Gareth Southgate slams Arsene Wenger’s World Cup plans as “making no sense”

England manager Gareth Southgate has claimed that Arsene Wenger’s World Cup plans “seem to change every time” the former Arsenal boss discusses proposals to rejig the international calendar

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  • 22:30, 11 Oct 2021
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Gareth Southgate has slammed Arsene Wenger ’s World Cup plans as “making no sense.”


England boss Southgate met with Wenger two months ago and was open to changes in the football calendar which would see a World Cup every two years.

But since then, Southgate says “they seem to change every time” he speaks about FIFA ’s proposals to Football Association chief executive Mark Bellingham and he has major reservations about the new-look calendar.

One of FIFA chief Wenger’s plans is to revamp international calendar and only have one international window and Southgate says that is a bad idea for players.

Southgate said: “What if your player was injured in October? He doesn't play international football for a year, so, I'm not quite sure where everything is, I saw some initial proposals, they seem to be doing the round, and I'm not quite sure exactly what's on the table now.

Southgate met with Wenger to discuss his plans

Mike Hewitt – FIFA)

“It seems to change every time I speak to Mark Bullingham and the FA, there's been another presentation and another set of proposals, it's hard to keep with really, all I would say is everybody needs to be there, in the discussion, club football, international football, I think I've said before there can be tweaks to the calendar that would help everybody.

“If there were maybe slightly fewer windows but you get players together for a longer period of time, that might help the clubs and the international teams, but if there's only one per year, I don't really understand that as a concept from Fifa when international football is so important a part of what you do.

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“As I said at the start, if you're a player and you miss that one month or however long a break's supposed to be, you don't have an international career at all that year, that doesn't seem to make sense to me.”

Wenger recently revealed his motivation behind his plans, explaining that he wants the whole world to benefit.

"It is only my proposal!" the former Arsenal boss told The Telegraph. "I don’t make that decision. It’s for the whole football world to decide."

Wenger continued: "Look I grew up in a village [in Alsace, eastern France] where I had no coach until the age of 19. I have managed many people who came out of Africa and had very few opportunities.

"Personally I would say that every talent deserves a chance in life and today that is not the case. If you were born with the same talent but you were born in Yaounde, London or Hanoi you have not the same chance to become a great football player."

"You can say that about life in general but if you are responsible to give everybody the same chance then you have to worry about it," he added. "You don’t have to accept it."

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