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Friday, January 11, 2008
Taylor fears for England 'root and branch'

Former England manager Graham Taylor fears the Football Association will scrap plans to carry out their `root and branch' investigation into English football following the appointment of Fabio Capello.

The Italian started his reign as national team manager on Monday after being officially appointed in mid-December - just three weeks after previous incumbent Steve McClaren had been dismissed for failing to lead the team to Euro 2008.

Following McClaren's departure the FA promised that a 'root and branch' investigation into the structure of the English game would be undertaken immediately, but Capello's appointment has led to suggestions that the review will not now be undertaken.

Taylor, who managed England from 1990 to 1993, is concerned that this could be the case and insists that England's woeful record in major international competitions since their World Cup win in 1966 demands a thorough review - regardless of whether a new regime has been installed.

'My concern is not about winning the World Cup in 2010, my concern is if we do win it, will we have to wait another 44 years before we win it again?,' he told PA Sport.

'The Football Association are telling us all about this `root and branch' investigation - are they actually going to carry that out?

'Will Capello make us an England team that every two years when the tournaments are played takes us to at least the last four on a regular basis? That's my concern.

'You win and lose nothing on paper. If you look at our record since the World Cup started we haven't been there regularly - so it really does need a root and branch review.

'What we need to do on occasions is put the international team first above club football and in this country we will never do that.

'So I'm not all that convinced that the root and branch investigation will solve all of our problems.'

Taylor is well aware of the pressures that come with being the England manager and has some simple words of advice for former AC Milan and Real Madrid boss Capello.

'The only advice you could give to the England manager is to make sure you win,' he added.

'No matter what your preparations are, no matter what things you do, if you end up with a losing team, like Steve McClaren and I found out, you will get hammered.

'You can do whatever you want but when that international game comes, be it friendly games or competitive games, you've got to win.

'I think that he (Capello) is well capable of it. He's not been in international football before so he's going to have to learn like all of us did.'

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