Robson calls for English coach to replace Eriksson

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The Independent Football

The Football Association's chief executive Brian Barwick will take the opinions of some of the most senior figures in English football before he appoints a new England manager. If he seeks the advice of Sir Bobby Robson, he will be told Sven Goran Eriksson's successor should be an Englishman at all costs.

At Thursday's FA board meeting, the first step towards finding a successor will be made, with Barwick likely to tell the hierarchy that he will canvass the opinions of managers such as Arsène Wenger and, possibly, Sir Alex Ferguson.

Robson said yesterday that he would be "very keen" to see the FA appoint an Englishman, and called for a manager who would take training himself. Eriksson's involvement in practice sessions is peripheral at best.

"England need a manager who can coach, get on to the training ground and work with the players, like Terry Venables, Glenn Hoddle and myself," said Robson.

"We've some strong candidates in this country at this moment who are doing a great job in a very difficult league. When you look at the likes of Fabio Capello, Carlo Ancelotti or Marcello Lippi, I'm not sure they would do a better job at Charlton or Bolton than Alan Curbishley or Sam Allardyce are doing."

Peter Kenyon, Chelsea's chief executive, ruled Jose Mourinho out of the running although the Portuguese coach is understood to be intrigued by the prospect of taking the job for the World Cup should the FA lose faith in their current arrangement with Eriksson.

"He [Mourinho] has made it quite clear he's not interested, and we would make it quite clear we are not interested in letting him go," Kenyon said. "He likes Chelsea, he and his family like London, and he is very happy with what we are planning to do. We think he will be here to fulfil the plans we have all put in place together. He has another six years left on his contract, and we would like him to stay longer than that."

The Newcastle United chairman Freddy Shepherd has denied contacting Eriksson about taking over at St James' Park.

Luiz Felipe Scolari has confirmed his willingness to take the England job in July, despite his lack of English. "From the way I take my challenges, after two to three months of intensive course work I would be able to give interviews," Scolari said. "I speak enough English already to defend myself, as we say."

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