Arsenal supporters have been drowning their sorrows in the Transfer Tavern in the last few days after seeing their side humbled by Manchester City in the Carabao Cup final on Sunday, going down 3-0 to the Citizens in the Wembley showpiece.
Arsene Wenger’s men got past Doncaster Rovers, Norwich City, West Ham, and Chelsea to reach the final for the first time since 2011, as the Gunners chief went in search of a first ever League Cup title since taking over at the North London giants back in 1996. Yet the Frenchman’s wait will have to go on at least another year as goals from Sergio Aguero, Vincent Kompany, and David Silva sealed a deserved victory for Pep Guardiola’s side, thus securing the first leg of a possible treble.
Thus, there have been many despondent Gunners fans in the Tavern in recent times, several of whom are asking serious questions of their club after seeing the side produce a meek and frankly pathetic display in the final on Sunday.
And questions are seemingly being asked of manager Wenger as well, with reports recently suggesting that planning is underway for the 68-year-old’s departure, with his position reportedly set to be reviewed in the summer.
Thus, attentions among our resident Arsenal fans are turning to who could be the man to replace Wenger at the Emirates Stadium, and while some are suggesting former midfielder Mikel Arteta should get the job, many are of the opinion that Atletico Madrid chief Diego Simeone is the man to take the club forward.
Ultimately, the 47-year-old has done a remarkable job in the Spanish capital, breaking the stranglehold of Real Madrid and Barcelona in La Liga by winning the title back in 2014, as well as guiding the side to two Champions League finals in 2014 and 2016, only to come up short against city rivals Real.
Nonetheless, his Atletico sides have been praised for their defensive solidarity and organisation down the years – two things that cannot be said of Arsenal in the last few seasons under Wenger.
Simeone’s men have conceded the fewest goals of any side in the last two editions of La Liga, shipping just 18 en route to third place in 2016, and only 27 to back that up last term as well – unsurprisingly, they are also top of that particular list so far this season as well.
In fact, the former Argentina international has taken charge of 357 games as Atletico boss, and in that time his side have conceded just 265 goals, bagging 627 in the process.
And when one looks at the current Arsenal side, it’s the defensive structure and discipline that needs addressing.
In Pierre Emerick Aubameyang, Mesut Ozil, and Henrikh Mkhitaryan, they have more than enough going forward, but the same can’t be said going the other way, be it the inconsistent Skhodran Mustafi at centre-back, or Granit Xhaka protecting them just in front.
You wouldn’t see a limp second half display like what we saw at Wembley under Simeone – instead you’d see a side well-drilled, well-organised, and knowing exactly what is required of them off the ball, which isn’t the case now under Wenger.
Clearly, it will be a very tough ask for anyone to succeed Wenger, much like it was and arguably still is at Manchester United following Sir Alex Ferguson, but Simeone is the type of character that can make it work, and thus make Arsenal a force once again both domestically and in Europe.
And that is why, if the Gunners do indeed part with Wenger this summer, they must forget about the inexperienced Arteta, and instead bring in 47-year-old Simeone ahead of the 2018/19 campaign.
Arsenal fans… what do you think? Let us know!