Arsene Wenger has been offered a shock route back into Premier League management as a replacement to outbound Newcastle boss Rafael Benitez, according to Dean Jones of Bleacher Report.
The Spaniard is set to leave St James’ Park at the end of the month, despite securing Premier League safety for the second season in a row.
The news broke on June 24 that Rafael Benitez, a hugely popular figure around Tyneside, rejected the opportunity to stay as manager of Newcastle United after the club failed to meet his demands.
Mike Ashley and co are now charged with finding a replacement for their former Champions League winning manager; someone who can overachieve with a relatively small budget and would be willing to work along Mike Ashley, a widely hated figure who often endures fractious relationships with his managers (Benitez a case in point).
Furthermore, according to the Newcastle Chronicle, an agent “with strong links to former Arsenal boss” revealed that he is exploring the option to convince the legendary Gunners boss to become the next manager of Newcastle United. With that in mind, we explore three potential knock-on effects of Wenger linking up with the Magpies…
Wenger ruins his legacy
Wenger spent 1213 games in charge of Arsenal over a period of 22 years. He won the Premier League three times, including the iconic Invincibles season, and seven FA Cups. However, he left football with his reputation somewhat damaged (a point argued by ESPN) after the ‘Wenger Out’ campaign towards the end of his tenure.
Perhaps it was a good time to get out of the game then; to prevent further damage and save face. He gracefully departed a legend and someone we will forever know as one of the last of a great generation of long-term serving coaches alongside Sir Alex Ferguson.
What, then, will he gain from returning to manage Newcastle United?
An incredibly difficult job with a low chance of success and an incredibly high possibility of damaging his image simply isn’t worth taking.
Potential dip in form
Wenger joining Newcastle could go one of two ways. Either the Magpies will thrive under his system, one which boasts fluid passing football, reminiscent of the Arsenal of old, or they’ll crumble in the most fantastic of ways, with Arsenal often losing big games during the final stages of his time there, such was the nature of his style of play. Indeed, even Petr Cech spoke about the Frenchman’s desire to play the right away, even more so than winning.
Indeed, it’s a luxury to play the Wenger way; to command the same style of football some of the greatest who ever graced the Premier League once did. There’s absolutely no guarantee that it’s going to work; square peg, round hole.
We know how regimented Newcastle has been at the back under Benitez. In fact, one could argue that the strength and efficiency of their defensive efforts, which saw them concede just 48 goals last season, is one of the fundamental reasons behind the success of their bid for Premier League safety. What’s to say that the change in philosophy wouldn’t damage the squad’s equilibrium?
Newcastle fans, do you agree with our predictions? Let us know in the comments below…Like what the TT have on offer? Sign up for more notifications!