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Sports Letter: Loyalty bonus

Sir: Tim De Lisle recently wrote a very cogent article criticising the England cricket selectors for their "chop and change" policy. How much more apposite are those criticisms when applied to the managers of the England football team. There seems, ever since the time of Don Revie, aided and abetted by the football pundits in the media, to be a belief that if you change the XI after every match, win, lose or draw, you will eventually arrive at a team which, by some strange alchemy, will be perfect.

It is ironic that Revie achieved his great reputation with a Leeds United team that picked itself week after week but after two years in charge of England he was still trying "to find the right blend". This policy reached its apotheosis under Graham Taylor who, if memory serves me right, used something like 53 players in just over 20 matches. The fact that this policy has not brought success has not deterred any of them including the present incumbent, Kevin Keegan. When are we going to get an England manager with the courage to pick the XI he believes in, ignoring the media, and to play the same side, barring injuries or suspensions, for match after match, win lose or draw, until he has forged them into an effective team.