More than two years have passed since Mikel Arteta took the reins at Arsenal after the departure of Unai Emery. The club was in deep crisis and the fans were desperate for a footballing identity and cultural revival. In Arteta’s first full season in charge, Arsenal failed to qualify for Europe for the first time in over 20 years. Despite such lows, Arteta has been fully backed by Arsenal fans. The reason for their support is Arteta’s leadership skills and a more modern brand of football than the one experienced under Emery.
However, things change quickly in football and Arteta could be a victim of the vicious cycle of nature if Arsenal once again fall short of continental football. In this worst case scenario, Arsenal will definitely have to look beyond Arteta. We will look at three replacements for the Spaniard considering a situation where Arsenal failed to qualify for Europe.
World-class managers such as Pep Guardiola or Jurgen Klopp have not been considered as they are unlikely to leave their respective clubs this summer. Zinedine Zidane has been ignored as there are several reports stating that he is waiting to take over as the head coach of France after the World Cup.
#3 Lucien Favre
Favre resigned as Dortmund coach in December 2020 and is free to take on the reins at a high profile club such as Arsenal. He has coached top clubs in France, Germany and Switzerland. Most importantly, all of his teams have played an attacking brand of football. This will automatically make Favre one of fans’ choices to replace Arteta if Arsenal failed to qualify for Europe.
#2 Ernesto Valverde
— LaLiga English (@LaLigaEN) February 9, 2022
Valverde could be the ideal man to replace Arteta due to his achievements at Barcelona. Arsenal is a club that attracts a lot of attention and Valverde is definitely capable of managing the pressure. During his stint at Barcelona, Valverde was criticized for changing Barcelona’s playing style. FC Barcelona’s image in 2022 pales in front of the side Valverde managed for more than two seasons after losing stars like Neymar and Mascherano.
Valverde won the domestic double in his first season as a manager at Camp Nou. He retained the league in 2019 but the infamous 4-0 defeat at Anfield meant the fans turned against him. By new year 2020, Barcelona were top of the league and had already qualified for UCL knockouts by topping their group. Yet dwindling performances meant the club announced his departure in January 13, 2020 amidst too much negative publicity.
Valverde’s time with Athletic Bilbao too was successful in many ways. Bilbao qualified for UCL after 15 years in the 2014/15 season under Ernesto Valverde. Arsenal are also desperately looking for somebody who can consistently assure them of an UCL spot. Hence, Valverde might be a good fit at Arsenal.
#1 Christophe Galtier
Christophe Galtier is a special manager. Would love to see him in the Premier League soon. 🏴🔜 pic.twitter.com/NLaazml7BP
— Football Tweet ⚽ (@Football__Tweet) February 9, 2022
Galtier is currently the head coach of Nice who are sitting at the third position in the Ligue 1 table. From December 2017 to June 2021, he managed Lille OSC and his reputation grew several folds during this period. Lille escaped relegation by just 1 point after Galtier took charge mid-season in 2017/18. Dramatically, they finished second behind PSG in 2019 and 2020.
Lille became champions of France in 2021 by beating the super-rich PSG by 1 point. It was a fairytale ending for Galtier as he departed the club in the summer because of financial issues. Galtier loves taking on the heavyweights and Arsenal are in dire need of such a personality to take them back to their glory days.