Robbie Fowler has backed Arsene Wenger as “a good shout” to be next England manager – with an “Alan Shearer-type figure” at his side.
And if Martin O’Neill was available, the former Liverpool and England striker would fancy him for the job too.
“I am not one of these ones that think there should be an English manager, I just want the right man,” Fowler said at the launch of eir Sport in Dublin yesterday.
“One of the names that shone out for me straight away is Arsene Wenger. I know he is not the youngest anymore but what he is in terms of a manager is a proven winner – (although) the Arsenal fans might disagree with that!
“He has won trophies, he plays football the right way, he has a knack of getting the best out of footballers, he has been in England for 20 odd years, knows England, knows the English game, so for me he would be perfect.
“Whether he would want to leave Arsenal to do it, I am not sure, but for me, it seems a perfect opportunity for him to wind down his career and do less days than with a club, and maybe get an Alan Shearer-type figure with him who could learn off him. For me, Arsene Wenger would be a good shout.”
Had Martin O’Neill not signed up to an extended contract with Ireland, Fowler reckons he would have been a good shout too.
“He probably would be. In terms of characters, him and Arsene Wenger are chalk and cheese – Arsene will sit and is very reserved – but I love managers like Martin O’Neill.
“You look at Conte, Mourinho, Jurgen Klopp, managers who will play the game with the players from the touchline. I wanted to see that.
“That’s why if Arsene Wenger was to get it then you’d probably need someone with a bit of character to do all this on the touchline, someone showing passion in the way the fans want to see, because it can galvanise them as well.
“Certainly Martin O’Neill has got that. He will be on the touchline playing the game and as a player you want to see that.”
And the English players didn’t get that from Roy Hodgson in France?
“No, he stood there but he didn’t get the anguish or joy that you see with all the other managers.
“Conte was brilliant, he was up out of his dugout all the time, directing his players. Obviously Roy would shout every now and again but you’re probably not getting the same with him as you would get from a Martin O’Neill or a Conte or even a Klopp.”
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