Thursday, February 9, 2012

England in turmoil as Capello quits

England's Euro 2012 plans have been thrown into disarray after Fabio Capello stepped down as national team manager.

Capello's resignation came after he publicly disagreed with the Football Association's decision to strip John Terry of the England captaincy.

He spoke out against the FA on Italian state broadcaster RAI on Sunday and resigned after a meeting with the FA on Wednesday. People looking to bet on Euro 2012 will have been very surprised.

FA chairman David Bernstein said the board and Capello left on good terms. The FA's attentions have now turned to replacing the 65-year-old Italian.

Bernstein said: "Clearly there is a preference for an Englishman or a British person but in the end we want the best person. I am certainly not prepared to rule out anything but an Englishman or British person would have a good start."

Tottenham Hotspur boss Harry Redknapp is the firm favourite for the role, but the FA won't be rushed into a decision, despite Euro 2012 just four months away.

"There is plenty of time. Time for new man to get in place, do what he needs to do - we are in a better place than we appear to be," added Bernstein.

England play three friendlies before they start their tournament against France in Ukraine on June 11. The FA have confirmed Capello's assistant Stuart Pearce will take charge of the first of those games against Holland at Wembley later this month.

It is the beginning of a new dawn for England after four years under Capello. The Italian led the side through an ill-fated World Cup campaign two years ago and leaves with a damaged reputation.

England will be hoping a new manager breathes new life into the squad ahead of the summer championships. The next appointment is a massive one for the FA.

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