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Thursday, October 11, 2012
Vieira: England need coaching overhaul

Richard Jolly

Patrick Vieira has called for an overhaul of coaching in England because it does not develop enough talented players.

The former France captain, who was a World Cup winner in 1998, also wonders if English players love representing their country enough, citing the number who pull out of squads through injury.

And Vieira, who is now Manchester City's football development executive, believes a football-mad nation should produce more world-class footballers.

"For a big country like England, with the number of kids who love the game, you don't produce enough talent," he said. "I strongly believe one of the reasons is the coaches. They need to review how to coach the kids from eight-years-old to 21."

He feels a loss of patriotism may be a reason for England's ongoing struggles, adding: "I don't know the answer but from the outside I believe that in England they are not as proud as they used to be. In England, I really don't understand how come so many young players from the age of 16 to 21 pull out of the national team through injury."

Vieira believes St George's Park, the FA's new training centre near Burton-upon-Trent, is a step in the right direction but warned that England are still behind their rivals abroad.

"Finally they did something, because if you look at all the big nations, they all have their own 'house'," he said. "It's taken them a long time for them to realise they need a place. But it's better late than never.

"The people running the English game realised they are far behind other countries, that something is wrong in the system, and they are trying to make it work."

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