The major issue in English football at the moment concerns the future head coach of the England national team, following the resignation of Roy Hodgson from the role. Media and bookmakers have named several potential candidates for the position, though supporters up and down the country, as well as the FA, will be disappointed to see Arsene Wenger so low on the shortlist. The Arsenal manager is considered an outside bet for the England position, with some online soccer odds as high as 25/1.
One of the main appeals that the Frenchman has over the competition is his unparalleled knowledge of English football, gained from almost two decades of managing in the Premier League. With the exception of Sam Allardyce, currently 4/1 to take charge of the Three Lions, Wenger has spent the longest managing in England, and knows the current crop of players inside and out. The manager’s experience in the country far outweighs favourite Jurgen Klinsmann, and would be certainly be a better judge of England’s best talent and how they perform with one another.
The 66-year-old would be able to address the persistent problem that has dogged England over the past couple of tournaments, as the more senior players continue to contribute little to the squad. Players such as Wayne Rooney, who have excelled for their clubs, have often dragged the national team down during tournaments, preventing the squad from moving on and achieving something meaningful. Wenger has gained a reputation for consistently selecting younger prospects every season, giving them opportunities on the main stage and helping to develop their talent. Considering the success that the England youth teams have had when compared to their senior counterparts, few managers would be better at aiding talent to the next level.
Lastly, Wenger has proved several times over that he is able to deliver the consistent results that England desperately lack in the modern era. Supporters of the Three Lions can never predict the outcome of a major competition, with the team as likely to falter in the group stages as they are in the knockout rounds. While some may consider it a failure, there’s no denying that Wenger has been consistent with Arsenal, qualifying for the Champions League in 17 consecutive seasons, and progressing from the group in each of the last 6. Appointing the Arsenal boss would surely be a stabilising force for the national team, ensuring that there are fewer disappointments when it matters.
For the time being, the manager remains an outside bet to be handed the reins, particularly as the Gunners consider handing him another contract extension. Nonetheless, Wenger would bring a number of important qualities to the position, and England fans would be happy to see bookmakers’ odds slashed over the coming weeks.