McClaren calls for experienced hand as England U21 coach

Former England coach Steve McClaren says the FA must hire an experienced hand for the U21 job.

Former England coach Steve McClaren says the FA must hire an experienced hand for the U21 job.

McClaren wants the FA to follow the likes of Italy and Holland by appointing an experienced head of youth development.

"It is a great period now to reflect," he told Sky Sports. "When you talk about adversity, failure, losing in a big tournament, like the other countries, it is time to reflect.

"It is time to say at the elite end, what is our vision? Where do we want to be in five or 10 years? Competing to win trophies.

"What is our philosophy? How do we do it? So look at the four components - physically, technically, tactically, mentally - and ask what are we lacking?

"Then we need to say 'we need to work on technique, work tactically and on intelligence', but the key thing is players don't develop that without good coaching.

"It is talking about taking coaching all the way back to that level and I know they are working on that at the FA at the present moment with Dan Ashworth, technical director at St George's Park.

"They are doing that at grassroots level but this elite level they need somebody at the top with experience.

"We talked about Arrigo Sacchi with Italy and Louis van Gaal doing that philosophy with Holland - experienced coaches setting the vision, starting the philosophy. It starts at the top and works down.

"Starting at the bottom with the coaches, working up, you'll eventually have a conveyor belt, like the Spanish, of players who can do all four components of the game."

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