Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 21 October 2014

Mills hits back at Lineker jibe

Danny Mills was named on the FA commission tasked with helping to improve the national team

The Football Association's search for the remaining members of its newly formed commission continues on the back of Gary Lineker claiming the majority of those already confirmed are "utterly pointless".

The think tank is charged with finding ways to improve the national team and will include FA chairman Greg Dyke, former England manager Glenn Hoddle, plus Football League chairman Greg Clarke and FA vice-chairman Roger Burden.

The likes of League Managers' Association chairman Howard Wilkinson, incoming Professional Footballers' Association chairman Ritchie Humphreys, Crewe director of football Dario Gradi and former England defender Danny Mills are also confirmed appointments.

Press Association Sport understands talks are continuing with a number of different people, including those from varied ethnic backgrounds, some of whom may not be able to commit personal time serving on the FA initiative but will be engaged by it.

Nevertheless, former England striker Lineker indicated on Friday he believes those appointments which are already in the public domain have been poor choices by Dyke.

The Match of the Day presenter said on Twitter: "No wonder they announced Glenn Hoddle early on @FA commission. Most of the others are utterly pointless. Expected better from Greg Dyke."

Those comments were met by an angry response from commission member Mills.

The 36-year-old said on BBC Radio Five: "Gary's quite welcome to his own opinion, of course, but I think when you get that situation - has he volunteered himself? Has he come down to the FA?

"Has he phoned up Greg Dyke and said, 'look, you know I am one of the greatest England players that ever played, I have some ideas'?

"Rather than the sanctuary of the Match of the Day studio, come and put your ideas on the line and see what people think of that."

The commission's formation comes during a week in which the idea of Manchester United's Belgium-born teenager Adnan Januzaj playing for England has been a topic of much debate.

However, Mills, who played at the 2002 World Cup finals under Sven-Goran Eriksson, feels that would just be a ''quick fix to a long-term problem''.

"If you start to do that, you actually detract from encouraging English clubs to go and find young English players," he said in an interview with talkSPORT.

"If you carry on going through where we are, in another 10 or 15 years England will struggle to qualify [for major tournaments] because there won't be enough players."

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