Smith believes the north London club should be capitalising on uncertainty with their rivals.
Having last won the Premier League title a decade ago, former Arsenal striker Alan Smith believes the managerial changes at Chelsea, Manchester City and Manchester United gives the club the best chance for years.
The Gunners have never failed to finish outside of the top four since Arsene Wenger took charge in 1996, but despite having won three league titles in that time, have failed to repeat the triumph since 2003/04.
Yet with Jose Mourinho returning to Stamford Bridge for the first time since the 50-year-old’s departure in 2007, Manuel Pellegrini replacing the sacked Roberto Mancini at City and Sir Alex Ferguson retiring after 27 years this summer to be succeeded by David Moyes at United, Smith thinks Arsenal need to capitalise.
“Arsenal will be hoping to move forward and get to the front runners, in the way they haven’t in recent seasons,” the ex-forward was quoted on Sky Sports.
“Manager changes at United, City and Chelsea could be an advantage for Arsenal, who are a very stable club with one of the best managers around.
“Obviously Mourinho going back to Chelsea isn’t a huge change for them because he knows the ropes there but Pellegrini, who is a very experienced manager, will need time to adjust to a new way of playing in the Premier League and the atmosphere at City, as might David Moyes, who has made a huge step up to United and you couldn’t blame him for feeling daunted by that.”
It is certainly a unique position that the north London club find themselves in, one that has not been seen during the Premier League era due to the fact that Ferguson had been in charge at Old Trafford since 1986.
Of the three new managers (admittedly Mourinho has been in charge at the Blues before) Moyes perhaps faces the most difficult task at the Red Devils, not only having to succeed the most successful boss in British history,but also having to do it without having the Scot having won a trophy himself.
Wenger is now the elder statesman of English football, having been in charge at Highbury and now the Emirates for 17 years – 14 years longer than the second longest serving manager in the top flight, Alan Pardew.
Smith could well be right that now is the time for the Frenchman to capitalise on possible uncertainty at the club’s nearest rivals.