In his weekly column on The Athletic, David Ornstein says that Arsenal could lean towards Max Allegri as the manager best placed to fix their awful defence but the Italian is said to have concerns about the quality of the Arsenal squad while Arsenal have worries of their own about him.
With the club seemingly happy to take their time to pick a new manager, few options are being ruled out.
As always with Arsenal, however, money could be an important factor, with David Ornstein writing that the club would prefer not to have to pay a significant amount to release a manager from another club and are looking at men “who are immediately available.”
That reduces the pool from which to select to just a handful of top candidates with Allegri and Mauricio Pochettino at the peak. Both were considered before Emery was eventually chosen.
While Ornstein says, “data analysis [in 2018 before Emery was hired] reflected well on both men [Allegri and Pochettino] and defensively, where the team’s main weaknesses lie, it is said that Allegri posted the most impressive numbers of all the candidates.”
Now, of course, we come to the problems.
Allegri reportedly spoke little English during his interview and didn’t overly impress.
On top of that, he reportedly wanted to bring in nine backroom members of staff.
Then, there’s the small matter of Allegri reportedly thinking Arsenal’s squad is not all that great, meaning he would want to make significant changes.
Those last two points will cost quite a lot of money and it doesn’t seem as if the club would be willing to shell it out.
Pochettino continues to be linked heavily with the role but, as I’ve already discussed on here, that doesn’t seem like it’s an option with much grounding in reality.
Tentative inquiries have reportedly also been made for Brendan Rodgers, with the club seemingly willing to set aside concerns over his personality.
The man from Carnlough, just an hour away from where I sit at the minute, has said he won’t be leaving Leicester, so it probably doesn’t matter anyway. He did, however, reveal that he has an exit clause in his contract, but he’s fairly sure they are common in most managerial contracts.
“They’re probably in most managers’ contracts,” he told reporters after Leicester’s late 2-1 home win over Everton. “I’ve been so happy to work with the players and I feel we still have a lot of work to do. Most managers’ contracts will have something in that but for me my only concentration is on Leicester.
“It doesn’t annoy me,” he added about being linked with Arsenal again. “I don’t think so much about it. It’s not in my control. I came here to help the project and see if we could bring it forward. I’m at a great club. I absolutely love it here. It seems now you’re talking about managers losing their jobs all the time and looking to be replaced. Names will get thrown right, left and centre. For the Arsenal job there are probably about 10 names. Me, I’m just concentrating on Leicester.”
The Foxes are currently Liverpool’s closest challengers in the Premier League, sitting some eight points behind Jurgen Klopp’s men.
Arsenal, meanwhile, are the very definition of mid-table. We might be in the top-half of the table in 8th place, but we are seven points from the Champions League spots and seven from the relegation zone as well.