After three games of the Premier League season, for Arsenal, the picture is a gloomy one.
Without a league goal in 270 minutes, the Gunners sit rock bottom of the table – their worst start for 67 years. Worse still, fierce north London neighbours Tottenham Hotspur, sit in polar-opposite position, at the top of the table. That is a first in top-flight history also, that Arsenal have sat bottom, whilst the Lilywhites stand at the top of English football’s pyramid, simultaneously.
The pressure has been heaped on boss Mikel Arteta after a 5-0 thumping to the champions Manchester City, with little evidence the Spaniard is in any position to steer his side out of the biggest crisis the Club has seen since the 1950s. So much so, bookies are currently offering 4/9 odds on Arteta being the first Premier League manager to depart. But who might replace the beleaguered Basque native, sooner or later?
Interestingly, a man who came close to Emirates’ hotseat a few seasons ago in Brendan Rodgers, has currently been reinstalled as the name in the frame.
Having led Leicester City to FA Cup glory last season, the Northern Irishman has returned an attacking flair to the Foxes’ games, whilst also making the former Premier League champions a more solid unit in defence. Rodgers is the bookies’ favourite for the moment at 3/1 with SkyBet but is shorter elsewhere.
The name on the lips of most Arsenal fans however, is Antonio Conte. Currently unattached despite guiding Inter Milan to their first Scudetto title in Italy in a decade last term, the Italian has of course enjoyed success in London before, leading Chelsea to the league crown in 2017. Conte would be a popular appointment and he himself would likely jump at the chance of resurrecting a fallen giant.
However, having left the Nerrazurri due to financial cuts in the summer however, Conte will want assurances his demands will be met in the transfer market, and that could be the biggest stumbling block in persuading the 52-year-old to take the Gunners’ helm, with Arsenal having spent the most of any club in Europe this summer, but with little sign of improvement. Nevertheless, Conte is 4/1 with both PaddyPower and Betfair to get the job.
Should Arsenal look to recruit from home shores meanwhile, Eddie Howe appears the most likely having been out of a job since departing Bournemouth last August. A manager who won many fans during his time on the South coast and a manager tipped to be England steward in the future, Howe could be the right man at 6/1 with SkyBet but is beginning to shorten.
For a slighter longer shot, Arsenal’s recent success has of course been French driven under Arsene Wenger, so could a man making waves in managerial circles in compatriot Christophe Galtier be the man to finally fill his shoes in north London?
Masterminding Lille’s triumph in Ligue 1 last season, Galtier won plaudits for bringing young talent through just as Wenger did. Though appointed Nice coach only in June, Galtier may find the lure of managing Arsenal too strong to resist should the call come. On the face of it, 16/1 value with SkyBet may look long odds, but given his reputation, Galtier could be more likely than it first appears.