Belfast Telegraph

English football’s top man has Wenger in sights

By Ian Herbert

Football Association chief executive Martin Glenn has admitted that Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger would “fit the criteria perfectly” as the next England manager and indicated that he is not wedded to the idea of appointing an Englishman as Sam Allardyce’s successor.

 Glenn, who also said that Allardyce could potentially face a fine or ban from football for bringing the game into disrepute by stating that FA third party ownership rules could be flouted, is ideally looking for someone with Premier League experience and believes that the most successful international managers are in their 60s.

 Wenger (66) who marks his 20th anniversary as Arsenal manager this weekend, turned down the job when approached by the FA after Roy Hodgson was sacked this summer but he did not rule out the idea when asked on Friday. “I don’t know. I ruled nothing out because I want to work but it can end tomorrow,” he said.

 Asked if Wenger, out of contract this summer, may be using England’s dire need of a replacement for Allardyce as a negotiating device, Glenn said: “I am not commenting on that. Of course he’d fit the criteria perfectly. Of course he would, as would a few others.”

Glenn insisted that the selection criteria had not changed because of Allardyce’s dismissal — a decision the FA reached after 90 minutes’ deliberation on Monday afternoon, having given the 61-year-old an hour to explain why he had told undercover reporters that it was possible to “get around” third party ownership of players.

 “If you look at the track record of success [among] international managers, they are usually older,” said Glenn, who has seen 38-year-old Eddie Howe widely touted as the best candidate this week. “That’s a fact, but it doesn’t mean [our next manager has] to be. 

“Being English is a benefit; a bonus.

“But if we are saying he absolutely has to be English then we narrow the field too much.”

Belfast Telegraph


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