The English FA have not appointed a manager to replace the departed Fabio Capello – and it’s starting to become a bit of a farce.
Stuart Pearce – is this guy picking the England squad?
The first Group D game of the European Championships, which is the group England are part of, is on June 11th when England play France in Donbass Arena, Donetsk in the Ukraine.
It’s likely that Yohan Cabaye and Ben Arfa of Newcastle could even start that game for France.
That’s in under seven weeks time, so who has been checking on the players’ form over the last few months, and who will be picking the squad?
Fabio Capello walked out on England on February 8th, when the FA said that John Terry couldn’t be captain for the tournament, and that’s now eleven weeks ago.
Of course only a couple of weeks ago the FA said everything was under control, and there’s nothing to worry about – right!
And today, Stuart Pearce, the former Newcastle left back and the current England U21 coach and the manager of the Great Britain Olympic team, has again said there’s nothing to worry about.
There will be a final 23-man squad, and Pearce says it must be picked by May 10th, and the squad will spend a week in Spain and have friendlies against Norway in Oslo on May 26th and Belgium on June 2nd at Wembley.
But the FA immediately disagreed that the squad had to be picked by May 10th.
Pearce had this to say today:
“Everything is in place. Someone could just walk through the door and take the squad tomorrow. It will be a benefit whichever way it falls. I’m more than happy to take both tournaments this summer – European Championship and Olympics.”
“It would be a great experience for me and I’m more than happy doing both.” “I’ve no idea whether I’ll be selecting it but I would fully expect — whether it be me or it be the next man — he’ll be selecting a squad around that sort of time (May 10th). The players need to know.”
“My ego’s not so big that I will feel disappointed if I’m not given the job full-time. There’s often an uplift when a new manager comes in. It might just help the team.”
Pearce is a failed club manager and neither has the skill nor the experience to be the England manager – but the FA did appoint Steve McClaren as England manager, when it was the most convenient choice and would upset the least number of people – so appointing Stuart would be no worse than that.
Surely the new manager will want to pick his own squad, but he can hardly have done any scouting over the last few months.
The new manager will most likely be Harry Redknapp of Tottenham, and the second favorite seems to be Roy Hodgson of West Brom – both Englishmen.
The FA have done some daft things in the past, but does anybody know of any other country that doesn’t have a manager right now, and are participating in the European Championships in Poland and the Ukraine starting in June?
It’s getting to be a farce – and we wish it wasn’t so – but it seems to be another one the FA have created.