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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Apr 27, 2006

Scolari deal 'blow to British coaching' - Hughes

Mark Hughes has described the prospective appointment of Luiz Felipe Scolari as the next England manager as 'a blow to British coaching'.

Brazilian Scolari has been offered the chance to succeed Sven-Goran Eriksson following this summer's World Cup by Football Association chief executive Brian Barwick.

After guiding Brazil to World Cup glory in 2002, and taking Portugal to the finals of the European Championships in 2004, the FA clearly see the 57-year-old South American as the best man for the job.

However, it represents a kick in the teeth for leading English candidates Steve McClaren, Sam Allardyce and Alan Curbishley, and Northern Irishman Martin O'Neill.

Blackburn boss and former Wales manager Hughes said: 'If he is the appointment that is going to be made, you have to say he ticks most of the boxes, but for my money it's another blow to British coaching.

'A lot of the talk initially was that it would be an English or British coach, and I hoped that would be the case.

'The argument was that if it wasn't to be a British coach, then it had to be the best man for the job.

'Scolari's CV at international level is outstanding. You can't get much better than winning the World Cup, the highest honour in football.

'But whether or not he is the best man for the job when he is coaching and working with players with a different mentality to those he has worked with before, remains to be seen.

'Would Arsene Wenger or Sir Alex Ferguson be the best man because they have worked here for many, many years, know the mentality of English players and how to get the best out of them?'

League Managers' Association chief executive John Barnwell claimed on Tuesday the appointment of a foreign coach would be a failure for the FA with regard to their programme of management and coaching development.

Hughes is of the same mind, adding: 'It's a shame because the FA prides itself on the courses they run, and the quality of ProLicence and 'A' licence coaches is outstanding.

'People from all over the world come to partake in those courses, but it doesn't seem enough for them to appoint an Englishman at the top of the tree.

'Those courses were set up to promote and improve coaching and the standard of English managerial candidates to make us better at what we do.

'They have been in place for a while now, and there are good candidates out there who just need an opportunity.

'Unfortunately in this country, from a British point of view, most of the top jobs are taken by foreign coaches.'

Portsmouth manager Harry Redknapp echoed Hughes' sentiments, but also claimed the next England boss 'would have to be a real idiot to make a mess of it'.

Redknapp, an established devotee of the England team being run by an Englishman, said: 'Brazil were a great side when they last won the World Cup and I'm sure he (Scolari) is a good manager, although I don't know too much about him.

'But it is a blow for the English lads who were in contention. Steve McClaren, Alan Curbishley and Sam Allardyce could all have done the job.

'A lot of people could because we've never had a better group of international players than we have now.'

Redknapp added: 'We have plenty of good young managers in this country.

'We have a two-year system here where you get your coaching badges but it doesn't seem you get the top job.

'Maybe it would help if you could get Champions League experience, but you only get Champions League experience if you are the manager of Chelsea, Manchester United, Arsenal or Liverpool.'