Is Antonio Conte the Man to Replace Arsene Wenger?

02/10/2013 17:32 BST | Updated 02/12/2013 10:12 GMT

Arsenal currently sit top of the Premier League and it seems an age since we heard chants of 'you don't know what you're doing' aimed at Gunner's manager Arsene Wenger who recently celebrated 17 years at the North London club.

The Frenchman is out of contract at the end of the season and many see it as a time to change the old guard. Wenger was not the only casualty of irate fans as the board were also attacked especially chief executive Ivan Gazidas. In a comical scene of utter Englishness, the Gunners faithful were SO irate they sent a strongly worded letter to the board - I'm sure that hit the mark.

For younger fans it will be hard to imagine Arsenal without Wenger and the mere suggestion the 63-year-old should move on will undoubtedly ruffle a few feathers. However, as shown at Man United, a change will have to come at some point and, as at Man United, it is paramount a good appointment is made at the Emirates or they could also see themselves sitting below Hull City in the Premier League.

So here is a brief look at Antonio Conte and why I think he would be the best replacement for Le Professeur. After all, all good things must come to an end.


Recent reports in Italy suggest Arsenal are very keen on Conte and it's easy to see why. He cut his teeth in Serie B with Arezzo before moving to Bari, in the same league, where he tasted silverware for the first time winning the league.

This sparked interest from the big boys and a move to Serie A's Atalanta beckoned - unfortunately his first spell in the top-flight saw his team relegated. He was back in Serie B with Siena and finished runner-up the following season. Bouncebackability? Check

Juve then came knocking in 2011 and Conte, a former player, was more than happy to accept a spell in Turin. He took over a team which finished seventh in 2010-2011, 24 points off the pace. He went on to win the league with the Old Lady in his first year and won again last year - a scudetto (season unbeaten) no less.

That's two league titles out of two...salivating yet Gooners? He's matched Arsenal's invincibles and won the league back to back. Granted, you may argue the Premier League contains teams of a much higher calibre but there are still both Milans, Napoli, Fiorentina, Roma, Udinese and Lazio to contend with.

Recent acquisitions in the transfer market include Carlos Tevez and Fernando Llorente, showing he has a sales pitch to attract the big names in the transfer marker - a huge plus as Arsenal look to attract the world's best to their squad.

He has also managed to keep the old pros happy. Gianluigi Buffon and Andrea Pirlo, who rediscovered his form under Conte, remain at Juve after the biggest clubs in the world came calling. If Arsenal could have kept hold of their star men in recent seasons who knows what they could have achieved.

When looking at potential replacements, football fans either seem to get ahead of themselves (Pep Guardiola, Jose Mourinho) or they get all romantic (Dennis Bergkamp, Tony Adams).

Conte fits the bill in my book and if you can overlook his ten month ban for failing to report match fixing in 2010 (did I fail to mention that?) I think he should take the reins after Wenger departs.

Other potential Replacements - Jurgen Klopp (Borussia Dortmund) Frank De Boer (Ajax) Louis Van Gaal (Netherlands) Ottmar Hitzfeld (Switzerland) Diego Simeone (Atletico Madrid)