English FA considers at least 3 for coach’s job
At least three managers are on the England shortlist and the
Football Association could appoint Fabio Capello’s successor as
soon as next month, without conducting a job interview.
Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp is the leading contender to
lead England into the European Championship in June, but the FA is
now willing to allow its new coach to start after the tournament if
that is a deal-breaker.
The FA seemed to be publicly embarrassed during its search for
new coaches in 2006 and 2007 when both Luiz Felipe Scolari and Jose
Mourinho respectively rejected the job.
But before any official approach is made this time, the FA hopes
to discover privately whether its preferred candidate wants the
job. Inside knowledge from within the football community will be
used to whittle down the shortlist, which includes at least three
names and is not all-British.
”We are treating clubs and managers with the greatest of
respect, we don’t want to disrupt the season of the clubs,” FA
chairman David Bernstein said. ”Most of the people we are looking
at are in positions and whatever we do we ought to try and do it in
a way which enables clubs to finish their season with the minimum
”Our next step is to narrow that target list down to a very
small number of key people who of course we believe actually want
the position. There may be other people who don’t actually want
Bernstein leads a board of four FA executives who will chose the
coach and they have spoken to football experts and former players
to gauge opinions.
Those talks have convinced Bernstein that England should be able
to attract his first choice despite Chelsea now needing a new
manager following the firing of Andre Villas-Boas after eight
months on Sunday.
”This position is so unique that the right person would want to
do it on a sensible basis and for the right reasons,” Bernstein
said, overlooking the Wembley Stadium pitch. ”It is a very fluid
situation, I am not sure if (other clubs searching for managers)
helps or hinders. It depends on how the cards fall.”
When Capello was appointed at the end of 2007 to replace Steve
McClaren he emerged from a four-man shortlist.
”We have now arrived at a number of target names, I would call
it a flexible target list because it’s not absolutely fixed in
stone and we will react to events depending how events unfold,”
Bernstein said. ”We would intend to deal with this at the back end
of the season but it could be earlier, if certain things fell into
place and the key appointment came, it could be earlier.”
If not, under-21 coach Stuart Pearce could remain in temporary
charge of the senior team at Euro 2012 after overseeing last week’s
3-2 loss to the Netherlands in a friendly.
Capello quit last month after he felt he was undermined by
Bernstein’s decision to strip John Terry of the captaincy due to
the Chelsea defender’s pending racism trial.