Just days after news broke that Arsenal manager, Arsene Wenger would be allowed to choose his successor and that the manager has chosen Carlo Ancelotti’s assistant at Real Madrid, Paul Clement, it now appears that Bayern Munich coach, Pep Guardiola, may just be the candidate to replace Arsene Wenger. The Evening Standard who is quite reliable calculates that Arsene Wenger’s reported time of departure at Arsenal would coincide with the expiration of Guardiola’s time as Bayern Munich manager in 2016 therefore the former Barcelona manager could just be in line as the new manager at the Emirates.
Arsene Wenger was said to be willing to have someone who can learn the ropes at Arsenal while he is moved up the hierarchy at Arsenal but with Pep Guardiola available that may not be necessary as the Spaniard has enough experience in Spain, Germany and the entire Europe as a manager. While Paul Clement would make a good manager by virtue of his experience as assistant to Carlo Ancelotti at Chelsea, Paris Saint Germain (PSG) and now Real Madrid, Pep Guardiola would make just the perfect replacement to continue the good work that Arsene Wenger started at Arsenal. Arsenal though may face competition from Manchester City and Manchester United, as Guardiola has attracted interest from the Manchester duo recently. The coast for Arsenal would be clear if the top hierarchies at the Manchester clubs deem it fit to extend the contracts of the current managers at the Manchester clubs- Manuel Pellegrini and Louis Van Gaal.
Since taking charge of the North London side in 1996, Arsene Wenger has proven to critics that he not only could modify Arsenal’s style of play- a feat that got him referred to as the transformer of a boring Arsenal to a scoring Arsenal-he could also, persuade, cajole and even negotiate in business matters. Players that have come in contact with him hardly ever refuse to join the Gooners. This is evident in the players’ statements after they put pen to paper for the club. However, all the good work and achievement that Arsene Wenger had made with Arsenal had better be put in the hands a quality manager like Guardiola, who definitely might need little or nothing to learn under Wenger before he starts churning out results at Arsenal. 43-year-old Guardiola was Barcelona coach, succeeding Frank Rijkaard in 2008 and led Barcelona to a treble, winning the Spanish La Liga, the Copa Del Rey and the UEFA Champions’ League in his debut season, becoming the youngest manager to win the Champions’ League.
Guardiola, who was a former football player himself, played under Johan Cryuff at Barcelona and was an important member of the Dutch manager’s “dream team” that won Barcelona their first ever European Cup in 1992. Therefore, Guardiola can be said to be a product of total football, made popular by Cryuff, a playing style Barcelona still adopts till today, called tiki-taka. This style is very similar to Arsene Wenger’s attractive passing game and no other manager would better suit that style than Pep Guardiola for the purpose of continuity and success at the club. Arsene Wenger took charge at Arsenal in 1996 at age 47 but at 43, Guardiola could be tied to a very long term contract which would be renewable of course and concentrate on achieving more than Arsene Wenger at Arsenal. However, it isn’t clear if Bayern Munich would be offer their manager, Guardiola a contract extension and it is even more opaque if the manager has plans to stay in Germany beyond 2016.
The decision on Arsene Wenger’s successor may be rested on the Arsenal shareholders but Arsene Wenger sure is influential enough to have a say, therefore, whether Clement or Guardiola, the soothing thing here for some Arsenal supporters is change is imminent!