Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger continues to be heavily criticised, with pressure on the French boss mounting following two defeats in the opening four matches of the new Premier League season.
The Gunners fell to a 1-0 defeat at Stoke City before being dismantled 4-0 by Liverpool before the international break, then returning to beat Bournemouth 3-0 at the Emirates Stadium ahead of a crucial week.
Wenger’s side return to European action on Thursday, albeit outside of the Champions League, as the Gunners host the Bundesliga’s bottom side before travelling to Stamford Bridge on Sunday to face defending champions Chelsea.
Arsenal certainly find themselves with their backs against the wall heading into their trip across London and it’s understood that the Gunners are planning for life without Wenger at the end of his current deal, which expires at the end of the 2018/19 season.
Bundesliga football expert Lee Price claims the Gunners are eyeing Germany boss Joachim Lowe as the ideal successor to their long-serving boss, adding that he feels Lowe will step-aside after next summer’s World Cup and take a one-year sabbatical from football.
“Though the Wenger Out campaign has begun in earnest, and early, this season, the Arsenal board have already secretly begun succession planning – however much that surprise supporters. The trauma of this year has taken its toll, particularly the second half of the previous campaign, where Arsene Wenger allowed his future to become a circus.”
“It is believed that the club will not offer an extension to his current deal as manager – and will instead offer an upstairs role on the board, likely honorary. They intend to replace him with a man who can have a similar long-term outlook as the Frenchman, with Germany boss Joachim Low emerging as surprise contender.”
“Despite, at 57, not being especially young when compared with those previously tipped with the role – the likes of Bournemouth’s Eddie Howe (39) and Hoffenheim’s Julian Nagelsmann (30) – Low’s gradual building of Germany has been noted and, increasingly, coveted. He would represent, to the Arsenal board at least, a lower risk option to bringing in a rookie boss, and bring with him the authority and kudos of a World Cup winning manager.”
“For Low, who would like to step down from his national team post after Russia 2018 and take a sabbatical from the game, it would give him a final chance to crack club management at the highest level, an area where he still feels he needs to prove himself.”
Landing Lowe, an experienced boss with a strong pedigree in world football, could ease the pressure in the post-Wenger era and allow the aforementioned young managers Eddie Howe and Julian Nagelsmann the chance to continue developing their careers, ensuring they’re capable of stepping-up to Arsenal’s level if the chance emerged.