England Under-21 coach Stuart Pearce looks set to be confirmed as Great Britain’s 2012 Olympic coach this month.
Although the FA has not released an official statement on the appointment, speculation is mounting that they decided that the former Nottingham Forest defender is the right man for the job.
Pearce is seeing as the most obvious candidate given he has coached the England Under-21 side since 2007, taking them to three major European Championship Finals and although England’s poor performance in Denmark cast a cloud over Pearce’s role, he emerged form the tournament to a new two-year contract. That deal would cover the Olympics’, scheduled for London next year.
While the appointment of Pearce may be close, it looks set to be a long winter of negotiations between each of the home nations as doubts still remain over the exact make-up of the British team.
The British Olympic Association (BOA) are desperate to field a truly authentic British side at the Olympics and their eagerness to do so saw them year release a statement earlier this year, in conjunction with the FA, stating they had reached agreement with the other Home Unions to do exactly that.
This was quickly dismissed by the Welsh, Scottish and Northern Irish Football Associations however, who are worried that if they joined forces with England for the Olympics it could cause a dilution of their Home Unions’ status within FIFA.
Reluctantly each association has agreed to the participation of a squad made up of English players only, although the matter is further complicated by the admission that would be powerless to prevent any of their own players taking up an invitation if it is offered.
The issue has become even more complex following the guarantee of FA director of football development Sir Trevor Brooking that any player involved at Euro 2012 would not be asked to be part of the Olympics as well.
As the squad is predominantly made up of players under the age of 23 that could mean that the likes of Manchester United players Tom Cleverley, Phil Jones and Chris Smalling not to mention Liverpool’s Jordan Henderson could all miss out having been involved in recent England squads, a move that could hamper the make up of the side, not to mention the publics interest in it.
That said with David Beckham signalling his intention to be of the three overage players in contention for what is an U23 squad, the British side could have at least one familiar face in their starting eleven.
Meanwhile no decision has been made yet on who will coach the women’s side, with Hope Powell still many people’s favourite for the post.