Coppell: Sven would be ideal for England job

November 23, 2007

Steve Coppell believes the man best qualified for the England job is also the least likely to be asked to succeed Steve McClaren.

The Reading boss has all but ruled himself out of the running, insisting his only thoughts are focused on tomorrow's trip to Manchester City.

And that will bring him up against the man England discarded 18 months ago to make way for McClaren - Sven-Goran Eriksson.

Coppell said: 'Sven has shown what a terrific manager he is. It is ironic at this particular moment in time after his history within the English game.

'If he had not already been England manager he would have been the perfect candidate. He has all the credentials you are looking for in an England manager. He has performed at European level to the highest level and still has a real appetite for the game.

'Just because he doesn't jump up and down on the touchline doesn't mean he has no passion. His team shows his passion. He doesn't have to do anything on the touchline and that's a sign of good management.'

The Football Association have announced their intention to carry out a 'root and branch' review of the game in England, and Coppell advised the governing body to go straight to the primary schools.

He said: 'If there is going to be a root and branch review then we have to look at the development of our players from five or six years of age. We are not producing the players that we should be.'

Coppell was also critical of the trend within the Barclays Premier League of signing foreigners instead of bringing through homegrown youngsters.

He said: 'We don't have enough players in depth because there are not enough avenues for young players to learn and develop their trade.

'It is too easy in the cash-cow that is the Premiership to say `we will get the finished article in from abroad who we know is technically gifted'.'

Coppell admitted McClaren deserved to be sacked simply because he had failed in his mission, to see England reach the Euro 2008 finals next summer.

A 3-2 defeat at home to the already-qualified Croatians on Wednesday night sealed McClaren's fate, but Coppell was convinced the display put on by an England side missing Wayne Rooney, John Terry and Michael Owen through injury and Rio Ferdinand because of suspension also showed an alarming lack of depth in the squad.

He said: 'I have always said the elite players will always come through anyway.

'If we had had Rooney, Ferdinand and all these people playing it may well have been a different result, but they weren't so you are looking to the next tier.

'You have still got the sharp end of the pyramid but the base is not as big as it used to be.'