Arsenal need to be careful not to follow the same route as Manchester United.
The next managerial appointment Arsenal make will be key and could have long-term repercussions should the club get it wrong.
The dismissal of Unai Emery was a long-time coming as the Spanish manager was unable to fix any of the team’s ails. Results kept getting worse until his position became untenable. Perhaps the surprise coming out of that was the appointment of Freddie Ljungberg as interim manager.
According to The Guardian, Ljungberg is set to get the rest of the season to prove himself and put his name in the running to become the permanent manager.
A former club legend taking over for an unpopular manager now being given an opportunity? Stop me if you’ve heard this scenario before.
It’s the same situation Manchester United found themselves after sacking Jose Mourinho. They appointed Ole Gunner Solskjaer and for a while the club improved. Following their improbable Champions League against Paris Saint Germain, United made the choice to appoint him permanently.
Since his move was made official, United have struggled. They got bounced from the Champions League by Barcelona and their results in the league took a turn. Now, they find themselves mid-table and losing to Astana in the Europa League.
Arsenal’s situation is eerily similar to what United went through when Sir Alex Ferguson stepped down. When Arsene Wegner stepped down, it meant the club would now have a new manager for the first time in 22 years.
In United’s case, they chose David Moyes as Ferguson’s successor. The former Everton manager proved a flop and was replaced by Louis van Gaal. He fared better but ultimately was only a stopping gap.
Mourinho’s time was marred by feuds with his own players and criticism towards the board for not spending enough.
If we were to graph a similar timeline, Arsenal are in their post-David Moyes phase. But with the board considering appointing Ljungberg permanently, they could be skipping a few steps to go directly to the Solskjaer phase.
Seeing how things have turned for Manchester United, Arsenal need to learn from those mistakes and appoint a manager who has experience but could also be there for the foreseeable future.
Big name managers are out there that could be good hires. While The Guardian report that Brandon Rodgers has taken himself out of the running to stay at Leicester, they may have been given a boost should they go after Mauricio Pochettino.
According to Bleacher Report, the former Spurs manager is eager to return to coaching and is not ruling anything out.
Other names such as Mikel Arteta are also possibilities. Nevertheless, Arsenal cannot afford to whiff on their next managerial appointment. If they do, they could very well find themselves even worse off than Manchester United.