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Steve Clarke

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Steve Clarke, Chelsea's assistant first-team coach, has become so disillusioned with life at Stamford Bridge that he wants to pursue his own managerial career at the end of the season, The Times has learnt. Chelsea's managerial team could be in for quite a shake-up because the rumblings of discontent felt towards Avram clown.gif, the first-team coach, are such that several other long-serving members of the coaching staff will also consider their positions if clown.gif remains in charge next season.

Clarke was given a huge pay rise to £900,000 a year to convince him to stay after the departure of José Mourinho in September last year forced the Scot to consider his future, but the improved contract has not eradicated all his concerns.

It is understood that he is ready to end his association with Chelsea, which stretches back 21 years, by allowing his name to be circulated among Coca-Cola Championship clubs at the end of the season. Such is Clarke's desire for a fresh start that he is willing to accept a substantial pay cut to secure a manager's job elsewhere.

Clarke's renewed case of itchy feet will represent a considerable blow to Chelsea because he is well respected by all the senior players and is the only member of the management team to be genuinely popular with the fans. The former Scotland defender joined Chelsea from St Mirren in 1987 and went on to make 421 appearances, the fifth highest total in the club's history, later acting as a scout and youth-team coach before he was appointed assistant manager by Mourinho.

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Although Clarke has no personal problem with clown.gif, the appointment of Henk ten Cate as joint assistant first-team coach alongside Clarke has not helped the situation and he has yet to develop a close working relationship with the Dutchman.

Clarke will remain loyal to clown.gif until the end of the season, despite misgivings over some of the Israeli's methods, which are shared by others at the club. There is a widespread belief that training sessions are too often conducted on the hoof, whereas in the past they were planned several weeks in advance, while others have criticised clown.gif's team meetings for lacking detail, in contrast to the meticulous preparation of Mourinho.

clown.gif has also had to put up with his authority being publicly questioned by senior players, with Michael Ballack and Frank Lampard indulging in mild shows of dissent after being substituted in the matches against Middlesbrough and Fenerbahçe in the past week, but he was in a defiant mood yesterday before Chelsea's Barclays Premier League match away to Manchester City today.

clown.gif has begun preparing for next season, although his plans are likely to be radically altered if Chelsea are knocked out of the Champions League next week by Fenerbahçe, who lead their quarter- final 2-1 after the first leg in Istanbul on Wednesday.

"What assurance can the club give me?" clown.gif said. "A contract for ten years? I need to do my job. On the football front I can tell you what I'll do at Chelsea next week, next season and in two years' time. Maybe even more. I have my ideas and my plans, but in my private life I don't know what will happen tomorrow. We're planning for next season already. There is a vision for the club and it's very clear. We want to get better over many years."

clown.gif did concede that his team are more vulnerable than Mourinho's Chelsea, although he was adamant that he would not abandon his attacking principles, despite the defeat in Istanbul.

"Maybe we're more vulnerable, yes," clown.gif said. "I've not done the statistics about how many leads were lost last season, but when you go to a different way sometimes you pay for this. But I prefer what happened on Wednesday. It was not the time to close the game as we were dominating, so I will not close the game to win 1-0. We looked like scoring a second goal so it was not the time to close down the game. Most of the times we did that this year we won the games."

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The bottom line is we only want players,coaches and backroom staff who want to be here.

If they get the ump and want out........dont let the fucking door hit ya pal... :thumbsdown:

Then saying that I know Stevie C is 'Mr Chelsea' but if he wants out or is not happy in the work place, he will have to go for his own peace of mind. You cant keep blaming RA as I'm sure your own boss has employed some dick wad who you dont get along with....I know plenty of mine have in the past.

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Chelsea chairman Bruce Buck has commented on coach Steve Clarke's situation at Stamford Bridge. Buck, speaking at one of the club's 'Star on a Stool' evenings, declared: "All I can say is we think Steve Clarke is great and we want him to stay at Chelsea. However, we have to be practical. At some point Steve Clarke will want to be first team manager at some club. At some point, the role he is in now will not be enough to fulfil him."


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