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Sunday, 9 February, 2003, 18:53 GMT
Taylor calls for England re-think
Taylor managed England for three years
Graham Taylor says England's chances of emulating the World-Cup wining side of 1966 are being damaged by the dominance of the club game in Great Britain.

"Our football is not structured in the way that gives the national side the best possible chance," said the Aston Villa manager.

"We are club orientated. There is no point in denying it.

"It has been staring people in the face for many years and we still keep writing and talking about it but doing nothing.

The reality is - with the finance that is in the game - the club will always dominate

Former England manager Graham Taylor

The club-v-country row invariably crops up every time England play a friendly match.

On Wednesday, they take on Australia at Upton Park - and England coach Sven-Goran Eriksson has already been urged to use his players sparingly.

Taylor understands that clubs want to protect their stars, especially with the domestic season reaching such a crucial point.

But he says the England manager must be granted some leeway if he is to forge a successful national team.

"Since the 1970s, the international side has generally taken second place to club football," said Taylor, England boss from July 1990 to November 1993.

"England has to decide where it wants its international team to operate."

Taylor accepts it will be very hard to change the current status quo but says a solution must be found.

"The reality is - with the finance and everything else that is in the game - the club will always dominate," he said.

"But clubs have friendly games to prepare for the new season so how can they argue the national side should not have friendly games?"

England v Australia latest

England 1-3 Australia

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