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O'NEILL APPLAUDS HOME TREND; SUPER SUNDAY BORO BOSS CAN TAKE TAUNTS.

Byline: By RALPH ELLIS

MARTIN O'NEILL believes the Premier League's flirtation with foreign managers and coaches is coming to an end.

Juande Ramos's sacking by Tottenham means there are now only four bosses from outside the UK among the 20 topflight clubs - Arsene Wenger, Rafa Benitez, Luiz Felipe Scolari and Gianfranco Zola.

And Portsmouth's decision to appoint Tony Adams rather than look abroad underlined the new commitment to homegrown managers.

O'Neill's Aston Villa face Middlesbrough today with their boss backing the benefits from the game's trend towards managers with fluent English language skills.

He said: "Juande Ramos's record in football is exceptionally good, but obviously there might have been problems in the dressing room with him learning the language. That is definitely a problem.

"I see Jose Mourinho has gone and learnt Italian - even the little phrases and sayings they have. That's brilliant because these things are important. Harry Redknapp going into Spurs is also certain to work - over time. That's not based on his first few matches because anything can happen in a short space of time. I'm talking about the long term and I think it's a great appointment.

"Of course we can learn from foreign coaches and players as well. People like Wenger, Bergkamp and Henry have been great for English football.

"But it's good to see young English, and British, coaches having a chance."

O'Neill's Aston Villa face Middlesbrough today with their boss backing the benefits from the game's trend towards managers with fluent English language skills.

He said: "Juande Ramos's record in football is exceptionally good, but obviously there might have been problems in the dressing room with him learning the language. That is definitely a problem.

"I can't get my head round what a director of football might do if he has not been selected or appointed by the manager.

"For me it couldn't possibly work - there are too many loopholes that mean people can pass the buck."

CAPTION(S):

ENCOURAGED: Martin O'Neill
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Sunday Mirror (London, England)
Date:Nov 9, 2008
Words:329
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