Arsenal Football Club find themselves in a position they've not been in since 1996 -- looking for a new manager, following the resignation of longtime steward Arsene Wenger at the end of another disappointing campaign in the 2017-2018 season. After so long with the same man at the helm any manager stepping in to fill the role will find themselves in an unenviable position. Not only will the new manager have big shoes to fill in following a man who won 3 Premier League titles and a record 7 FA Cups, but the new manager will also be taking over for a club that is reeling, having missed out on the Champions League and finished below rivals Tottenham for the second straight season.

Although many big names were the early leaders in speculation over the club's next manager, a surprise candidate appeared last week -- former club captain Mike Arteta. In the brief time since his name first entered the discussion, Arteta has become the odds-on favorite to take over for his former manager. Often spoken of as a player with a bright future on the touchline during his playing days, Arteta is just two years removed from the pitch and has never managed a club at any level, having spent the past two seasons as an assistant at Manchester City under Pep Guardiola. The rumors of Arteta's impending appointment have drawn strong but mixed reactions from Arsenal supporters.

Despite the apprehension from some in the Arsenal fan base, the Arteta appointment has the potential to go down as a masterstroke if his potential manifests itself on the pitch.

The competition is dwindling

When the first batch of potential names began being disseminated to the press it was filled with big-names in managing who would come to Arsenal with a great deal of clout. In recent days however, the most established candidates all dropped out of the running for a variety of reasons. Joachim Low renewed his contract with the German national team.

German club Hoffenheim have poured cold water on rumors of manager Julian Nagelsmann joining the Gunners, asserting that they have no intention of allowing their manager to leave this summer. Juventus head man Max Allegri was many fans' dream hire, but Allegri recently announced that he would not be leaving Juventus this year unless he was relieved of his duty by the club, which is unlikely for the four-time, reigning Italian champions.

Arsenal could find their next Arsene

When Wenger was appointed by Arsenal there were similar reactions from many supporters and media members, but he leaves as the second-most decorated manager in the Premier League era. While the situations are not entirely analogous, as Arsenal were not Wenger's first managerial position, there are similarities in that Arteta approaches the sport with a similar eloquence. Arteta also has received tutelage from a man that many consider the best in the business today by assisting under Guardiola.

Fans can expect Arteta to approach managing with a similar commitment to hard work and tactical thinking, the lack of which many fans often complained Arsenal seemed to play with under Wenger.

The current squad has already shown an ability to play with any club in the world on their day, failing instead due to inconsistency, and bringing in a manager who will send the players out with a disciplined, tactical approach can lead to a sharp upturn in results and return Arsenal to the elites in 2018-2019 and beyond. Arteta is just 36 years old, and if the board's assessment is right and he proves to be a brilliant manager, it could be another 22 years before they have to worry about hiring a new manager again.