With a subtle flutter of the eyelashes at the English FA, Arsene Wenger revealed he’d be open to taking the vacant England manager’s job, if the opportunity were to arise.
“I rule nothing out. My focus is here but one day why not?”
The appeal of the Three Lions gig, for Wenger, is one that is and isn’t clear. And even for the FA, the motives behind wanting Le Professeur feel slightly clouded.
The Football Association believe they’re getting a philosopher of the beautiful game, a forward-thinker and a manager that develops and nurtures the next generation of footballers, and in turn, would build a legacy for the Three Lions.
And Wenger does do that; he is everything the FA is craving – there is no Football Association more obsessed with image than the English one. The very fact that Spain or Italy, two of the international football’s biggest sides, have relative unknowns in charge, speaks volumes for all of England FA’s PR fluff, but that’s for another article.
At 66, Wenger shows no signs of tiring, despite all the rumours that this season will mark the final one of his Arsenal career. And why would Wenger leave the Emirates Stadium, now? At a time where, whoever would be stepping into his shoes, would be inheriting a guaranteed success story; the person would be putting the cherry on top of the cake, a cake Wenger put his life and soul into building.
Doesn’t seem fair and doesn’t make any sense.
Wenger on Arsenal: “It’s a love story and a love story you want it to go on every day” #wenger20
— arseblog (@arseblog) September 30, 2016
Wenger, no matter how tense the environment gets around north London or how poor results are, always indulges in the playful, rib-tickling that has seen him develop a strong relationship with the British media over two decades – sure, he has his ‘got up on the wrong side of the bed’ moments, but we all do.
The former Monaco manager knows and respects, no matter how flawed, the media can make or break you, so why not use them to your advantage?
At this moment in time, Wenger has put together, finally, another well-balanced Arsenal side – they’ve always been exciting but top-heavy. He knows that this side is close to his utopian ideologies (whether you agree with them or not, is neither here nor there).
Surprisingly, perhaps almost ironically, Wenger’s market value has never been higher. And he knows it. And it’s perfect for him, as he will be signing a new Arsenal contract at the end of the season; not a chance that was never going to be the case.
Just now, he can use the FA’s misplaced interest in adding a few more numbers to the annual salary. And that will annoy the ignorant, ungrateful and deluded #WengerOut brigade.