Arsene Wenger: What happens next?
Arsene Wenger has consistently likened football management to a drug addiction and he was at it again following his last ever game as Arsenal manager.
His side edged out Huddersfield Town 1-0 with his final signing for the club, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang the difference maker.
There was always a school of thought that the Frenchman might be ready to move upstairs into an advisory/ambassadorial role. However, in his post-match debrief Wenger said it was ‘too late’ to cure his football addiction.
The highs and lows of this game is why we’re all captivated, a 5-0 humiliation one week can be followed by a dramatic 93rd minute winner seven days later. Wenger is no different.
This opens up the debate of where the 68-year-old goes next – it won’t be retiring to a yacht in the South of France that’s for sure!
Back to Ligue 1
PSG look set to announce Thomas Tuchel as the club’s manager replacing the outgoing Unai Emery. The Parisian’s are looking to for the final piece of the jigsaw to secure the illusive Champions League that their Qatari owners crave. Wenger, with all his prestige and ‘untouchable’ status in his homeland could be tempted to finally land a role at the Ligue 1 champions.
Wenger could take a ‘director of football’ type position filtering his wealth of experience down to the innovative, fire-brand Tuchel in a bid for European dominance.
Finally taking over the France national team, on the face of it, looks the most appealing of the likely options. Current coach Didier Deschamps did pen a new deal late last year which would take his tenure to a total of eight years. But Wenger has never been part of the conversation – until now.
This summer’s World Cup could be Deschamps’ last opportunity to grab some silverware for Les Bleus, especially after succumbing to defeat in the final of Euro 2016. A tournament they really should have won.
Wenger will now be waiting in the wings and could be the man to re-capture France’s glory days of the late 1990’s and early noughties with back to back World Cup and European Championship victories.
Shock managerial role
Wenger has already admitted he has numerous job offers on the table. But would he really want to step straight back in? His uninterrupted 34 years in management is remarkable but he may need some respite.
However, it would have to be abroad with Wenger ruling out ever managing in England after 22 years at the Gunners helm. Despite many suggesting he’s tarnished his reputation in the last few years it’s also acknowledged Wenger would still be at the front of the queue for many of the top jobs in Europe.
His thirst for football remains unquenchable. He is a man who has openly confessed he can’t live without the game.
A manager-merry-go-round’s increasingly likely to take place again this summer and you wouldn’t be surprised if Wenger is on the touchline in the 2018-19 campaign. But where and with who?
All Odds and Markets correct as of date of publication