Joachim Low Is an Ideal Candidate to Replace Arsene Wenger as Arsenal Manager

Ian Rodgers@irodgers66World Football Staff WriterApril 22, 2013

WARSAW, POLAND - JUNE 28:  Head Coach Joachim Loew of Germany reacts during the UEFA EURO 2012 semi final match between Germany and Italy at the National Stadium on June 28, 2012 in Warsaw, Poland.  (Photo by Joern Pollex/Getty Images)
Joern Pollex/Getty Images

There is a methodical and professorial quality to Joachim Low when viewed on the touchline as Germany's coach. Perhaps that is why Arsenal view him as a strong candidate to replace Arsene Wenger?

The current Gunners manager has endured an arduous season at the Emirates Stadium after almost 17 years in charge of the club.

Domestic cup defeats to Blackburn Rovers and Bradford City ensured the North London side would again finish the season without trophy, extending their run without silverware to eight years.

Wenger has overseen an upturn in his side's performances since then, however, and qualification for the Champions League next season is still a good possibility with the team in third place a point ahead of Chelsea and two above Tottenham, albeit after playing a game more than both.

But the Frenchman has still not entered into discussions with Arsenal owner Stan Kroenke and chief executive Ivan Gazidis over a new contract at the club when his current deal ends next year (Daily Mail).

Sensible business policy, and few are more sensible than the Gunners, dictates that the club must be ready for the departure and the name of Low has surfaced as a replacement for Wenger ahead of the 2014-15 Premier League season (Sunday Times).

Undoubtedly, this is a 'What if Arsene leaves?' exercise for the Arsenal board, who have stood by Wenger throughout a poor season and will continue to do so.

Both Kroenke and Gazidis will be hoping Wenger renews his contract at the club, but the Gunners boss will be approaching 65 years old by then and may decide his time with the club is at an end.

Low, however, has cut an impressive figure since stepping up to replace Jurgen Klinsmann at the helm of the German national side after the 2006 World Cup.

The former SC Freiburg midfielder enjoyed a flying start to his managerial career when he guided Stuttgart to German Cup success in 1997 and to the European Cup Winners' Cup Final against Chelsea the following year.

But disappointing spells with Fenerbahce, Karlsruher and Adanaspor in Turkey followed before Low re-emerged with Austrian club Tirol Innsbruck and lead them to the league title in 2002 before the club went bankrupt.

Low has not managed at the club level since Austria Vienna in 2004, but his progress and relative success with Germany has not gone unnoticed.

He was linked with the managerial role at Chelsea when Andre Villas-Boas left the club in March 2012 (Daily Mail) and Real Madrid in December (Sky Sports).

But it is his achievement in helping to turn German football into a genuine force again after the disappointing Euro 2004 exit at the group stage, which included a 0-0 draw with Latvia, which has seen Low become an esteemed figure in the game.

Alongside Klinsmann, Low forged a new dynamic to the national team and produced a more entertaining style of football on the world stage.

Where, previously, Germany was ruthlessly efficient, they were now a team to watch and Low has taken them to the semifinals of the last three major international tournaments, including finishing runner-up to Spain at Euro 2008.

As Low told Le Parisien newspaper in February (via ESPN), the hopeful long ball forward was a thing of the past for Germany.

"We wanted to change the culture of the German national team. We've managed to do that. Now we want to win the World Cup playing attractive football"

To anyone familiar with the successful Arsenal team before Wenger, those words will resonate. A favourite chant of Gunners' fans at the time was "One-nil to the Arsenal, one-nil to the Arsenal" in reference to the resolute football being played at Highbury then.

Wenger, though, has created some of the most memorable Arsenal teams in history and has been mirrored in what Low is achieving with Germany.

Low's current deal ends after the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, pretty much the same time as Wenger's contract expires.

You can sense the formation of a new Arsenal alliance already.


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