With the European Championships 42 days away, England are still without a permanent manager in place for the tournament. With the media and bookies’ favourite, Harry Redknapp, refusing to be drawn on the England job, should the Football Association offer the job to Stuart Pearce?
Think back to England’s recent failings in major tournaments; South Africa World Cup 2010, Euro 2008, World Cup 2010, the list is endless. Yet, the common criticism levied at the coaching staff and players, is the lack of commitment, fight and passion shown at key times when backs were against the wall. However, these characteristics are in abundance within Stuart Pearce, as shown through the iconic Euro 1996 penalty scene. Within the small amount of time Pearce spent with the first team in preparation for the Netherlands friendly, this passion seemed to filter into the squad. This was shown by England’s superb, yet ultimately doomed fight back from 2-0 down against an arguably superior side. Joe Hart on Pearce, “He is a passionate guy. Anything involving England is just perfect for him, for who he is and what he is about. Hopefully he can inspire us.”
Equally, Stuart Pearce has experience leading England to major European tournaments with the Under-21 side. The side were brilliantly guided to a final appearance in the 2009 European Championships but were subsequently beaten by Germany. Yet, the experience of managing England in a major tournament is priceless, and also coaching the likes of Joe Hart, Danny Welbeck, Daniel Sturridge and James Milner, all of whom are pushing for selection in the Euro 2012 squad can only add to Pearce’s candidacy.
With the media’s obsession with Harry Redknapp, the usual pre-tournament pressure and expectations have been taken off of England and Pearce, which will allow the side to play without fear of media ridicule. Generally, sides playing with less pressure perform extremely well as shown by Germany’s side in the 2008 European Championships, and this could benefit England hugely.
Whether Pearce will get the opportunity to lead England to Poland and Ukraine is still to be seen. In my opinion there is no other realistic candidate that will offer the passion and international experience as Stuart Pearce.
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