COMMENTARY | I should start by making it clear that I am not one of the seemingly many Arsenal fans who want current manager Arsene Wenger out. Wenger has received a bit of heat from some Arsenal fans lately for not winning a trophy since 2005, and some "Gooners" have called for his resignation.
Arsene Wenger has been in charge for almost 17 years, and he has become Arsenal's most successful manager to date. The Frenchman has won three Premier League titles, four FA Cups, and four Charity Shields since his arrival to the club in 1996.
The manager's current contract expires next summer, and while Arsenal chief executive Ivan Gazidis has stated his wishes to retain Wenger, it would appear that the upcoming season could be an extremely crucial year in Wenger's Arsenal career.
If in fact Wenger does not receive a contract extension, or if he chooses to retire, Gazidis will have to appoint a new manager.
Let's take a look at three possible targets for Arsenal if, in fact, that is the scenario:
While the current West Brom manager has coaching experience with Chelsea, West Ham and Liverpool, Steve Clarke has only been a team manager for one season. Clarke led West Brom to an eighth-place finish in the Premier league, which may not seem like much success. However, the team's 14 wins and 49 league points during the 2012-2013 season are the most for the team since 1981.
Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho has hailed Clarke (his former assistant) by labeling the Scot as "the incredible one." If the Gunners are looking for a British manager to lead the team in the future, Steve Clarke could be their man.
Michael Laudrup is one of the few who have made the leap from fantastic soccer player to fantastic soccer manager. Laudrup took over the reins at Swansea last season and led the Wales club to their first significant trophy in the team's 100-year history. The Dane has been praised for the player signings he made in his first season with Swansea, highlighted by the $3.1 million signing of Michu.
Michu went on to score 22 total goals for Swansea during the 2012-2013 season. Laudrup's managerial stock is certainly rising at the moment, and the Gunners could very well look to him to take over for Wenger.
One would assume that Klopp would be at the top of Gazidis' wish list of managers to succeed Arsene Wenger. The current Borussia Dortmund manager is a very similar manager to the Gunners manager. Both men like to find young players and develop them. Klopp has helped players such as Robert Lewandowski, Ilkay Gundogan, and Shinji Kagawa develop into stars. The Dortmund manager holds an impressive 57-percent win percentage with the club, and has been named German manager of the year twice.
Klopp has also won four trophies with his current club, including back-to-back Bundesliga championships in 2011 and 2012. Whenever Arsene Wenger leaves Arsenal, the Gunners should make Jurgen Klopp the first priority when choosing a new manager.
Christopher Moore has been following Arsenal Football Club for over 10 years.
- Sports & Recreation
- Arsene Wenger
- Steve Clarke
- Michael Laudrup
- Ivan Gazidis