Wenger was NOT first choice to be England manager, claims FA technical director

first_imgDan Ashworth, the Football Association’s technical director, has told talkSPORT Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger was not first choice for the England managerial job.Sam Allardyce has now been appointed as head coach, but reports claimed the Frenchman was sounded out about the role, which became vacant when Roy Hodgson resigned after the Three Lions’ Euro 2016 defeat to Iceland.And when asked if Wenger was the man the FA originally wanted for the role, Ashworth said: “No. We only offered the job to one person and we offered the job to Sam [Allardyce], obviously. And he was delighted to accept it.“There were a lot of rumours about who was favourite and who wasn’t. In fact, I think there was a different favourite every day for a period of time but that [Wenger being first choice] was not the case at all.”Meanwhile, Ashworth has allayed fears Allardyce would use a negative style of football while managing the Three Lions, insisting the ex-Sunderland and West Ham boss is the right man for the job.He added: “He has a raft of experience, the right age, the right profile, he’s very progressive with his coaching methods, and I think the gauge of a good coach is they always add value to players and teams and Sam has a terrific record of adding value to any team he’s been part of.“One of the differences between international and club football is you don’t get the players for very long and you have players from numerous clubs who come in for short periods of time so it’s about getting the best out them and maximises their time and we felt Sam would be outstanding in this particular area.“Sam’s job is to pick, coach and manage the team and get us to win. One of the things is he will obviously have a slightly different profile of player than he’s had at a couple of his other clubs, we’ve got the best from the whole of England on offer.“I also think it’s a bit of a myth in some cases [about his style of play]. Look at Bolton Wanderers, and Jermain Defoe was playing upfront for Sunderland last season. Sam is a really acute tactician and the best coaches get the best out of the players they have got at their disposal.”last_img

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