Letter: Wrong thinking

Sir: At the heart of England's football problems lies what I call the Brian Clough fallacy, the deeply entrenched belief that all that is necessary for the England team to win everything is appointing the right manager. This person would then,by definition, select the right team and motivate them so that innate qualities of national superiority - codename, the bulldog spirit - would prove too much for Gianfranco Foreigner and his mercurial talents or cunning plans.

Well a good manager is important but this fantasy is not a realistic foundation for success in international football. On the contrary. Believing there is a short cut to success, we ignore our deficiencies. Spirit and effort are mystically emphasised - everything else is devalued by implication: technical ability, intelligence, tactics, professionalism, fitness, practising penalty kicks. There is ludicrous optimism and exaggerated expectations, a readiness to look for excuses and scapegoats, and delusional thinking generally.

We need a realist. The trouble with Keegan is that he gives the appearance of believing the myths.