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Last Updated: Friday, 5 May 2006, 17:35 GMT 18:35 UK
Wenger rejects criticism of Dein
Arsene Wenger
Wenger made it clear he did not want to be considered by the FA
Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger insists Gunners vice-chairman David Dein did not influence him over the England manager's position.

Dein, also on the Football Association board, was accused by Boro chairman Steve Gibson of shielding Wenger from being approached for the England job.

But Wenger said: "David Dein has never tried to influence me.

"He has never tried to force me to do anything. He would not have stopped me from doing the job if I had wanted it."

He added: "I do not know exactly what process England went through, but David Dein was not in charge of that consultation.

"He was on the committee but the media have given him too big a role. They want to blame somebody."

The FA has confirmed chief executive Brian Barwick met with Wenger when it emerged Sven-Goran Eriksson would be leaving the post after the World Cup, but that the Arsenal boss made it clear he wanted to remain in club management.

The process was far too long and I don't quite understand whether the process is right
Steve Gibson

An FA spokesman said: "The meeting with Arsene was extremely useful, but it was obvious within minutes that he did not want to be considered for the role of England head coach."

Boro boss Steve McClaren was confirmed as the new England manager on Thursday but Gibson remained unhappy with the selection process.

"How someone like David Dein can be kingmaker, I don't know," Gibson said.

"The FA is there for the good of English football, but was Arsene Wenger interviewed? Why was he protected?"

He added: "It has taken so long. Has it damaged our football club? Definitely.

"If he hadn't got the job, I couldn't actually replace him. So how do I recruit?

"The process was far too long and I don't quite understand whether the process is right.

"I think the structure of the FA makes their life difficult. I think there are some great individuals - and I would not want to be critical of them - but I would be critical of the structure.

"Whether they change it is for them to decide. They have a good man in Brian Barwick and good men at the top, but they have to be more professional.

"The Premier League is a great model. It is efficient, well run by individuals such as the chief executive, and the FA has to become that and they have to be ruthless in their pursuit of it.

"But will it happen? I don't know."


WATCH AND LISTEN
News conference: New England coach Steve McClaren


News conference: McClaren unveiled as England manager



SEE ALSO
Boro begin search for new manager
05 May 06 |  Middlesbrough
Fans take McClaren to task
05 May 06 |  Football
Reaction to McClaren appointment
04 May 06 |  Internationals
McClaren named as England manager
04 May 06 |  Internationals


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