Darren Bent has said he ‘100 per cent’ believes Sarina Wiegman will lead a men’s side in the top two divisions of the football pyramid in the future.
The 52-year-old has been widely praised for her tactical work leading England to the Euro 2022 trophy, both with the starting 11 for each game, and her substitutions.
It has ignited conversation around the potential for female managers to work at the top level of the English game – which also usually mentions Emma Hayes, who has won five WSL titles in a decade with Chelsea.
Sarina Wiegman has been tipped to manage a senior men’s club after England’s Euro 2022 win
During TalkSport’s Drive programme, a phone-in call from Manchester United fan Brian queried if Wiegman would one day manage a Premier League or men’s Championship team.
Bent, who played 13 times for England’s men’s team, said: ‘100 per cent. At some capacity, at some stage, she will do.
‘Not just her, people have spoken about Emma Hayes as well.
‘If we keep seeing the emergence of the women’s game going the way it is, and seeing England winning the Euros, she’s going to get an opportunity at some stage’.
The presenter Andy Goldstein said: ‘Tactically throughout the whole competition, she got everything right.’
In another part, Wiegman’s work was also praised by Gunners fan Andy, who would prefer the Dutch maestro to Mikel Arteta. ‘I want her at Arsenal’, Andy said.
Darren Bent believes it is time for top female managers get opportunities in the men’s game
It is not clear if Wiegman, who became the first non-British permanent Lionesses manager in September 2021, would want a club role.
She has a four year contract, running to 2025, and it was reported yesterday that the FA are considering extending this contract already due to the Lionesses’ success on Sunday.
Women have rarely been involved in management positions in the men’s game in England, and the highest was at the semi-professional level.
Open managerial spaces in League 1 and League 2 have often brought rumours that Hayes has been scouted, but the 45-year-old has dismissed these as she tries to win the Champions League with the Blues.
Hayes is often linked with vacant men’s manager spots after a decade of success with Chelsea
With Wiegman and Hayes both seeking major women’s trophies with top quality players, it may require a different trailblazer to break into men’s football.
It is quite telling that stories about women in management always circulate around Hayes – and now Wiegman – when other female WSL managers are not discussed at all.
Rehanne Skinner led Tottenham to their highest WSL finish last season, whilst Reading’s Kelly Chambers and Brighton’s Hope Powell – another former England women manager – have both had years of experience leading top level sides.
However, Wiegman’s success with the England team appears to have made a breakthrough in considering female managers for major roles.