By Richard Clarke

Arsène Wenger has not only quashed any suggestion that he might become the next England manager but he has backed Steve McClaren to stay in his job.

The national team manager is under fire after the midweek defeat in Russia left the Three Lions' participation at Euro 2008 out of their own hands. When the issue was put to him at Friday's press conference, the Arsenal manager was quick to point out that, as it stands, there is no vacancy at Soho Square. He also suggested it would be detrimental to the England side to change the people in charge now.

"I feel McClaren still has a very good chance to qualify and the only way you can help is by getting behind him," he said. "But if they don't make it I still think he should stay in the job regardless.

"[If you change now] then you will accept that he doesn't go to the European Championships. That's the only difference. And then you start with the same problem again when you qualify for the World Cup. The only advantage is the new manager is given more time to work."
And just for the record, when asked if he'd ever consider taking the England job himself, he replied: "I have come out many times to say I wouldn't. I think it's important it's an English guy."

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Richard Clarke 19 Oct 2007