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FA hesitation over England manager could be costly says Rafael Benitez


Former Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez believes the Football Association have created a problem in not appointing the next England manager in plenty of time for this summer's European Championships.

Tottenham boss Harry Redknapp remains the favourite to take over the role vacated by Fabio Capello but there has been no positive movement on bringing in a replacement and it appears the new man - or a stand-in - will have just a month to prepare the squad.

Benitez does not agree with the school of thought that someone can be parachuted in to take charge of an international squad and be successful.

"I know that this is a problem," he said in relation to the search for Capello's successor.

"People say 'No, it's not important because you will have a friendly'.

"I think that it is important to know who is in charge and how he will prepare.

"He will see the players, he will talk to the players, he will be preparing mentally the players for the Euros.

"You have quality players, they have the potential, but you need an idea.

"If you have an idea, if you have a system, then they (the players) will follow the manager and they will have the belief - that is the key."

Benitez believes the structure of English football has to change in order for more technical players to emerge and allow England to be more successful at international level.

"This is not something that will happen tomorrow, you have to keep working with academies, you have to analyse the structure of the academies, that they are trying to improve, and then you have to coach them properly," he told Absolute Radio.

"Between 18 to 21 years old here you cannot play. In Spain, before it was the under-19 league or you can play in the second division.

"Here not only do you not play because you are too young or the style of football is too physical but you have to wait one or two years and you lose [out].

"We had Scott Carson (at Liverpool) and for one year he was on the bench with Leeds, so he cannot improve.

"So if you don't change this you will not improve the level of the young players."

Since the departure of Andre Villas-Boas from Chelsea Benitez has been linked with a move to Stamford Bridge.

The Spaniard is keen to get back into football, preferably with an English club, but reiterated there has been no approach from the Londoners.

"People were talking and talking but at the end I didn't have any proper offer on the table," he added.

"They (Chelsea) were talking about what they want and they want to win the Champions League, all these things, so I was linked a little bit with them because of my Champions League success (with Liverpool in 2005)."