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Could Arsene Wenger Be Set for a Dramatic Return to Management with Monaco?

Arsene Wenger
Credit: Joshua Hayes, flickr (cropped)

It has been a good few months since Arsene Wenger waved goodbye to Arsenal, and you can imagine the Frenchman has enjoyed a few months off to re-energise in the time that has passed since.

Wenger strikes you as the kind of man that enjoys the finer things in life: he’s probably been tending to his garden, reading, listening to classical music and enjoying the fine wines that are produced in his native land.

But as with all football managers that have a point to prove, you sense he will be desperate to get back into the game sooner rather than later.

With his 69th birthday less than a fortnight away, Wenger surely won’t want those final few seasons at Arsenal to serve as his managerial epitaph, and what he needs is one last chance to prove his doubters wrong.

Perhaps that opportunity has just become vacant….

Monaco Victims of Their Own Success

Monaco boss Leonardo Jardim has been sacked by the club after a rather derisory start to the campaign which sees them in Ligue 1’s relegation zone.

Position Team Played Won Drawn Lost Goal Diff. Points
16 Dijon 9 3 1 5 -4 10
17 Reims 9 2 4 3 -5 10
18 Monaco 9 1 3 5 -5 6
19 Nantes 9 1 3 5 -8 6
20 Guingamp 9 1 2 6 -12 5

We know that, in the modern game, you don’t get given time to turn things around, so Jardim’s heroics in winning the title for the club have clearly been forgotten.

The brilliance of that 2016/17 squad has, bizarrely, been Jardim’s downfall. Since that glorious campaign, Monaco have sold Kylian Mbappe, Bernardo Silva, Benjamin Mendy, Tiemoue Bakayoko, Guido Carillo, Thomas Lemar, Fabinho and Terrence Kongolo, amongst others.

It’s raised hundreds of millions in funds, but made Jardim’s task of delivering sustained success rather tricky!

Home Comforts the Key for Wenger

Map and Flag of MonacoA return to management in France would suit Wenger down to the ground; particularly at Monaco, where he made his big break as a gaffer.

The club won the Ligue 1 title in 1988/89, and followed up with glory in the Coupe de France a couple of years later, while tasting defeat in the European Cup Winners’ Cup final (for younger readers, that was a sort of early edition of the Europa League).

Wenger even introduced the world to George Weah, and the former Arsenal manager is remembered with much fondness in this enclave of France.

A return makes logical sense on many levels, although reports are emerging that Wenger is being lined up for a Sporting Director style role at rivals PSG.

Dream Team Reunited?

While there has been no official line to confirm as much, just imagine the scenes if Wenger is announced as Monaco’s new manager with Thierry Henry as his assistant!

Both are club legends, an both have a genuine and affection for the other following their trophy-laden time together at Arsenal.

A concept where Wenger leads Monaco out of their current trouble, before handing the managerial reins over to Henry, makes great sense on paper.

The Belgium assistant manager reportedly turned down an approach from Aston Villa for his services this past week, perhaps with one eye on the vacancy in France.

Punters can avail themselves of 4/1 on Wenger being the next Monaco manager with Ladbrokes and co, and if you move fast you can take what appears to be a value play.