JOHANNESBURG, Nov 27 (Reuters) David Dein, the man who brought Arsene Wenger in to manage Arsenal, said today that another Frenchman, Gerard Houllier, would be his choice to become the new coach of the England team.
Dein, the former Arsenal and FA vice-chairman, who left the London club in April but is still a hugely influential voice in the game, was also a prime mover in getting Swede Sven-Goran Eriksson appointed as England coach.
Speaking at the Soccerex football convention, he said he actually thought Wenger was the best man for the England job -- but added the Frenchman would not leave Arsenal to take it.
''Who is the best candidate? Arsene Wenger, but he won't do the job. He likes the day-to-day involvement with the players.
But in a selection process it would be folly to ignore Gerard Houllier, his ability and what he has achieved.
''He was not the technical director of the French national team for nothing.'' Houllier, 60, was a keen student of the English game before becoming manager of Liverpool for six years from 1998 until 2004.
Dein, who recently sold his shares in Arsenal to Russian billionaire Alisher Usmanov for 75 million pounds (155 million dollar), said he would be delighted to be consulted by FA chief executive Brian Barwick in the search for Steve McClaren's successor.
McClaren lost his job after England were beaten 3-2 by Croatia last week and eliminated from Euro 2008.
NO DEBATE Dein said there should be no debate over whether the coach be English or come from abroad.
He added: ''It's well documented I favoured Luiz Felipe Scolari last time, but everyone said that was heresy.
''A lot of people wanted an English manager when Sven left.
Now public opinion is saying just go for the best.
''Unfortunately Steve McClaren didn't work out. It would be heresy to say there is no English manager worthy of the job. I just believe you have to go for the best man whatever his nationality.'' He also said he had no feeling of satisfaction at having been proved right over McClaren's appointment.
He said: ''You don't employ anyone expecting them to fail and it's the biggest single choice we have to make. You never know until they have an opportunity.
''Look at Arsenal in 1971. Bertie Mee, the physio, was appointed as manager and he won the double. You never know for sure if you are going to get the right man.
''We now need a manager who can coach, can motivate the team and can make sure that we don't just reach the finals but get to the semi-final or even final.'' REUTERS JT RAI2342