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Arsenal could turn to an Italian in the post-Wenger era

| 23.09.2013

With Arsene Wenger’s contract up for renewal in June and the Frenchman being typically coy about his willingness to extend it, rumours are surfacing that the club’s hierarchy are making contingencies.

Anyone who’s been following Italian football over the past few seasons would have witnessed one of the great Juventus sides of recent memory dominating the Serie A landscape.

The man responsible for sculpting this double title-winning Juventus side is former player Antonio Conte, one of a golden generation of Juve players to have helped the club win their last European Cup in 1996, while securing five Scudetti over a decade as well.

However, it’s his recent exploits as a manager which has apparently alerted Arsenal’s board to target Conte, should Wenger decide against renewing his current contract at the end of the season.

While Conte has been focused on his task as Juve boss, he openly criticised some elements of the Italian domestic set-up last season and even alluded to the fact he would relish a new challenge at some point.

Although there will naturally be a whole host of staunch Wenger-ists who will want the Frenchman to stay regardless, they could do a lot worse than bring in the charismatic Italian.

Like Arsenal, Conte’s Juve side have a reputation for playing attractive, fluent football and endorse a real team-over-the-individual ethos, which Wenger himself has required no excuse to laud over recent years.

Just like the Gunners at present, Conte likes very much to play with a central midfield three, with the holy trilogy of Andrea Pirlo, Arturo Vidal and Claudio Marchisio at the heart of the side, though his wing-back system of 3-5-2 could take some time to adapt to.

Meanwhile, back in the present, Arsenal will look to continue their good start to the season at home to Stoke, where the Gunners are 4/11 to take the points.

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Christian Crowther

Give Christian a sport with anything remotely spherical in it and he’ll happily while away the hours watching it on the box. However, he’d much prefer writing about, playing or betting on golf, football, cricket, tennis, snooker.... you get the picture.