Football - ENGLAND IN CRISIS - OI! ENGLAND! NO!; Now I Admire the National Side for Its Ability to Take a Likeable Manager and Turn Him into Public Enemy No.1 within a Matter of Weeks. but If That Adam Crozier from the FA Turned Up at MY Door and Asked ME to Take Charge of the Team, I'd Have to Take Him to One Side, Give Him a Good Slap and Say

By Harris, Harry | The Mirror (London, England), October 10, 2000 | Go to article overview

Football - ENGLAND IN CRISIS - OI! ENGLAND! NO!; Now I Admire the National Side for Its Ability to Take a Likeable Manager and Turn Him into Public Enemy No.1 within a Matter of Weeks. but If That Adam Crozier from the FA Turned Up at MY Door and Asked ME to Take Charge of the Team, I'd Have to Take Him to One Side, Give Him a Good Slap and Say


Harris, Harry, The Mirror (London, England)


IT IS the job the Football Association insist is impossible to refuse, but yesterday the best managers in the game were queuing up to turn it down.

From Manchester to London and France to Denmark the leading coaches were all desperate to distance themselves from the role of England manager.

The FA king-makers will wait for the official thumbs down from their top choices Sir Alex Ferguson and Arsene Wenger, but Manchester United and Arsenal are adamant there is no chance of their key men moving to Lancaster Gate.

The FA maintain they will not officially be looking for a manager to lead England to a brighter future until after tomorrow's crucial World Cup qualifier here in Finland.

But the merits of waiting another 48 hours may prove to be questionable as the roll-call of managers declaring their disinterest at succeeding Kevin Keegan grows by the hour.

No sooner had FA chief executive Adam Crozier uttered the word "foreign coach" than the shockwaves were rumbling around Europe.

Aime Jacquet, coach of France when they won the World Cup two years ago and one of the bookmakers' favourites, was first with a firm "non".

Now the technical director for the French Federation, he said: "I have no intention to return to the playing field in high level soccer, in England, or elsewhere. At the French Federation, I lead and I am pursuing passionate work with the coaches. That is fully sufficient for me."

Former England skipper Bryan Robson, who has admitted in the past he would jump at the chance to take charge of his country, was next to rule himself out.

"My name is not in the hat," said the Middlesbrough manager.

"I've said before, if I get offered or would like the job of England manager I want to have good experience behind me as a League manager and, hopefully, success as a League manager. Once I have that experience then I would maybe consider it in the future."

Peter Taylor, sitting pretty at the summit of the Premiership with Leicester and recently a highly successful coach of the Under-21 side, was the most dramatic in his rejection of the post.

Taylor's impressive credentials will hardly have elevated him to the top of the FA's shortlist, but that did not stop him calling an official press conference to announce his intentions.

"I've only been four months at Leicester and I owe it to the players to see it out," he said.

"Some of them have signed long contracts because of me and some have come here because of me. I love it here and I want to put an end to the speculation."

Former England international Peter Reid, another of the favourites, moved quicker than at any time on the football field to make his feelings clear.

The Sunderland boss said: "If I lose two games on the trot here I get a bit of stick locally. If I did that with England, I wouldn't be able to go for a night out!"

Roy Hodgson, the former Blackburn, Switzerland and Inter Milan boss now with Danish side FC Copenhagen, was a 25-1 outsider until yesterday.

But asked if he was interested in turning his attentions to Owen, Beckham and Co, he replied: "It's nice for people to put my name forward but I have no interest in taking the job. …

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Football - ENGLAND IN CRISIS - OI! ENGLAND! NO!; Now I Admire the National Side for Its Ability to Take a Likeable Manager and Turn Him into Public Enemy No.1 within a Matter of Weeks. but If That Adam Crozier from the FA Turned Up at MY Door and Asked ME to Take Charge of the Team, I'd Have to Take Him to One Side, Give Him a Good Slap and Say
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