10 Potential Managerial Changes Next Season

Wednesday, 28 March 2018 15:07

This be the final quarter of the season, mateys; where leagues are won, cups are taken, relegations are suffered, and end of season awards are doled out. But not many things say the end of a season like when a manager leaves his post, either having earlier stated that he would leave when the season ends, or having made the sudden, but inevitable departure, or having been courted by bigger fish.

So what are the potential managerial changes that are foreseeable once the final whistle of the season goes? We have a look at 10…

Paris Saint-Germain

Without a shred of a doubt, it’s the first potential managerial change that many people are foreseeing, and not without reason. After last season’s early UEFA Champions League exit at the hands, alongside only second place in the domestic league, PSG went big in the market, shattering the world transfer record (for Neymar) and the second-world-transfer-record-in-form-of-a-loan (Kylian Mbappe), only to suffer another early exit. They may be coasting to the Ligue 1 title, but after Laurent Blanc was sacked following three consecutive league titles, one league crown and insipid European exits won’t cut it for Unai Emery, especially considering he was hired because of his continental previous with Sevilla. It’s hard to fashion a way to see the Spaniard remaining as manager next season, not least because his contract expires at the end of this campaign, and the French club already contacting Antonio Conte’s representatives. Which brings us nicely to….


It’s little gain pointing out the mood of Conte at Stamford Bridge this term, the Italian has gone from title-winning mastermind to sulky maverick in less than 12 months. Chelsea are currently lingering outside the top four, have won three league games from nine in 2018, and have their fate well out of their own hands, and Conte has spent time questioning the Blues hierarchy on several occasions, from not getting his players, to the board not fully committing to him. All the elements of an inevitable divorce.

Real Madrid

W…W...Wa…Wait!! Before you aim the stones and bring out the clubs, hear ye out. Zinedine Zidane’s success at Real Madrid so far is as much of a mean feat as it is a secret, but there’s no question Los Blancos have floundered this season. They were out of the title race as early as December, they’ve suffered more defeats than the whole of last season already and were bundled out of the Spanish Cup in their own backyard. It’s hard to ignore their resurgence since the start of the year, though, the goals have started to come in (yes, Cristiano Ronaldo) and they made light work of PSG in the Champions League last 16, but it’s in Europe where their only hope lies, and a quarter-final exit at the hands of Juventus might well spell the end for Zizou.

Bayern Munich

Another almost sure-fire change ahead of next season. Bayern have been transformed since Jupp Heynckes returned in September, and are at most two wins away from a sixth successive Bundesliga title, as well as going well in Europe. But despite the smiles on the pitch, and the appeals from chairman Karl Heinz-Rummenigge, Heynckes, 72, still remains intent on stepping down. There have been rumours of Thomas Tuchel (who is by no means done here), as well as Julian Nagelsmann, as potential replacements.


Call it bold, or foolhardy if you like; and perhaps it is. After all, many have had the gusto to predict the time by which Arsene Wenger would have left the Emirates, and all of them have been proved wrong. But the pressure seems unyielding and the discontent louder as each game of the season grows by, and you sense that should the Gunners lift the Europa League, Le Professeur might just finally walk off into the sunset. There have been endless rumours of Italians Max Allegri and Carlo Ancelotti as potential dugout replacements, while Thomas Tuchel’s name has come up in recent days. This might well be Wenger’s final hurrah. Just don’t bet on it yet, though.


It’s been a season of complete discomfort at the Blue end of Merseyside, despite the wave of optimism that swept it in the summer. After spending big at the start of the season, Everton were primed for a charge against the top six, even with the loss of Romelu Lukaku, while FourFourTwo even talked about them probably being among one of the potential outside challengers for the title. So, surely the fans wouldn’t have expected the Toffees to be spending most of its time trying to stave off relegation trouble, after a torrid start to the season saw Ronald Koeman sacked and Sam Allardyce replacing the Dutchman. Big Sam has just about guaranteed safety already, but there’s little for appreciation or optimism under his stewardship so far, Everton have had at least four games this season where they haven’t managed a shot on target, the performances have been laboured, and they’ve only won once away from Goodison since December. The fans have made no secret of their discontent, surely a side that was the sixth biggest spender in Europe in the summer and winter windows combined ought to play with ambition when away to Watford and West Brom, at the very least. Stranger things than Big Sam staying on next season have happened, but it’s hard to see Big Sam staying on next season.

Borussia Dortmund

Another side where the ship has steadied but the comfort isn’t quite there. Since the sacking of Peter Bosz, Peter Stoger has come in and kept things together nicely at Dortmund, Die Schwarzgelben haven’t lost in the league under his stewardship and are in a Champions League place. But there have been complaints over the football ever since the former Koln arrived, Dortmund have become harder to beat but hard to watch, and they did get beaten, in the Europa League at the hands of Red Bull Salzburg. Stoger’s exploits will have no doubt interested other sides, and done his stock no harm. Perhaps Dortmund would be glad to have someone take him off their hands.

Olympique Lyon

Exciting. That’s been the word associated with Olympique Lyonnais this campaign, the youthful exuberance of a youthful and exuberant side has been pleasing on the eye. But no doubt there would be bumps in the road, as there have been this season, recently as well. After a late win over PSG in February, Lyon were eight points behind the capital side, and seemed like outsiders for a title race. But the form nosedived after that, no wins in their next five domestic games. They were compensating for their drop in the league with a steady run in the Europa League, but at the last 16 stage they were bundled out by CSKA Moscow, denied a home final in the process, and that seemed like the boiling point. First, Benjamin Marcal didn’t take too well being substituted in that defeat at home to CSKA, a discontent he didn’t hide from coach Bruno Genesio. A verbal confrontation immediately followed, and Marcal has been exiled from the team ever since. Then there was chairman Jean Michel-Aulas denying reports that Genesio had offered his resignation before the Marseille game. A win in that encounter has kept them in the hunt for Champions League next season, and pushed the unease inside the club aside for the moment, but it’s not hard to sense that all is far from well at Lyon. Rumours of Claudio Ranieri being touted as a replacement are of little help to the issue.

West Ham

It’s fair to say that move to the London Stadium hasn’t quite had the desired effect that it was supposed to. After that impressive seventh place finish in 2015/16, better things were expected as the club moved away from the Boleyn Ground. Or perhaps following the impressive campaign of 2015/16, expectations became rather unrealistically high. Nevertheless, much was expected after the Hammers moved to the future, the seemingly next level, but little has been delivered. An underwhelming season last time out and a bad start to this one saw the axe swing on Slaven Bilic, and David Moyes was brought in as a replacement, despite the sneers from the fans. Moyes did start well, rejuvenating a previously forlorn Marko Arnautovic, but form has tailed off. Three defeats in three, with 11 goals conceded, are hardly any cause for optimism, and though most of the fans’ distaste has been spat at the direction of the owners, it’s not hard to foresee another managerial change at the East End.

West Brom


Okay fine: Three league wins all season, one win since Alan Pardew replaced Tony Pulis in December, those aren’t the kind of stats West Brom were expecting this campaign. It’s been one mishap to another for the Baggies, from the sacking of the club directors to the oh-so-famous taxi-gate incident involving four of their players. It’s no wild guess to say that a lack of options is what’s keeping Pardew in the job; relegation is just about a certainty now. Pards surely won’t be around after.

Published in International Watch

Former English international Gary Lineker has advised Arsene Wenger to resign from his position as the Arsenal manager.

The long serving Frenchman has been under intense pressure to resign from his position at the club after overseeing a run of four consecutive defeats that also include a spineless 3-0 loss in the final of the Capital One Cup against Man City.

And with majority of the fans and some Arsenal legends calling for Wenger to throw-in the towel at the club, the outspoken BT Sports commentator has also suggested that Wenger should end his 22 years association with Arsenal.

Lineker took to twitter to air his say on Wenger’s future – saying “If I were Arsene Wenger, I might consider firing Arsene Wenger.”




Wenger: Guardiola came to my house because he wanted to play for Arsenal

Wenger remains the man for Arsenal - Djourou

Arsenal sit sixth on the league standings – 13 points behind fourth place arch rival Tottenham Hotspur with hopes of staging a return to the Champions Leagues looking unsurmountable.

Meanwhile, Wenger’s Arsenal will square up against highflying AC Milan in the first leg of the Europa League Round 16 at the San Siro later today – a game that has been considered by many as a major factor in determining his career.


Published in International Watch

The Arsenal boss has revealed the Manchester City boss once visited him because he wanted to represent Arsenal.

Wenger did not take up Guardiola’s offer and the Spaniard went on to represent Brescia, Roma, Al-Ahli, and Mexican side Dorados before he hung his boots in 2006.

Pep Guardiola represented the Barcelona senior team for 11 years – appearing in 263 games for the Blaugrana, and Wenger who praised the former Spanish international for his understanding of the game said Guardiola once visited him in order to play for the North London side.

Praising Guardiola’s philosophy in an interview with Beinsports, Wenger said: “I have spoken with him on various occasions, one time he came to my house because he wanted to play for Arsenal.

“He has had some exceptional teams and trained them very well.

“I respect what he does because he has a clear vision of the game and positive attitude and philosophy.”

The Frenchman concluded: “Even if he doesn’t win because of it, I respect him for the influence that he has on the game”

In his first season as a manager, Guardiola guided Barcelona to a treble, winning the La Liga, Copa Del Rey and the UEFA Champions League – in winning the latter, he became the youngest coach to win the competition.

Having departed Barcelona in the summer of 2012, he signed for Bundesliga giant Bayern Munich in 2013 – where he won the Bundesliga in all of the three seasons he spent at the club.

And having putting pen to a three-year deal with Man City in 2016, the Spaniard witnessed his first season without a trophy same season.

Guardiola’s Man City stand a chance to win a quadruple this season - as they are 16 points ahead second-place Man u in the league.

The Citizens will also lock horns with Arsenal in the final of the Capital One Cup next week at the Wembley Stadium and are also in contention to win the Emirates FA Cup the UEFA Champions League.

Published in International Watch

It’s almost impossible, almost criminal in fact, to mention the FA Cup and not talk about its reputation for delivering shocks. Where else would you find a squad of part-timers and next-to-nobodies go full throttle against a team of superstars and come out on top? That teams don’t read the script has become the script of this competition, hence the prestige with which they revere it.

These days, though, the question is, do shocks really happen? That seems like a rather daft question: after all Lincoln City (from non-league) got to the last eight last season, beating Premier League Burnley on the way, the same season when League One side Millwall triumphed over then-Premier League champions Leicester City, and Championship struggling Wolverhampton Wanderers won at mighty Liverpool. Heck just three weeks ago, League Two’s Newport knocked out Leeds- two leagues above them- and Nottingham Forest were too much for Arsenal. But excuses keep popping up for most of those games, Burnley and Leicester would have been said to be relieved of the burden of an extra leg-tiring and wearing competition as they fought to survive in the Premier League, Liverpool were supposedly left to battle to keep their top four spot intact, while Arsenal’s loss at the City at the City Ground earlier this year, generated more headlines on the lacklustre squad and the future of manager Arsene Wenger than the Forest victory.

And over the years, it has kept happening. For almost a decade, of the three teams that get promoted from the Championship to the Premier League, only two have made it past the Fourth Round of the FA Cup (Hull City in 2016 and Huddersfield last season), both of which got promoted via the play-offs. For the rest, it has seemed like a case of ‘put it aside, we have much bigger business to attend to’. Arsenal have won the competition in three of the past four seasons, but before the run started, Wenger had emphasised the importance of finishing in the top four over lifting the country’s most prestigious, but least financially rewarding, competition. Wenger’s stance was echoed by Paul Lambert, then Aston Villa, who prioritised survival, while in 2014, Sam Allardyce fielded a weakened West Ham XI that was trounced 5-0 at Nottingham Forest.

So it was no surprise to hear David Moyes, current West Ham manager, prioritise league safety over the cup. Speaking about the fate of the Hammers upcoming opponents, Wigan, the Scot found it ‘a strange thing that they won the FA Cup and were relegated five years ago’. If you look back and ask Wigan if they’d rather have won the cup or stayed in the Premier League, I think their people would have rather stayed in the Premier League’. With West Ham facing a crucial home game against Crystal Palace on Tuesday after this, it’s clear what the target is for Moyes.

And who could blame him, or any of the managers treating this competition more of a burden than a chance of glory, with the financial benefits of getting to or staying in the Premier League ludicrously overwhelming. Wigan had their day in the spotlight following that FA Cup triumph over Manchester City at Wembley, but three days later they would lose their Premier League status. The following season they got to the Semis, and lost in the Championship play-offs, and they’ve suffered two further relegations since. Surely the Latics fans would have wondered what might have been if they hadn’t made it that far that season, how their fortunes might have been, if they hadn’t (ironically) won big on May the Fifth of 2013.

With Yeovil Town hosting Manchester United this weekend, alongside games involving Newport and Tottenham and Cardiff against Manchester City, there’s room for shocks. But with City fighting on four fronts (what seems like a ready-to-use excuse should they get knocked out of one), Cardiff having an eye on top-flight promotion, Yeovil battling to survive in League Two and Tottenham seeking to maintain their top four chase in the league, will there really be shocks, or simply, no matter the end result, fixtures to get out of the way?



Published in International Watch

Emmanuel Adebayor has once slated his manager, Wenger comparing him to a ‘teacher’ but claims Jose Mourinho, who he worked under for six months at Real Madrid in 2011 is one of the honest managers in the world.

In recent years, the striker has not concealed his hatred for Arsenal, which he represented from 2006 to 2009 – claiming Tomas Rosicky, one of his former teammates at the club, was a fragile player in an interview last year.

The striker referred to himself in the interview as the strongest member of the Arsenal squad during his time at the club.

The Togolese international in a separate interview, said Mourinho was the best manager he played under.

Speaking about his two managers (Mourinho and Wenger), Adebayor said the former was an honest man whilst branding the latter a teacher.

“He (Mourinho) is one of the most honest managers I have met in my career which is crazy because most of the managers are all kind of fake life,” Adebayor, as quoted by Marca.

“Mourinho is a manager that wants to win trophy no matter what it takes, even if he has to park the bus, the train or a plane he just wants to win and will do everything it takes to win.

“He will not sleep. He will work 24 hours to win one game and Arsenne (Wenger) just loves to bring kids in and then become big players. He is like a teacher.

Adebayor led the five players who jumped ship from Arsenal to Manchester City with the likes of Samir Nasri, Kolo Toure, Bacary Sagna and Gael Clichy also leaving Arsenal for Man City later on.

The striker revealed that Wenger forced him out of the club and said he had mixed feelings over his support for Arsenal.

“I had a meeting with Arseane in his office when he told me I had to leave because he doesn’t see my future in Arsenal,” Adebayor explained.

“I was like ‘I’m going to stay.’ ‘He was like: no, there is not even a fight organised.

“We are not going to organise any fight for you. You move out or you stay here and don’t play any games’. So I didn’t have any other choice than to join Manchester City, who I was very happy to join.

“And the next day when I joined City I saw him doing a press conference in London saying that I wanted to leave because the money was big and everything and since that day that is where the hate for Arsenal came from.”

On the hate for Arsenal, the striker added: “Not the fans because the fans are the first English fans to sing my name. Even today when I watch them play I want them to win at the same time I want them to lose because the anger is too much.

“I played for the club for three years and half years. They bought me for three or four million they sold me for 27 million and still call me names. They are still telling me I left for money.

“You bought me for three million I still have five years of contract and you let me go for 20 million more and you are telling me I am the one leaving for money and abusing me.

“You can insult me no problem, but telling me my father washes elephants?”

“I’m not taking that so it was to show them that the person you are insulting still has something in his locker.

The 33-year-old currently plies his trade in Turkey with current SuperLig leaders Istanbul Basaksehir, and has registered nine goals in 19 outings this season.

Published in International Watch

The FA has given Arsenal manager three-match touchline ban after he conceded to the improper charge against him by the English football governing council.

The 68-year-old French man was also fined £40,000 after he admitted that his languages against Mike Dean in last Sunday draw against West Brom were offensive.

Wenger was furious that West Brom were awarded a late penalty from which they equalized and according to reports the Arsenal manager was said to use swearing words at Dean.

He faced a charge for his actions after the game but he was unrepentant and made some damning statement about officiating in England.

Wenger after his side lost 3-1 to Man City earlier in the season said the level of officiating in the English League was depleting.

At his press conference today, the former AS Monaco manager said he was shocked that he got charged and said nothing would change his stance on the assessment of the referees.

Wenger said: First of all, yes I’ve been asked. I maintain what I said in the press conference.”

 “100 per cent. I have nothing to change in that. Nothing has changed.

 “I’ve been in England for 21 years and I’ve tried to serve this game with honesty, integrity and when I have something to say, I say it. On that front, nothing will change. Never.”

Wenger, who also served four-match ban last January for pushing Anthony Taylor, will sit out his side’s FA Cup 3rd round encounter against Nottingham Forest this Sunday, League cup semi-final meetings with Chelsea at the Emirate and a league match meeting with Bournemouth at the Dean Court stadium on the 14th of this month.

Published in International Watch

What he has done is beat people like Messi and Ronaldo, who are unbeatable in my head - Wenger

Wenger, Kane is absolutely amazing

Arsene Wenger has noted that given the competitive nature of the English Premier League, Kane has done something by beating the duo of Messi and Ronaldo to 2017 highest-scoring footballer.

The Tottenham striker finished 2017 with back-to-back hat-tricks against Burnley and Southampton, making it 39 Premier League goals to surpass Alan Shearer's previous record of 36 in a calendar year, set in 1995.

The Tottenham forward recorded 56 goals for club and country in 52 appearances this year - two more than Lionel Messi (54 in 64) and three ahead of Messi’sLa Liga counterpart and current Ballon D’or holder Cristiano Ronaldo (53 in 60).

And as a rival, the French man has nothing but to be full of praise for Kane who he described to have done ‘absolutely amazing.’

According to the Arsenal manager, he never thought Kane would have outscored the duo of Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo considering the fact that the England man is playing in a tougher league.

"Yes there are. That is why I say that what he has achieved is absolutely amazing," Wenger, as quoted by FourFourTwo

"He has done it and would I have predicted it? I would modestly say no.

"What he has done is beat people like Messi and Ronaldo, who are unbeatable in my head, so what he has done, is absolutely fantastic."

Wenger has also shed light on some of the reasons why summer acquisition from Schalke 04 Sead Kolasinaic has been out of the starting X1.

According to Wenger, the emergence of Maitland Niles coupled with his preference to use the Bosnian international as more of a wing back as informed his decisions of dropping Kolasinaic from the starting X1.





Published in International Watch

Djourou explains the importance of Wenger at Arsenal

Djourou and Arsene Wenger at a press conference
Djourou alongside former boss

Johan Djourou believes that his former boss Arsene Wenger is still the man for Arsenal and that his records at Arsenal can’t be wipe off.

Wenger has been under scrutiny with some set of the fans, ex Arsenal players calling him to call it off at the club.

And with Arsenal’s failure to book a Champions League last season and another abysmal campaign in the league this term - that saw the North London side sits 7th in the league – 19 points behind table topper Man City, calls for Wenger’s resignation has further increased.

Former defender Martin keown on Friday, claimed Wenger, who last led Arsenal to a league title in 2004 'is now close to leaving Arsenal than ever before.'

But Djorou, who joined Arsenal as a 15-year-old in 2004 before parting ways with the club in 2014 wrote on his blog Geneva that it ‘saddened him’ when he hear people questioning Wenger.

According to the Switzerland international, people tend to downplay Wenger’s achievement at the club.

“In recent months it has saddened me to hear people were questioning him (Wenger),” Djourou wrote.

“It seems to me nowadays you can win as many times as you want but people will only remember your losses.

“Fans, pundits and other players can say whatever they want but nobody can deny that Wenger has brought philosophy and culture that created a lot of success for Arsenal.

“He has also brought stability that only a few clubs have.

Read also: Sanchez and Ozil Want to Stay in Arsenal – Wenger

Djourou, who revealed that it was great playing for Wenger noted that the Frenchman would have to leave Arsenal at a point but said the he should not be under pressure to do so.

“Of course, Arsene has been in place for a very long time.

“I can understand that the only thing fans want are titles, and that Arsenal hasn’t won the championship for quite some time now (they still won cup in 2015 and 2017).

“There will be a time when he will have to go,” he added.

“But nobody should take away the great things he has achieved for Arsenal. I will always love those years playing for the boss in North London.

The 30-year-old defender, who represented the club 140 times across his 10-year-stint also disclosed that Wenger is not a stubborn person like the way many perceive him.

Djourou said, “… he’s always open for discussion; and doesn’t have a thickhead personality like many believe.

Published in International Watch

Arsenal manager, Arsene Wenger has revealed that he is looking forward to managing a country at the world cup billed for Qatar in 2022.

The 68-year-old Frenchman, who extended his contract by two more years at Arsenal at the end of last season amidst calls from some set of fans an ex-players to resign his position as the Arsenal coach said that he is considering his career ahead of the 2022 World Cup.

The former AS Monaco of France manager believed Qatar’s financial strength is a major strength for a quality World Cup in 2022.

When asked by Bein Sports if he could be managing a country at the 2022 World Cup, Wenger said, “Maybe, you never know.”

 “I believe on the quality of the stadiums, the quality of the organization and the competition you have no doubt because they have the financial potential to do it well in Qatar.

“Certainly they will have their pride to propose special stadiums, special innovations and on that front I am convinced that they will surprise the world.”

Wenger, who has been at the helm of managerial affairs at Arsenal for 21 years said he’ll be in football till the end of his life.

Wenger added: “Until the end of my life I will be in football. I don’t know as a director or a manager, but one day that will stop. I will stay in football of course.



Published in International Watch

It’s one thing for Wenger to deflect from his team’s inadequacies, it’s another to question someone’s integrity and be wrong.

Former Newcastle forward, Alan Shearer has slammed Arsenal boss over claims that Raheem Sterling dived to earn Manchester City a penalty kick in the North Londoner’s 3-1 loss at the Etihad on Sunday.

According to the English Premier League all-time scorer, Wenger, who blamed match officials for the loss should be more focused on adjusting the flaws in his team over questioning peoples’s integrity.

Shearer said on the Match of the Day 2 that the Monreal’s challenge on Sterling which earned Man City a penalty kick that Aguero duly converted to move city 2 nil up in the game was a clear penalty and Wenger should apologize for trying to put a stain on Raheem Sterling.

“I think he owes Sterling an apology,” Shearer said. “There is no way that was a dive and it was a penalty.”

He added, “It’s one thing for Wenger to deflect from his team’s inadequacies, it’s another to question someone’s integrity and be wrong.”

Goals from Kevin De Bruyne, Aguero, and Gabriel Jesus condemned Arsenal to a 3-1 defeat but Wenger was left furious with the referees and claimed the standard of officiating is getting worse every year in the league.

Apart from being furious with the Penalty being handed to City on Sunday the 68-year old Frenchman also believed that City’s third goal should have been ruled for offside.

An upset Wenger told journalists after the loss on Sunday: “I feel Referees don’t work enough. The level drops every season at the moment and, overall, it’s unacceptable.

“The third goal was offside. I am very upset because at 2-1 we were in the game. The third goal was the killer and it’s by coincidence that mistakes always go for the home team, as we know.

“You can accept it if City win in a normal way, but this is unacceptable.”

The defeat at the Etihad for Arsenal who are playing North London rival, Tottenham Hotspur up next in the league condemned Arsenal to sixth position – 12 points behind leaders and title favorite, Man City.

Published in International Watch

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