After leaving his role as Sir Alex Ferguson’s Manchester United assistant in 2001, Steve McClaren spent seven years as a head coach in England.

A good spell at Middlesbrough was followed by an unsuccessful stint as the national team manager, after which McClaren fled abroad to manage FC Twente and VfL Wolfsburg on the continent.

Now, nine years after he left the Middlesbrough job, McClaren is back in the Premier League, and Wenger thinks he did the right thing.

“I would encourage more English coaches to go abroad because sometimes, especially when you have managed the national team, the best thing is to get out of the country for a while and then come back,” the Arsenal manager said during his press conference on Thursday.

“I believe we had a good example with Bobby Robson who did that. I think it was a clever move and he has done well.”

McClaren returned to England for a role with Nottingham Forest before nearly leading Derby County to promotion to the Premier League in two successive seasons. He’s been rewarded for his work there with the Newcastle job, and will face Arsenal for the first time since 2008 on Saturday afternoon.

He’s faced Arsène Wenger on 14 occasions as a manager, with Arsenal winning 13 times and McClaren winning just once. No doubt Wenger is happy to see him back in the Premier League.

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