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McClaren joins England talent criticism

Steve McClaren has called for scrutiny of England's continued failure at competitive international fixtures.

England are hoping Israel beat Russia next Saturday in their Group E clash in the Euro 2008 qualifiers.

A win against Croatia would then secure England's place in the final stages of the competition.

McClaren insists that one of the reasons behind England's inconsistency at international level is the lack of home grown talent.

"There will always be a debate around the England team but maybe some people will look a little bit deeper, they certainly should, whether we qualify or not," he said.

"The number of English players in the Premier League has come down to 38 per cent. That is not enough.

"Also, someone told me that in one of the recent rounds of the Champions League, there were more Scottish players involved than English ones.

"Some reality has to come into it. Of course, the sheer number of foreign players in the Premier League cuts down my options."

The England manager says the first step is to improve the standard of domestic youngsters and believes the Football Association has to act.

He said: "We have to improve our coaches and our coaching development, that is the FA's responsibility.

"I don't think anyone is being critical about clubs bringing in foreign players, it is about finding more English ones because the talent is there."



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