Wolfsburg coach McClaren: England national team problems start at grassroots

Wolfsburg coach Steve McClaren says the problem with English football is at grassroots level.

Wolfsburg coach Steve McClaren says the problem with English football is at grassroots level.

He believes it has long been England's favoured response to failure to blame the top man, rather than looking deeper into the causes.

"Myself and Sven were vilified. I built up a good reputation and, unfortunately, it was a case of how a reputation could be destroyed in one night," McClaren, who has joined Wolfsburg after a successful stint with FC Twente, told the Daily Mirror.

"Before that it was (Kevin) Keegan, Glenn Hoddle and Graham Taylor. There have always been many England managers who keep getting ridiculed.

"I think it's about time we started to broaden the inquest, not just focusing on one man. We say: 'He's the head, it's his fault, chop his head off'.

"Let's start looking at the bigger picture now. In my experience, in Holland and now coming to Germany, they've gone through similar experiences where they failed and they've looked not just from the top but from the grass roots and made changes.

"Let's look at other things. Why can't we develop players like the Dutch, the Germans, the Spanish?

"I do see the difference travelling around Europe...working in Holland, working in Germany. They took it back to grass-roots level. They had the talent and they developed the coaches first so they developed the talent properly."

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