Wenger: Don't sack Macca for Euro 2008 failure

November 10, 2007

Arsene Wenger has urged the Football Association not to sack Steve McClaren if England fail to qualify for the 2008 European Championships.

England's fate could effectively be decided as early as Saturday. If Russia beat Israel in Tel Aviv Guus Hiddink's men will only need to beat minnows Andorra to render the result of England's match with Croatia at Wembley on November 21 irrelevant.

The pressure is already beginning to mount on McClaren, who was promoted from Sven-Goran Eriksson's assistant to the top job after the last World Cup.

England have endured a disappointing qualifying campaign under McClaren, drawing at home to Macedonia and losing away in Croatia and Russia.

Defeat on the plastic pitch in Moscow took England's fate out of their own hands but Wenger - so often touted as an ideal candidate for the England position - counselled the FA against making knee-jerk reactions if results do not go their way.

'Patience has always been short at national level. I don't think it would be a good reason to sack Steve McClaren,' Wenger said.

'The press and media has always been very strong and unfortunately at many times they have won the battle to get the manager out. I hope not.

'He has only been in charge for 18 months and you would like him to at least have four years.'

England failed to qualify for the 1984 European Championships but Bobby Robson kept his job and went on to reach the World Cup quarter-finals in 1986 and the last four at Italia 90.

'They should repeat that (commitment),' added Wenger. 'England's absence would be detrimental to the quality of the championships.

'In English football, in the short term it would be a big disappointment and they would get a massive slaughtering from the press.

'But in the long term it won't change a lot.'