By 90Min
April 21, 2018

The news that Arsène Wenger would step down as the manager of Arsenal after 22 years in charge in north London came as a shock for football fans across the world.

But for Arsenal fans, reading a statement that was titled "Merci Arsène" on Friday morning made the world stop spinning completely. Relief, despair, uncertainty over what's to come next - all feelings which were felt by a fanbase which has become divided under Wenger's reign.

As Gooners dusted themselves off, attentions were quickly turning to who would be in Arsenal's dugout next year. Massimiliano Allegri? Carlo Ancelotti? Or maybe even Luis Enrique?

Make no mistake about it, Arsenal are a huge club, but the north London side are not in a position that suits one of European football's managerial big boys - they are only two points ahead of Burnley after all.

The perfect time for Arsenal to appoint a big name manager would have been during their trophyless years in which they consistently qualified for the Champions League - a time when the club were just "one or two" players away from returning to their former glory. 

But the odd FA Cup here and there has seen Arsenal drop down the pecking order in the Premier League and in Europe, with discontent amongst Gooners now at a record high.

The Emirates has never been quieter or more empty than it has been this season, with much of the discontent being aimed at Arsenal's hierarchy, and even a high profile appointment won't be enough to get the fans back on the owner's side.

Arsenal are now four or five players away from at least breaking into the top four once again, with most of those additions needed in defence. 

Not to mention that whoever comes in at the Emirates will forever be known as 'that guy who replaced Arsène Wenger', a big name appointment in north London would be a huge gamble.

The Gunners need to go through a post-Wenger era before they can even think about bouncing back. Just look at Manchester United after Sir Alex Ferguson left Old Trafford, Liverpool after Rafa Benitez, and Chelsea after José Mourinho.

Arsenal have the perfect opportunity to learn from their rivals mistakes this summer, and the foundations are there to settle the club thanks to the appointment of Raul Sanllehi (head of football relations) and Sven Mislintat (head of recruitment).

But it would be naive of the club, as well as the fans, to think that a big name manager will turn the club's fortunes on its head. 

Just like we've seen in the Premier League's managerial merry-go-round before, as well as with Arsenal's move to the Emirates in 2006, things will probably need to get worse before they can get better, and not one of Europe's biggest managers will want to be put in that position.

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