Predicting every Premier League club’s next manager: Arteta to Manchester City, Simeone at Newcastle

Matt Stead
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, Mikel Arteta and Diego Simeone are on the move

While some succession plans are more clear – and Chelsea and Liverpool should be thanked for it – sometimes you just have to accept Mikel Arteta to Man City.

Every Premier League club’s next manager was predicted back in November and the results were either mixed or awful, depending on whether or not you are a bare-faced liar.

So let’s do it again because it’s fun.


Arsenal – Cesc Fabregas
The last man standing after the proliferation of DNA-based managerial gambles, Mikel Arteta has proven that a knows-the-club appointment absolutely can work. It just requires a little more than understanding the location of the stadium toilets and first-name-basis familiarity with the tea lady; phenomenal tactical acumen, strong, clear leadership qualities and the establishment of a competent structure helps.

There is no clear end in sight to the Arteta process, even if the sort of reports that emerged earlier this year claiming he would jump ship to Barcelona can be expected to crop up semi-regularly now. The man carries the burden of personally knowing many clubs, most of whom are unfortunately complete operational basket cases: Barcelona, Paris Saint-Germain, Everton and Rangers all run through his veins and could each do with a semblance of the foundations he has helped build at the Emirates.

But it must come to an end at some point. Arteta’s reign is the seventh-longest in the entire Football League and one of those above him on that list is leaving at the end of the season due to burnout.

Still, might as well try and start the same successful cycle. Former Arsenal midfielder? Check. Spaniard? Check. Great hair? Check. Promising coach who worked under some incredible managers but has little senior experience of his own? Petr Republic. Fabregas won three, drew one and lost one of his five games in interim charge of Como this season and frankly having Dennis Wise as your chairman for any amount of time is preparation enough for anything.

November’s prediction: Carlo Ancelotti because trophies

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta celebrates a win.
Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta celebrates a win.


Aston Villa – Michel Sanchez
Picking a theme or clues as to future direction out of a managerial succession line that reads Sherwood, Garde, Di Matteo, Bruce, Smith, Gerrard, Emery is not particularly straightforward. Villa were undeniably the punchers when their current relationship started but if and when Emery does leave – and the hope is that won’t be for some time, with him given more power and authority than most – the club will be a more attractive proposition than perhaps ever before.

They will have not quite their pick of managers, but certainly some heft with which to approach the field. That brings big names into their orbit, as well as those on an inexorable rise. Girona seem stylistically similar to Villa and their ultimately and understandably doomed title challenge has already placed 48-year-old Michel on many an esteemed radar.

Manchester City might not be best pleased to have one of the jewels of their multi-club crown leave the family but they might just survive.

November’s prediction: Julen Lopetegui because Birmingham-based Europa League merchant

READ: Premier League manager rankings for 2023/24


Bournemouth – Carlos Corberan
In explaining Bournemouth’s switch in philosophy from survival and “counter-attacking” to the “aggressive”, front-foot stylings of Andoni Iraola, Cherries owner Bill Foley described the new manager as “a Bielsa student and fast-paced”.

There is really only one way to go from there and a quick scan of Bielsa disciples shows Corberan in a favourable light for his work in the Championship with Huddersfield and West Brom. A sacking at Olympiacos in between matters as much as anyone wants the patience of Evangelos Marinakis to matter.

It feels like a while since a proper managerial promotion from the Football League to the top table and an ambitious but developing Bournemouth team would be a good fit. Plus Corberan’s recent red card for encroachment immediately makes him the next Arteta.

November’s prediction: Jesse Marsch because American owner


Brentford – Rob Edwards
So long ago did Thomas Frank take the Brentford reins that he was handed them by Dean Smith and his squad contained as many players currently at other Premier League clubs (Dan Bentley, Ezri Konsa, Cheidozie Ogbene and Ollie Watkins) as it did those who remain on the Brentford books (Ellery Balcombe, Rico Henry, Josh Dasilva and Neal Maupay).

It thus becomes almost impossible to predict what the Bees look like as a post-Frank Premier League club, considering such a thing has technically never even existed. It seems unlikely they would pluck someone out of unemployment to be assistant head coach for a couple of years before stepping up again but you never know.

Perhaps a better bet would be to prioritise consistency, dependability and reliability, such can be the perils of transitioning from a long-term manager into a new era. Edwards carries that same air of authority which, married with a quietly strategic mind, seems suited to making sense of the Premier League chaos, particularly as the underdog.

November’s prediction: Jacob Neestrup because Danish


Brighton – Kieran McKenna
To borrow the entire opening paragraph from the last prediction:

Paul Barber already has a name in mind, saved on a laptop Chelsea would probably happily spend a nine-figure sum to acquire. Brighton’s chief executive will never disclose the details of that file, which is claimed to contain the identities of the club’s desired replacements for at least 25 current employees, ranging from players to staff, coaches and even Barber himself. But it served them well when appointing Roberto De Zerbi, despite his patent lack of expertise in Our League.

Since then, Chelsea have poached Brighton’s head of recruitment and Jurgen Klopp has announced his exit from Liverpool at the end of the season; if the Seagulls were not prepared for the vultures to circle before, they certainly will be now.

No club will have a clearer contingency plan in mind, yet equally no club’s plan is more difficult to figure out when not privy to that inside information. Brighton give nothing away and when it last came to replacing a manager, De Zerbi only really emerged as the primary candidate when the deal was close to completion.

Ange Postecoglou and Kjetil Knutsen were on the last shortlist but the former is likely out of reach now, while the latter still impresses for Bodo/Glimt in Norway. He would remain an option but the fine work of McKenna at Ipswich must have him in contention, alongside ubiquitous elite club target Ruben Amorim.

November’s prediction: Francesco Farioli because De Zerbi protege


Burnley – Sam Allardyce
The thoughts of Alan Pace, delivered in summer 2023 when Chelsea and Spurs were fighting over Vincent Kompany, go a long way to explaining Burnley’s current predicament:

It’s not a worry for me that I’m ever going to fire him because that’s a different story. My worry is like I explained to him, it’s like dating the most beautiful girl in town and knowing that there’s probably no chance she’s ever going to marry you.  But, everyone else wants to marry her. So it’s like how long can you date? How long can you stay together? How long can you be a couple? I hope it’s for a very, very, very long time. But again that’s kind of up to her.

And then you wake up from that dream, realise that beautiful girl wears an awful cap and can’t decide which defence or wingers to pick and find yourself in bed with Sam Allardyce. Take the hit. Just do it.

November’s prediction: Sam Allardyce because survival


Chelsea – Roberto De Zerbi
The procurement of Sam Jewell makes it 11 employees Chelsea have taken from Brighton in about 18 months, to the cost of around £230m. Might as well get De Zerbi just to see if it really is cheaper by the dozen at this point.

November’s prediction: Ruben Amorim because next Jose Mourinho


Crystal Palace – Neil Warnock
Fingers crossed for Oliver Glasner
, but the last and only other time Crystal Palace went proper foreign with their manager the experiment lasted four games before a monumental panic which has reverberated for the subsequent six years.

Patrick Vieira absolutely does not count, by the way, for he very much Knew The League in a way Frank de Boer and indeed Glasner cannot.

The new Palace manager hosts Burnley, Luton and Newcastle with a trip to Tottenham sandwiched in between before the March internationals, and Glasner might have a Europa League winner’s medal and some enviable Bundesliga pedigree, but he does not have Michael Olise or Eberechi Eze.

Warnock, with one win but eight goals in four games as Aberdeen manager, is waiting for the call since Steve Parish has the world’s smallest contact list.

November’s prediction: Roy Hodgson because Steve Parish can’t help himself; they went for Oliver Glasner instead


Everton – Graham Potter
Inevitable though his Premier League return seems – and as Lord Voldemort well knows – it is difficult to get a proper handle on Potter.

A positive outlook would reflect upon some sensational work with Ostersund, a fine season with Swansea and a transformative spell at Brighton, with obvious mitigating circumstances for a regrettable seven months at Chelsea.

Viewed through a more negative or sceptical prism, Brighton’s enviable structure accentuated his strengths and Chelsea’s lack thereof highlighted his weaknesses; it could easily be argued that both have improved since he left.

Potter remains an obviously talented coach but the Chelsea debacle undoubtedly tainted him as a commodity among that calibre of club, yet not every manager accepts they must take a perceived step down for the good of their career. Everton are in that sweet spot: a job big enough  not to bruise any egos, yet far enough down the ladder to make it perfectly viable. Hey, it worked for Frank Lampard.

November’s prediction: Michael Carrick because mid-2000s Manchester United player


Fulham – Steve Cooper
A similarly weird situation appears to have at least temporarily engulfed the coaching career of Cooper, who did demonstrably excellently in difficult circumstances at Nottingham Forest but whose best prospects of continuing in the Premier League seem to be through another promotion from the Championship.

Crystal Palace considered his case closely by all accounts but Cooper has otherwise only been linked with Championship vacancies at Birmingham and Sunderland. And unless he has some sort of subconscious, unprocessed fetish for working with volatile owners, he could and indeed should be aiming higher.

Fulham are one of those clubs for whom it is tough to even know where to start guessing their succession plan, so embedded in their very fabric is Marco Silva. But this is already the longest managerial spell of his career and they will have to part eventually; Cooper can ignore any links with Sheffield Wednesday and wait around patiently until then.

November’s prediction: Will Still because Football Twitter


Liverpool – Xabi Alonso
Will Klopp’s imminent departure expedite what was already a deeply, unabashedly obvious process? Perhaps. It probably prevents Real Madrid from stepping in, with Carlo Ancelotti’s contract running until 2026. Bayern Munich will inevitably chance their arm but that move wouldn’t really make much sense at this nascent stage of Alonso’s coaching career, if ever. And as long as Pep Guardiola doesn’t suffer a case of the Jurgens there will be no positions to fill at Manchester City.

Liverpool cannot guarantee a smooth and successful transition from their greatest period in the modern era, but Alonso is unique in that he would engender an immediate level of buy-in from fans who want to see something fresh and ambitious yet familiar, backed up with a tangibly brilliant body of work players and the boardroom can admire.

Alonso would be a disastrous appointment for Liverpool, but one they must make nonetheless.

November’s prediction: Xabi Alonso because they will

Liverpool manager target Xabi Alonso
Xabi Alonso celebrates a victory in the Bundesliga.


Luton – John Mousinho
Misread that, didn’t you? He would absolutely thrive building a siege mentality, haranguing referees and ruining at least four careers at Kenilworth Road to be fair.

But no, Mousinho. Portsmouth’s own. Top of League One, clear of Derby and Bolton. The 37-year-old’s first managerial role has gone rather well and the question is quickly becoming whether Pompey can join him on this inexorable rise or not.

It’s a bit reductive but Luton’s current success under a Football League journeyman as a dependable player and young, promising coach is a path worth revisiting if they come as highly-rated as Mousinho. Failing that, Roma’s old manager might genuinely be up for it.

November’s prediction: Nathan Jones because we miss him


Manchester City – Mikel Arteta
“I am pretty sure if I would have left before, he would be here and he would be the best, absolutely. But I extended the contract, I am sorry, and he didn’t wait, so it could not happen.” Yet it still might.

Pep Guardiola’s words last January were hardly a revelation; Arteta was being openly and meticulously primed as his replacement at the Etihad for years before growing impatient in the shadows and taking on the challenge of Arsenal.

But the opening of that door to north London never necessitated anyone closing the one back to Manchester, and indeed City have kept a watching brief over Arteta which has extended beyond mere vested interests in the prospects of a title rival.

Consider these two paths: Arsenal fail to deliver on their promise, constantly falling short to Guardiola’s machine and grinding Arteta down into the City Football Group merchant he is at his very core; or the Spaniard wins the title with the Gunners, forces his old mentor to step away and then takes his job with a view to becoming only the fifth man to win the English top-flight league title with two different clubs.

Arteta is on the list of potential Guardiola successors, but then so is Kompany.

November’s prediction: Roberto De Zerbi because Guardiola said


Manchester United – Ruben Amorim
The accepted wisdom is that any new owner – co or otherwise – would want to stamp their authority on the club by bringing in Their Own Man, thus outlining it as a fresh era. That brings Francesco Farioli into Manchester United’s orbit, with the 34-year-old guiding Nice to third in Ligue Un even without first targeting everyone’s sporting director.

It remains to be seen whether Sir Jim Ratcliffe, Omar Berrada and expert pruner Dan Ashworth identify a unanimously-backed candidate or if they just continue letting Erik ten Hag piggyback Rasmus Hojlund into the Champions League.

Amorim has been mentioned in certain Old Trafford circles and beyond a lack of Premier League experience there are few obvious drawbacks to his candidacy. Ten Hag ticked many of those same boxes – trophies, European pedigree, strong character – but Amorim would come with the added bonus of a four-game unbeaten streak against Spurs and Arsenal.

Man United might not thank me but get the contract out, put it on the table, let him sign it, let him write whatever numbers he wants to put on there given what he’s done, let him sign the contract and go. Ruben’s at the wheel, man. He’s doing it. He’s doing his thing. Man United are back.

November’s prediction: Gareth Southgate because they genuinely do quite like him

READ: Who will be the next manager of Manchester United if Erik ten Hag is sacked?


Newcastle – Diego Simeone
For all the phenomenal work Eddie Howe has done, at some point there will have to be a change in the Newcastle dugout. Their ownership situation and the ruthlessness inherent with that practically demands it; His Excellency is famously patient and forgiving but will only accept the concept of Dan Burn at left-back for so long.

Some clubs might use that as an opportunity, an excuse to expand and transform their playing style through diligent, focused work on the training ground and in the transfer market, bringing this Newcastle project into its next phase on the approach to world domination.

Newcastle ought to lean into everything Howe has established and simply make it more elite. The points deduction they would incur with any ludicrously expensive move for Simeone would be entirely worth it to see Bruno Guimaraes, Joelinton and especially Anthony Gordon achieve true dark arts mastery.

November’s prediction: John MousinhoJose Mourinho because obviously


Nottingham Forest – David Moyes
No point pretending Moyes’ fourth Premier League club will be his last. As south as things have gone at West Ham, he remains a provably effective coach in the right circumstances and many a chairman will favour that over notions as nebulous as supporter unity, progressive football and Michail Antonio’s hamstrings.

If Nottingham Forest are willing to bring Nuno back after his consistent occupation of the upper mid-table and rank failure in the biggest job of his coaching career, then Moyes need not fear for his future employment when the West Ham dream is finally over.

Everyone strap in because it’s time to be told that the manager with the most defeats in Premier League history wins a lot; Forest are so very ready for the Be Careful What You Wish For treatment.

November’s prediction: Frank Lampard because it felt about right; they went for Nuno Espirito Santo instead


Sheffield United – Paul Heckingbottom
It’s his turn next. Only fair.

November’s prediction: Chris Wilder because it was his turn next. Only fair


Tottenham – Thomas Frank
The only Premier League manager on a longer-term contract than Postecoglou is Kompany
, which will not offer the comfort and security it should but nevertheless underlines how committed Spurs were to this relationship from the start and how existentially ready they truly were to feel something again.

Shame when he leaves for Real Madrid but that is the fate Tottenham have accepted when it comes to anyone they love and cherish.

Frank’s Brentford contract actually runs to the same point of summer 2027 but if he is allowed to complete more than half a decade of perennially excellent Premier League management without being plucked by a club higher up the food chain then everyone has failed in their duty.

The Dane’s name is apparently on the Liverpool shortlist and is always loosely connected with other such posts as a supposed ‘shock’ name that really should be anything but. There is a little bit of the Mauricio Pochettinos about him as a coach whose defined style and strong leadership could easily be transposed onto a team higher up the table.

November’s prediction: Graham Potter because he’s managed Chelsea before


West Ham – Gary O’Neil
The feet of O’Neil, presumably wearing those mandatory black trainers with white soles that any self-respecting Proper Football Man has a wide collection of, are firmly under the Premier League management table. He is the TikTok Allardyce, the Generation Alpha Roy Hodgson, the Harry Redknapp, Mark Hughes Steve Bruce or Alan Pardew of our times.

It is entirely possible to envisage the 40-year-old breaking the record for most different Premier League teams managed, as panicking clubs queue up to call on his clear ability to thrive in adverse situations and jobs no established coach would go near for fear of failure. Bournemouth last season and Wolves this looked like complete hospital passes for such an inexperienced manager cutting his teeth in the industry but O’Neil has proved himself to be a trendy firefighter with upward mobility and lovely black trainers with white soles.

There would nevertheless be more than an element of the West Ham fanbase which would be dissatisfied if he was chosen to lead them into any brave new Moyes-less world, because that is how these things work. He is a perceived known quantity, an individual whose reputation probably suffers for over-familiarity, but the more statement victories he racks up over the establishment and the more players he clearly improves through his methods, the more people should want to see what O’Neil could do with an actual sodding pre-season behind him.

November’s prediction: Antonio Conte because London


Wolves – Ole Gunnar Solskjaer
It is time. Didn’t realise it until his name started floating around the Sweden and Bayern Munich jobs, but the world is absolutely ready to embrace Solskjaer as a Premier League manager again if he is willing to crack on.

The problem for Solskjaer is that whatever role he takes on now will feel like a step down. It has to. There is a reason he has settled into his post as UEFA Technical Observer and it isn’t his love of Gazprom. The Norwegian’s dream job has already been and gone and that puts a weird slant on the rest of your career when it could still feasibly have a couple of rewarding decades left to go.

Plus as seems the case with most Manchester United managers, hindsight and the passage of time has reflected relatively kindly upon his work. He was never as bad as many – probably this site included – made out, just horribly underqualified for the role. But then most if not all were at Old Trafford until they started poaching everyone’s high-performing executives.

The Manchester United thing only went properly wrong when they were frightened into signing Cristiano Ronaldo, but the good thing about Wolves is they have no history of someone like Jorge Mendes meddling and wielding far too much power behind the scenes, so there is nothing to fear on that front.

Come back, Ole. Sorry about some of the things we said. The P.E teacher stuff was a bit much and while Arteta is obviously a better manager, you should never have been lumped into that debate with Lampard. And you had a weird hex over Guardiola. So do Wolves! You’ll get along famously.

November’s prediction: Marcelo Bielsa because it would be great