Beckham can perform international rescue act, says Wenger

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The Independent Online

Arsène Wenger believes England manager Steve McClaren may yet turn to former captain David Beckham in a bid to resurrect their faltering Euro 2008 qualifying campaign.

The Real Madrid midfielder has not been included by the new national team coach since he took over from Sven Goran Eriksson after the World Cup.

However, in the wake of the goalless draw against Macedonia at Old Trafford and the midweek humiliation in Croatia, there have been calls for the 31-year-old to be restored.

Wenger can understand why McClaren decided to forge ahead without him but notes how his home country France reached the World Cup final after recalling some senior players for the qualifiers.

Wenger said: "McClaren maybe thought it was time for a new era and you always try that. In France, we tried that as well when Raymond Domenech took over.

"You bring the new players in and after a while you think maybe for that kind of game you need experience. France brought Zinedine Zidane, Claude Makelele and Lilian Thuram back and we needed that to qualify. They did well in the World Cup because at that level experience is important."

Wenger was approached by the Football Association to consider taking charge of England following the resignation of Kevin Keegan in October 2000.

The Frenchman recalled: "I did not turn down the job because of the pressure and criticism, just because I feel they needed an English guy, it was time for an English guy. There are enough English people to do the job and I think Steve McClaren can do the job and very well."

Wenger added: "If you speak about the quantity of work there are many tougher jobs - but the quantity of critics? No. You cannot get more."

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