Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

'NO GUARANTEES OUR NEXT BOSS WILL BE ENGLISH'; THE BIG INTERVIEW SIR TREVOR BROOKING; While One of His FA Colleagues Talks of a Home-Grown Replacement for Fabio Capello, the Director of Football Development Explains Why the National Team May Need Another Foreigner to Lead Them in 2012

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

'NO GUARANTEES OUR NEXT BOSS WILL BE ENGLISH'; THE BIG INTERVIEW SIR TREVOR BROOKING; While One of His FA Colleagues Talks of a Home-Grown Replacement for Fabio Capello, the Director of Football Development Explains Why the National Team May Need Another Foreigner to Lead Them in 2012

Article excerpt

Byline: Mihir Bose EXCLUSIVE

SO YOU think it is set in stone that Fabio Capello's successor will be English? Well, think again. "It's not," Sir Trevor Brooking tells me. "I think the general view is, 'Let's see what happens in the next 18 or 21 months.' But, come the summer of 2012, we would like to go English."

His belief is somewhat at odds with the claims of Club England chief executive Adrian Bevington that Capello's replacement after Euro 2012 will definitely be from these shores.

"We've got to see what English people are available," argues the Football Association's director of football development.

"There's one or two who have got good club roles. So you could get to the situation where you identify a person. But he's locked into two years on a four-year deal with massive compensation.

He can't unlock himself.

Suddenly your three best English candidates might not be available." The "one or two who have got good club roles" are Harry Redknapp and Roy Hodgson but, as Brooking admits: "Until they got the Spurs and Liverpool jobs, it was very difficult to get an English coach in the top half a dozen clubs."

So would the pair be in a prime position come 2012? "Roy and Harry are getting great experience but you're not going to squeeze me down to those two. There are other managers and it's not going to be my decision alone."

Brooking helped choose Capello after Steve McClaren failed to take England to Euro 2008. Although the FA say Brooking spoke to Jose Mourinho and Giovanni Trapattoni, Capello was the only one they met.

Then, after the failure of England at the World Cup, Brooking and his colleagues met to decide the Italian's fate.

"Soon after we came back, we had a meeting with the Club England members, who are Dave Richards, the Premier League chairman, Adrian Bevington and myself. We believed Fabio was still the proper person to take England forward."

Brooking and Capello also had a post mortem on the World Cup but all the Englishman will reveal is that the manager now thinks that the two-week training camp in Austria may have been too long.

Brooking dismisses Neil Warnock's suggestion that England played without a smile in South Africa because they could not share jokes with the Italian.

"If Fabio was at this lunch you'd have no problem," says Brooking. "He can joke, definitely. But he is wary, particularly of saying something which might get misinterpreted."

Was that the case, I ask, when Capello seemed suddenly to retire David Beckham in a television interview ahead of last month's friendly with Hungary? "Yes and then they [the media] tried to say he hadn't given Becks respect," he adds. "Fabio's so respectful of everyone, that was the last thing he would have wanted to convey. When he's comfortable with people around him, he'll say things and might get it slightly wrong but we all know what he means."

Impressive victories over Bulgaria and Switzerland this month have lifted some of the gloom over the England team following their poor performance at the World Cup. But, for Brooking, 2010 has highlighted a much bigger problem, one he has been wrestling with for years -- the debate about grassroots football.

It is on the back of this, that the FA are hosting a two-day seminar in Daventry, starting next Monday.

"In August, the Board asked Alex Horne, the general secretary, to make recommendations as to how we should develop better young English players," says Brooking. "We've invited the Premier League, the Football League, the League Managers' Association, the Professional Footballers' Association and our own coaches to say where they think we can improve."

The problem, Brooking admits, is money.

"We [England] have under-invested in coaching and player development, less than two per cent of our budget, whereas the bigger countries invest in double figures or more," he says. …

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