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Life after Wenger & Fergie

It’s hard to imagine the Premier League without Arsene Wenger and Sir Alex Ferguson at the helm of the two biggest clubs in Britain. Since Wenger arrived at Arsenal in 1996 the rivalry between himself and Fergie has been amongst the best in the world, we have been lucky to see 16 years of some amazing battles between Arsenal and Manchester United. Despite the rivalry, both managers respect each other dearly and football will surely be at a loss when they finally decide to retire.

Many people believe Wenger’s days are numbers at Arsenal Football Club and at the age of 62, its easy to see why. Wenger hasn’t won a trophy for Arsenal in 7 years and has come in for unprecedented stick in the last 2-3 years. Arsene Wenger transformed English football when he came to Arsenal, he is probably the reason why English football is as entertaining as it is now. Wenger has managed Arsenal to 3 doubles including the Invincibles side who will go down as one of the greatest teams in history.

Sir Alex Ferguson has probably been the greatest manager of all time. Who would have known in 1986 when Fergie arrived from Aberdeen, that he would have the impact on world football that he has done over the last 26 years. 12 Premier League titles, 2 Champions League Titles, 5 FA Cups and most impressive of all, Fergie has made Manchester United in to the biggest and most marketable club in the world. Who ever succeeds Fergie or Wenger is going to have their work cut out and a huge job on their hands

The replacement for Wenger has always been a debating point over the last few years. Who could possibly come to the club and play the football Wenger has made Arsenal play over the last 16 years. Lets take a look at Wenger’s possible replacements.

Remi Garde

A former Arsenal player who Wenger recommended Arsenal to sign, has remained very close to Arsene Wenger as his playing days came to a close and his managerial career started. Remi Garde currently manages Lyon in France. Before taking up the managerial post at Lyon, Garde was linked to a return to Arsenal in a Director of Football roll, where he would have surpassed David Dein. Remi Garde is Skybet’s favourite to overtake Wenger at 10/1.

Likelihood – 7/10

Dragan Stojkovic

Some of you may have heard of Dragan Stojkovic, some of you may be thinking ‘who the hell is that’. Well Dragan is a Serbian coach who is very close to Wenger on a personal level. Stojkovic currently manages Nagoya Grampus, coincidentally the same team Wenger managed before coming to Arsenal. Stojkovic’s philosophy’s on football barely differ from Wenger’s and is probably where my money would go when it comes to choosing a replacement for Wenger. His lack of managing experience at the top-level is a concern though, but at the age of 46 he is still relatively young for a manager.

Likelihood – 7/10

Frank Rijkaard

Frank Rijkaard was the man responsible for bringing this current Barcelona team together, he reinstalled the fear factor back in to Barcelona and got them playing the magical football that they still play today. Rijkaard was in charge when Barcelona beat Arsenal in the Champions League final in 2006. Rijkaard has been linked with moves to English football in recent seasons, but he currently manages the Saudi Arabian National team. A move for Rijkaard would suit the way Arsenal play their football, however a disappoining end to his Barcelona career may be a put off for Arsenal.

Likelihood – 6/10

Steve Bould

Steve Bould currently managers the Arsenal youth team and has become a valuable member of Wenger’s coaching team. Steve Bould of course was part of that famous George Graham back line that Wenger inherited when he first came to the club. Steve Bould is the perfect person to be groomed by Wenger to be his successor and I’m sure he would be a fans favourite if he was to take charge.

Likelihood – 6/10

Tony Adams

If we were sitting here 5 or 6 years ago talking about Wenger’s replacement, 99% of people would have said Tony Adams for certain. However Tony has not exactly hit the heights he would have hoped to of hit in his short managerial career. His Portsmouth flop will surely sit in the minds of anybody making the decision of replacing Wenger and although Mr Arsenal himself would surely have the passion for the job, I’m uncertain about his managerial abilities to manage at the top-level.

Likelihood – 4/10

Dennis Bergkamp

The flying Dutchman has flirted with managerial returns to football and is currently the assistant manager to Frank De Boer at a promising Ajax team. Bergkamp would certainly bring a lot of flair if he was to manage Arsenal, however his lack of managerial experience would surely hinder any decision to bring him back in a managerial role. Bergkamp will always remain as an Arsenal legend and would always be welcomed back with open arms in any coaching capacity.

Likelihood – 5/10

Arguably the hunt for Fergie’s replacement is somewhat easier than the replacement for Wenger. United’s style doesn’t require someone specific, just someone who can bring success to the world biggest club. Lets take a look at some of Fergie’s possible replacements.

Jose Mourinho

Currently overwhelming favourite to take over the United hot seat after Fergie retires. Mourinho has won everything there has to offer in club management. Jose is also a character that would fit the bill at United, with Premier League experience and Premier League football yearning for his return, Jose to United seems like a no brainer and is the bookies favourite, with some odds as short as 2/1. Mourinho has always been open to a return to English football but to which club we are not sure.

Likelihood – 8/10

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer

A true Man United great who currently manages in his homeland of Norway for Molde FC, where Solskjaer won the league in his first season at the club. Solskjaer originally was in charge of the Man United reserves team and declined the opportunity to manage the Norwegian National team. The appointment of Solskjaer would certainly be a popular one with the fans and at the age of 38 he is just at the beginning of his managerial career, so if not to replace Fergie then certainly one day in the future.

Likelihood – 7/10

Pep Guardiola

Sooner or later, Pep Guardiola is going to become bored with dominating World football with Barcelona and is going to have to find a new challenge. Where better to test his skills then at the theatre of dreams. Guardiola has come in for some criticism and many still are sceptical about his managerial abilities, as he inherited this Barcelona squad, which some believe to be the easiest job in the world. I’m sure Guardiola would disagree, proving himself at Man United would be a test I’m sure he’d love to take on.

Likelihood – 7/10

David Moyes

Moyes has done magnificently well with Everton and is surely one of the best managers not managing a top 6 club. Year in year out Everton challenge with the best on a shoe string budget, Moyes managerial credentials are undoubtably ready for the next test, it’s just a question at who is going to give him a chance.

Likelihood – 6/10

Martin O’Neill

In my opinion Martin O’Neill is the best manager to have never managed a top club. I’m sure Martin will be hoping to move his new club Sunderland up the table and in to a challenging position, and as we have seen thus far, he has already had a positive impact. I personally would love to see Martin O’Neill in charge of either Liverpool or Man United, he personally deserves it and im certain he would bring success to any club he takes charge of

Likelihood – 6/10

This time in 3 years time it could well be possible that both Arsenal and Manchester United have new managers at the helm, it will be the signal of a new era for the Premier League, which for so long has seen the battle of Wenger v Fergie. Whoever does get the jobs of each respective club, will surely be under pressure to succeed from the day they arrive at the club and it certainly will be interesting to see what happens.

Thanks for reading, leave your comments about who you think will take over from Wenger and Fergie.



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