Candid Caller

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The Independent Online
ENGLAND's chances of qualifying for the World Cup now rest not only on our team beating San Marino by seven goals, but also on Poland beating Holland. This week, under the protection of a police riot shield, the Candid Caller asked: Because of our record for hooliganism, will it be a good thing if we don't qualify? And is it time for Graham Taylor to go?

Mr D Seaman of Bristol: 'England does seem to show itself up whenever we play football outside the country, so yes, perhaps it's as well if we don't qualify. I don't think Taylor should quit, he's having a go.'

Mr P Parker of Carlisle: 'It will be a great shame if we don't get into the World Cup, but our chances do look very slight. But it will probably be best for world peace. Taylor should move over now. I don't know what a great manager needs, but he hasn't got it.'

Mr C Palmer of Glasgow: 'Yes, it will be better if we don't qualify. We've got to do something to stop the fighting at football matches. Taylor's all right.'

Mr T Adams of Warminster: 'I've got a better idea: if as a nation we're going to produce football hooligans, then we've got to produce the very best hooligans in the world. I don't think we'll qualify, which is probably just as well. As for Taylor, he's done for football what Major's done for Britain.'

Mrs G Pallister of Great Yarmouth: 'We certainly don't deserve to qualify - and if we don't, Taylor should take it as his cue to stand down as manager.'

Mr D Platt of Torquay: 'It's embarrassing, isn't it? Once if you went abroad you could tell people that you were British with pride; now you try to hide the fact. If it's not football fans 'cruisin for a bruisin' when England plays away, then it's lager louts turning Spain upside down. We won't qualify, anyway, but I don't know that it's Taylor's fault. We just don't make as many great footballers any more.'

Mr P Merson of Streatham, south London: 'It's not the fans' fault we're crap at football today. I blame Taylor quite a bit, it's time he threw his hat in and took up bridge. I don't think we'll qualify.'

Mrs A Shearer of Tyneside: 'I don't really watch the football, but I did see the stories about the troubles with the fans. Why do they do it?'

Mrs L Sharpe of Preston: 'I know it's unlikely, but I'm still hoping we can make it. We only ever see one side of the story when troubles flare up - but football fans from other countries can be just as aggressive as ours. There's no question about it, Taylor has to go.'

Mrs P Ince of Norwood, south London: 'I tend to follow the football all the time now on the news. I'm not really up on the game, but I do think we're continually disgraced by the fans' behaviour, both at home and abroad.'

Mrs A Sinton of Whetstone, north London: 'I must confess, football isn't my game. I disapprove strongly of the hooliganism, but I don't see why it should stop us playing in the World Cup.'

Mr I Wright of Bury St Edmunds: 'It's not the hooliganism which is stopping us from winning, it's the fact that we don't seem capable of picking a decent national team. I don't think we should be barred from taking part in international events because of the trouble caused by a loud minority of troublemakers, but we have to find a way of stopping fans going on the rampage when they are away. I'm not sure Graham Taylor needs the sack so much as a good boot up the backside and to use a bit of common sense when he picks the squad.'

A Mr T Dorigo was not available for comment.

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