Wenger backs Southgate for England job on full-time basis

The former Middlesbrough manager has taken four points from his first two World Cup qualifying games, prompting the Arsenal boss to back him to take over permanently

Arsene Wenger believes England should shun some of the high-profile names linked with the permanent manager’s job and stick with Gareth Southgate.

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Southgate is reported to have impressed the Football Association after two games of his four-match interim role, picking up four points in the World Cup qualifiers against Malta and Slovenia.

The former Middlesbrough boss is one of a number of candidates under consideration to succeed Sam Allardyce on a full-time basis, along with the likes of Roberto Mancini, Ralf Rangnick and Glenn Hoddle.

And long-serving Arsenal manager Wenger, who himself has been mentioned as a future Three Lions boss, feels Southgate deserves his chance to try and lead England to the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

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He told reporters at his news conference ahead of Saturday’s game with Swansea City: “He [Southgate] has accumulated experience first with Middlesbrough, now with the federation.

“He was a good observer of what was going on with the England team [as the Under-21 boss].

“When you are in a job where people question you, and especially when you have less experience, the only answer you can give is by his selection and decision making. So show that your decisions are right and that you have the strength to believe what you do is right.”

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Asked if Southgate was the outstanding candidate currently, he added: “Yes, he is I think. That is the difficulty in England, there’s a demand for the big names but what is most important is if the person is competent he can make a name for himself and he has a good opportunity to show that.

“I’m happy he has the opportunity to show he has quality.”

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