Wenger reveals he was offered England job in 2016

Date published: Monday 20th September 2021 10:56 - Jason Soutar

Arsene Wenger

Former Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has revealed he was offered the England national team managerial role in 2016.

The Frenchman left the Gunners in 2018 after 22 years in charge of the Premier League giants.

After leaving Arsenal he then took on the role of FIFA’s Chief of Global Football Development.

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The 71-year-old has recently received criticism for his plans to have a World Cup every two years.

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp slammed the plans, saying: “There is no other sport in the world with such a relentless calendar. No physical sport. There are more demanding sports like athletics and marathons but they don’t run 20 or 30 or 40 a year.

“We all know why it’s happening. Whatever people say that it’s about giving different countries opportunities, in the end it’s all about money, that’s how it is.”

And Wenger himself has told The Telegraph he could have managed England at the 2018 World Cup.

After Roy Hodgson left his Three Lions managerial role in 2016, the Arsenal legend was offered the job, he has confirmed.

When asked if 2016 was the last time the Football Association came calling, he said: “Yes, I think so.”

Wenger also praised current manager Gareth Southgate, saying he “likes” the 51-year-old.

Elsewhere, Arsenal academy boss Per Mertesacker doubts the club have the quality to mount a serious challenge for the top four positions this season.

Speaking to The Beautiful Game Podcast, Mertesacker said: “Probably not [top four this season], that is what I’ve learnt. I’m looking more long-term, Edu needs to look long-term sometimes, we need to build a foundation for the next three or four years. Me in the academy, I live in ten year cycles.

“Mikel needs to address the here and now, the next games are the most important for us. I’m going to get behind the team because they need us to create that positivity and energy around the whole training ground.’”

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