Petr Cech rates Steve Clarke so highly that he was surprised Liverpool did not appoint him as manager when Kenny Dalglish was sacked.

Clarke's high-flying West Brom side will face Chelsea on Saturday for the first time since the Scot took up his first job in management this summer. He had spent 14 years as a coach before moving to the Hawthorns - a significant portion of which came at Chelsea, where he was assistant manager to Jose Mourinho and Avram Grant.

After leaving the Blues, Clarke had coaching roles at West Ham and Liverpool, where he remained until Dalglish was fired at the end of last season. "I was surprised that it took so long before he actually got (a job in management) because I would have thought that he might have got his chance at Liverpool," the Chelsea goalkeeper said.

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