Curbishley cool on on feasibility of England job-share

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The Independent Football

The Charlton Athletic manager has been mooted as a successor to Sven Goran Eriksson, who will step down after the World Cup finals. But it has also been suggested that the Football Association is considering giving an umbrella role to the director of football development, Sir Trevor Brooking, with Curbishley and his Manchester City counterpart Stuart Pearce joint coaches while remaining in their respective club posts.

Curbishley said that he was aware of the suggestion but maintained that no approach had been made by the FA. "It's interesting but I don't know if there is any substance in it," he said. "No one has approached me about that. I don't know what the FA's job description is going to be.

"I don't know if [job-sharing] is feasible. The [Charlton] chairman Richard Murray, about four years ago when there was an opportunity for me to work with the Under-21s, wasn't keen on that. When you are already at a club if the results are not going well then people can accuse you of being distracted."

But Curbishley does have experience of sharing responsibility as his early spell at Charlton was as co-manager with Steve Gritt. "My partnership with Steve did work," he said. "Those four years were successful We both knew our roles."

However, a joint-coach system is unlikely to get the go-ahead. "Our objective is to recruit one head coach," an FA spokesman said yesterday. "One would expect that the appointed coach would work closely with Sir Trevor Brooking. It would also not be unusual to have assistant coaches who report to the head coach but who are employed full-time by clubs, as is the situation at the moment."

Geoff Thompson, the FA chairman, put extra pressure on Eriksson yesterday by reminding him that all the key factors needed for a successful World Cup are on his side. "The best opportunity for a European side to win the World Cup is in Europe, where the teams don't have a problem with the conditions or the time difference," Thompson said. "One of the reasons put forward for why England haven't done well at a major championship was that the players were tired. But now that Fifa have insisted on a four-week break, the problem with the fixtures eases."

Alexei Smertin, the Charlton midfielder on loan from Chelsea, has joined Dynamo Moscow on a four-year deal, the Russian premier league club said last night. The Russia captain ­ who had a loan spell at Portsmouth in the 2003-04 season ­ failed to win a regular place in the Chelsea starting line-up following his move from Bordeaux in August 2003.

However, the 30-year-old had been playing regularly for Curbishley's side and leaves Charlton short of central midfielders following Danny Murphy's move to Tottenham Hotspur in the January transfer window.

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