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Wenger: The right man for England at the wrong time

Hodgson WengerSo after the apparent horror-show of England’s performance in Euro 2016 Roy Hodgson has resigned.

Whilst I wasn’t at all surprised by the failure of the national side in the tournament (regular readers will be very well aware of my lack of enthusiasm for the so-called “Lions”), I was rather surprised at how quickly Roy Hodgson hung up his England hat.

England have failed repeatedly on the international stage, numerous managers have come and gone without landing a trophy, but Roy still seemed to have the favour of the FA board and, more importantly, a young improving squad to work with.

Regardless of his odd-timing of his departure the fact is that he is gone and now the rumours have arisen concerning his replacement. Front-runners are emerging and one has caught my eye, specifically as he currently manages the club I support: Arsenal.

Arséne Wenger is being touted as the successor for Roy Hodgson and the rumours are gaining credence by the day. Still a relative outsider at 20/1 (on Skybet) the papers and the news stations won’t let the rumour go.

The England manager’s job is one of the most intensely scrutinised positions in world football and the English press love it more than most when the time comes to pick a new one. So would Wenger be the right man for the job?

Well there are obvious things that work in his favour: he has a proven track record of developing players and getting the best out of young talent, which the current squad is full of. He knows the English game better than most, having managed in it for nearly 20 years, and would bring a wealth of top-class knowledge to the fold. He is a winner as well, despite what the less well-informed parts of the media will say, with three league titles and six FA cups under his belt. He is also highly skilled at what many consider the hardest part of the England manager’s job; dealing with the press.

Yesterday Wenger was quoted as saying he would be open to managing the national side in future, but not now as he likes to honour his agreements, namely managing Arsenal. so should the FA offer the job to Wenger I think everyone could absolutely understand why, but I just don’t think he would accept even in a caretaker capacity.

It would be strange timing to do it, given that he is about to move into the final year of his contract with current employers Arsenal. Also he has not yet given any indication that he would leave at the end of the 2016/17 season. If a contract extension was offered by the Gunners’ hierarchy you would have to think he would accept it unless this coming season was a complete disaster. Wenger has said many times that he would only leave Arsenal if he no longer thought he was up to the job.

The other rumours relating to Harry Redknapp (who has held a long-standing and very public desire for the role) may be nearer the mark in my opinion. The front-runners are certainly more likely, given Wenger’s current situation, so I wouldn’t be surprised to see Jurgen Klinnsman or Sam Allardyce in the hot seat.

But not Wenger, not yet anyway…

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