Sports Letter: The Ossie option

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Sir: The next England manager must know international football and, just as important, how he wants his team to play it.

To judge by his disastrous vacillation and indecision regarding players, formations and strategy, Graham Taylor was manifestly lacking on both counts. Jack Charlton fits the criteria, but would be totally the wrong choice: English fans want leadership that fosters our game's best qualities (a la Manchester United and Norwich), not its worst (Wimbledon).

I would not object to Keegan, Hoddle or Wilkins taking over, but my choice would be Ossie Ardiles. I personally think that the diamond formation he favours would suit the players available, but more important is his conviction in it, married to his experience of, and success in, both international and English domestic football. His nationality is irrelevant to the national game's desperate need of the right guidance.

Yours faithfully,


Holbeck, Leeds