Thursday, July 19, 2007

Stuart Pearce Becomes Full-Time England U-21 Manager

Former England left-back and Manchester City boss Stuart Pearce has been named as the permanent England U-21 manager today. Pearce was handed the temporary reins in January and led England's youngsters to the semifinals of the European Under-21 Championships in June. The squad's results in Holland obviously influenced the FA's decision to hire Pearce on a full-time basis; but let's be honest, with the talent level on that team, the semifinals should've been a given (especially with only 8 teams participating in the tournament), and surely expectations in England were higher than that.

Sir Trevor Brooking, the FA's Director of Football Development, says he was impressed by Pearce's achievements this summer:

"Stuart did an excellent job with the Under-21s last season and they came incredibly close to reaching the final in Holland. His record and achievements as a player set a great example for any young player. As a coach he already has a wealth of experience at the top level including taking all of his coaching badges with the FA right through to the Pro Licence. He will be a superb addition to our coaching team working with the young players who we hope will become the England internationals of the future."

Personally, I have mixed opinions about Pearce as a manager. His outstanding career as a player both for club and country is well-documented, but I think he's given more leeway as a manager simply because he was a great player, and that's not right.

Some very talented young players came through the ranks at Manchester City while Pearce was in charge there, the likes of Stephen Ireland, Micah Richards, Nedum Onouha, Ishmael Miller, and Daniel Sturridge among them, but how much of their skill can be attributed to Pearce's guidance? For me, naming Pearce as the manager of the U-21 national team, where the future of England's senior national team can be found, is a questionable move.

1 comment:

Johnny on the Spot said...

Well it's about time England starting looking at the Under squads as something other than "ain't made it to the senior side". Pearce seems to be a good choice as he is better at fostering kids than tactics:)