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Reports: Fulham inquired about Wenger, AVB, Jardim

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Arsene Wenger turned down a chance to return to the Premier League, as he vowed, as one of three managers chased by Fulham before deciding on Claudio Ranieri.

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The Telegraph claims that Wenger was joined by former Monaco boss Leonardo Jardim and well-traveled former Spurs boss Andre Villas-Boas as candidates pursued by Fulham in a bid to replace Slavisa Jokanovic.

From The Telegraph:

They included Wenger and both Jardim, who recently left Monaco after winning the French title two years ago when he also led them to the Champions League semi-finals and is being considered by a number Premier League clubs, and former Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur manager Villas-Boas. It is understood that all three managers politely declined the opportunity to speak to Fulham.

The 41-year-old Villas-Boas had twice managed London clubs in the Premier League, faring better with Spurs than Chelsea.

He would have been an interesting hire, though Ranieri could be a stroke of genius; Both are players managers, though Ranieri is a bit more of a friendly leader than the fiery Jokanovic.

Wenger won’t manage in England, still supporting Arsenal

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Former Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger maintains that he’ll be back managing in 2019, though it will “certainly not” be in England.

“I have dedicated my whole life to one club,” Wenger said, via the BBC. “It would be difficult and not well accepted.”

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The legendary manager, 69, has been linked with a role at Paris Saint-Germain, but prefers to take up a familiar touch line role.

Wenger also told the BBC that he is happy things are running smoothly under Unai Emery, and that he remains a big supporter of all things Arsenal.

“When I can watch I am an Arsenal supporter and I am happy when Arsenal win and unhappy when they don’t win.”

Arsenal hosts Blackpool in the League Cup today before hosting Liverpool on Saturday. The Gunners are atop their Europa League group, and boast a 7W-1D-2L record in the Premier League.

Henry prepares for first Monaco match, cites Guardiola, Wenger

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Thierry Henry in the role of manager is an intriguing endeavor.

The “star player becomes the star instructor” is a tall ask across many sports. For every Pep Guardiola or even Zinedine Zidane, there’s a boatload of Ruud Gullits and Diego Maradonas (Well there’s really only one Maradona, but we digress).

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Henry, by all accounts and the proverbial smell test, seems the kind of mind who can make it happen for himself. The new AS Monaco boss helped Roberto Martinez organize Belgium to a strong World Cup run, and has been selective about his first coaching opportunity.

And, hey, he served as a pretty decent mentor for Alex Hunter in FIFA 18.

Now he takes over a Monaco team with nowhere to go but up, and that hasn’t happened too often in the club’s celebrated history (though Monaco was relegated to Ligue 2 for two seasons from 2011-13).

Taking his first prematch media day ahead of Monaco’s trip to Strasbourg, Henry pointed to two of his managers as guides on his way: Pep Guardiola and Arsene Wenger.

To be fair, Henry’s praise for Guardiola was much loftier considering he arrived at Barcelona after playing for Wenger at Arsenal:

“Pep is the reference, for me,” said Henry. “The invention he had in the game; he’s well ahead of the game. … We learnt how to play the game when I went to Barcelona under him. With Pep you can talk about the game; he will not even go to sleep and will still talk about the game, you will fall asleep and he’s still talking.”

Henry credits Wenger with awakening the professional inside of him.

“Arsene unlocked a lot of stuff in my mind, made me understand what it was to be a professional, what it was to perform,” Henry said.

A lot of managers look to Guardiola and Wenger as examples, but Henry played for both. Considering the two are likely still in his list of contacts, this can only bode well for 18th place Monaco as it looks to embark on a run up the Ligue 1 table and its Champions League group table.

Wenger: I want to return to management in January

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Arsene Wenger could be back to barking orders from the sideline once the calendar flips to 2019.

In an interview with German publication BILD, Wenger admitted that he’s received job offers all over the world and aims to return in January. Wenger hinted as well at his future, stating he was open to either international or club management.

Wenger has been without a job since parting ways with Arsenal at the end of last season, a second successive in which the club finished outside the top four.

Even with his disappointing end to life at Arsenal, it’s clear Wenger is still passionate and ready to coach again in the future. Come January, there will likely be a few Premier League openings as well as opportunities in other leagues (AC Milan? Bayern Munich? Real Madrid?). However, most of the domestic options would see Wenger take over a team likely in a relegation battle, something Wenger doesn’t really have experience with. In addition, outside of Mexico and U.S. Soccer’s ongoing coaching search, it’s unlikrly there will be a major national team opening come January.

Wenger previously said would make up his mind about his future in September, but since missing his deadline he’s continued to move the date back. Perhaps a year away will fully rejuvenate the wise manager.

Southgate unfazed by goal drought: “Harry will get us goals”

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Harry Kane hasn’t scored a goal for England since July 3, in the round of 16 at the 2018 World Cup, but Gareth Southgate insists he is unconcerned about the Tottenham Hotspur striker’s ongoing goal drought.

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Most forwards wouldn’t elicit mass hysteria over six appearances (479 minutes) without a goal on the international stage — it’s hard to score goals, you know — but most forwards aren’t Kane, either. From the first time he put on the senior-team shirt and marked his debut with a goal, Kane has been bagging them with ease — 19 in 33 caps thus far.

For that reason, Southgate refuses to panic or stray from the course that says one of the world’s best, most complete forwards should be the first name on the team sheet every time out. Plus, he can sense that once Kane finds the net again, the floodgates will open; he sensed the moment was close in Friday’s 0-0 draw with Croatiaquotes from the Guardian:

“He buried that chance but was just offside, but Harry will get us goals. We were a real threat. The most important thing for the team is we create chances, look dangerous, and I have faith the players who didn’t score will score.

“This feels like a game we should have won but I was really pleased with the way we played. We dictated the flow for a long period and the second-half performance was excellent, pushing right to the end. I couldn’t ask for more from the players. We just have to make sure we finish the chances. On another day, we will”

On the other hand, Kane hasn’t exactly been the sharpest version of himself since injuring his ankle in mid-March. He was likely rushed back for the finish of the Premier League season, followed by the World Cup with a very short week’s break in between. A prolonged period of rest wasn’t possible post-World Cup either, as the PL season began in early August. At some point — whether by design or another injury that may come along — he’ll likely need a few weeks of rest and rehabilitation to regain top form for club and for country.