So I recently wrote a blog about potential Arsene Wenger replacements. Men who previously have been put forward as good options and how their careers have ended up dwindling. The likes of Jurgen Klopp, David Moyes, Frank de Boer and Roberto Martinez.
One thing that came out of it, to my surprise, was how little Jurgen Klopp has won in recent years.
Since he brilliantly led Borussia Dortmund to back to back league titles from 2010-2012, he has added just 2 DFL-Supercup’s to his trophy cabinet. The DFL-Supercup is the German equivalent of our Community Shield.
It got me thinking, we all dig out Arsene Wenger for not winning enough. We are The Arsenal. We want to be winning trophies. Therefore the logical line in the ground for his replacement is a proven winner. Not someone with potential who might win things, but someone who is a proven winner with a recent track record of success.
So I did a spreadsheet. You all know I love spreadsheets.
I came up with a list of 21 managers. You would probably call them the elite in European football right now. A mixture of those who have won the league title in Europe’s top leagues in recent years, and those that are highly rated by many.
Having processed what they have won since the 2013/14 season (the year I have chosen to support an alleged agenda is what will be claimed – I just went for the last 5 seasons including this one), I then tried to weight each success.
So the winning a domestic league and winning the Champions League, in my opinion, are equal. So I gave them 10 points each. Same for the Europa League and the nations major domestic cup. I gave them 5 points each.
Then we have the nations minor cup. The likes of the League Cup. Not all nations have a secondary domestic cup. These get 2 points.
Finally we have what I call the glorified friendly’s. The domestic season openers, or Super Cups that every country has –Community Shield, DFL-Supercup, Supercoppa Italiana, Trophée des Champions, Supercopa de España. As well as the UEFA Super Cup and World Club Cup. Fairly insignificant competitions with limited participation. They get 1 point each.
This is how the table turned out:
Now of course, like with any statistical analysis, things can be interpreted in different ways.
For example, topping the table is Laurent Blanc. I was surprised by this. But he oversaw a very successful a very successful PSG team. Now does winning a lot of trophies for PSG mean you are a great manager? Probably not. I probably could have gone to PSG and managed them to a league title.
Likewise at Barcelona and Bayern Munich. They are in tougher leagues than PSG, but is Luis Enrique really that much of a great manager having overseen 9 trophies? Likewise Pep Guardiola’s time at Bayern Munich.
Is it a bigger achievement for Leonardo Jardim to have won 1 League title with Monaco, than Laurent Blanc to have won 3 with PSG? Same with Diego Simeone. Is a single title for Atletico Madrid worth more than Massimiliano Allegri overseeing a dominant Juventus side? Possibly.
You also have the likes of Antonio Conte. He was not in domestic football for 2 years of the 5 as he was managing Italy. So he actually does very well to be mid-table, above the likes of Jose Mourinho who has been in a domestic role for every year.
What the table highlights is that whilst the likes of Klopp, Thomas Tuchel, Mauricio Pochetino and Luciano Spalletti are highly rated, they have won next to nothing between them in the last 5 years. The later two winning sweat FA.
Now you could argue this is because they all manage lesser clubs, but then you see the success of Unai Emery at Sevilla, who has won a lot despite being at Spain’s 4th club.
Likewise the league wins for Claudio Ranieri and Leonardo Jardim are remarkable. If they can achieve their success at their relative clubs, why not hold Klopp, Tuchel, Pochetino and Spalletti to a higher level?
But as Ranieri showed, his title was a one off. Is Jardim’s the same? To talk of Jardim as a Wenger replacement after one good season, is that premature?
What might surprise you all is that Arsene Wenger, La Failure, La Flop, La Fraud, or whatever idiots want to call him, is exactly 10th on the list. Make of that what you will.
He has certainly had the advantage of being with his side the longest, and 3 FA Cups, when taken over the longer period of 10 years, is a massive underachievement.
So from this list of 21 elite European manager, 20 of which are not Arsene Wenger, who would my top 5 replacements by – taking into account all of the above?
Massimiliano Allegri – Proven winner. We should have pushed for him aggressively for this year. Signed a new contract with Juventus recently that keeps him at the club till 2020.
Carlo Ancelotti – Proven winner. Always been a big fan. Won trophies everywhere he has been. Felt Chelsea made a huge mistake to let him go.
Unai Emery – Serial cup winner. 3 Europa League wins for Sevilla. Been given a chance at PSG. Failed to win the league last year. Likely to be available in 2019.
Leonardo Jardim – Single league title with Monaco. Wildcard. Still needs to prove himself. Has 2 more years to do so.
Antonio Conte – Proven winner. If Chelsea are stupid enough to let him go, we should make our move.
There are plenty of options to replace Arsene Wenger. Joachim Lowe is another who is set to come available this summer.
I have always been of the opinion that whoever comes in for Wenger has to take the club forward. I want a proven winner. There are many on the elite list with a high reputation who have just not won very much.
It will be interesting over the next 2 years to monitor those lesser, younger managers. See if in 2 years time they have actually won something.
This started off as brief blog where I was just going to embed a little spreadsheet. It has ended up with me deciding on my 6 man short list to replace Arsene Wenger.
I will probably revisit it in a year, see how the 6 have got on.
Enjoy the Europa League tonight