7 managers most likely to replace Unai Emery as Arsenal manager: Allegri, Arteta, Ljungberg...

Arsenal have sacked manager Unai Emery after a run of seven matches without a win.

Here, the PA news agency takes a look at who could replace the Spaniard in the dugout.

Massimiliano Allegri

Massimiliano Allegri won five consecutive Serie A titles at Juventus.

Massimiliano Allegri won five consecutive Serie A titles at Juventus. (John Walton/PA)

After a fairly run-of-the-mill playing career, former midfielder Allegri blossomed into a serial trophy winner as a manager.

The 52-year-old Italian departed Juventus at the end of last season having delivered the Serie A title in each of his five years at the helm, also claiming four Coppa Italia winners’ medals and losing in two Champions League finals.

Bringing in Allegri would certainly be seen as a signal of intent from the Arsenal owners – but could he be tempted into a rebuilding job, or is he waiting to take over at a club ready-made to add more silverware to his CV?

Mikel Arteta

Mikel Arteta ended his playing days at Arsenal before joining the coaching staff at Manchester City.

Mikel Arteta ended his playing days at Arsenal before joining the coaching staff at Manchester City. (Scott Heavey/PA)

Unlike Allegri, Arteta enjoyed a fine career as a ball-playing midfielder before hanging up his boots in 2016 after five years with the Gunners.

In a somewhat surprising move, he departed for Manchester City where he became Pep Guardiola’s trusted right-hand man – helping the club win back-to-back Premier League titles.

He has yet to sample life as a head coach but his appointment would be welcomed by Arsenal fans given his connection to the club and his obvious standing within City’s fine backroom set-up.

Freddie Ljungberg

Freddie Ljungberg has been working as Arsenal's assistant coach since the summer.

Freddie Ljungberg has been working as Arsenal’s assistant coach since the summer. (Nick Potts/PA)

The second of three former Arsenal midfielders on this list, Ljungberg was confirmed as interim head coach following Emery’s sacking.

The former Sweden international has worked as an assistant to Emery, after being promoted during the summer from his previous role as the manager of the club’s under-23 side.

That experience means he knows all about the promising crop of youngsters emerging through the ranks and he could be tasked with replicating the early work done by Frank Lampard at Chelsea in bleeding those precocious talents in the first-team.

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Nuno Espirito Santo

Nuno Espirito Santo guided Wolves back into the Premier League before qualifying for Europe.

Nuno Espirito Santo guided Wolves back into the Premier League before qualifying for Europe. (Mark Kerton/PA)

The Wolves boss was initially linked to the Arsenal post as pressure on Emery began to mount during a string of poor results.

The Portuguese did a fine job in taking Wolves back to the Premier League and then qualifying for the Europa League at the first attempt, establishing the West Midlands side as one of the “best of the rest” in the top-flight.

Nuno, 46, has previous experience of managing at Valencia and Porto but did not enjoy lengthy, successful spells with either and his credentials at a top club remain untested.

Patrick Vieira


Patrick Vieira enjoyed a fine spell at Arsenal during his playing career. (PA Archives)

Captain of Arsenal’s unbeaten ‘Invincibles’ and a man still adored by supporters, Vieira would be an overwhelmingly popular appointment.

He has been steadily building up to such a job having managed Manchester City’s reserves and New York City before taking his current post at Nice last summer.

Vieira guided the club to seventh in Ligue 1 in his first season at the helm but surely a return to the club where he won three Premier League titles and three FA Cups would be too tempting an opportunity to resist.

Niko Kovac

Former Croatia midfielder Kovac is out of work, having recently been dismissed by Bayern Munich, and has experience of top-level domestic and European management.

He took the Bayern job after leading Eintracht Frankfurt to victory in the German Cup, and narrowly won the Bundesliga title in his first season in Bavaria.

Kovac was also in charge for Bayern’s 7-2 win at Tottenham in the Champions League, which would surely endear him to Arsenal fans.

Mauricio Pochettino

He couldn’t, could he?

Pochettino undoubtedly has the pedigree to manage  a club of Arsenal’s size, having secured repeated top-four finishes and reached the Champions League final just last season.

The obvious obstacle is his association with the Gunners’ biggest rivals. Time to find out how serious his falling-out with Daniel Levy really was.



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