England’s leadership crisis

Four months before Euro,captain-less team lose manager Capello as well

Written by Agencies | London | Published:February 10, 2012 1:46 am

Stuart Pearce will take temporary charge of England for this month’s friendly against the Netherlands while the search for Fabio Capello’s permanent successor as boss gets underway ahead of June’s European Championship. Tottenham Hotspur manager Harry Redknapp,the hot favourite to fill the vacancy,said on Thursday he was paying no attention to speculation linking him with the job.

“I don’t know anything about the England job,I’ve not thought about it. I’ve got a big game on Saturday with Tottenham so Tottenham is my focus,” he told reporters.

Capello,who quit the job on Wednesday after a disagreement with the Football Association over John Terry being stripped of the captaincy,issued a short statement as he flew out of London. “I would like to thank all players,staff and Football Association for the professionalism they have shown during my years as manager of the English National Team,” said the Italian,who helped England qualify for two major championships but flopped at the 2010 World Cup.

Capello resigned after 42 matches in charge leaving England without a manager or captain four months before the start of Euro 2012.

Pearce,49,made almost 750 league appearances during his playing career. He also picked up 78 caps for England. He has been the England Under-21 manager since 2007 and was one of Capello’s assistants with the senior team.

“He has huge experience inside and outside this organisation,” FA Chairman David Bernstein told a news conference. “I have great confidence in Stuart,we will be in good hands. Our priority then will be to appoint a new England manager. We don’t want to rush the process… we’ll be putting a shortlist together of key people.”

Bernstein said the board would be sitting down on Friday to discuss the issue. While Bernstein would not comment on the widespread speculation over Redknapp,he said there was a preference for an Englishman to get the job.

The backing for the 64-year-old Redknapp came from two of England’s most prominent players came on Twitter. Rooney said he was “gutted’’ that Capello quit,and then added: “Got to be english to replace him. Harry redknapp for me.’’

England and United teammate Ferdinand echoed Rooney’s remarks. “I think we need an English manager now,we don’t need anything else lost in translation,’’ Ferdinand tweeted.

Becks as coach?

While Redknapp is already the favorite,even David Beckham is in the mix,according to bookmakers. Former Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho is also among the candidates,along with interim coach Pearce,Roy Hodgson,Guus Hiddink,Martin O’Neill and Arsene Wenger. Beckham,who recently signed a contract extension to play with the Los Angeles Galaxy,is a long shot but still among the names being thrown about.

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