'Arrogant' England will go on failing - Taylor

November 27, 2007

JOHANNESBURG, Nov 27 (Reuters) - Former England manager Graham Taylor says he does not expect to see England win another major soccer tournament in his lifetime.

'Our failure has been going on for years and years. Why do people expect England to get to the finals or win these major tournaments?,' said the 63-year-old Taylor, who managed England from 1990 to 1993.

'I don't think I will live long enough to see our country crack it at international level - and oh how depressing is that?'

Taylor, who now works as a media pundit, said a review of English football promised by the FA in the wake of England's failure to qualify for Euro 2008 should look at not just the highest level of the game.

'We won the World Cup once when it was at home, we made the semi-finals once in 1990, and the semi-finals of the European Championship in 1968, then in 1996 when it was also at home. We have no record over the years of success but we really hate facing up to the truth.

'Unless we face up to it, that state of affairs will continue,' said Taylor at the Soccerex international business convention at the Sandton convention centre.

Taylor said England's attitude to the game they invented and gave to the world had done the country little good in the long term.

'We have an arrogance about ourselves and because of that we have made some enemies. We were too arrogant to enter the first World Cup in 1930.

'When we did enter it in 1950 we lost to the United States and the failures have gone on and on.'

Taylor, who appeared as a panellist to discuss the coaching of young players at English clubs, said the 'root and branch' review promised by the FA into the state of the game needed to look at every aspect of football right down to grassroots level.

'We have to go a long, long way down - right to the grassroots - to look at what's happening.

'I went to see my 10-year-old grandson playing football and it was on a full-size pitch and I really didn't want to watch it. We should not be allowing 10-year-old boys to be playing on a full-sized pitch. The win-at-all-costs mentality at that age is all wrong.'