With the 2020/21 season now done and dusted, a lot of changes await the Women's Super League next campaign. A new Arsenal manager will be one of the major changes, after Joe Montemurro announced he would be leaving the club to spend more time with his family.
There's been no confirmation yet as to who will take the Aussie's place at the club, but plenty of rumours have been circling... GiveMeSport Women has put together a list of five candidates who could be right for the job at the North London outfit.
As a former professional to have already managed Arsenal, Laura Harvey would be a smart choice for Montemurro's replacement. The 40-year-old is currently working across the pond, coaching the US national team's U20 squad.
Harvey has almost 20 years of experience when it comes to managing, enjoying stints with the likes of Seattle Reign and Utah Royals. She also managed her former side Birmingham City, after being promoted from assistant manager to head coach in 2006. For six years, Harvey was also part of the England Lionesses youth set up, serving as backroom staff to the U17, U19 and U23 teams.
Her experience at both domestic and international clubs makes her a great candidate for stepping up to the task at Arsenal. She has previously won silverware with the Gunners, guiding them to a league title, FA Cup and Continental Cup during her reign there. Harvey knows what it takes to win and would bring knowledge in abundance to the role.
Marc Skinner could be in contention for the position as both he and Arsenal arguably need a fresh chapter in their lives. The 38-year-old has had little joy coaching current side Orlando Pride, who have finished close to, if not bottom of the NWSL table for the last two seasons. However, despite their poor results, they boast a talented roster, including Alex Morgan and Marta.
Managing such high profile players looks excellent on Skinner's CV and will bode extremely well for him if he was to look for a position elsewhere. He has also coached the Birmingham City first team – he was promoted from youth manager to the senior role in 2016, where he enjoyed three years before his move to the States.
Knowledge of the WSL is key for whoever becomes the new Arsenal manager, and Skinner has been in charge of a struggling Birmingham as they've fought hard to remain in the top division.
There's no denying that Mo Marley is one of the sport's icons. As she remained devoted to her girlhood club Everton during her playing career, she carried that into her coaching, marking an overall 24-year association with the Merseyside club. She also enjoyed her time as an established England international, captaining her country on many occasions from the backline.
Marley took over as Everton manager in 2002 – sacking her husband to take on the role. Already, she is clearly not impartial to a ruthless decision and it certainly paid off. The ex-defender led the Toffees to an FA Women's Premier League Cup and FA Cup during the noughties, and helped them qualify for the Champions League on three occasions.
Marley has since stood in as interim manager for England, as well as managing the Lionesses U21s for two years.
With his spell as interim manager at Bristol City due to end once Tanya Oxtoby returns, the former West Ham boss will be looking for a new role. Whilst he may not be a hugely popular option – given the Irons' low table finish and Bristol's relegation – his recent spells do not reflect his wealth of experience.
Beard has enjoyed managing both Chelsea and Liverpool, as well as the Boston Breakers of the NWSL. During his time with Liverpool, he helped them win back-to-back WSL titles, after overhauling the squad and bringing in a range of new personnel.
The Roehampton-born coach knows what it takes to win and boasts experience across successful teams as well as struggling ones. His unique experiences would help address the problems within the Arsenal squad and give them a good chance of signing strong new players in the transfer window.
A rather rogue suggestion, but one that shouldn't be ruled out. Jill Ellis may not have been the most popular during her era with the USWNT, but she was very good at her job. After grafting hard and working her way through the youth set ups, she finally took the reins as first team coach in 2014.
In her five years as manager, Ellis won back-to-back World Cups in 2015 and 2019, also scooping Women's Coach of the Year for both the Canada and France tournaments. Ellis also enjoyed winning the 2014 CONCACAF Championship and 2015 Algarve Cup with the US side. Additionally, she celebrated winning bronze at the Beijing Olympics where she served as assistant coach.
The 54-year-old stepped down as USWNT manager in 2019, but remains an ambassador of US Soccer. Her winning record alone makes her an excellent candidate for stepping into Montemurro's shoes, but her lack of experience in the English league could hold her back.News Now - Sport News