Gunners’ boss Arsene Wenger has opened up on the topic of managing the England national team, saying he gives his ‘full support’ to new appointee Sam Allardyce (via Arsenal.com).
In the wake Roy Hodgson’s departure following the Three Lions’ embarrassing defeat at the hands of Iceland at Euro 2016, the Frenchman was constantly (and not for the first time) linked with the job. But with the FA ultimately deciding to ‘go domestic’ and appoint Allardyce, all speculation has been put to bed. The Arsenal manager now says he has nothing but good wishes for the new national team gaffer.
“He has my full support. No matter who manages England, he has my full support. It’s my second country,” Wenger told Arsenal.com, “I feel there’s something there for this team to come out strong. They had some good patches during the Euros, but they just couldn’t turn up against Iceland. Overall, you feel there is quality in the team.”
The Arsenal boss remains coy, however, on the point of whether or not he was in discussion with the FA for the England manager post. He has in the past hinted that, notwithstanding an extension, he doesn’t yet know what he’ll do when his current contract with Arsenal runs out in 2017.
Wenger has many fans on this side of the Channel who would love to see his style of play brought to national level. That said, you would have to imagine the job of the French national team coach might be his first choice.
“It’s always an honour to manage a country but I’ve said many times in the past that’s it’s more comfortable for me that a guy from the country manages their national team. Why? Because it represents the culture of the country and it’s the national team, so it looks more natural that it’s a candidate from the country,” he told added.
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With Allardyce now in the job, it seems talk of ‘Wenger for England’ might, at least for now, come to a halt. It’s far from inconceivable that at some point soon the Frenchman might decide it’s time for him to graduate from club-level football to the international stage. But given these most recent comments, it is difficult to see that happening anywhere except in his native France.