Mikel Arteta’s encouraging start as Arsenal manager seems an awfully long time ago at present, the north London side having endured their worst ever start to a Premier League season to languish just three places above the relegation places as we enter the festive period.
It’s less than a year since the former club captain was appointed amid a wave of optimism, his tutelage under the guidance of Pep Guardiola at Manchester City seemingly leaving him well placed to bring success to the Emirates.
The initial signs were promising as Arteta transformed the Gunners’ style and added steel, ending the campaign as FA Cup winners after defeating Chelsea in the Wembley final.
Since then, however, their fortunes have fallen drastically and unless there are significant signs of improvement in the coming weeks it could just be the end for Arteta at Arsenal.
So for those of you who like the follow the odds on sportsbooks like Casumo, here are the bookies five favourites to become the next Arsenal manager:
Patrick Vieira – 10/1
Could Arsenal look towards another former favourite in Patrick Vieira?
Vieira’s appointment would certainly prove popular amongst the fanbase given his achievements during his playing career with the club, winning three league titles and captaining the Gunners’ legendary ‘Invincibles’ side.
Arsenal should urge caution from the fortunes of Manchester United and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, however, with the Norwegian’s inconsistency and mistakes perhaps wrongly treated with greater leniency from the board given his place in the club’s folklore.
Appointing a former player steeped in the traditions of the club can have its merits, of course, but without a clear philosophy there is no hope for progress and Vieira’s recent failings at Nice point towards a coach not yet prepared for a job of this stature.
There is little room for sentiment in the cut-throat nature of the Premier League.
Diego Simeone – 10/1
The height of Arsenal’s success in the Premier League era came under the guidance of Arsene Wenger, a coach who prided himself on aesthetically pleasing football and would remain uncompromising over his style regardless of results.
The opposite can certainly be said of Atletico Madrid manager Diego Simeone, who is regarded as a 10/1 outsider for the Arsenal job and would instil a win-at-all-costs mentality at the Emirates.
Simeone is approaching nine years in charge in the Spanish capital and has brought a wealth of success to the capital club, twice reaching the Champions League final and winning a shock La Liga during the 2014/15 campaign in addition to lifting two Europa League trophies.
Before Diego Simeone became manager, Atletico Madrid reached the European Cup knockout stage seven times in 56 years.
Under Diego Simeone, they’ve qualified for the knockout stage seven times in their last nine seasons 🤯 pic.twitter.com/zHnLjpG6q9
— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) December 10, 2020
Simeone’s style may not be pretty but his Atleti side are often a nightmare to play against, whilst his players undoubtedly give their all for the cause – a notion not often directed towards Arsenal stars in recent seasons.
Arsenal were last crowned as champions some 16 years ago, would their fans be prepared to swap style for solidity and potential success under Simeone?
Brendan Rodgers – 15/2
Brendan Rodgers’ rebuild of his reputation has been completed following a return to the Premier League at Leicester, his reign at the Foxes having been hugely impressive to transform the side into top four contenders.
Rodgers was one of British football’s best up-and-coming coaches when he was appointed at Liverpool in 2012, though the job perhaps came too soon for the Northern Irishman despite almost guiding the Reds to the Premier League title in 2014.
After a wealth of trophy success north of the border with Celtic – including winning back-to-back domestic trebles and completing an entire league season unbeaten – he was appointed at Leicester in 2019 and guided the club to a fifth-placed finish in his first full campaign.
Rodgers side spent almost the entirety of the season in the Champions League places and will once again be in pursuit of a top four finish this season, his faith in young players and attractive style of play making him a leading candidate for the Arsenal job.
Thomas Tuchel – 4/1
Thomas Tuchel’s name is one that has been regularly linked with the Arsenal job in recent seasons, the German having reportedly been in contention for the position following the exits of both Arsene Wenger and Unai Emery.
Tuchel has a wealth of experience at the highest level during spells at Borussia Dortmund and Paris Saint-Germain, winning back-to-back titles with the Parisians including a domestic quadruple during his second campaign.
The 47-year-old also led PSG to a maiden Champions League final last season and remains in possession of one of world football’s strongest sides, though his position is rarely far from certain given the huge expectations in the French capital.
Max Allegri – 2/1
The favourite to replace Mikel Arteta at Arsenal is Max Allegri, one of the most successful coaches of recent times and a man currently without employment.
Allegri has been without a club since leaving Juventus after five successful years in 2019, with the Italian having guided the Bianconeri to five consecutive league titles and two Champions League finals during his time in Turin.
The 53-year-old has openly stated his desire to work in the Premier League and has reportedly undergone English lessons since leaving Juventus, the opportunity to take charge of Arsenal one likely to appeal to a coach ready to test himself outside of Serie A.
Max Allegri's Serie A record as Juventus manager:
Matches — 1⃣8⃣8⃣
Wins — 1⃣4⃣2⃣
Draws — 2⃣7⃣
Losses — 1⃣9⃣
Win ratio — 7⃣5⃣.5⃣%
— WhoScored.com (@WhoScored) May 17, 2019
Allegri also won a league title during his time in charge of AC Milan and has the pedigree and experience to impress in England, whilst his tactical versatility – often switching formations based on the players available – could suit an Arsenal side lacking direction at present.