Smith: Arsenal won’t be short of managerial options


Former Arsenal striker Alan Smith says the Gunners board won’t struggle to attract a replacement for Arsene Wenger when the Frenchman steps down, however, he feels the playing style of Atletico Madrid’s Diego Simeone, mooted as a possible replacement, may not fit with the club’s philosophy.

While nobody knows whether Wenger intends to continue his long reign for another couple of seasons or not, Smith says geography and Arsenal’s status among the global elite means its future will be in good hands.

“[It’s] a very attractive job to come into a club like Arsenal,” Smith told Newsweek.

“You win the league and you’re a legend having had those ten or 12 barren years, so it’s a club that should be able to attract the best players, they can pay big money, and the fact it’s a London club is a big attraction to foreign players.

“They wouldn’t be short of quality candidates.”

On what Arsenal should be looking for when they do finally start to interview for Wenger’s successor, the player-turned-pundit explained: “You want to have attractive football. Many people are advocating [Atletico Madrid manager] Diego Simeone.

“I think actually that would probably be going too far the other way. He produces winning sides [but] I think the Arsenal fans would find it a bit hard to stomach that style of football.”

He continued: “You need a new man to come in who would be a powerful manager, who would want to do things his way, whether that is with a director of football, which I think is something the club are looking at, to take some of the weight off the manager’s shoulders. But no, I think if he [Wenger] decided to step down he would have to walk away from the club altogether.”


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Laughing Stock of Football
Laughing Stock of Football

Let’s hope we find out soon!


If one more pundit or chump English journo spouts the Eddie Howe trumpet again I am going to be sick in my mouth.

Like out of all the English managers, why would we go for him? He’s barely keeping Bournemouth afloat. And it honestly made me chuckle when during his last presser, ginger pubes Sean Dyche scoffed in irony that Arsenal would ever consider him to be their new manager, and he said something like ‘Oh, Arsenal would never get an English manager in charge, because the top English clubs wont ever higher an English manager bla bla bla..’

No you’re right Sean, no top flight club is going to come in for you, or any of your moronic ‘lump it up to the front man’ English manager pals, because you’re all classes helmets who lack PR nouse, who all play prehistoric football and you don’t win anything, ever.

The game has moved on, in Spain, Germany, Italy, France.. wherever, anywhere other than the England, the coaches and mangers are leaps and bounds ahead of any of you lot over here. So shut your mouth and go win an FA Cup, or a league Cup, or something, because if you start doing that then bigger clubs will move in for you.

Or keep playing garbage football where you cross the half-way line once in 90 minutes and then spend the whole of your career moaning in pre-match pressers that you never get the big jobs.




Managed to post after one word, old clumsy-thumbs. Anyway, what I was going to say is that Eddie Howe is partly trumpeted because his sides play great football unlike the likes of Dyche and Allardyce. Bournemouth have also been kept up last season and are doing solidly this season despite having the 17th biggest wage bill in the league – so “barely keeping them above water” is impressive. He also took the side from League 2 to League 1, left for a while then came back and took them from the League 1 relegation places to where they are now in about 4 years. What he’s achieved, despite some cash from the owner, is remarkable. They still have guys in their squad from their days in L1.

I don’t think he would be the right choice for us now, though, because I’ve seen Rodgers and Moyes fail to make the step up from smaller clubs. I’d rather we went for someone with more than 2 years top-flight management. I would, however, be quite excited if he was appointed because I definitely think he’s a fine manager in the making and he’d continue to play attractive football.


I agree with a lot of what you said, but I do think you displayed a bit of ignorance to what Eddie Howe has achieved at Bournemouth. Im not saying I want him as manager of Arsenal, but he’s a done a fucking stirling job down there and is worthy of a next level job.

Bould\'s Eyeliner

Yeah–and we should be thankful to how mindfully and carefully he managed Jack this past season.

That aside though I agree with Bestie that there are jobs fit for men like Rodgers and Moyes–not bad at what they do but lacking any sort of creative ambition or ingenuity. I wouldn’t put Howe in that position, but it would be as much of a leap in faith as it was for Dein to back Wenger two decades ago; agreed, some top-flight experience seems to be absolutely necessary for a smooth transition.

Wenger did not need to make a smooth transition because Graham had more or less left the club in disrepair due to his scandals for about a year or two, but this situation calls for someone able to placate not just a London community, but a global fanbase. Interesting how the board will deal with it when the time comes, which hopefully won’t be either too short or too long from now.

I’m also heavily interested in seeing Wenger become a pundit in England to singlehandedly inject some intelligence into the shows. That would never happen, sadly.

But while I’m on this rhythm of random tangents, I have loved most British talk shows for their wit/humor, cultural information (if it seems inane to you, remember talk shows are even worse in America). But the moment anything remotely related to football is discussed in England, it seems like everyone is reduced to an emotional wreck that repeat themselves again and again, no matter what station they are on. BBC, Sky, BeIN, etc.

Even NBC sports over here on this side of the pond is starting to repeat this ‘weak Arsenal’ rhetoric and its driving me nuts.


Getting howe would b like man u getting moyes.

Cliff Bastin

Or like Arsenal getting an unknown French professor from Japan.


At least Burnley win consistently at home in front of loyal fans and they should have got a point from us, twice.
Bang-crash Dyche is right when he says Arsenal would never hire him. But Eddie Howe is a different kettle of water. He is the chosen one and could bring Jack Wilshere back with him. Don Howe was the business at Arsenal, why not his grandson?

Monkeys uncle

Maybe because Don Howe is not Eddie Howe’s grandfather……….


How do you know? Don could have been to Bournemouth on away trips.
My point is, he’s a very good young coach and could be anything. Probably too soon for Arsenal though?

David C

Agreed. Simeone’s teams are pretty boring to watch. I’m glad Smith didn’t say Eddie Howe or some other British manager with little to no success.

My brother lives in Japan now so I’ll tell him to get the scoop on the managers in the J League 🙂


I disagree that Simeone’s teams are boring to watch. It think the aggressiveness and the forward pressing they do, especially in the CL, is really interesting and something we have been lacking. Plus the fighting spirit and the togetherness in the current Atl. Madrid team is something to envy. While saying, that I’m not sure if he would be the right man to take over as we lack the players currently to impose the same style.

But I think Simeone is a bad ass manager and if he brings his WWA-look-a-like assistant with him, which he would probably do,it would be a mouthwatering prospect, I think.


It won’t work for Arsenal. Why? Take the example of Xhaka, he was brought in to provide spine to the team. What happens next the referees start targeting him basically making sure that he doesn’t tackle at all. Because he came with those 8 Red Card in 3 seasons fame.

If Arsenal hire Simeone he will come with a similar package. So, you will be a goal or man down before the game begins. People hate Arsenal for making foreigners the spine of this club and stopping the great MU teams even beating them to honours.

Having Eddie Howe won’t be that bad an idea in this sort of situation but sacking him once the first season doesn’t go well would definitely turn the “British loving” media against us which in turn would make sure that our fans who don’t attend the games and just follow the media will be discussing it further just like we are doing it here.


His boring teams knocked out Barca and Bayern every given chance and reached UCL final twice as well as a la Liga title as ultimate underdogs. His teams are energetic as hell. They come to ‘war’ every weekend while other teams are prepared to ‘play’.


Just imagine thou, turning up and the other team ACTUALLY have to come and try and play in our half and not 11 men in the own 3rd….

gooner of Oz

Like we have been so entertaining so far? I dont think theyre boring at all. But even if, at least they’re always over achieving. And have been brilliant in exact challenges we’ve always fail to master. They kick teams in Champions League we have never managed to even avoid ambarrassment againts.

Too Drunk To Be Offside
Too Drunk To Be Offside

Simeone wins and thats all that matters.

Attacking is not everything and if Wenger’s teams off late had half the fight and discipline and work ethic of Simeone’s sides, Arsenal would not be lightyears behind the league leaders.

Results over style anyday for me.

Public Elneny Number One
Public Elneny Number One

OOH OOH OOH pick me, pick me!

Crash Fistfight

Be quiet, Donkey.


i got the reference


Nice name!


Simeone is obviously going to be replacing Pioli at Inter Milan so I think he is out of the question.

Rambling Pete

Whatever happens with Arsene Wenger there’s no doubt Arsenal is a big draw for lots of managers. Things might seem a bit rocky to us right now but think about it from their point of view. It’s a huge club with a great stadium in an amazing city, and any new manager who comes in will have lots of money to spend on the squad because that’s just how it works. I think there would be very few people who aren’t already in a good job who would turn something like this down. I know I certainly wouldn’t but then my football managerial days are long over. I used to run my local pub team and considering games were on Sunday mornings most of the lads used to turn up hungover to bits. I remember Charlie Foley our left back vomiting on an opposition winger in the middle of a game once. He took exception to being puked on and tried to fight Charlie but when he came over the smell of his own vomit made Charlie get sick again, this time into the fella’s mouth as he was shouting at him. It didn’t end well but that chap become known throughout the league as Barf Simpson and he hated the nickname so of course everyone called him that to wind him up. One day it got so heated with another team that the game descended into a full-on scrap, players and coaches all going at each other hell for leather. Charlie has been a vigorous proponent of the butterfly effect ever since.

Xhaka\'s Red Card

Scroll down to comments section.. see a Rambling Pete post.. thumb it up first then read it. never disappoints


Hello again Rambling Pete. Good to see you back, I was wondering where you”s got too…


Thumbed you up because you’re Rambling Pete 😀


Rambling Pete. Back to put a smile on our faces in these times of struggle! Where have you been?

a different George

Foley for England!


Isnt there whispers of Pep not really happy at city….im sure he’d prefer London to Manchester. A youth system as close to La Mascia as you can get away from Barca. Hes always been respectful to AW and the club. A bit like Mourinho and Fergie and Utd. Or am i clutching? Maybe we sent Agent Arteta for this reason👀

Mike\'s espresso

Wonderful. Welcome back, Pete.

Uhtred of bergkampburg
Uhtred of bergkampburg

Get rambling Pete a statue.

Original Paul

Hi Pete welcome back. Have you seen Fatgooner on your travels? 🙂


What any fan wants is a winning team. Arsenal may play pretty soccer but aint getting nowhere.Thats the problem.
To play attractive soccer to win is not easy.So you have to choose.
For me I prefer a winning team. I don’t care how the goal is scored.

Romford Pelé

For me personally, I prefer attractive or winning “football” but that’s just me 😉


What’s soccer?


It’s the word I use when I talk to my fellow countrymen so they’ll know I’m not talking about the NFL. I usually say “football” when talking to anyone else. So don’t be a dick.

Tasmanian Jesus

You will always get comments like that here when you say that.
So might be best to keep in mind next time; that we are, mostly, anyone else 😀

Romford Pelé

Calling someone a dick is harsh. Do your fellow countrymen often need reminding you are not talking about NFL when you post on an arsenal site? Peculiar reason, maybe “its what we Americans call soccer” would make more sense. But I do believe poly was fully aware what soccer is and was merely making an age old sarcastic remark.


It’s the fault of the Brits, actually. The term was coined from ‘Association Football’ in England and used widely and interchangeably through most of the 20th century. And since ‘gridiron’ formed an organized league 1 year before the first organized ‘football’ league, the fuckers stole the name. Probably competitively for league establishment, or to cash on a familiar name, or for the similarity to rugby football. And only 1 player on each team is allowed to put their damned boot to the ball.

And a good piece on the history of the game in the US. It was bigger than ‘gridiron’ and second only to baseball for many years:


Actually two players are allowed to put their boots to the ball–the punter and the field goal/point-after specialist.

donald\'s trump

We don’t play attractive football. It’s a myth.

Tasmanian Jesus

This is fake news.

Lord Nicki B

I kind of agree about the Simeone sides thing. But, it’d be kind of refreshing to see that sort of defensive discipline.

I mean, Arsene took over a side which many called Boring, Boring Arsenal.

Now then, an Arsene Wenger coached side with the attractive side of the game in their genes might do bloody good when augmented with Simeone’s defensive masterclass.


says some one who played under George Graham!

Stewart Robson\'s therapist
Stewart Robson\'s therapist

Arsenal don’t have a set way of playing that has to be adhered to by any manager. Their current style is only regarded as “Arsenal’s philosophy” because Arsenal have had the same manager for a very long time and that’s how he likes to play. We weren’t known for that style under previous Arsenal managers.The manager should dictate the style, not the club that employ him.

It drove me mad when people kept banging on about David Moyes having to change to suit Man United. He should have been given the right to impress his methods on the club. I hope Wenger’s successor will not suffer the same treatment. If it were to be Simeone, he should be given free rein to use the methods he most favours – not forced to retain elements of the previous man’s philosophy just because that’s what supporters are now used to (and in my case, grew up with).


where does that leave the average Gooner who supports the Gunners for style and substance? the Walcott goal v West Hame is a typical Arsenal goal…style and substance…Ozil to Sanchez who backheels back to Ozil who cuts it back, ostensibly to Sanchez but Walcott saw it first…How we play is important to me…on that basis, I wouldn’t want Simeone managing the team…


After all of the negativity in some recent interviews with ex-arsenal players. I like the way Smith manages to put a (somewhat) positive spin on the situation.


He’s a god awful commentator though, he’s always negative about us. I hope it’s over compensating because deep down he’s a gooner, but I’m not convinced. I think he hates us like Paul Merson and that other weird bloke who no-one really remembers, Stewart Robson.


I am not sure on his commentating. But I think what hes is saying is true. He is saying that we as fans should be thinking about what we have got at arsenal rather then what we have not. “Wegxit” at times looks a bit bleak. But we shouldn’t ignore the stature and the legacy The Arsenal is and what Wenger has built. The opportunity to manage a club like The Arsenal would appeal to many of Europes top managers. I think that’s a fair point.




The master tactician! hah!


He’s right–Simeone is not the right fit for the club. The problem is, I doubt whether Kroenke or the board have a clue who would be a good fit for the Gunners and their style of football.

Christopher Wreh

To be honest, at the moment just some clarity on the situation would be lovely.

Lord Bendtner

Was hoping he was going to provide a shortlist of possible managers. But, his shortlist seems to be at -1


I’m just wondering if the club are aware that it’ll be a constant merri-go-round after Arsene. Even a lot of fans sort of think of us as ‘missing out’ on managers that move every summer, as if they are locked in for a generation.

Should be more exciting but there will probably be lower lows and hopefully higher highs. A nightmare for Stan and with any luck he’ll get fed up with the financial inconsistency of it all. It’s not cheap hiring and firing coaches either, but looking at how he handles things at home you fear the worst. They won’t find another Wenger, you can be sure as fuck they’ll try though and it’ll probably do a fair bit of damage with them persisting with their chosen man beyond the point competitors will.

I love Arsene personally still, no animosity toward him at all. Enjoy watching his press conferences even with the same old questions. But I think he should have called time after the FA cup win. Once he leaves it’s going to be carnage. And that’s something I’m ready for personally. It’s become boring and that’s the worst of all criticisms. Not angry, just not excited to watch them anymore and it’s been like that for quite some time.

Tasmanian Jesus

Lets hope it dont get us to the point Man Utd got to when they hired the worlds biggest thundercunt.


So the one thing that Arsenal has going for it that at least argues it could be far more stable than the usual merry go round at top clubs is Arsenal has an owner who is very patient and isn’t interested in the footballing side of things. Most of the top club merry go round is due to top clubs continuously sacking managers – that’s unlikely to happen at Arsenal. I don’t think we’ll see another 20 year manager, but 7-10 years, maybe

Andy Mack

A season of mid-table mediocracy would soon get the board looking for another option…


seems highly unlikely based on how Stan runs his other franchises. He has an extremely long history to look at how he behaves and nothing suggest that would be true.


Mediocracy seems the perfect word when discussing the Board on recent years. But let’s hope they’ve got us all fooled.


So there is no shortage of managers who would wish to come to London, one of the worlds great cities, to manage an extremely wealthy club.
In other news regular breathing prolongs life and bears defecate in sylvan areas.
Alan Smith really does add nothing to the sum total of human knowledge.


As far as I know, Wenger’s greatest success have been related to his early time at Arsenal, where he adopted a much more physical style of tactics, focusing on strength, speed and rapid transitions of the game. It was this style that made me fall in love Arsenal. The tiki-taka nonsense that has come afterwards has just gotten worse and worse. The only reason I could maybe agree to for Wenger to get another chance is if he cut out the Tiki-taka bullshit and went back to his old style that was so much more exciting and won him and Arsenal three league titles and four FA-cup trophies.


It is this style I associate with Arsenal and would like a future manager to build on. It is this style Wenger mastered, and hopefully will be remembered most for. By hiring a manager with similar style, I hope also that there is a bigger chance for this. The best scenario would of course be if Wenger had gone back to his old style, extended the contract and won what was to win before sometime in the future let someone else take the reins, but it is perhaps unlikely.

Bloody Hair Ljungberg
Bloody Hair Ljungberg

Why option at all? We WILL get the CL spot you believe it or not. Wenger once again is proving these fools wrong by achieving what they dont want us to. We have done a better job than Barcelona Juve Real…. in CL qualifications. Thats why they hate the bods so much.

Dan Hunter

You mean the same Barca who crashed their car through the wall of our club? The same Juve who keeps taking pictures of my sister? The same Real Madrid who squealed to the senate committee about organized crime??

Jack Watson

Does anyone give a toss what Alan Smith says. He has not had a positive thing to say about Arsenal since he left the club.


Athletico Madrid play brilliant football. Whether it’s man the barricades defence or blisteringly fast counter attacking they’re always a pleasure to watch. Alan Smith is mug.


Arsenal aren’t about playing a certain style of football. Managers are. We should be above that nonsense. It’s like saying we’re the same as West Ham.


Perhaps true, but the Selfish One has borified every team he’s touched. I’m not interested in that, personally. I was drawn to this club for the style of play. It may not be as ever-present right now, but I don’t want it to disappear entirely.


Player turned pundit.

Another with no managerial experience or transfer market experience weighing in on matters above his head.

There will be options this summer but the question is :

1) Do we have MORE options following 2018 Wcup where there will be a major reshuffling?

2) Is it better to wait a transition year to put things in place better?

3) Considering the potential complications this summer with key departures, is it better to keep Wenger this summer for a mini rebuild to put things in place better for the successor?

All will depend on how we finish in the league.

People tend to only be able to see in front of their noses. We need to take a longer view.

Then there is also the question of a bit of class. Considering (despite his failings) Wenger is NO ordinary manager, it would be IMO the right thing to do to let him step down over a year (with caveat he finishes in at least CL spots this season)

The FA cup would be a plus (small but significant in terms of the record books both for club competition and Wenger)


Why do people go on about our “philosophy” as if it’s some kind of sacred tenant? It’s not even good to watch. Endless slow possession, sideways and backwards in front of the opposition but no penetration.


‘Thank you Mr Smith, for taking an interests in our affairs’! Can’t that pompous old millionaire fool, Hill-Wood come back. To support his arrogant old millionaire fool mate ‘Wenger’. Dictators rule OK