BBC pundit Mark Lawrenson believes that the vacant Arsenal manager’s position may well appeal to recently-sacked former Napoli boss Carlo Ancelotti.
The Italian was bizarrely dismissed this week by the Serie A side despite guiding them to the knock-out stages of the Champions League, meaning he is surely now a very real candidate for the Gunners post.
Lawrenson think so, at least, although he believes they’ll lose 2-0 to Manchester City on Sunday: “Other than their defence, I don’t think Arsenal need an awful lot of work in order to become a top-four side, which is why their vacant manager’s job might appeal to Carlo Ancelotti now he has left Napoli,” he wrote on the BBC Sport website.
“I don’t see interim boss [Freddie] Ljungberg being offered the post on a permanent basis, and I don’t see that changing even if his side win this game – but he could hold the fort until the summer if needed. Will Arsenal win? No. City won comfortably in Europe on Wednesday night after making a few changes and I am expecting to see a response to their derby defeat when their regulars return to action for this one.”
Is Ancelotti the man for Arsenal?
He’s certainly a quality candidate. The 60-year-old has won league titles in four different countries and has led some of the biggest teams in world football to the biggest prizes.
He’s been a title winner with AC Milan, Chelsea, Paris Saint-Germain and Bayern Munich, while he’s won three Champions League titles, two with Milan and one with Real Madrid.
Napoli have done the Gunners a favour by ensuring there’s no need for them to pay any compensation for Ancelotti, while he has experience of managing in English football from his successful spell at Stamford Bridge.
It would be bizarre if the north London giants didn’t at least speak to the Italian, because he’s an entirely different calibre of manager to interim boss Ljungberg.