Arsene Wenger’s days as Arsenal boss are numbered after the latest UEFA Champions League embarrassment for the Gunners so bookmakers are falling over themselves to quote odds about the Frenchman’s Emirates Stadium successor.
Most bookmakers think that Massimiliano Allegri is highly likely to take over from Wenger when the time comes for Arsenal and the longest-serving Gunners manager ever to go their separate ways. Allegri is contracted to Juventus until the end of next term but he has been playing hard ball with the Old Lady because Arsenal and Barcelona are two of the major European teams which are in the market for a coach.
Arsenal is odds against to participate in next season’s UEFA Champions League as most bookmakers are tipping the Gunners to finish fifth on the English Premier League ladder. Will Allegri leave Juventus to take charge of a side that does not have a seat at European football’s top table? One has one’s doubts and, therefore, one thinks that Allegri is worth betting around at odds as short as +125 .
Chips Keswick is Arsenal’s chairman but the merchant banker owns only 0.032 per cent of the issued ordinary shares in the Gunners. The real Arsenal powerbroker is Stan Kroenke, an American business entrepreneur whose family owns many sports teams, including Denver Nuggets in the National Basketball Association, Colorado Avalanche in the National Hockey League and Los Angeles Rams in the National Football League. Maybe there are some clues in the hiring of staff associated with the other Kroenke-owned sports sides.
Los Angeles Rams is, arguably, the highest profile of the Kroenke-owned sports teams and it has just appointed a new boss for the 2017 National Football League competition in the shape of Sean McVay. This may be significant in terms of Arsenal because McVay is the youngest head coach in modern National Football League history so Kroenke is supporting youth in one of the world’s toughest tournaments.
The current Denver Nuggets head coach is Michael Malone, on whom Kroenke has taken a punt after his first major role at Sacramento Kings did not work out as expected. Malone had a reputation for being the finest assistant coach in the National Basketball Association so, even though his Sacramento Kings time was a flop, he has his fans.
Jared Bednar is the Colorado Avalanche head coach in what is his first National Hockey League job of any type. Colorado Avalanche is enduring a nightmare National Hockey League campaign but, for now, Kroenke is standing by Bednar.
Kroenke’s hiring of McVay, Malone and Bednar leads one to think that he may favour a young, relatively unproven boss when the time comes to replace Wenger at Arsenal. Thomas Tuchel is the general second favourite behind Allegri but the Dortmund manager has not won a trophy or secured a promotion so one is going to overlook him in favour of Bournemouth coach Eddie Howe, who has steered the Cherries from England’s fourth tier to its highest division.
Howe has taken Bournemouth as far as anyone can take a side of its size and the time is nigh for the 39-year-old to try his luck at one of England’s big clubs. Howe is contracted to Bournemouth until 2018 but surely the Cherries would not stand in his way if Arsenal came knocking and, besides, Kroenke is not short of a few quid – according to Forbes, about eight billion American dollars rests in his bank.
BetVictor, Paddy Power and SkyBet are listing Howe at odds of +1400 to be Arsenal’s next permanent manager and, while one could make cases for the likes of Brendan Rodgers, Patrick Vieira and Ralph Hasenhuttl at even bigger prices, one will settle for a single speculative punt on Howe.
Eddie Howe to be next Arsenal Manager