Speculation has been circulating this week that Jose Mourinho could become the next Arsenal manager if Unai Emery is sacked.

Rumours gathered momentum when the 56-year-old was spotted in the stands for Arsenal’s 3-2 Europa League home win against Vitoria last Thursday (October 24).

There has been suggestions in recent weeks that Mourinho has taken a particular interest in analysing the Gunners as a pundit and spoken positively about the club.

The Portuguese manager is reportedly ‘open’ to taking over at another Premier League club and has also been linked with a move to Spurs.

READ MORE: Unai Emery says Granit Xhaka is ‘devastated’ after Crystal Palace incident

We’ve taken a look at both sides of the argument for Mourinho taking the hot seat in north London, as well as the likelihood of it happening.

The case for Mourinho

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Proven winner

Mourinho’s CV speaks for itself. He’s managed a whole range of high profile clubs including Porto, Chelsea, Inter Milan, Real Madrid and Manchester United – and he’s had success with all of them.

The Special One has three Premier League titles, two Champions League wins and two Europa Leagues among his long list of honours.

Short-term success

Mourinho has never failed to qualify for the Champions League in his first season with a club in the Premier League.

Whether it be via the top four or the Europa League, he gets the business done when he comes into a job.

Arsenal’s chances of qualifying for Europe’s elite competition would potentially be higher with Mourinho in charge.

Defensive stability

Unai Emery has struggled to improve Arsenal’s defence since he took over 18 months ago.

But Mourinho prides himself on a strong back line as a platform to build the rest of the team around.

The case against Mourinho

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Values of the club

Appointing Mourinho would be a surprising decision by Arsenal given his treatment of Arsene Wenger and scathing comments about both the Frenchman and the club in the past.

He’s not the type of character that fits the criteria you would normally associate with an Arsenal manager.

His controversial approach both on and off the pitch doesn’t always reflect well on the club he’s in charge of.

Knee-jerk reaction

To sack Emery is arguably understandable based on the poor run of Premier League form at the end of last season and the first 10 games of the new campaign.

But the season is still young and some may still argue that Emery needs more time to work with his squad when everyone is fully fit.

Bringing Mourinho in feels like it would be a desperate attempt to salvage the season as opposed to a decision with any foresight.

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Style of play

Arsenal fans are crying out for a distinguished, recognisable style of play and identity – something seriously lacking under Emery.

And with Mourinho, you certainly know what you’re getting. Compact, solid at the back and trying to pounce on the opposition’s mistakes.

But that philosophy isn’t necessarily something that sits easy with all Arsenal fans. Supporters have become accustomed to exciting, attacking football during Wenger’s 22-year reign. That isn’t what you get under Mourinho.

Not a long-term solution

Mourinho’s track record of long-term success isn’t good. He has a history of being an effective manager at turning things round in the short-term and bringing immediate success.

If he was to take over, he could well help Arsenal achieve their target of qualifying for Champions League football this season.

But he’s been known to lose the dressing room, fall out with players and staff.

With that comes poor results and a drop off in form. His tenures at Chelsea and Manchester United in particular have ended in his teams in freefall.

How likely is it to happen?

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The odds have been slashed on Mourinho to become the next Arsenal manager.

He was way out at 20/1 before today, but that has now been cut to 6/1, according to Oddschecker.

The bookies have said today (October 30) that a stream of bets have been placed on Arsenal being the next permanent club that Jose Mourinho manages.

His next most likely destination is Bayern Munich at 4/1 but the Gunners are second on that list.

READ MORE: Granit Xhaka and VAR: The key talking points from Arsenal’s draw with Crystal Palace

Oddschecker spokesman Callum Wilson said: “The Special One has been threatening a return to the Premier League for many months, and should Unai Emery get the boot, the Arsenal job may be just too tempting for the Portuguese.

“Mourinho wouldn’t bring the style of football many Gunners fans are craving, but he’s a highly decorated winner who would surely oversee a significant upturn in results.”

This would of course require the Arsenal board to fire Emery – something they’ve hinted is not happening any time soon, insisting that the Spaniard’s job is still safe. For now.


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