Football: If the FA Were Going to Appoint a Foreign Coach We Should Have Gone for Wenger; WELCOME 'PHIL FROM BRAZIL': The Boss Who Is Not Afraid of the BIG Decisions or the BIG Names SAYS GARY LINEKER

The Mirror (London, England), April 28, 2006 | Go to article overview
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Football: If the FA Were Going to Appoint a Foreign Coach We Should Have Gone for Wenger; WELCOME 'PHIL FROM BRAZIL': The Boss Who Is Not Afraid of the BIG Decisions or the BIG Names SAYS GARY LINEKER


Byline: JOHN CROSS

GARY LINEKER led the chorus of disapproval for Luis Felipe Scolari last night and accused the Football Association of taking a "big gamble".

World Cup legend Lineker, now the BBC's Match of the Day anchorman, believes Brazilian Scolari will struggle to adapt to the "different culture" of English football.

Lineker said: "In an ideal world you want an English manager for the English national side and I am surprised at the ultimate choice.

"It is a big gamble to go with a Brazilian whose culture of football is in total contrast to ours. It will take him three or four years even to work out the madness that is the English game.

"You can't knock his record but most people might have won the World Cup with Ronaldinho, Ronaldo and Rivaldo. He did OK with Portugal but they would probably have been beaten by England if Rooney had stayed fit - and they blew it in the final.

"His record is obviously very good but it has never been far from the culture of Brazilian football. Portuguese football is pretty much the same."

Lineker is convinced that Arsene Wenger should have been on the FA's short-list and accused Arsenal vice-chairman David Dein of a "conflict of interests".

Frenchman Wenger was approached before Sven Goran Eriksson took the job in 2001 and Dein has been the driving force this time behind Scolari's appointment.

Scolari's British interests are represented by agent Jerome Anderson's SEM group - and they employ Dein's son Darren who looks after Thierry Henry. Lineker said: "They probably asked David Dein about Arsene. He would have said: 'Oh, he's not interested'.

"I am sure they would have asked. Arsene is a sensible guy and probably wouldn't have wanted the England job but you never know, do you?

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Football: If the FA Were Going to Appoint a Foreign Coach We Should Have Gone for Wenger; WELCOME 'PHIL FROM BRAZIL': The Boss Who Is Not Afraid of the BIG Decisions or the BIG Names SAYS GARY LINEKER
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