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Arsene Wenger is the FA’s number 1 target for England manager

And Southgate could be interim boss

Arsene Wenger is the FA’s number 1 target for England manager
29 June 2016

So hands up who'd like a go at the impossible job? The job where you're basically guaranteed to get abused by the press, the fans, probably your own players and permanently destroy your managerial record and legacy.

At least the pay is good, we suppose.

The Football Association yesterday began the search for a new England manager after the humbling 2-1 defeat to Iceland on Monday was followed by the swift resignation of Roy Hodgson, who leaves after four years, three tournament final disappointments and around £14m of wages.

It has not got off to an auspicious start, with the man to be chosen by a trio of FA vice-chairman David Gill, technical director Dan Ashworth and chief executive Martin Glenn, who told a press conference - twice - that he was “no football expert”. So that's good.

Rumours suggest that the early frontrunner could be Arsenal's Arsene Wenger after Glenn's comments yesterday.

"We’d like to get one in (a manager) for the first World Cup qualifier, but if we won’t we have an interim plan in mind... For such an important decision, we are prepared to wait. If someone was coming to the end of their contract at the end of the season then waiting is a possibility... It is such an important decision. We have got to get the right person. To wait a few months - if that is what we had to do - would be the right decision... We clearly need an inspirational manager who can harness all of the resources that the English game has... You’ll have 55 different opinions in this room about who should be manager, but we are going to use the opinions and wisdom and insight of current managers, former managers and players."

Wenger's contract with Arsenal expires at the end of the coming season, and current Under-21 boss Gareth Southgate could be relied upon to keep the hotseat warm for a season when England will play five qualifiers for the 2018 World Cup - against Slovakia, Malta, Slovenia, Scotland and Lithuania. Wenger may also be one of the few to find the job an attractive one, given the constant criticism he has endured at Arsenal and the fact that he is now a stately 66 years of age.

There has certainly been no statement that the successful candidate will be English, opening up the field completely. So who are the other runners and riders?

Eddie Howe (8/1)

High point: Taking Bournemouth from League One to the Premier League and keeping them there with ease last season

Low point: Achieving mid-table Championship finishes in his two full seasons at Burnley

Alan Pardew (11/1)

High point: Winning the LMA and Premier League Manager of the Season in 2012 after guiding Newcastle to 5th place in the Premier League

Low point: The bitter end of his time at Newcastle United when fans were desperate for him to be sacked

Gareth Southgate (11/8)

High point: Winning the Toulon Tournament earlier this summer with England U-21s

Low point: leading Middlesbrough to relegation in 2009

Alan Shearer (8/1)

High point: None

Low point: achieving five points in eight games with Newcastle in 2009 as they succumbed to relegation

Glenn Hoddle (8/1)

High point: Leading England to the 2nd round of the 1998 World Cup, where they were unlucky to lose on penalties to Argentina in a classic match

Low point: Being sacked from the England job after making controversial comments

Gary Neville (10/1)

High point: None

Low point: Winning just three out of 16 league games with Valenica before being sacked

Sam Allardyce (12/1)

High point: Finishing in 6th place in the Premier League with Bolton Wanderers in 2005

Low point: Lasting less than a season at Newcastle United after new owner Mike Ashley decided to replace him with Kevin Keegan

Jurgen Klinnsman (10/1)

High point: Guiding a young, attacking German team to the World Cup semi-final in 2006

Low point: A disappointing season with Bayern Munich in 2008-09 which ended with his sacking