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Johnny Metgod

It is no surprise to that his old club, Nottingham Forest, are already England's last standard bearers in Europe. "All the time I was in England, people were saying they would have to change or fall behind," the former Dutch international midfielder said. "Ten years later, they are saying the same thing."

Metgod, 37, spent three years at the City Ground, followed by a season with Tottenham, before returning to the Netherlands in 1988 to join Feyenoord, for whom he is now head of youth development. He lives in a village outside Rotterdam with his wife, Patty, their son and two daughters.

"There is no reason why change should not happen. The kids here don't play in the streets any more, but we take them at six years old and create situations which are like playing in the streets. Each player gets a ball to work with and does nothing else. There is no point in asking a boy to pass the ball if he cannot control it.

"This is where English football is lacking. Still there are players, centre-backs for example, big blokes full of character, but who seem to want to kick the ball as far away as they can, as if it frightens them."

Metgod stopped playing only two years ago, but says he now "thinks like a coach rather than a player" and wants to test himself at the highest level. "I need only one more qualification to be a head coach in the First Division here, but I wouldn't mind the chance to work in England if the right job came along."

Jon Culley