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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Nov 30, 2007

Fergie will help England find new manager

Sir Alex Ferguson has vowed to do everything he can to help find England's next manager. Twenty-four hours after it was confirmed Ferguson would be among a hand-picked group of football men FA chief executive Brian Barwick would talk to over hiring Steve McClaren's successor, the Manchester United manager accepted he had a part to play. There might be a certain irony in such a fiercely patriotic Scot speaking on St Andrew's Day about helping England but, after 21 years as United boss, Ferguson knows his experience can prove invaluable as Barwick begins the hunt for a man who can restore the fortunes of a national team who so miserably failed to reach Euro 2008. 'Obviously, I will try to help the situation,' he said. 'A lot of people want to do that because it is important to our game that England get the right man to replace Steve and try to drive the team on. 'It is not easy to get international managers. It is not an easy job and it is not an easy selection process. 'No-one at the FA has spoken to me and I don't know if they will or not but there is nothing wrong with them asking football people.' It was reported earlier this week that Ferguson had informed a friend he would put Jose Mourinho at the top of his hit-list. Ferguson denies making the actual comments, although he agrees Mourinho would have to come under serious consideration if he declared an interest. 'Obviously, if Jose wanted it, he would be a consideration,' he said. 'But if Arsene Wenger said he was interested, he would be a consideration. If I said I was interested, I would be a consideration. 'First of all, it is about who wants the job and then who has the qualifications for it.' While Wenger has made it clear he has no intention of leaving Arsenal and Ferguson could not even consider the prospect of managing England, Mourinho has been somewhat evasive on the actual issue of whether he would welcome the opportunity of taking on such a high-pressure, if highly-paid role. Some well-placed sources feel Mourinho would be up for the challenge, a belief shared by senior figures within the FA, while others believe the controversial former coach is merely toying with England in an effort to enhance his chances of getting a desired club job. However Mourinho, at 44, is 10 years younger than the age Ferguson feels is ideal for international management. Indeed, Alex McLeish is 48 and after a brief, but successful stint in Scotland, suddenly became attracted to the lure of club life with Birmingham once more. For Ferguson, it is an inherent problem with recruiting the younger generation. Success merely fuels a desire for more day-to-day dealings with players than the international game allows. 'I have said time and time again that experience is important,' he said. 'Being an international manager can create a problem. If you are young, there is an inclination to go back into club football, particularly if you are successful. That has been shown with Alex McLeish. 'I spoke to him a couple of times about his situation. 'He is a young man. The fact Scotland were doing so well just gave him the urge to be back in daily involvement again.' What Ferguson does feel is that the FA should be allowed to go about their business in a manner of their choosing. There has already been endless debate over McClaren's likely replacement, with dozens of names being mentioned. Ferguson does not feel the speculation helps anyone, least of all Barwick. 'You have to allow the FA to get on with it,' he said. 'The problem is that people interfere and the media try to influence who should be the manager. 'That creates a pressure in itself.'

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