Arsenal and Everton head into Christmas clash with managers at top of wish list

December 17 – Arsenal and Everton are both hoping for new managers for Christmas with Mikel Arteta and Carlo Ancelotti respectively emerging as frontrunners. 

On Saturday, the Londoners travel to Everton in their next Premier League fixture, but both club have more immediate managerial concerns as their seasons are dangerously close to unravelling. Under caretaker manager Duncan Ferguson Everton have enjoyed a mini resurgence, securing four out of six points in difficult matches against Chelsea and Manchester United, but the club still hovers dangerously close to the relegation zone.

Everton are believed to have their eye on Ancelotti. The storied coach took Napoli into the Champions League knockout stages, but was dismissed nonetheless following disappointing results in the Serie A. Ever since Ancelotti has been linked to a return to the Premier League and Everton, a move that would represent a major coup for the Merseyside club and their embattled owner Farhad Moshiri. On Monday, Everton downplayed all the speculation and said in a statement that the club had “held meetings with a number of candidates”.

“We can confirm that thus far no contract offer has been made and no candidate has chosen to withdraw from the process,” said Everton. “While the club is keen to confirm a new permanent manager as soon as possible, the only important duty is that the right appointment is made. While our process continues, Duncan Ferguson will remain as caretaker manager and will take charge of the side for Wednesday night’s Carabao Cup quarter-final against Leicester City.”

At Arsenal a full-blown crisis is never far away and after sacking Unai Emery the London club have struggled under the command of interim coach Freddie Ljungberg and his assistant Per Mertesacker. At the weekend Ljungberg’s team was comprehensively beaten by defending champions Manchester City 0-3.

After that result the Swedish caretaker coach called for clarity and it seems Arsenal are considering bring in Mikel Arteta. When Unai Emery was appointed, Arteta, a former Arsenal player and currently assistant to Pep Guardiola at Manchester City, had been the frontrunner, but at the last minute Arsenal’s hierarchy decided against him over fears that he would be too inexperienced. Arsenal and Arteta are believed to have held talks.

Contact the writer of this story, Samindra Kunti, at moc.l1597316587labto1597316587ofdlr1597316587owedi1597316587sni@o1597316587fni1597316587