As Manchester United can certainly attest, finding a new manager after the departure of a boss who had held the reins for more than two decades is an incredibly difficult, if not impossible task.
David Moyes, Louis Van Gaal, Jose Mourinho and now Ole Gunnar Solesjkaer have all attempted to fill the giant shoes left behind by Sir Alex Ferguson, and so far none have succeeded.
Now Arsenal find themselves in an almost identical position after the Scotsman’s former foe Arsene Wenger left the club in May 2018, his replacement Unai Emery having become their very own Moyes-like figure.
The former Sevilla man has nothing tangible to show for his 18 months in charge, and now the heavily criticised ownership have a huge decision to make.
The Gunners stand at a crossroads, as they simply must get their next appointment right in order to avoid following the disastrous example of their Manchester rivals.
While Freddie Ljungberg is in temporary charge, the administration could do a lot worse than appointing former Juventus boss Massimiliano Allegri to take the club forward rather than allowing it to descend into an endless managerial cycle.
His record at Juve speaks for itself; two Champions League finals, five league titles and four Coppa Italia trophies in his five years in charge. Yes, he was fired in the summer for failing to break through the trophyless glass ceiling in Europe, but the bar had been raised to the highest possible level in Turin.
It’s no secret that Allegri has been learning English for some time, and has spoken in the press several times about his desire to manage a Premier League team in the future. London is a relatively easy place for an Italian to settle; if Maurizio Sarri can do it then anyone can do the same!
Could Max Allegri be heading to the Premier League?
Allowing for some time to become accustomed to the league, Allegri will likely move to re-organise an extremely leaky defence. While Serie A has become much more attacking in recent years, defensive organisation and tactical awareness is still the foundation on which Italian football is built, and you only have to look at the form of Chris Smalling this season to understand how much easier it is for a defender to flourish in such a solid system.
In the last three seasons, Chelsea conceded 39 goals under Maurizio Sarri in 2018/19, and Antonio Conte’s guidance saw the Blues ship just 38 and 33 in 17/18 and 16/17 respectively. Meanwhile the Gunners let in 51, 51 and 44 goals in each of those three campaigns and have already conceded 21 times in 14 matches so far this term.
Allegri would be the perfect man to stop the rot in this sense, a Coach who is renowned for having the nous to alter both his personnel and system whilst his side are in play in order to react and adapt to the match in progress. He is, of course, unproven outside Italy, and he was blessed with an excellent squad to work with.
Senior figures at Arsenal wanted José Mourinho to replace Emery before he took the Spurs job. There’s been contact between Arsenal and Max Allegri. He wants the job but his English is not perfect either— Kaveh Solhekol (@SkyKaveh) November 29, 2019
Yet his record versus English sides in European competition is impressive, the Tuscany-native having only lost three times in ten occasions in total.
Above all, Allegri is pragmatic, sensible and stable, something that Arsenal, and indeed Manchester United sorely need at the moment. The Emirates stadium does seem like the perfect location for the former Juve man though, his record undeniable for a side that do not expect to win the league in the near future.
The Coach couldn’t quite shed enough of his careful nature in order to allow the Bianconeri to unleash their full potential and achieve their target of winning the Champions League, but there are very few clubs out there with such high demands. Allegri has a proven pedigree of winning silverware on a domestic front.
After some stale years with Wenger and a failed project with Emery, there’s very little Arsenal fans wouldn’t give to lift a trophy right now. Provided there’s patience, the appointment of Max Allegri would provide them with the stable, smart and sensible approach needed to achieve this.