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August 2021

Is Arsène Wenger being tapped up for the England job? Maybe he is…

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By Tony Attwood

There is a story doing the rounds that Mr Redknapp does not want the England job because there is no chance of making a profit out of all the transfers and dealings that go on in everyday league football.

This is of course an utterly scurrilous story in that Mr Redknapp although accused of not paying tax on money given to his dog has been found guilty of no crime, and such things should not be said.

But supposing Mr Redknapp decides against the job for some other reason, or maybe even supposing the FA decide that a man who is a self-confessed dyslexic and dyscalculic is not adequate to handle the position of England manager.   Could England call on Arsène?

The Daily Telegraph thinks they might, and suggests the chairman of the Sweet FA, David Bernstein, has been seeking guidance, advice and suggestions from a whole bunch of crooks and criminals (sorry “respected figures in the game” – that’s what I meant to say) about our Lord Wenger.

Alex Horne, of whom you may not have heard but who is the FA’s general secretary, (whatever that means – and whatever it is I don’t think he writes the letters) confirmed that “a list of names had been drawn up”.   But they also don’t want to take a decision until just before the Euros so that when England fail it can be blamed on the late arrival of the manager.

“If there is a chance to shoot ourselves in the foot and make ourselves look even more prattish than normal, we’ll jump at it,” said Mr Horne. (I think the translation from Swedish is a bit lacking there and I will get the manager of Newcastle’s wife to take another look).

The recruitment committee includes Bernstein, Horne, Sir Trevor Brooking, and Adrian Bevington of Club England (I think that’s the bar at the bottom of the stairs on the right).

Our Arsène has said that an Englishman should manage the England team, and on the basis that only an Englishman would be mad enough to take on the job after the fiasco of the last 40 odd years, it looks unlikely that anyone else would take the job (unless of course they don’t speak English – rather like the last fellow).

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But the anti-Wenger troops, thankfully silent at the moment but undoubtedly ready to stand up and be counted with their predictions of mid-table obscurity if we lose a match, must be getting rather excited.  Yes, they would like him exiled in disgrace, but failing that being moved down to become manager of England will do for them.

Mr Wenger has often said, “I love England,” (although I think the notion of tea with milk, a failure to eat vegetables and the consumption of vast amounts of beer leaves him a little cold), so could he go?

The problem Mr Wenger has is twofold.  First, with the England job he would have little time to transform the bunch of thugs, boozers and stealers-of-other-people’s-girlfriends that make up the England squad into anything more than what they are.  Mr Wenger is a coach of brilliance, but he works over time, not in three day bursts.

Second, the way the footballing world has changed since he arrived.  At the start he could go out and find players no one else had ever heard of or would never buy, or who were thought to be in decline.  Who was talking about Gilberto Silva when we got him for £2m?  A few years later and an Arsenal player is captain of Brazil!

Who else was pitching to buy Vieira and Henry, even though they were on view in Italy?  And when it comes to obscurity, who else knew that Clichy would be able to replace Cole, when he (Clichy) was playing in (I think) the third division in France?

Sometimes Mr Wenger has performed short term miracles.  Christopher Wreh won the cup with us, but having come from nothing he went back to nothing.  Yet for that brief moment in his career when he could play, he played for us.

Now it is impossible – and that is sometimes seen as Mr Wenger’s current problem in club football – and it could be a reason to move to work with the the England team.  As the Telegraph piece says, every club is trying to do what Mr Wenger did – spot the talent in obscurity.  But more than that, whereas when Clichy came from France the only problem was his parents worried about their son coming to England, and languishing in the reserves for a couple of years before being sent home, now the problem is that the clubs approach are tempted to call PSG, Chelsea and Man City and say “Arsenal have been here – you had better get in quick”.

So could it be that although Mr Wenger loves the day to day activity of club football, the end of world wide scouting means that he would move to the England job?

I think not, because the youth system is still working.  The development of Coquelin since we first saw him in an Austrian training camp shows what can be be done even today.  The fact that we still find youngsters like Kyle Ebecilio who we prized away from Feyenoord says everything for what Mr Wenger has built here: a reputation.  In the past people came to Arsenal because we were the only one’s asking.  Now it is because we have the Arsenal Academy.  Yes the advantage of the world-wide scouting network is diminished, but the advantage of being the club who developed all the players we have developed, remains.

So could Mr Wenger go?
The most frightening bit in the Telegraph story comes at the end.  They say…

“Moreover the FA is braced for a multimillion-pound battle with Spurs over compensation for Redknapp’s services but might face less resistance at the Emirates.”

That is so appalling, so awful, I can only hope that it is just one of the usual invented stories that the press run.   Not to fight to hold on to Mr Wenger would be an utterly unforgivable crime.


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30 comments to Is Arsène Wenger being tapped up for the England job? Maybe he is…

  • Arun

    Tony, why do you think so much about the shit stories media publishes to get hits ???

  • Knysnagunner

    If I am not mistaken, Matt Scott is part of the Wenger Out Brigade and very close to the likes of Le Grove and Tim Payton. Implying that the Arsenal board will be ready to let Mr Wenger go, unlike the spuds with ‘Arry, is disgusting from someone who claims to be an Arsenal fan. Out to impress his new colleagues like Henry Winter and Ian Smith who are well known for their anti-Arsenal bias.

  • ozziearsenal

    No way Arsene would take the England job he knows the FA are just trying to set him up for a fall and Arsenal as well. Take Harry and cop the fallout when England disappoint their fans heads will roll in the FA and the spuds will go where they belong behind Arsenal in the league Arsene gets enough crap from the media being a dart board is not on his agenda.

  • Jeje

    They can have him for part-time

  • legolas still trust Wenger

    Quoting Wenger : “I am more a marathon man than a sprinter” he feels that a national team manager’s position is more that of a sprinter, which at the moment does not suit him..

    i guess Wenger prefers managing on a daily basis in Club unlike national team meeting his players once a month .

  • Dave Right

    Matt Scott’s ‘sources said’ stories have no plausibility. I’m not sure who should be more ashamed the writer or the editor who lets this stuff through. Anyway Arsène Wenger clearly disqualifies himself by being able to speak English unlike the the favourite for the job.

  • Kentetsu

    Considering all the vitriol he gets from the media as manager of Arsenal, can you really imagine he would want to take on the England job?

    I am not worried that Wenger will leave any time soon.
    In Arsene we trust!

  • Woolwich Peripatetic

    It’s a nice little fiction but viewing the England squad through Wenger’s spectacles (special ability, they turn opaque whenever an Arsenal player commits a foul) you can see the writing is on the wall for many ‘big name’ players. The FA knows this, they know that Wenger would never get into the mess Capello got into because his contract would explicitly state that all team decisions are taken by him and him alone. That’s commercial suicide as far as the FA is concerned, even more than the comedy with John Terry and the terrible performances at the last world cup.

  • AnT.

    could it be just a smokescreen? It might be already fixed who will be the next manager of England. However, to show to public that FA has a list of possible managers, this story, and perhaps many others, are needed, before FA finally comes to ‘pre-defined’ one.

  • Mahdain

    not a chance in hell..being in english football for more than 15yrs knows exactly how it works and im sure he knows it will be suicide to take that spot…and besides afterall the shit he has endured from the media i.e calling him senile frenchy,telling him he has lost it and drawing pathetic pictures of him and ofcourse from PGMO im not sure Arsene will be keen of it either

  • Pat

    I was just having a good laugh at your very entertaining article, Tony, until it came to the last terrifying paragraph. But having read the contributions from the Untold readers, I feel reassured. It looks like this is just another journo making up a story. Why on earth would Arsene want the poisoned chalice when he’s got Arsenal? Anyway, thanks again for the laughs in the first half. I’m going back to read them again.

  • marcus

    I believe the FA have set up a special Masonic service to make Arsene English.

    He has to dress in a lion suit, drink 3 pints of ale mixed with urine, peanuts and sheep’s testicles, and then belch the national anthem replacing God with Riley.

    He also has to change his name to Harrison, and then its a done deal.

  • Arun…

    I write articles like this one, from time to time, because I am fed up with the nonsense that the press put out. My aim (and I am sorry if this doesn’t always seem clear) is to have a laugh both at the story and the paper that ran it.

    And if at the same time I can create a little chuckle on other bits and pieces, so much the better.

    The think phrases such as

    “If there is a chance to shoot ourselves in the foot and make ourselves look even more prattish than normal, we’ll jump at it,” said Mr Horne. (I think the translation from Swedish is a bit lacking there and I will get the manager of Newcastle’s wife to take another look).

    are the give away to the key essence of the story.

    But I do try and make them little stories about what is going on in the world of football, and add what seem to me to be the key points, such as the way in which the transfer market and worldwide scouting has changed in the last 15 years.

    I quite enjoy writing them, but I also enjoy it a lot when a supporter of another team comes on (as with the Newcastle pieces for example) and doesn’t get any of the jokes and thinks the whole thing is serious. That gives me a chuckle (it being not the done thing to laugh at ones own jokes).

  • Goona Gal

    Yes that is what the most maligned and abused man in the EPL needs from the degenerate press and their cohorts, more harassment and derision. The way the FA and press treated Bobby Robson was unforgiveable and he was one of the more successful managers to have a go, Arsene Wenger has been around long enough to know and remember this.

    The thing is, I have had a niggling concern that Le boss has been walking around quoting Danny Glover in Lealthal Weapon for a while now. He is coming to the end of his current contract and I think the project needs him for another 2 more years and I think that the FA were maybe hoping that 2+2 = 5. The FA really think the England job is still a highly sought after one, yes it pays well, but the baggage it comes with is not worth it.

    Last year when the Anti Arsenal media campaign was red hot, I said that I thought that it was connected to getting Le boss sacked and installed as England manager. To some people this seemed far fetched, especially as Capello was still manager, but the FA have previous form for pursuing a manager publicly who didn’t want the job in Phil Scolari. Arsene Wenger has publicly stated that he does not want the job many times as he loves what he is doing at Arsenal and he has a contract to honour. The FA should of got the message by now, but knows with that lot. They remind my of an insistent Mrs Doyle.

    (sorry about the ad)

  • Arvind

    Le Boss isn’t going anywhere. He’ll see out this contract and then maybe move on to Japan or North Africa or France or something and do player development. If everything is good though and he feels he can carry on and take AFC upward again(in his own eyes) he’ll stay on. No one is going to touch the England job apart from English coaches who have dreamt of it for years.

  • RedGooner

    Tony to be honest I thought the most frightening part of that garbage printed by the Telegraph was “It’s everyone’s guilty secret that they think Arsène might be the wrong man for the job but no one will say it.”

    Words dont describe it …. On a brighter note did anyone see the picture of carl jenkinson on the AFC web site in his bedroom ? Its like the Aladins cave of Arsenal. 🙂

  • Goona Gal

    @ Knysnagunner, I have just read that silly article and it would’nt suprise me if the inside source was from a blog or Tim Payton/AST. Apparently they are respectable sources which can be quoted at others as FACT. Strangely, Arsene Wenger is not however when there is a porky pie to tell.

    @ Arvind, Gus Hiddink I have been told anecdotally can command between £10 -£20m a year for his services. It’s not just player development it is also football league development, scouting and stadia development as well as connections, introductions and other expertise that many nations would love to gain the services of Arsene Wenger for. We are very fortunate that the man is a Gooner as a lesser man would of jumped ship by now. The voices that call for his head are idiots.

  • Wooby

    @AnT., I’m with you, I think this a smokescreen thrown out by The FA, probably trying to drive the price down for Arry. After Eriksson and Capello in the past decade, I’d be shocked if The FA decides on having another foreign manager succeed Capello.

    I also doubt LeBoss would consider the England job. If anything, I’d be more concerned about the FFF approaching him to be the boss of the French team, seeing how Blanc’s contract runs out after the Euros this year. Now now, any media type reading this comment, don’t go running to write some BS story quoting “sources indicate the FFF is feeling out Wenger for France top job”!

  • Gord

    Offtopic. is running a short story about Jenkinson’s bedroom at home, and all the Arsenal paraphernalia in it.

    Apparently Nico Yennaris has a similar collection.

  • Tee Song

    This story is the same old shit, just dressed differently. It’s just a way of implying that Arsenal not only would be glad to rid themselves of him, but SHOULD be glad to see him go. Because obviously, the times have passed him by and he’s no longer capable of being a top level club manager. It’s a kinder, gentler, subtler way of saying “WENGER OUT!”

  • Goona Gal

    @ Tee Song, yeah it sounds like the MO of the AST. They must be very angry that the club and manager are doing well. It’s an article that was probably written a few weeks ago but had to be shelved.

  • AnT.

    @Wobby: I think we save the thought of AW managing a national team as he seems like to prefer managing in daily basis as I read his interview somewhere. But ofcourse nothing is impossible, as we experience these couple of weeks. 🙂

    Anyway, I wonder whether the club can put a legal complain to a media as it sounds too far a lie to me. Or perhaps the author should define who the insider is, a tea lady, janitor or the board member.

  • Rhys Jaggar

    ‘Alex Horne, of whom you may not have heard but who is the FA’s general secretary, (whatever that means – and whatever it is I don’t think he writes the letters) confirmed that “a list of names had been drawn up”. But they also don’t want to take a decision until just before the Euros so that when England fail it can be blamed on the late arrival of the manager.’

    It’s perfectly possible that they want a temporary manager for the Euros and a permanent appointment afterwards, as their preferred candidates are all in employment and don’t want to blot their copy books taking over a squad 2 weeks before the tournament.

    There is of course a conspiracy theory I am making up right now that Sir Alex Ferguson will manage in the summer and M. Wenger thereafter. Seeing as how the FA want the England manager to work in harness with St Georges Park on developing new coaches and surely M. Wenger must know a bit about that, he being so good in setting up youth academies and all that?

    The conspiracy theory about Mr Redknapp may in fact be that Mr Levy is holding a gun to his head and has told him to make his mind about about staying at Spurs by April 1st or he’ll sack him anyway at the end of the season. This is another scurrilous tabloidesque story I made up off the hoof!

    The conspiracy theory with most legs is the one which says that the FA can’t be seeing to let the dreadful tabloids choose the next manager (just as they couldn’t let David Dein be FA Chairman), so they will choose ‘anyone but harry’, having laid him with Betfair at 1.5 for rather a lot of dosh. They note that Mr Hodgson has managed Finland and Switzerland and perhaps his compensation from WBA will be less than ‘Arry’s at Spurs.

    The simplest thing is just to treat this speculation like transfer speculation: it’s all a lot of old hooey.

    The bottom line is this: if Stan Kroenke doesn’t want to sell Arsene Wenger and Arsene Wenger doesn’t want to leave, he won’t be, will he? Arsene Wenger will have 2 years of a quite lucrative contract to run in the summer, so the FA will have to pay rather more to release him than to release Harry Redknapp as things currently stand.

    Equally true is the fact that if Mr Kroenke wants to fire M. Wenger in the summer, it is within his rights as the owner. So far as I am aware, there are no clauses in M. Wenger’s contract which says that the FA, the media or supporters’ groups can fire him.

    For those of paranoid persuasions who consider the DT to be the unofficial organ of MI6 however, there is a distinct possibility that ‘smoke and mirrors’ stories are run where ‘Arsene Wenger’ is code for someone else and ‘remaining Arsenal manager’ is a front for quite different employment scenarios……….

  • Ben

    I don’t think Arsene will be England manager. He finds the friendly matches pointless with players called and getting injured or becoming fatigued. He also doesn’t like the club vs country fuss that comes with it. Plus wasn’t the media and the FA said they want an English manager for England?

  • bjtgooner

    This is an interesting article and begs the question as to why the Telegraph would run such a story. Is Wenger a more successful manager than Redknapp – yes of course he is by a long way. But if the FA had wanted the better manager they would have approached Wenger in the first place. So I don’t think the FA want Wenger – not because of any lack of managerial skills, but because he would open the big can of worms that the FA seem to be trying to hold closed.

    The reason behind the article is more obscure, it is likely to be total fabrication, but possibly at the behest of someone rich, powerful and manipulative who, for his own reasons, would like Wenger moved on.

    I would doubt if Wenger is the slightest bit interested in the England job. He is well on his way to building yet another formidable Arsenal team and he will want to see that through.

  • Adam

    I do miss these tongue in cheek articles. More please.

  • Mandy dodd

    Lol! Strange, the telegraph usually one of the better sports sections. The Fa would,love wenger, they need a developmental manager to sweep away the old guard and bring youngsters through, arry is not the man to do this , and the Fa know it . Also , something for nothing, trevor brooking is not a great arry fan. Luckily, wenger would not go near that job, he has turned it down before and would do,so this time. I expect England to name Roy hodgson alongside Stuart Pearce and Gareth southgate. Not ideal for an England supporter but we need a team to bring the youngsters through, to get rid of the cliques and bring English football into the current century. The new england management team will have a much wider brief than the first team, which is why wenger would be ideal but it will not happen. And stan has openly stated how much he wants wenger at the club, for as long as he wants. Having said that, and totally contradicting myself, not sure Roy hodgson is really the man to change the way we play football, he seems a bit of a Charles Hughes disciple at times!

  • bob

    Oh the delicious irony of Arsene taking/being offered the job because they want to saddle him (or some Jean Le Foreigner) with a failed enterprise; and then blame LeProf (or other other) for having caused yet another failure. Then it is foreign betrayal, not domestic incompetence. 🙂

  • bob

    Arsene, beware Greek bearing gifts.

  • Goon in 60 Seconds

    Yes the market has changed, but WHO was pitching for RYO when we signed him for one million?? and ryo is probably already worth 10 times that on the back of 5 games!! He will be a beast!!!, also there is Joel campbell, although he attracted a little attention towards the end.