Summons for Curbishley as FA looks ahead

Click to follow
The Independent Football

The Football Association will step up the search for Kevin Keegan's successor this week by making formal contact with at least one club, while looking to the longer term by unveiling the Charlton Athletic manager, Alan Curbishley, as the latest part-time member of the England coaching team.

The Football Association will step up the search for Kevin Keegan's successor this week by making formal contact with at least one club, while looking to the longer term by unveiling the Charlton Athletic manager, Alan Curbishley, as the latest part-time member of the England coaching team.

Whether or not the FA decides to go through the motions of approaching its first-choice, Arsÿne Wenger, who has repeatedly said he will honour his contract with Arsenal, it will face a struggle to prise Sven Goran Eriksson away from Lazio, where he also has contractual obligations.

The Italian club's president Sergio Cragnotti admitted yesterday that the Swede has not yet signed an extension to his current deal, which runs out in the summer, but insisted: "I will do everything I can to prevent Eriksson going to England. We have agreed on everything and made an appointment for before Christmas to put pen to paper. Mr Eriksson is our coach and certainly will not be allowed to leave or have any discussions until after his contract expires. We hope he will win the Champions' League and we hope he stays."

Like Wenger, Eriksson has been put in a powerful negotiating position with his club. Only if he decides that the time has to come to try international football after 22 years at club level will the FA have any joy.

FC Copenhangen's Roy Hodgson is now believed to be running a distant third -- at best -- however many interviews he gives stressing his desire to do the job. In the latest, on Radio 5 Live yesterday, he said: "I don't think it would be as difficult for the FA to persuade me to move as it might be to persuade Arsÿne or Sven Goran." That much has become obvious.

Eriksson's appointment could be good news for David Platt, who earned the Swede's respect while playing under him at Sampdoria, and would be high on his list of possible assistants.

For the moment, the former England captain's star seems to have fallen beneath that of Peter Taylor and Steve McClaren, who have been chosen to lead England in Italy on 15 November, and now Curbishley, who will join them.

The Charlton manager had to turn down an opportunity earlier in the year to work with the Under-21 side, because his club wanted him to concentrate on establishing them in the Premiership, which he has begun to do to good effect.

There is no chance, however, that he will be working with the former Charlton midfielder Lee Bowyer in Italy next month. The FA is understood to be adamant that Bowyer and his Leeds team-mate, Jonathan Woodgate, will not be selected for England while they are waiting to appear in court early next year on charges of affray and grievous bodily harm, which they both deny.

Comments