Pearce acts as if he is the man to lead England at the Euros
21:48 GMT, 28 March 2012
Stuart Pearce is continuing to perform the duties of the England manager in the firm belief that he might yet be in charge at this summer’s European Championship.
Sportsmail understands that Pearce has maintained regular dialogue with managers in the Barclays Premier League since taking the national team for last month’s friendly against Holland — quizzing them on the players he has told them he might yet be selecting for the England squad that travels to Poland and Ukraine.
Pearce, also the Under 21 boss and the GB Olympic coach, has made no secret of his desire to lead England in a major tournament, publicly questioning the wisdom of parachuting in a manager with no international experience at the end of this domestic season.
Watching brief: England caretaker manager Stuart Pearce with U21 coach Brian Eastick at Bramall Lane watching Sheffield United and Chesterfield on Wednesday night
Hands on: Pearce is filling the void for the FA
At the same time he has agreed to continue performing a role that might assist Fabio Capello’s permanent replacement should he be appointed in time for Euro 2012. Tottenham’s Harry Redknapp remains the favourite.
But with the Football Association yet to make an official move for Redknapp — or anyone else, it seems — Pearce appears to be growing into the role. As the FA confirmed on Wednesday, he plans to attend Tottenham’s game against Swansea on Sunday before seeing Manchester United at Blackburn on Monday.
Letters have been sent out to all the players — totalling more than 70 —who have been named in provisional England squads in the past 18 months, informing them that they might be required in the summer.
In his dealings with Premier League managers, Pearce is said to have employed a serious tone that suggests he is preparing for the possibility that the FA might not have their new man in place in time for the Euros.
But that is being seen as a concern, given Pearce’s relative lack of managerial experience, when a serious problem is beginning to present itself to the FA ahead of the tournament. In short, whether Rio Ferdinand and John Terry can play alongside one another in the England defence.
First of many Pearce took charge of England's game with Holland in February
When the race storm between Terry and Ferdinand’s brother Anton first erupted, Manchester United defender Rio was struggling with injury and seemingly out of favour with then England manager Capello. His chances of going to the European Championship seemed remote.
Now, however, Ferdinand is enjoying a fine spell of form and he and Terry are probably back to being the best two English centre halves in the game.
Big question: The new England manager will have to decide if John Terry and Rio Ferdinand can play alongside each other
As yet there have been no attempts by the FA to discover how Ferdinand might feel about playing with Terry when the Chelsea captain will face allegations of racially abusing his younger brother in court in July.
For Pearce, indeed any England manager, it presents a potentially huge problem and one that could seriously undermine the country’s chances at Euro 2012 if not resolved