What a difference 67 days make, after the incredible developments of the last few days the England national team once again finds itself without a permanent manager at the helm as once again the F.A. have to begin their search to find the next man to take charge of the Three Lions. Gareth Southgate has been trusted with the task for the next four matches but the question now is who will be the next man in the England hotseat?
Current England Under 21 boss Southgate now has in effect a 4 match job interview which will finish next June when England face Spain in an international friendly. By then you would imagine that the F.A. will have or will be very close to making that all important decision as to whether Southgate gets the job full time or whether or not they decide to give the position to someone else.
And that someone else could be non other than current Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger. Before the appointment of Allardyce, Football Association Chairman Greg Clarke made no secret of his desire to try and tempt Wenger away from The Emirates and into the realm of international football but Wenger with still a year left to run on his current contract was not prepared to walk away early. But if you were ask to the 66 year old the same question at the end of the season then we could very well see a different answer.
In terms of the runners and riders for the England job not has changed from June when Roy Hodgson’s tenure ended after that embarrassing defeat to Iceland in Euro 2016. It’s still the same half dozen or so names who will once again be in the frame but if truth be told it isn’t all that an inspiring list as names like Alan Pardew and Steve Bruce haven’t got the most glittering of C.V’s when it comes to top level management.
But if you were add a name like Wenger’s to the list of candidates then it’s not unfair to say that the three time Premier League winner would go straight to the top of the pile. Of course there are a number of mitigating circumstances and the most obvious one would be whether or not the former Monaco manager would actually want to take the job but it could almost be the perfect time for him to bow out from Arsenal and try his hand at winning a major international trophy.
International football management has long been the pursuit of the more elder gentlemen and after being in charge of Arsenal through the breakneck pace of the Premier League for 20 years it would make perfect sense to take up an opportunity such as being England manager and take a a well deserved change of pace.
Wenger will have a job at Arsenal for life, should he want to and even if he really did want the England job then you could quite easily envisage him in a sense taking a sabbatical from Arsenal and then returning as a Director of Football later on, dare I say he could even combine that with England duties due to not having the need of managing from week to week.
This is a man who knows English Football inside out and if you look past what some may consider a stumbling block that being that he’s not English then he is without question the perfect candidate for the role. Gareth Southgate is quite capable of keeping the seat warm until June.
Let’s not forget that Southgate himself said he wasn’t ready to take the job when Roy Hodgson quit so whether that mindset changes come the end of his interim appointment remains to be seen. But even if Southgate doesn’t get the job full time from June 2017 you have to imagine that his time will definitely come but that time may not be until after Euro 2020.
Arsenal fans will now have a keen eye on the contract developments of Wenger over the next few months, as the longer he goes without signing the likelier a move to international management maybe. Maybe this May really will be the end of an era for The Gunners and a start of a new one for England.
As we’ve seen a lot can happen in Football in just the space of a day, even more can happen over the space of 9 months. Will Arsene say Au Revoir to Arsenal and Bonjour to Wembley? only time will tell.