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Clarke plays down Chelsea link

West Brom head coach Steve Clarke insists it is too early to start touting him for the Chelsea job.

Last Updated: 01/03/13 at 08:45 Post Comment

West Brom head coach Steve Clarke insists it is too early to start touting him as a possible successor to interim Chelsea manager Rafael Benitez this summer.

But Clarke, who spent nearly 20 years at Stamford Bridge as player and coach, concedes it is his ambition to manage "a big club" at some stage of his career.

Benitez has confirmed he will be leaving the Blues this summer after an outburst against the club for naming him as an "interim" appointment and the supporters who verbally abuse him.

Clarke is in his first senior managerial role at the Hawthorns and has steered Albion into seventh spot in the Barclays Premier League.

But any ambitions about eventually being in charge of one of the Premier League's leading sides are for the future.

Clarke said: "I think it's too early to start connecting me with Chelsea. There are a lot of managers that are out there who have a better case than me.

"Wherever I am on the bookmakers list is a good indication and I'm sure I'm not in the list at 50-1 even!

"Listen, you've hit me with a question that has come out of left field because I haven't even thought about it.

"I'm not even a year into the job here. Up to now it has been a great season and I haven't looked anywhere beyond that."

But Clarke added: "If you are asking me if I want to manage a top team in the future? Of course I do.

"If you don't have that ambition to further and better yourself then you shouldn't be in the game. But it's not for now.

"The dream for me is we go to Chelsea and play as well as we can and get another three points.

"I cannot look so far ahead. It's not my nature. You guys should know that by now."

Clarke said: "The connection with Chelsea is inevitable. I can't do anything about the connection.

"Chelsea is a big part of me, I spent 20 years there out of nearly 50 in my life.

"It's a good club, good players, good team, always challenging for trophies and beyond that I don't see anything else."

Clarke confirmed that contract talks have opened with striker Shane Long and central defender Gareth McAuley, who both have 17 months to run of their current deals.


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terling needs to be told though that upon entering the Arsenal squad he will re-enact the final scene from Highlander where he will be thrown around a warehouse by cartoon dragons and then be a mere mortal that will only ever spend three to four weeks a season playing football and the rest on the physio's bed. There can be only one.....player available at The Emirates.

rodger's gusset
Arsenal interest in Sterling

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he game changed in our favour when Carrick came on. We were able to play further up the pitch due to having a player who can give and go with the ball and keep possession. Yet barkley made some runs and Townsend scored a good goal but carrick's inclusion and chiellini's withdrawal made the biggest difference to the flow of the game

ricky villa
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o, you've not silenced anyone Andros, i'm afraid. We know you can score a great goal, and it's really handy to have your direct running and willingness to shoot on the bench. But until you can do the other things expected of a winger (beat the man, put a decent cross in, stay wide etc) then you can't expect more than a regular cameo. Wonderful goal though, what a hit! No wonder Buffon wanted the shirt.

badwolf
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