Fabio Capello has told the Football Association that, if they are to appoint an English coach to his predominantly Italian staff, he wants someone who will stay to the end of the Euro 2012 qualifying campaign, rather than someone who would use the role as leverage for a job in club football.
Capello and his staff have been left bemused over the search for a suitable English coach to add to the England team entourage. The FA's director of football development Sir Trevor Brooking announced that the governing body wanted to make that appointment in mid-September and yet no progress has been made.
Brooking said last week that he expected to have the coach in place in time for Christmas but there is little expectation in the Capello camp that they will have their new colleague in time for the friendly against France in November. Names in the frame have included Gareth Southgate and Alan Shearer, as well as former Premier League managers Alan Curbishley and Paul Ince.
Capello accepts that he has to bring on an English coach and he is not in a position to dictate terms to his employer after the team's poor showing at the World Cup finals. However, the longer the FA take over finding a suitable candidate for the job, the more it would seem the appointment of an English coach is a political exercise of little benefit to those involved.
The Italians are happy to facilitate the addition of an Englishman but they want someone who is completely committed to the job if they are to admit him to Capello's inner circle. They do not want someone who could leave for a club job. It is thought that it is potentially this factor which is making it hard for the FA to find someone who will resist all other offers for the next 20 months.
Originally, Stuart Pearce was deputed to the senior team but his commitments with the under-21s mean that, in a normal international week, he is only able to join up with the senior squad on the morning of match days.
The England manager said, in an interview in Italy yesterday, that he will bring through young players in his team's next two friendlies, against France on 17 November and Argentina in February in Copenhagen. Jordan Henderson of Sunderland is expected to be promoted to the senior squad to join fellow under-21s team-mates Kieran Gibbs and Jack Wilshere of Arsenal. Chelsea's Josh McEachran is expected to be promoted from the under-19s to the under-21s for the friendly against Germany on 16 November.
It is Capello's view that, with the exception of a few individuals in the under-21s, the current crop of under-19s have more potential senior England internationals among them. "We have good young players, a good under-21 squad that has qualified for the European Championship and a great under-19 side," Capello said yesterday. "There's going to be some experiments with players in the next two friendlies."
His general manager, Franco Baldini, was at Chelsea's victory over Wolverhampton Wanderers on Saturday and both men have taken note of McEachran as a player who could yet force his way into the senior team before the Italians quit at the end of Euro 2012 – assuming England qualify.
McEachran, 17, has featured for Chelsea as a substitute seven times this season and is a player being talked about at the FA. He could well force his way into Stuart Pearce's under-21s team for the European championships in Denmark next summer.
In his radio interview yesterday, Capello also brushed aside any fears over Wayne Rooney, currently injured with the ankle problem sustained last Tuesday. Capello said: "If he's [in form] I'll play him, otherwise no. For anything else, you've got to ask [Sir Alex] Ferguson."
Uefa yesterday rejected claims that there had been any sort of corruption involved in the appointment of Poland and Ukraine as Euro 2012 hosts. Europe's governing body denied any wrongdoing as they sought to avoid becoming enmeshed in the corruption sagas currently plaguing Fifa.
Spiros Marangos, treasurer of the Cyprus Football Association, made the allegations in German newspaper Suddeutsche Zeitung. Uefa responded by saying that the claims are unsubstantiated and called for proof to be produced by tomorrow, threatening to sue if they are not forthcoming.
A statement from Uefa said: "In relation to this as yet unsubstantiated claim, Uefa wishes to state that it can only open an investigation on the basis of tangible elements of proof. To date, these have never been provided to Uefa by this individual. If any such tangible elements are delivered, Uefa will then open the corresponding disciplinary case. If no such evidence is submitted within the time frame, Uefa reserves its right to start legal proceedings, civil and criminal, against any individual or individuals making such defamatory statements."