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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Nov 27, 2007

Platini advises FA to choose an English coach

UEFA president Michel Platini has warned England must appoint a homegrown coach as Steve McClaren's successor - or risk losing its football identity.

Platini implies the cosmopolitan nature of the Premier League is having a detrimental effect on his sport in this country.

'England is such a strong country that they have to take an Englishman,' he said, offering the Football Association some free advice.

'If I am looking for the manager of England, I would try to find a good English guy who everybody trusts to make a good team.'

The Frenchman recalls a time when English club sides were full of native players - but points out that is no longer the case.

'You have good players, although when I played against Arsenal or Aston Villa or West Ham when I was with Juventus you had 10 or 11 English players,' he added.

'If you are Manchester United, you need to have some players from Manchester. Children identify with that.

'I like your football, I like the games, I like the fans and the passion - but I don't like the fact that it is too open [in allowing in foreign players].

'When you lose with the national team, that is the soul of your football. It is my philosophy to protect the identity of the clubs and the country.'

Club football thrives when players hail from the town they are representing, Platini believes.

'Football was based on what?' he asks.

'Manchester United against Liverpool, with the players (from) Manchester and Liverpool, from that region. (Robbie) Fowler was from Liverpool; he grew up in that city - it was fantastic.

'But now you don't have the English players.

'In Arsenal now you don't have an English coach, English players, maybe not an English president soon.

'So why are they playing in England? Because of the fans, because of big business, because of the TV, because the clubs like that.

'I like [Arsenal manager] (Arsene) Wenger, I like (Sir Alex) Ferguson; I like their players, and they do what is best for the clubs. But it is not my philosophy.'

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