Rumours are circulating that Arsenal are to hold talks with their top candidates within the next week or so and that they could theoretically have a new manager in place to coincide with the January transfer window.
Freddie Ljungberg will continue to lead Arsenal until an appointment is confirmed and although Josh Kroenke stated that the club were in no hurry to make a decision, the threat of the club going into free fall has altered the initial plan.
It’s now thought that Edu and Raul Sanllehi have consulted with the Arsenal coaching staff and that the Arsenal hierarchy feel the team needs the guidance of a seasoned manager that is able to stamp his identity on the team.
Tentative contact has been made by Arsenal with various representatives to sound out their thoughts and availability, and on that basis, meetings are planned to follow shortly with those agreeable to taking charge.
The club are keen to make the retention of Freddie Ljungberg a condition of any appointment, despite his mixed results in the interim managers role. It’s firmly believed that in the hands of an experienced coach, the Swede will eventually get his chance at the job permanently at some point in the future.
The results against Brighton and Norwich have shown that the job to reinvent Arsenal and rebuild the team is one on a huge scale. It requires numerous skills from any prospective candidate and it is thought that instead of a shortlist of 12, as per some reports, Arsenal already have a definite top three with a second tier of potential targets should they prove unable to land any of their first choices.
Allegri is still heavily favoured and Pochettino is a name that keeps circulating along with former Gunner Mikel Arteta but it’s interesting to note that the vacancy at Everton may now be something of a distraction to the young Spaniard.
Brendan Rogers is fancied by the media and there’s a suggestion that he may bail on Leicester despite his excellent season with them thus far.
At this point in time, he would appear to be the most probable to get the job but all of those mentioned so far, there a various reasons to discount their inclusion.
Allegri could be overlooked potentially because of concerns over his level of English and another complete overhaul of backroom staff. Pochettino could also be dismissed because of his ties to Arsenal’s rivals and possible contractual restrictions and Arteta due to his inexperience in this type of situation.
None of this will phase Rogers but he will have to wriggle free from a contract that he only just signed. It would be a move that would see him give up a free flowing, high flying club, for one in turmoil and without direction.
Elsewhere Rafa Benítez has been a name that is gradually gaining some support, whilst the likes of Eddie Howe and Nuno Espírito Santo seem less fancied than they once were.
Arsenal need an appointment sooner rather than later with gaps in the crowd at the Emirates, infighting between supporters on social media and a league table position that could well see them sucked into a relegation dogfight if their present form continues.
The plan to go until the end of the season with makeshift management seems ever more unlikely and a big appointment is probably the only thing that will lift everyone’s spirits at the club.