The West Brom manager says he left the west London club to get out of his comfort zone, and suggested he may have been offered the Stamford Bridge job had he stayed
Clarke spent almost two decades at Chelsea as a player and a coach, and enjoyed a hugely successful spell alongside Jose Mourinho, lifting two Premier League titles, the FA Cup and two League Cups.
And the 49-year-old feels he could well have been promoted to the manager's position just like current Blues' boss Roberto Di Matteo was following the departure of Andre Villas-Boas.
"If I had chosen to stay at Chelsea I think I could still be there now," he told The Guardian. "It's hard to say in football but I think I'd have been comfortable there for a number of years.
He added, "If I'd stayed there as the No.2 and got the chance to do the main job there then who knows? It's possible it could've happened - but it didn't because I chose a different path."
The West Brom boss believes he made the correct decision in leaving Stamford Bridge: "I'm not the type who is happy coasting along. It was 12 years as a player and just under eight years as a coach.
"It's a big chunk of my life but I felt I'd done all I could do as an assistant at Chelsea and it was time to move on to different things. Life is all about making decisions and it was a good decision."
Clarke also praised the job Di Matteo has done at Chelsea after the sacking of Villas-Boas midway through the 2011-12 season, and admires the Italian for winning the Champions League.
"Roberto won't get swamped and I've been very impressed with how he's handled it all," he explained. "It's part and parcel of being at a big club and he's dealt with it very well but it's no surprise to me because he's a really good person.
"It has worked out really well for him - he has achieved something many previous Chelsea coaches couldn't do and that was to win the Champions League."
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