Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s sacking as Manchester United manager was a disappointing day for most Arsenal fans who had revelled seeing the Red Devils slump under the Norwegian’s guidance. Opening the door to a possible top-four race.
However, the speculation surrounding his replacement has been met with mixed responses from Arsenal supporters. Former Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino is the favourite for the position with United reportedly ‘confident’ of appointing the current PSG boss.
His links with Arsenal’s rivals have spurred plenty of discussions and The Arsenal Way talked about the threat which the Argentine might pose to the Gunners on this morning’s Arsenal Agenda show.
What can however be expected, were Pochettino to become the new Man Utd head coach, is a number of occurrences from a Gunners’ perspective.
Firstly, the forthcoming match between Arsenal and United at Old Trafford at the start of December would take on a whole new level of importance for both sides.
United signed Cristiano Ronaldo, Jadon Sancho and Raphael Varane in the summer and have so far failed to meet the title-challenging expectations which followed the Portuguese’s arrival in particular.
With Arsenal losing badly to Liverpool, the next three matches against Newcastle, United and Everton have taken on increased pressure to keep their Champions League qualification hopes intact.
- A new coach in the Old Trafford hot seat and what looked like an enticing trip to the northeast for the Gunners suddenly appear all the more threatening. United too would be expected to set a marker as to their reaction to the new stewardship.
Furthermore, Pochettino’s history with Tottenham is sure to bleed into his tenure with the Red Devils. Arsenal and United have their own fierce rivalry from the Arsene Wenger and Sir Alex Ferguson years.
However, having a Spurs manager who was so successful against the Gunners during his tenure will surely hype up the aura when Pochettino faces Arsenal, with an even greater incentive to frustrate his old adversary.
Mikel Arteta faces increased pressure to succeed. Having seen Chelsea sack former player Frank Lampard and go on to win the Champions League with Thomas Tuchel, Arsenal supporters saw the ruthless streak in the Blues again lead them to glory.
Should United, after sacking a former player turned head coach, also progress forwards to silverware and Arteta fail to take the team to similar or even greater heights, the doubt surrounding the Spaniard would surely only grow.
The Premier League has seen Antonio Conte join Spurs, Steven Gerrard arrive at Villa and now the prospect of Pochettino at United. Arsenal face even greater obstacles as they attempt to rise back to the high perch that has so far eluded them for a considerable period of time.