Picking the perfect managers for Arsenal, Watford and Everton
Jack Green and Adam Drury choose the ideal bosses for the three vacant posts in the Premier League
Arsenal: Mikel Arteta
Unai Emery was the conservative choice when Arsenal were looking for Arsene Wenger’s replacement 18 months ago. Now it’s time to gamble.
Arteta is yet to begin his managerial career but is no coaching novice, having spent three-and-a-half years under arguably the best manager in the world.
Pep Guardiola called the 37-year-old “an incredible human being” and insisted that it is only a matter of time before he’s managing a top side.
While Emery’s communication issues at Arsenal may have been overblown, Arteta – a respected former captain who speaks seven languages – should have no issues connecting with both his squad and the supporters.
The Spaniard often leads training at Manchester City, and will be the favourite for the manager’s job when Guardiola leaves.
If Arsenal don’t move for him now, they might not get another chance.
Watford: Quique Setien
From one Quique to another.
After Quique Sanchez Flores’ disastrous second spell as head coach was brought to an end, Watford can't afford to hire another risk-averse manager.
The Hornets’ best chance of survival is somebody more progressive, who will encourage the best from Gerard Deulofeu, Roberto Pereyra and Ismaila Sarr, rather than stifle them.
Setien, who was a contender to become Barcelona manager earlier this year, fits the bill.
The Spaniard’s Real Betis side earned a European place in the 2017/18 season, scoring the fourth-most goals of any La Liga team in the process.
He led Betis to stunning wins over Barcelona and Real Madrid last season before parting company with the Seville-based club in the summer.
Now a free agent, he’d be available to get to work at Watford straight away.
Everton: Rafa Benitez
Had Benitez never managed Liverpool, he’d be considered the stand-out candidate for the Eevrton post.
The Spaniard has won 12 trophies in six different countries and got the most out of a Newcastle squad that was vastly inferior to Everton’s current group of players.
Benitez is exactly the kind of pragmatic manager that Everton need to solidify a defence that has conceded 22 goals in 14 Premier League games while keeping just four clean sheets.
He’s capable of quickly turning their form around which, at this stage, might be enough to convince Everton fans to forget that he ever brought a Champions League to Anfield.
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