The FA, who have been hunting for a long-term and permanent appointment to replace former national team coach Fabio Capello, will, according to a report in the Telegraph, make an announcement very soon. In fact, the announcement is expected before 13 May.
The news is in contrast to statements made in May, by FA Chief Executive Alex Horne, who said the selection process would take time. It seems it has now been fast-tracked, in order to give the new manager more time to prepare for the 2012 European Championships to be held in June.
However, the change in plan means the FA will have reduced time to conduct negotiations with shortlisted candidates and their clubs.
Meanwhile, to add more confusion to the mix, the interim manager of the national team, Stuart Pearce, could well be forced to select the 23-man squad for the summer's tournament unless a more permanent appointment is made before the deadline. This is, of course, if the FA does not appoint Pearce himself as the manager, in which case it ought not to be a problem. If, however, a new face enters the equation, he will have to work with the squad Pearce selects rather than his own.
The official UEFA deadline for submission of squad lists is 29 May, meaning that Pearce need not actually make any such announcement until the issue of who leads the team in Poland and Ukraine in the summer is settled. However, in yet another indication of the mismanagement in the FA, Pearce is reportedly looking to create a shortlist early, so as to ensure players are aware. Furthermore, England are set to play friendlies against Norway and Belgium, on 26 May and 2 June, respectively,
"I have no idea whether I will be selecting it but I fully expect, whether it is me or the next man, he will be selecting the squad around that time. The season ends on May 13 and the players need to know," said Pearce, according to the Telegraph.
Finally, Pearce has emphasised he will not be upset or hold a grudge if he is not selected as the permanent appointment.
"My ego is not that big I would feel disappointed if it wasn't me. Whilst the organisation needs me to make decisions for the England team, I will do so," an ESPN report quoted Pearce as saying.
According to the Telegraph, sources believe the FA will be shortlisting more than one candidate. Tottenham Hotspur boss Harry Redknapp and West Bromwich Albion boss Roy Hodgson seem to be the favourites at the moment. However, neither Redknapp nor Hodgson have received any formal contract by the FA.