An injury-depleted England face a demanding friendly against 2010 World Cup finalists Holland in London on Wednesday as they begin life without departed manager Fabio Capello.
Capello’s shock resignation following the decision to strip John Terry of the captaincy has left England’s Euro 2012 preparations in limbo, with the Football Association yet to appoint a full-time successor to the Italian.
While Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp is the overwhelming favourite to take over, the FA has yet to make a move for the Spurs boss, leaving Stuart Pearce to oversee Wednesday’s friendly at Wembley.
Pearce — who is coach of England’s Under-21 team and who will manage Britain’s football team at the Olympics — has made no secret of his willingness to lead England’s challenge at the Euros in Poland and Ukraine, but remains a long-odds outside bet to succeed Capello on a permanent basis.
Any hopes Pearce may have had of using Wednesday’s friendly to enhance his credentials have not been helped by an injury crisis that has deprived him of Wayne Rooney, Tom Cleverly, Darren Bent and Kyle Walker.
Strangely, Pearce has declined to draft in replacements for strikers Rooney and Bent, meaning that the three forwards who remain — Danny Welbeck, Daniel Sturridge and Fraizer Campbell — have only four caps between them.
Nazi salute rankles German federation
The German football federation has condemned an anti-Semitic incident involving Kaiserslautern’s Israel striker Itay Shechter and says it will not tolerate such abuse. A small group of Kaiserslautern fans directed Hitler salutes at Shechter during Sunday’s practice.
The German football federation’s designated president Wolfgang Niersbach says such abuse has to be “nipped in the bud” and “we must act decisively.”