Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Milner backs Pearce for England

James Milner has thrown his support behind Stuart Pearce should the Under-21 head coach be asked to lead England to this summer's Euro 2012 tournament in Poland and Ukraine. Fabio Capello's departure from the England manager's job saw Spurs boss Harry Redknapp jump to the head of the queue of favourites with the bookies.

With no move yet being made for Redknapp by the FA, Pearce has seen his own odds shorten in the race for the job. Spurs are still in with a chance of challenging for this year's Premier League title and that could see Redknapp insist on seeing the season out before taking the national job. Fans of football betting should bear this in mind.

Should the Pearce be given the job then it would almost certainly be on a short-term deal covering this summer's European Championships. The former Manchester City manager has tournament experience with the Under-21 side, where he worked with a number of the current England squad. One of those players, Milner, has backed Pearce to do the job for the tournament should he be asked. Anyone looking at Betfair.com needs to remember this.

While admitting the situation with the England manager's job was far from ideal, Milner insisted Pearce has all the attributes needed to lead the team in Poland and Ukraine.

"The timing is not as ideal as you would want, changing manager so close to a major tournament, but we will go in as well prepared as we can be," Milner said.

"If Stuart Pearce is manager the Euros, it is not a problem for me. He is a great manager, was a great player, and in the two Under-21 tournaments we were unlucky on both occasions."

"He thinks about every aspect which could come up in a tournament, every eventuality, how we are going to have to play, and how to plan for combating certain teams."

Friday, 24 February 2012

Pearce throws hat into England ring

Stuart Pearce has made it clear he would be more than willing to lead England to this summer's European Championships should the FA offer him the chance. The current Under 21 boss, who will take charge of the senior team for their friendly against Holland this week, has insisted he wouldn't be overawed by leading England into a major tournament. 

The current situation came about following Fabio Capello's sudden departure from the position as England manager at the beginning of February. While Harry Redknapp is still everyone's favourite to be given the role for this summer's Euro 2012, there is still no guarantee that the Spurs boss would be willing to walk away from his current job at White Hart Lane. Fans of online betting should remember this.

Redknapp has made no secret that he would love to lead his country, however, his Spurs team find themselves in a realistic chance of mounting a genuine title challenge in the second half of this season; not something that Harry could walk away from easily. 

Finishing the season with Spurs and then taking the England job straight away would be a tough ask for Redknapp, and the FA will ideally want something in place before the end of the current Premier League campaign.  People looking for Betfair online betting tips need to bear this in mind.

Pearce may not be everyone's first-choice, but the FA have long been grooming the former Manchester City manager and could well decide to give him a chance to prove himself. Pearce believes he has required experience to do the job if called upon, insisting he would be delighted to lead England to the tournament. 

"I am available and I have tournament experience if they (the FA) need me to step into the breach in the summer."

"That is obviously a decision for the employees here. They know exactly where I am, they know exactly what I want to do."

"If they need me to take the squad in the summer I will do that with pleasure."

Friday, 17 February 2012

Redknapp coy on England job

Harry Redknapp refused to be drawn on his future as he prepared for Tottenham Hotspur’s FA Cup tie at Stevenage this weekend.

Redknapp, the favourite to replace Fabio Capello as England manager, said he has not been approached by the Football Association.

Redknapp said: "I've not spoken to anybody - I'm not going to rule myself out but I've not been ruled in either. I've just been thinking about Stevenage all week."

The speculation is an unwelcome distraction for Spurs heading into the business end of the season. The North London club sit third in the Premier League, seven points behind leaders Manchester City, and are in the last 16 of the FA Cup.

Redknapp is determined to finish the season on a high and give the Spurs supporters something to cheer about. People placing online Euro 2012 free bets need to remember this.

"My focus is on trying to get Tottenham as high up the table as I can. We want a Champions League spot and we also have a chance in the FA Cup," he added.
The 64-year-old admitted the new manager would need to do the job full-time, which means he would have to decide whether to leave Spurs with the job only half done.

Former England captain David Beckham became the latest big name to endorse Redknapp.

"Harry's a great man and a great manager," said Beckham.

"His man-management is incredible. I know players who have played under him and I've trained under him. He's not just a great manager but a great person. But right now he is the Spurs boss."

England will be hoping whoever comes in can galvanise the squad ahead of England's Euro 2012 opener against France on June 11.

Wednesday, 8 February 2012

England in disarray

Ahead of a big year of international football, England are in disarray.

The Football Association's decision to strip John Terry of the captaincy ahead of his trial in July over racial abuse allegations has divided opinion up and down the country and was met with disapproval by England coach Fabio Capello. He made his feelings known on Italian TV.

"I thought it was right that Terry should keep the captain's armband," said Capello.

"I have spoken to the [FA] chairman and I have said that in my opinion one cannot be punished until it is official and the court - a non-sport court, a civil court - had made a decision to decide if John Terry has done what he is accused of."

After a shambolic World Cup 2010 campaign, the 65-year-old Italian wanted to bow out of English football with a bang in Euro 2012. However, this latest controversy looks set to overshadow his last few months in charge. Those looking to bet on Euro 2012 online will be wondering if the side can overcome their problems.

There are rumours Capello won't be given the opportunity to see out the remaining months of his contract after his outburst, although that is unlikely. He must begin his search for a new captain while rebuilding his relationship with the FA.

It is the second time Terry has been stripped of the captaincy and he is thought to be considering his future in the England set up. Reports suggest he will continue to put his hand up to play for his country, but the controversial defender will be hurting after this latest setback.

England and controversy are never far apart. Many believe the national team needs a radical shake up to bring the public back on side and pride back into the shirt.

Capello is drinking in the last chance saloon this summer – he might not be the only one.

Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Who next for England?

Although the demise of John Terry on the international scene this week has caused Chelsea to be very, very defensive about the fact that their star defender and captain has been dropped by the FA as its public face to the world and captain on the pitch, the only real debate that deserves to be brought up now is with regards to who should start as captain for England at the Euro 2012 tournament. Those looking at Betfair online will be keeping a close eye on things.

Terry has, for most of his career, seemed like a natural captain and leader of men, which means that England haven't had to consider the next identity of the captainship for some time. With Rio Ferdinand turning down the chance to be in the running this time around, it looks like there is still the risk of the next captain knowing the captaincy could well just be a short-term measure that could come to an end should Terry be found innocent of racial abuse charges.

However, could this less than ideal situation be transformed into an opportunity to make a stand and show the world that England as a team are not short-sighted and can plan well for the future? Perhaps, bearing this in mind, picking one of Joe Hart, Jack Wilshere, or Phil Jones as the captain would solve a short-term problem and also assess their suitability at leading the team for many years to come. www.betfair.com

Having seen the likes of Spain and Italy always benefit from a settled captain, it would surely help England if a young hope was transformed into the team captain, rather than somebody who may only be holding the title for a short time. If Fabio does do this, then he may well have made his best and most enduring decision to date.