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Arsene Wenger

Arsene Wenger linked with surprise managerial return three years after Arsenal exit

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Wenger left the Emirates in 2018 after 22 years managing the Gunners and has not been back in the dugout since – but he’s been linked with a return following a recent departure in Europe

Arsene Wenger has been linked with a return to management three years after leaving Arsenal.

The former Gunners boss, 71, hasn’t officially retired and has left the door open to be back in the game.

Since 2019, Wenger has been working as FIFA’s Chief of Global Football Development.

The French manager spent 22 years in north London, winning three Premier League titles and seven FA Cups, stepping away from the Gunners hot seat at the end of the 2017-18 season, allowing Unai Emery to begin his eventually doomed spell.

Now, though, Wenger could be in line for a return to the dugout on the continent after an international job became available this week.

Swiss outlet Blick say the legendary coach is one of several candidates to take over their national team.

Having reached the quarter-finals of Euro 2020, Switzerland boss Vladimir Petkovic stepped down after seven years in charge to manage Ligue 1 outfit Bordeaux.

Wenger was in talks for the role all the way back in 1995 before joining Arsenal as the Swiss federation failed to agree terms with the Frenchman while he coached Japanese side Nagoya Grampus.

Switzerland reportedly want someone who can quickly come in and help them reach the Qatar World Cup, which takes place in November and December next year.

Arsene Wenger hasn't managed since 2018 but isn't officially retired

Arsene Wenger hasn’t managed since 2018 but isn’t officially retired ( Image: EMPICS Sport)

Current captain and Gunners midfielder Granit Xhaka – set to depart for Roma – played under Wenger for two years after signing from Borussia Monchengladbach for £35million in 2016.

The innovative coach was somewhat hounded out of the Emirates by fan frustration but remains one of the most respected figures in the game.

Wenger has flirted with a return by saying in 2019: “My future is unknown – even for me.

“I enjoy daily life now and I have been travelling a lot recently all over the world,” the former Nancy and Monaco gaffer explained.

“I am enjoying a little bit less pressure, and more freedom as well. But I miss the competition.”

Switzerland are currently second in their World Cup Qualifying group with two wins from as many games.

They join European champions Italy, Northern Ireland, Bulgaria and Lithuania in Group C.

In March, the FIFA chief told beIN Sports that the international calendar should be reviewed, saying: “If you look at the teams in the World Cups usually the average age is 27/28.

“That’s why, because the World Cup, is every four years there are very few chances to win it again because when they go back to the next World Cup they are 32/33,” Wenger explained.

“That’s why maybe we should organise the World Cup every two years.”

He added regarding smaller tournaments like the UEFA Nations League: “Kick all the rest out.

“Organise only competitions of meaning and kick all the parallel competitions out of the game,” Wenger stated.

“People must understand what is at stake and only have games with meaning.”

He may well soon be in the eye of the storm.


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About Charles Igbinidu

Charles Igbinidu is a Public Relations practitioner in Lagos, Nigeria

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