It is no secret that many Arsenal fans want Arsene Wenger's long run as club manager to come to an end. He brought to the club the attractive, free-flowing football that we all love to watch, but the very characteristics that made the Gunners such an immense side in English football have been absent for many years now.
Wenger going stale
Frequent losses to the Premier League's top teams (Manchester United 8-2, Chelsea 6-0, Liverpool 5-1 to name a few), a lack of quality signings and a distinct absence of trophies have all signified the demise of a great club and a great manager.
Even the most pro-Wenger fan now has to concede the fact that it looks like the 65-year-old's time at the club is drawing to a close. That then poses the question, who will be the Frenchman's replacement? Here we look at possible alternatives.
Klopp has been heavily favoured by many fans, but there are a couple of problems. He has done very well at Borussia Dortmund, but can he do it on a cold, rainy night in Stoke? What I mean by this is that he has only managed two clubs in Germany. He has zero experience in managing in England and that could prove crucial.
He is also unlikely to leave the German side. You could argue that having occupied the foot of the Bundesliga table just last week, his job is under pressure. However things are different over there; loyalty is a concept that still exists. The club realise what he has done for them, the fans adore him. Would he really want to leave?
The Atletico Madrid manager is another who has been heavily linked to the north London club. He could bring much needed stability along with a fresh attitude of management.
He is definitely capable of managing at Arsenal – his record at Atletico alone is incredible. When you factor in his success in Argentina with Estudiantes and River Plate, you can't help but be impressed. But again, it is very unlikely that he will leave Madrid, a team at which he has achieved so much.
So who does that realistically leave? There are not too many options, but one manager
who could surely bring back the success that Arsenal enjoyed a decade ago is Roberto Mancini. Admittedly, his emphasise on defence slightly contradicts the Arsenal 'style of play', but that may be a good thing.
Wenger will inevitably join the board or remain at the club in a position of high status,
thus his philosophy will remain and continue to have an influence upon the squad. The defensive stability that is desperately needed will be implemented by Mancini.
Arsenal will get a balance, something that has arguably been missing since the short move to the Emirates Stadium. Is he available though? Well it seems like a possibility. Inter succumbed to a 2-1 home defeat to Udinese on Sunday, their fifth loss of the season, and now lie in twelfth place just five points of the relegation zone in Serie A.
He may very well be on his way out if he cannot turn the Italian side's season around. They are not shy in showing their manager the exit door either, having had eight different men in charge over the past four years.
As for the Italian's credentials, even if he doesn't succeed with Inter, he will remain a top manager. He has won a trophy at every club he has managed. This includes Coppa Italia victories with Fiorentina and Lazio (both of whom at the time were struggling financially) and winning three successive Serie A titles at Inter in his previous spell. Plus,
unlike Simmeone and Klopp, he has English experience.
Mancini is surely the best bet for Arsenal if they want to effectively replace Wenger. He will bring trophies and he will introduce solidarity. With Mancini managing and Arsene influencing upstairs, the glory days of 'The Invincibles' could soon return.