Emmanuel Petit: Carlo Ancelotti Is 'Perfect Answer' as Next Arsenal Manager

Gianni Verschueren@ReverschPassFeatured ColumnistDecember 15, 2019

Napoli's head coach Carlo Ancelotti watches during the Champions League Group E soccer match between Liverpool and Napoli at Anfield stadium in Liverpool, England, Wednesday, Nov. 27, 2019. (AP Photo/Jon Super)
Jon Super/Associated Press

Arsenal legend Emmanuel Petit has urged the Gunners to make Carlo Ancelotti their new manager before Everton swoop in, calling the Italian the "perfect answer" to the club's problems.

Speaking to the Mirror's Tom Hopkinson, Petit said he initially wanted Patrick Vieira to get the job, but changed his mind once Ancelotti became available:

"In this period of the season, it’s not easy to find a manager, a good one. Most of them are already working. But we’ve seen in the past few days that Ancelotti has been fired from Napoli, so it’s one of those that, when you see that kind of profile on the market, you must ask yourself the question, ‘Is he the good one?’

"Ancelotti would be, right now, the perfect answer for Arsenal. It’s very rare to see a top manager like him ­getting fired in the ­middle of the season."

LYON, FRANCE - DECEMBER 10: Emmanuel Petit of RMC Sport comments the UEFA Champions League group G match between Olympique Lyonnais (OL, Lyon) and RB Leipzig at Groupama Stadium on December 10, 2019 in Lyon, France. (Photo by Jean Catuffe/Getty Images)
Jean Catuffe/Getty Images

He also said former Arsenal manager Unai Emery still has qualities, and that Ancelotti would pick the Gunners over Everton if the club made a push to sign him.

Freddie Ljungberg is currently Arsenal's interim manager after Emery was sacked following a dreadful run of results. Things have hardly improved under Ljungberg, so there is some urgency to bring in a new face before it's too late.

Ancelotti was also let go recently after a poor run with Napoli, going winless in nine straight matches before a 4-0 triumph over Genk in the Champions League. The team's performance in their first match under his replacement, Gennaro Gattuso, suggests the tactician wasn't the problem:

ESPN FC's Gabriele Marcotti thought it was a mistake to let him go, but economical reasons played a key part:

Gabriele Marcotti @Marcotti

The weird economics of the UCL are such that from ADL's perspective, now that he's in the knockout phase, it makes more financial sense to focus on qualifying for next year's UCL than trying to go far this year. https://t.co/g7FDUN1BUN

Napoli have endured a horrible season that included a player mutiny after the 1-1 draw against Salzburg. Ancelotti lost control of the dressing room, which has become a recurring theme in recent years, per Football Italia's Suzy Campanale.

Italian football expert Adam Digby fears the 60-year-old may no longer be the elite manager he once was:

Adam Digby @Adz77

@alex_merco I’m leaning heavily towards the latter, I guess his next job — & how Gattuso does — will show us

A Champions League expert, Ancelotti has coached the likes of Juventus, Milan, Real Madrid, Chelsea, Paris Saint-Germain and Bayern Munich in the last 20 years.

He has only won four domestic league titles in that span, but has also won the Champions League three times, a feat only Bob Paisley and Zinedine Zidane have matched.

While he's been linked at length with Arsenal, the Athletic's David Ornstein reported he does not fit the profile they're looking for:

David Ornstein @David_Ornstein

Fluid/changeable but current sense: - Arsenal want situation settled asap but right man over quick decision - If No1 pick available, gets done - If available in summer, FL holds fort - If No1 pick unclear, FL holds fort + has chance to impress - #AFC not seeking Ancelotti profile

Everton are also working under an interim manager for now, picking up four points against Chelsea and Manchester United with Duncan Ferguson at the helm.