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Worrall: Chelsea march to glory

Chelsea 14 hours ago
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By ESPN Staff
Jan 24, 2006

Taylor thinks FA got it right over Sven

Players' union boss Gordon Taylor wants the Football Association to appoint an Englishman as Sven-Goran Eriksson's successor.

After five and a half years at the helm, England's first foreign coach will leave his post after this summer's World Cup.

Already speculation is mounting regarding Eriksson's successor with experienced Dutch coach Guus Hiddink among those being mentioned, along with home-grown candidates Steve McClaren, Sam Allardyce, Alan Curbishley and Stuart Pearce.

Having led both Holland and South Korea to World Cup semi-finals and guided current charges Australia into this summer's tournament, Hiddink has international credentials none of his rivals - or even Eriksson - can match.

But Taylor believes it would be a mistake if the FA looked abroad again and send out the wrong message to the progressive English-born coaches littering the game.

'Brazil wouldn't appoint a foreign coach, Germany wouldn't, Italy wouldn't, Spain wouldn't and neither would France or Holland, so why should we?' said Taylor, chief executive of the Professional Footballers' Association.

'I am not being xenophobic. You only have to look at Liverpool, Chelsea and Arsenal for examples of outstanding coaches working within the English game.

'But it works at club level because the teams themselves are more cosmopolitan.

'The international game should be a litmus test of each country's development programme, not just for players but coaches as well.

'England should be capable of producing people capable of coaching the national side but in too many of our sports, not just football, we seem to appoint people from overseas which to my mind, just diminishes the international concept.

'You can never be certain whether someone can do the job or not until you actually give it to them, but when I look around there are enough good, young English coaches to persuade me at least one should be given the opportunity.'

Eriksson has confirmed it was always his intention to leave in the summer, having decided the intrusion into his private life no longer balances out the challenge of the job and the huge rewards that come with it.

So, just as in the 1990 World Cup and Euro 96, England's players will head into a major tournament knowing their coach is leaving.

On both those occasions, under Sir Bobby Robson and Terry Venables, England reached the semi-finals, and Taylor does not see why the uncertainty over the future should pose any particular problem this year either.

'Brazil sometimes change coaches immediately before a World Cup and no-one could argue they have not been successful down the years,' he said.

'If you look at it, Sven has been in charge for five years. How many of his players have had a club manager for that long? Only the lads from Arsenal and Manchester United.

'Players may have a preference for one person over another but generally they are committed to the particular club they are playing for and it is no different at international level.'