Football / World Cup: Charlton interested in move to the England job: FA to do nothing about manager's position until after San Marino game while Ian Wright ponders international retirement

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The Independent Online
JACK CHARLTON may add an intriguing ingredient into the discussions the Football Association will be hold regarding the job of England manager by throwing his trademark cap into the ring should Graham Taylor depart.

The Republic of Ireland manager has been canvassing opinion among friends and confidants as to whether he should push himself forward - or whether he should accept if the FA comes to him with an offer - if, as expected, Taylor pays the price for England's almost certain failure to qualify for the 1994 World Cup finals.

According to his close friend Ian St John, a coach under Charlton at Sheffield Wednesday, Charlton would be interested should the job become vacant. 'I know Jack has thought about having a go for the England job for the next European Championships, if it becomes available,' the ITV football analyst said. 'We have had a chat about it and I think he mulls it over when he drinks the odd pint of Guinness.

'He's confident in his own ability and has talked the possibility over with people who are close to him. I know it's something he wants.'

Charlton's departure would be a severe blow for Ireland, who under his inspirational guidance have become an established force at international level. Yet after seven years in the post, and with several members of his team advancing into their thirties, he may feel the time is approaching to move.

While Charlton was counting himself in, Ian Wright was counting himself out. The Arsenal player was so demoralised by Wednesday's 2-0 defeat against the Netherlands in Rotterdam that he suggested that it might be time to stand down and let someone else, like Newcastle's Andy Cole, have a chance.

'I had set my heart on playing in the World Cup finals and this is the most devastating blow of my career,' said Wright, who will be 30 next month. 'My whole world is shattered because of that referee. Maybe it's time to step aside.

'Coley deserves a chance now. He has got a great future. I wouldn't want to take up his place. There are a lot of players in this England squad who won't be around much longer and I put myself in that category. I'll just go back to Arsenal and take out my frustration on Premiership defenders.'

The Football Association, meanwhile, was left counting the cost, possibly as much as pounds 30m, to the English game, if England fail to qualify. Trevor Phillips, the FA's commercial director, wondered whether it was time to 'auction' the family silverware - the FA Cup. 'I've always regarded the FA Cup as the family silver that we've locked away in the cupboard for a rainy day. Maybe that day has come.'

Few individuals could have understood Taylor's frustrations more precisely than Bobby Robson, his predecesor, who was at England's most important game since the side he was in charge of lost the 1990 World Cup semi-final against West Germany. Robson said his heart went out to Taylor. 'He was the only one I thought of, the only one I wanted to speak to afterwards,' Robson said from Lisbon. 'It's such a shame for us all. I thought we were desperately unlucky. The game was about incidents and generally they didn't happen in our favour. But if we fail to qualify it won't be because of this match. We lost it over a number of matches.'

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