Cech: Wenger has the pedigree and quality to lead England

Date published: Thursday 7th July 2016 5:02

Goalkeeper Petr Cech is in no doubt manager Arsene Wenger has both the pedigree and quality needed to take over the England job, but believes the 66-year-old remains committed to helping Arsenal win the Premier League.

The Football Association has started the process of identifying a permanent successor to Roy Hodgson following England’s poor Euro 2016 campaign, which ended with an embarrassing defeat by Iceland at the last 16 stage.

While Wenger has long stated he felt an English coach would be best suited to the role of national team manager, the FA is said to be keen to determine whether there would be any interest in taking up the role, possibly once his current deal at the Emirates Stadium expires next summer.

Veteran stopper Cech, who joined the Gunners from Chelsea 12 months ago, believes while Wenger holds all the necessary credentials, his focus remains very much on club matters.

“Obviously that is a question for Mr Wenger, if he would like to take this (England) job, but he is someone who has been coaching in England for such a long time, he definitely has the pedigree and the quality,” Cech said on Sky Sports News HQ.

“He knows the atmosphere, the mentality and knows the expectation and the love England has for football, so obviously this is to his big advantage.

“But I think he is enjoying his time at Arsenal being a club manager, having the day-to-day job and it would be more of a question for him.”

Arsenal finished second last season behind susprise champions Leicester, which many believe was a missed opportunity for Wenger’s squad to secure a first title since the Invincibles of 2003/2004.

Cech accepts while all the Premier League hopefuls will strengthen, there is plenty of reason to be positive Arsenal can go one better come May 2017, having themselves brought in £35million Switzerland international Granit Xhaka.

“We were disappointed because we thought we were good enough to challenge for the title and to be in the race until the last game,” Cech said.

“But we finished second which was the best finish for Arsenal in a long time, so there were positives in our last campaign and we would like to carry that on, to improve for the next season because we finished empty-handed and this is not what we wanted.”

Cech added: “For the next season the aim is to add some silverware into the cabinet, but we expect a big challenge as well…. so many teams are buying players and improving, everybody wants to be in the top four, and will be challenging for the title.”

Some of the Arsenal players have already returned to London Colney to begin pre-season training, while others like Cech who were away on international duty will get some extra time off to recover.

Wales midfielder Aaron Ramsey expects he may miss the start of the Premier League campaign at home to Liverpool on August 14 as he recovers from his own Euro 2016 exertions.

Cech said: “It is challenging for everybody who has players at the European Championships because they have to rest a bit and then come in at different points during pre-season, but I think we have an experienced squad and I am looking forward to the season. We will be ready.”

Arsenal continue to be linked with further moves in the transfer market, including interest in both Germany attacking-midfielder Julian Draxler and Lyon striker Alexandre Lacazette.

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