The race is on to succeed Fabio Capello as manager of England’s national team. The Italian resigned from the position Wednesday, after falling out with FA leadership over its decision to strip John Terry of the captaincy.
The job is among the most prestigious — and pressure-packed — of any in world soccer, and there will be no shortage of candidates interested in filling the position. Also, money should be no object, as the FA showed by showering Capello with an annual salary of £6 million ($9.5 million).
But the timing for the manager search is awkward to say the least. England is preparing to participate in this summer’s European Championships, and it will need to find someone to lead the team on an immediate (but interim) basis. It plays the Netherlands in a friendly on Feb. 29, and U-21 head coach Stuart Pearce is expected to take charge of that contest.
England will then need a manager to guide it during Euro 2012. It is unlikely Pearce will be given the chance to do so. That person may not be the one to take the job on a permanent basis, either. FA chairman David Bernstein said so during a Thursday press conference.
“All options are open,” Bernstein said. “I am only talking common sense. We are not prepared to restrict ourselves at this stage. He might be English, he might be British, he might not be, he might be for the Euros only, he might be long-term. We need to look at all the options.”
The names of a number of candidates have surfaced since the news broke. But the peoples’ choice is Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp. That he is English seems to give him an advantage, as two of England’s last three managers have been foreign. England regulars think highly of him, and believe he could turn the them into winners.
Guus Hiddink‘s name appears in a number of reports, and the Dutch tactician is a possibility. He has experience managing big clubs national teams around the world. Most recently, Turkey failed to qualify for Euro 2012 under his guidance. But he is highly respected for his work at Chelsea, Russia, South Korea and PSV Eindhoven during the last decade.
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