September 26 - Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger (pictured) has today backed Roy Hodgson to be the manager of Britain's football team that will compete in the London 2012 Olympics.

The Fulham manager is one of the leading candidates for the role which will be among the most high-profile of the Games.

Wenger said: "There's no surprise at all because I think he's a man of intelligence, of big experience and is completely entitled to lead the Olympic team of England [sic]."

The highly-regarded Hodgson has won league titles in two countries - Sweden and Denmark - and coached three national sides - Switzerland, the United Arab Emirates and Finland.

The Londoner's greatest international success was with Switzerland when he guided them to the finals of the 1994 World Cup, the first time they had qualified since 1966.

They eventually reached the last 16.

In 1997 Hodgson also coached Italian side Inter Milan to the final of the UEFA Cup.

Hodgson, 62, was appointed manager at Fulham in December 2007 and last season guided them to seventh place in the Premiership, the highest finish in their history, enabling them to qualify for the Europa League.

Wenger said: "Of course he's among the top of the English managers; you look at his CV.

"I believe as well this is a job where you consider the lengths at a top level of a manager to consider, 'Is he top level or not' and I believe he's been a long time at the top level.

"That's the most difficult [thing to do]."

With the Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland governing bodies already saying they will not participate, team will be made up of just English-qualified players.

Hodgson, who is multilingual, is one of two candidates targeted by Lord Triesman, the chairman of the Football Association.

The other is Stuart Pearce, the former England captain who now coaches the national under-21 team.

Triesman hopes to make an appointment before the end of this year and, although Hodgson has yet to be approached, he said he would be delighted to accept it if he was offered it. 

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