AW negative on England chances

BY foxsports • October 15, 2011

The Arsenal manager has been pretty vocal about the England side of late, but does not rate their chances of success at the championships in Poland and Ukraine next summer. Wenger said of England's hopes: "For me England are outsiders. They can maybe win it if they click just right at the time of the competition and their main players - (Steven) Gerrard, (Wayne) Rooney - are in fantastic form. "Gerrard has not played for a long time now but if he comes back in after a good rest in top form, then why not? And Capello has the quality to get the best out of the team, you cannot deny that." Wenger also reiterated his view that England should have an English manager when Capello leaves after Euro 2012 and ruled himself out as a candidate despite featuring in the betting for the post. Wenger said: "I always told you, for me the national team needs an English manager and I will never change that one minute. "I keep my exact principle and I think it is important for you as well because if a foreign manager wins a European Championship you will say somewhere it is not completely an English triumph." Wenger believes Capello must take Rooney to Euro 2012 despite the Manchester United striker not being able to take part in the group stages because of his three-match UEFA ban. The Arsenal boss, however, insists that his 18-year-old summer signing, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, could be ready for Fabio Capello's squad by then. Oxlade-Chamberlain scored a hat-trick for England Under-21 against Iceland in Reykjavik last week to underline his emergence as one of the country's top prospects. Wenger added: "I don't rule him out (of going to Euro 2012). It depends on his progress here. You cannot rule him out because he has the basic talent. In the next five, six months we will see how he adjusts to the physical intensity of the game." Wenger admits Oxlade-Chamberlain has surprised him with the speed with which he has settled in at the Emirates Stadium. Asked if he had exceeded his expectations, Wenger said: "Yes, I did not expect him to be so comfortable as quickly as that so he has done extremely well. He still needs some more time to adapt to the intensity of some of the games. He has the quality already for top-level Premier League games. "Let's not say a guy who plays one or two games has absolutely to go to the European Championship. Let's give him six or seven months. If in March, he has made a big step forward, why not? The mentality kicks in now. That will decide his career. I am positive about it because he can deal with the pressure." Wenger understandably is reticent in going overboard when it comes to Oxlade-Chamberlain, mindful of the circus which surrounded Walcott's selection for the World Cup squad in 2006. Walcott did not feature in any England games in Germany and he was left out of the squad four years later in South Africa. Wenger said: "Theo Walcott went at 17 years of age to the World Cup and Chamberlain is already 18 now. They are at different stages. "I believe that Chamberlain is more in the build-up of a game and Walcott is more striker minded. They are different types of players, both gifted." Wenger also believes the critics should be more understanding of Walcott, whose pace has been seen as one of England's biggest weapons but whose crossing has been suspect. He said: "I watched the England game (against Montenegro). I thought he worked hard for the team, but the whole team suffered. I did not see the first 20 minutes but from 20 to 90, he was not the only one who suffered in this game, because Montenegro were dominating the game. "He can make a (decisive impact) in every single game. Even in that game, you can say 'Ok he had not a great game', maybe, but he was efficient. That's the problem. When you look at Theo, he's a player who you think sometimes 'He could have contributed more', but then you think:' Who scored the goal? Him. Or who made the pass? It's him. He's a player who is efficient."


share story