Arsenal have allegedly began their plans for a post-Wenger Arsenal. And there’s a surprising selection…
Among the candidates are reportedly former Liverpool and current Newcastle United manager Rafa Benitez.
According to The Mirror if Benitez did take over as Arsenal, he would ask Thierry Henry to join the coaching staff at the club, potentially even becoming assistant manager.
That would be a very different approach than many have expected Arsenal to take. But would it be the right one?
Benitez is an excellent manager and a great guy, but his stock has fallen in recent years, the fact that he is managing at Newcastle speaks for itself. But he has done well at Newcastle since taking over, and it looks like he will bring them back to the Premier League. Despite the resources at Newcastle, that is easier said than done, as we’ve seen with Steve Bruce and Aston Villa, you cannot simply buy your way back into the Premier League.
Is he good enough for Arsenal? He’s managed at big clubs like Liverpool, Real Madrid and Napoli and has done well at all of them for a short period, before being sacked / leaving due to poor results. With that in mind I don’t think he is the right long-term successor for Arsene Wenger, but he wouldn’t be the worst stop-gap solution.
In my mind though, there are much better options and alternatives. Jorge Sampaoli from Sevilla and Jardim from Monaco are my favourite two options, both are modern tacticians that have built squads capable of title challenges despite limited resources in contrast to their competitors (Madrid, Barcelona, PSG). Overachieving through tactics and man management is what we need our manager to do.
Arsenal have more resources than Sevilla and Monaco, but they are still limited in contrast to what the likes of Chelsea, Manchester United and Manchester City can spend. But Arsenal need to find a manager that can win titles – and I’m not sure Benitez would be able to do that.