England's Taylor Resigns : Soccer: Coach was expected to be replaced after failing to qualify for World Cup finals.

From Associated Press

Graham Taylor resigned as England's soccer coach Tuesday, six days after his nation failed to qualify for the World Cup finals for the first time since 1978.

"No one can grasp the depths of my personal disappointment at not qualifying," said the 49-year-old Taylor, who took over from Bobby Robson after the 1990 World Cup. "If we did not qualify for the World Cup finals it was always my intention to offer my resignation from the job as England manager."

England was 18-7-13 under Taylor, who failed to win a game at the 1992 European Championship and lost to the United States, 2-0, in June.

Bert Millichip, chairman of the Football Assn., said an interim coach would be picked before exhibition games against Denmark in February and Germany in April, and a full-time successor will be hired later. Howard Wilkinson, who guided Leeds to the English League title two seasons ago, is the favorite.

Others being considered are Kevin Keegan, a former England star now in charge at Newcastle; Ron Atkinson of Aston Villa, Gerry Francis of the Queens Park Rangers and Steve Coppell, former coach of Crystal Palace.

Among the longshots are Ireland Coach Jack Charlton and Switzerland Coach Roy Hodgson, both former England stars.

Taylor had six months remaining on his contract, and Millichip said the association was content to let Taylor continue to the end of the deal.

"I don't think his contract would have been renewed," Millichip said. "I think his position was untenable."

Millichip said changes would be made to the structure of the FA, held partly to blame for England's failures in the last three years. Critics say the heads of English soccer have fallen out of touch with the game.

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