Matt’s Monologue: England should target Wenger

67 days. That is how long Sam Allardyce lasted in the England job before leaving by mutual agreement last week.

This is not the time or place for getting into the how and why of it, nor whether the Football Association made the correct decision in giving him the boot.

Instead, I will turn my attention on to who gets the role next.

Gareth Southgate is in charge for the upcoming World Cup qualifiers against Malta and Slovenia, plus further matches with Scotland and Spain in November.

Realistically, he should be winning all three of the competitive fixtures, especially if he wants to throw his hat into the ring for the role full time.

But the feeling is that he will not get the job long term, with Crystal Palace boss Alan Pardew currently as short as 3 to 1 to be the man tasked with taking the country to Russia in 2018.

The other people near the top of the betting are familiar faces; Steve Bruce, for example, a man believed to have been a close runner up to Allardyce when he replaced Roy Hodgson in the summer, as well as Glenn Hoddle.

None are particularly attractive names, and the question a lot of people are asking is whether or not the England manager should indeed be English.

Foreign bosses have been tried and tested over the last 15 years.

Sven Goran Eriksson had reasonable success during his time in charge, guiding the team to a hat-trick of quarter-finals at the 2002 and 2006 World Cups and the European Championships in Portugal in between.

Fabio Capello, meanwhile, saw his side knocked out of South Africa 2010 after a defeat to Germany in the second round, something which followed on from a pretty grim group stage.

Elsewhere, there have been some other spectacular “home” failures. Roy Hodgson won just one game at two major tournaments, whilst Steve McClaren’s 2008 team could not even qualify for the Euros.

As it stands, if the FA go for another English boss, I think they will only be getting another McClaren or Hodgson. There is nobody screaming out to be picked, apart from maybe Bournemouth’s Eddie Howe.

The country needs something fresh; somebody who will come in and not be scared to display a bit of flair and use all the exciting attacking players at his display.

In my opinion, at the moment, that means appointing somebody who is foreign. It is actually not something I agree with. I would much rather see England led by an English boss, and the same would go for any country being managed by one of their own.

But whilst there is no rule against it and there is nobody else fitting the bill, they should choose the best of the rest.

The man I would go for is Arsene Wenger. His contract at Arsenal expires in the summer and it looks unlikely that he will be kept on at the Emirates Stadium – unless they somehow manage to win the Premier League or have success in Europe.

He plays attractive football, and we would not be able to moan about his lack of spending either!

At 66, he may just want one last hurrah, a new experience in international football, and I reckon he would be a success. Whether the FA would go down that route though? That is a completely different question.


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