Many believe Thursday night’s Europa League exit to Villarreal is the final nail in the coffin for Mikel Arteta at Arsenal.
There was something poetic about the fact it was Unai Emery, his predecessor, who eliminated him at the semi-final stage and some would argue that Emery was dismissed for less.
It’s been a hugely frustrating season for Arsenal, who currently sit 9th in the Premier League table and are set to miss out on European football for the first time since the 1995/96 season. Combine that with the current uncertainty surrounding the club’s ownership situation and there appears to be far more questions than answers surrounding the club’s direction.
It’s hardly been Arsenal’s policy to chop and change managers but Thursday’s apathetic performance will no doubt have turned many against Arteta. The lack of urgency was alarming given the Gunners needed to score just one goal to book their place in the final against Manchester United.
Arsenal fans’ frustration appears to be reaching boiling point and it would be no surprise to see Arteta take the wrath of it.
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Massimiliano Allegri – 13/5
Massimiliano Allegri has been linked with the manager’s job at Arsenal on a number of occasions over the past few years and is the current favourite to replace Arteta. Having gone with a younger appointment last time around, it would be no surprise to see Arsenal opt for a safer, more experienced pair of hands if they are to recruit a new manager. The 53-year-old has six Serie A titles, five of which he won in consecutive seasons at Juventus from 2014 to 2019. Allegri has been out of work since leaving Juve in 2019 and reportedly started learning English following his departure from Turin. A tried and tested manager, Allegri’s CV is one that would excite Arsenal fans.
Brendan Rodgers – 3/1
There’s no doubt who the top British manager in the Premier League is at this moment in time, with Brendan Rodgers turning Leicester City into one of the top teams in the league over the last two seasons. Rodgers’ style of play fits the Arsenal ethos and unlike Allegri, the Northern Irishman has a wealth of experience of the Premier League. While Arsenal would certainly be keen on Rodgers it remains questionable whether the feeling would be mutual. At the time of writing, there are six places and 14 points between Leicester and Arsenal in the Premier League table and the Foxes look set to secure Champions League football. While Arsenal is undoubtedly a more prestigious job historically, it should be noted that Leicester are also one of the best run football clubs in England while Arsenal have no stability from top to bottom.
Rafael Benitez – 10/1
Rafael Benitez has recently outlined his ambition to return to the Premier League and there would be far worse names to throw into the hat than the Spaniard. Benitez is currently available after leaving Chinese Super League club Dalian Professional by mutual consent in January. Still based in England with his family residing in Liverpool, there is expected to be interest in the former Liverpool and Newcastle boss this summer, with fans of the latter still keen for him to replace Steve Bruce. The 61-year-old has a track record of bringing success to clubs and overachieving despite not having the same resources as some of his competitors. This trait which would likely excite the Arsenal board who have shown no urgency to invest to the same level as other clubs in the Premier League.
Patrick Vieria – 10/1
Diego Simeone – 10/1
Steven Gerrard – 17/1
Roberto Martinez – 20/1
Thierry Henry – 22/1
Maurizio Sarri – 25/1