If I didn’t see the potential, I wouldn’t sit here," Dutchman says of his new job.

LONDON: Bert van Marwijk has told the UAE he only has one thing on his mind: Getting the side to the 2022 World Cup. 

The former Saudi Arabia boss was unveiled as the new coach of the Whites before watching his new team beat his former team 2-1 in a friendly in Dubai (see right). While he was in the stand rather than the dugout — interim boss Saleem Abdelrahman took charge — he would have liked what he saw as he set himself the challenge of leading the UAE to their first showpiece since 1990. 

“I’m here for only one thing, and that’s to qualify for the World Cup,” the Dutchman said.  

“It takes a long time and the first thing we have to deal with is the first qualification round. That’s why I’m here.”

Van Marwijk was celebrated after he led the Green Falcons to last year's World Cup before calling it quits. (AFP) 

Van Marwijk guided Saudi Arabia to last year’s World Cup — the Green Falcons’ first appearance at the showpiece for 12 years — during a two-year stint which ended in September 2017.

That was one of the key reasons the UAE fought hard for the 66-year-old and while it is never easy getting through Asian qualifying — 46 teams going for just four direct slots at Qatar 2022 — the Dutchman claimed his experience, combined with his knowledge of the UAE, will stand him in good stead. 

“The Saudis and the UAE are about the same level. With the Saudis we qualified for Russia, so we will do really everything to go to Qatar in 2022,” Van Marwijk said. 

While he is fondly remembered in the Kingdom — only a contractual dispute regarding backroom staff meant he did not stay on as Green Falcons coach for the Russia tournament — it is his time as the Netherlands coach that really stands out on his managerial resume. Van Marwijk coached the Oranje to within minutes of the World Cup trophy, with only an Andres Iniesta extra-time winner preventing him from tasting ultimate glory against Spain in 2010. 

So why did he return to the Gulf for another crack at World Cup qualification in a tough, crowded race? 

“One of the reasons is the feeling. I have to have the right feeling when I sign a contract,” Van Marwijk said. “We analyzed the UAE, we played four times against each other with Saudi, so I can see the potential.

“I have had the experience to go to the World Cup twice. The first time we were second in the world, the second time was with Australia (which he coached last summer) and we were a little bit unlucky — we played very well. 

“So to go to the World Cup for the third time is the goal.”

Van Marwijk is all too aware his task will be difficult. The “Golden Generation” of Emirati footballers, spearheaded by Omar Abdulrahman, tried and failed to make it to football’s biggest tournament, and a lot of the next three years’ work will likely depend on a new generation.

“I heard there were some young talents, so I’m anxious to know how good they are,” the Dutchman said. “I know the team has a few very good players — the UAE has a few weapons. 

“That’s the most important thing. If I didn’t see the potential, I wouldn’t sit here.”