High on the FA’s early shortlist to succeed Roy Hodgson as England manager, according to widespread speculation, was Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger.
Various media sources have identified the Frenchman as the Three Lions’ ideal helmsman, with his splendid track record of developing young talent chief among his credentials.
Despite sufficing all the FA’s established criteria (that is to say, he’s far better than everyone else being mentioned as possible heirs to Hodgson’s throne), it has since been revealed Wenger may have doubts about taking the job.
Some optimistic reports indicate it’s possible the English game’s governing body could still tempt him to take over, but these three reasons are among the most prominent as to why the 20/1 shot surely won’t choose to call Wembley his home ground in the near future.
Arsenal finally have the financial mettle to compete for honours.
Wenger remained in charge in north London despite the club’s silverware-snaring potential being compromised by their building of the Emirates Stadium.
Lacking the monetary muscle to match the likes of Chelsea and Manchester City, the veteran coach could only watch as rivals pocketed all the prizes.
After riding out that particular storm until stadium-based debts had been cleared, without failing to qualify for the Champions League in the meantime, Wenger has been handed transfer war chests of comparable size to those given to his counterparts. It’s helped him land two FA Cups and, most recently, a Premier League silver medal.
Now Arsenal can finally compete for trophies, the motivation for him wanting to leave to manage a team to whom he has no connection and who only play for prizes once every two years is impossible to fathom.
Wenger’s penchant for importing foreign talent is widely recognised.
The Frenchman’s initial recruitment policy when arriving at Arsenal paved the way for the Premier League’s influx of talent from abroad.
Utilising his knowledge of soccer beyond these shores, Wenger’s early Gunners signings were predominantly foreign and he has barely altered this strategy since, with just six Englishmen purchased for his first team from 2002/03 onwards.
It can be argued the brightest English prospects the 66-year-old has been responsible for moulding haven’t yet realised their potential too, with Theo Walcott, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Jack Wilshere all yet to reach the level their teenage form promised they would.
The tenure of the England manager always ends in disgrace.
After a string of high profile failures and no knockout game won since 2006, what England fans would give to have Sven Goran-Eriksson back at the helm, right?
The Swede is by far the Three Lions’ most successful manager of the modern era, but despite the results he recorded at major tournaments, especially when measured against those of his predecessors, his stint is renowned not for results, but for extramarital romances.
When Wenger leaves Arsenal, he’ll do so as a Premier League legend with a space quite rightly reserved in the pantheon of English football’s greatest gaffers.
Were he to depart the Emirates for the England job, he’d wind up being remembered as the incompetent, shameful, joke of a manager who, like the boss of every other country in the world bar one, couldn’t guide the nation to tournament glory.
Why on earth would he want to do that?