Arsenal long time coach Arsene Wenger has backed the current interim manager of the Three Lions, Gareth Southgate to get the job on a permanent basis.
Wenger was tipped as the top choice to replace former manager Roy Hodgson after he resigned following a dismal Euro 2016 showing. However, Wenger opted to avoid being considered, deciding to rather focus on his club management career. Wenger says that Southgate has the required experience to manage the team despite not being a ‘big name.’
“Yes, he is. The difficulty in England is that there’s always the demand for big names,” said Wenger when asked if Southgate was a great choice for England. Southgate is standing in for four games following Sam Allardyce’s exit. He is widely expected to become the manager on a permanent basis if England defeat Scotland in the World Cup qualifier next month. The Three Lions will be hoping to give their 2018 World Cup dream a boost with a victory when they play Scotland at Wembley.
Wenger brushed off speculations that he would ever take up the job despite the concerns if Southgate can truly manage the team. Under Southgate, England played a lacklustre match against Slovenia and only managed to thrash Malta 2-0. The next two games would be key if Southgate is to get the job on a permanent basis.
“I focus on my job. He [Southgate] was a good observer of what was going on in the England national team. We are in a job where people question, especially when you don’t have much experience.
“The only answer he can give is by showing that the decisions you make are right and that you have the strength to do what you believe is right,” Wenger said. There are rumours that the FA would want to see Wenger see off his current Arsenal deal, but Wenger’s comments seem to have sent a stern message.