Rice thinks FIFA and UEFA could call for Wenger

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Arsene Wenger’s former right-hand man, Pat Rice, thinks the Frenchman is so respected in the world of football that the likes of FIFA and UEFA could knock his door when he steps down as Arsenal manager in the summer.

Rice, whose connection with the Gunners dates back to 1967, became Wenger’s assistant when he arrived from Monaco in 1996 and retained the role until 2012 when Steve Bould took over.

Having worked with Wenger at close hand for 16 years, there are few who know the 68-year-old better or rate him higher.

“In my eyes he is the best Arsenal manager there has ever been,” Rice told Sky Sports. 

“Having seen the way he works and the way he treats people, everybody is treated with respect. He always looked after his staff, he is just an incredible manager.

“Everything that he goes in to is researched. When he came to the club all the training schedules were down to the finest minute.

“He changed the food that the players had, he changed the way they were drinking. Cokes and orange and all that stuff went out of the window.

“The foresight that he had was just second to none and he changed the way of people’s thinking about football in England, there’s absolutely no doubt about that.”

Rice went on to suggest that Wenger will have been very hurt by the manner in which he’s been eased out at the Emirates, although he accepts that it’s hardly surprising given the state of the modern game.

“I think he would feel very hurt about the reaction he was getting but at the end of the day we all know we are in a business where it can happen to anybody,” he noted.

“It is not the first time it has happened to a football manager but when you think what he has done for our great club it is a shame that it had to end this way.

“I’m just hoping that for the last home game of the season [against Burnley] everybody shows their appreciation to a wonderful man and a tremendous manager.”

As for what the future holds for his former boss, Rice predicts a raft of offers.

“I think he’s so well respected if he wants to be a manager at another club,” he added.

“I know he’s very well respected at UEFA and FIFA and I would not be surprised if he had an opportunity to go and join one of those.

“Football is his love. When I was working there you would go in the next day and talk about what film or comedy show you watched the previous night, or if you’d been out in the West End.

“He would come in and ask if anyone had seen Juventus or Roma or Barcelona v Malaga.”

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Pedant
Pedant

Though he could do a lot of good there, I think he would get bored at UEFA or FIFA.

I see him going to a national side or club as far more likely.

Or become a beach volleyball player.

PeteyB
PeteyB

I am not certain that he’d be successful as an international manager. Feel his mother’s rely too much on style and shared understanding between players, things difficult to get with limited time. I feel international managers need to give firmer roles and responsibilities to players than he would be comfortable with. IMHO

Bould's Eyeliner
Bould's Eyeliner

But if anything, he’s showed that he can make a damn good cup team, despite whatever criticisms can be rightly put his way.

I wouldn’t mind seeing Les Bleus under Wenger, would be some exciting football to see in the World Cup.

sheffieldgooner
sheffieldgooner

Rice, O’Leary, Young, Nelson. Now that was a back four.

Great to hear from Pat Rice.

Vonnie
Vonnie

I think he’s too honest for them.

OdalGooner
OdalGooner

A man of integrity would no doubt find it a difficult place to work. That said, he could also shift either organization further towards “what’s best for football” – and not just what’s best for people that sell commercials on TV.

dustwolf83
dustwolf83

Wenger: world football’s Serpico

underwhelmingly flaccid

Imagine the good he could do if he was given the access and power he has at Arsenal at FIFA and UEFA?

There would be no need for FBI raids – he would shake the whole thing up from top to bottom and clean up.

gunnerdaremkd
gunnerdaremkd

I think that there is not a chance that Arsenal will apoint wenger sucssesor before the 2leg games vs atletico are over nor even leak a name to the press.

The last thibg they need is for the players who are in an emotional state at the moment to be distracted before argubly the most important game that can define our next season.

After atletico tie is over i think we will have a name strongly linked that would replace arsene.

Blackadder
Blackadder

I think there’s not a chance that they don’t already have some sort of agreement in place, despite all Gazidis’ bluster to the press.

ramgooner
ramgooner

I think one of the 3 national teams could do with Wenger.
1.France
2.England
3.Japan
I would love to see him manage Japan just for this WC as they sacked their manager recently. It would set him up nicely for future international roles with some tournament experience under his belt.

I just hope he wins Euros or WC in his career. He deserves much more than being known as Arsenal’s greatest ever. I hope he gets one over Fergie by doing it at an International level.
He could manage the next generation of talents in France by becoming PSG’s president and France NT manager in a dual role.

What’s in it for us? We could benefit from his influence in France.

It will be the same with England but, i think it will be a big risk/mistake since we know what the FA are like and what the press in England would do to him.

santori
santori

I don’t see England. It is a thankless task.

He must be sick of ingratitude by certain segments of Arsenal fans. England would be worse.

Eternal Titi Berg Pat Nostalgia
Eternal Titi Berg Pat Nostalgia

Wenger likes to be a pundit in France during WC. As expected he does with class. He comes into it with huge credentials and doesn’t have to force like others.

renaissancerosicky
renaissancerosicky

This spate of Wenger analysis is making me sad. I know we’re losing a great man from the club, dont keep reminding me!

shokim
shokim

Don’t hold your breath, Paddy. UEFA hate Wenger, as we all know it.

I don’t know if AW will coach the French national team. Isn’t Deschamps doing a reasonable job? Maybe PSG, as he seems to prefer the day-to-day running of a club.

Teryima Adi
Teryima Adi

Wenger the Legend. We celebrate you Sir.

David Hillier's luggage
David Hillier's luggage

Not sure Arsene would want to work for a dishonest federation though

Thierry Bergkamp
Thierry Bergkamp

Arsene has too much integrity to work for either.

David Adenodi

Arsene you have changed the English Soccer completely, your integrity, honesty and love for the Club is outstanding, I wish you well anywhere you go. Greatly you will be missed around the world by majority of Arsenal fans

Sammy
Sammy

Or he could come take over Harambee Stars in Kenya pro bono. We couldn’t afford to pay him but would shine under his beautiful football?

santori
santori

I think France could call on the gaffer before that.

santori
santori

You’re going to see all sorts of nonsense come in now.

Thank goodness its the Mirror (that bastion of accuracy) but they’re linking Enrique bc of Sanheli.

Honestly his win percentage is poor. Anyone can chalk up 76% at Barca with Messi. Its the other teams and the pedestrian results that count.

But like Mslintat, if we start appointing bc of Saheli and relationship, we are in for more barren years.

Adi
Adi

Flamini, Hleb, Fabregas and Rosicky. legends