Every season, there’s plenty of speculation surrounding the future of Arsene Wenger and it’s hardly a surprise when you consider the Frenchman has been in charge of Arsenal for such a long time.
The 66-year-old arrived at Highbury in 1996 as a virtual unknown and nobody could have forecasted that Wenger would still be the head honcho at the London club, even if an increasing number of supporters feel that it’s time for fresh blood.
To be clear, Wenger has not stated when he intends to step down from his role as first-team manager at Arsenal FC, with “Le Professeur” treating any questions about his future with disdain. However, he has also admitted that there must come a time when he steps aside and a new era begins.
Eddie Howe is the latest manager to be linked with the non-vacant Arsenal manager’s position. A few months ago, the Bournemouth gaffer was among the favourites to replace Roy Hodgson and become England boss, although Sam Allardyce was appointed to that particular post.
Speaking on the link to the Gunners role, he said: “It’s meaningless. I don’t want to hear it. I don’t need to hear it. I just want to win games”.
“It’s very hard to predict the future. If you try to then you come unstuck. In football management, you live week to week”.
Indeed, it might be that Arsenal have to look further afield for their next manager and it’s perfectly possible that Wenger will have a hand in selecting his successor. Sir Alex Ferguson did that with Manchester United, even if the appointment of David Moyes turned out to be a dud one.
Rafael Benitez has previously managed Chelsea and Liverpool, achieving European success with both clubs. The Spaniard is now tasked with restoring the Magpies to their former greatness and 888 Sport has argued that there is little that can be done by other teams to stop Newcastle winning the Championship this season.
Joachim Low is a name on the bookmaker shortlist, even if the German has a modest amount of management experience at club level. He’s worked wonders with the Germany national team, including a World Cup triumph in 2014.
We know that Low will be tied up with international management until the 2018 World Cup and he’ll be 58 by the time that tournament is over. Perhaps that’s why Howe has been ear-marked considering he’s yet to reach 40.
There are plenty of Arsenal playing legends who the media have offered up and that includes Thierry Henry, Patrick Vieira and Dennis Bergkamp. None of them have much in the way of management experience and a formidable player doesn’t mean that they’re going to automatically be a fantastic coach.
With Ronald Koeman installed at Everton, it appears unlikely that the Dutchman will be in a rush to leave for the Emirates, while Diego Simeone has turned down Chelsea in the past and seems to be incredibly loyal when it comes to his duties at the Vicente Calderon.
One thing is certain. Wenger’s current deal at the Emirates expires at the end of the 2016/17 season, although the Frenchman remains a football obsessive and concedes he hasn’t given much thought as to what he’d do next. Perhaps that means he’s set to continue for some time yet!