Taylor offers England a part-time solution

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The Independent Football

Peter Taylor, the Leicester City manager, re-entered the running for the vacant England coaching job yesterday when he said that he would be prepared to get involved on a part-time basis.

Peter Taylor, the Leicester City manager, re-entered the running for the vacant England coaching job yesterday when he said that he would be prepared to get involved on a part-time basis.

When asked about the possibility of working occasionally alongside a more experienced man like Bobby Robson, Taylor said: "If I could help I would be happy to do so. The most important thing for me at the moment is to stay at Filbert Street, but if I could help on a part-time format and it was not interfering with Leicester then I would offer to help.

"As long as it did not take too much time away from the job I am doing with Leicester City it could work, but the important thing is to do this job properly."

Following Kevin Keegan's resignation, Taylor's name was one of the first mentioned when a list of possible successors was discussed. Not only did Taylor enjoy success with the England Under-21 team but he has also thrived in club management over the last year. After taking Gillingham into the First Division at the end of last season he was recruited by Leicester, who were knocked off the top of the Premiership by Manchester United on Saturday.

When first linked with the England job last week Taylor's initial reaction was to say that he had only recently signed a contract with Leicester and that at this stage the England job would be "too early" for him.

His comments yesterday follow the suggestion that Robson might see out the World Cup campaign with a younger assistant, such as Taylor or Charlton's Alan Curbishley, before stepping aside. Alternatively Robson and a junior partner might take control temporarily while the long-term choice - such as Arsÿne Wenger at Arsenal - saw out his club contract.

Not that Taylor regards Wenger as the ideal choice. He believes that an Englishman should do the job so that "when we win our next thing we can say England did it". Terry Venables and Roy Hodgson are his recommendations.

Recruiting Taylor now as an heir apparent, even as a part-time appointment, could appeal to the FA as it would help it to plan on a more long-term basis. The FA will also like the fact that Taylor would not be new to the task, having often assisted Glenn Hoddle with the senior England team while he was Under-21 coach.

"I enjoyed the three years and learned a lot from it," Taylor said. "I used to take sessions with the seniors and enjoyed it." Taylor also attended Hoddle's press conferences and went to the 1998 World Cup in France and thus has an idea of the pressures involved.

The FA denied a report yesterday that it had already decided to ask Robson to take temporary charge of the England team for next month's friendly against Italy. Robson, who ended his previous reign in charge of England by taking them to the semi-finals of the 1990 World Cup in Italy, was quoted as saying that he would be "delighted to help out England" if his employers at Newcastle United agreed. Newcastle's chairman, Freddie Shepherd, said 67-year-old Robson's comments were "typical of his good nature" but he said that the Premier League club would not consider his release either in the short or long term.

While the bookmakers appear to believe that Venables is a near-certainty to return as England coach - several large bets brought his odds down to 2-7 with one bookmaker over the weekend - the indications from the FA are that he will not be invited back.

Although Venables would presumably be almost immediately available, the FA has so far shown no sign of wanting to turn to him. Moreover, Adam Crozier, the FA's chief executive, said specifically last week that there would be no point in appointing anyone just because he was available. The FA has also stressed that it will be in no rush to make an appointment.