I Want The Job! Caretaker Boss Pearce Bids To Lead England At Euro 2012
By Matt Barlow
Stuart Pearce declared himself a candidate to lead England into this summer’s Euro 2012 tournament.
Pearce has been in temporary control since Fabio Capello’s resignation and claims his tournament experience as player and coach makes him a serious option to manage the team in Poland and Ukraine.
The England Under 21 and Team GB Olympic football boss named his first senior squad for next week’s friendly against Holland at Wembley, with a shock call-up for Sunderland striker Fraizer Campbell.
Pearce said: ‘I’ve been asked to take the team on Wednesday but I’ve said to my bosses here that if they need me to take the team in the summer I’ve got the experience to do so.
‘I’ve been to two major semi-finals as a player, I’ve been to a final as the Under 21 manager, I’ve been to semi-finals as the Under 21 manager and I’ve been with Fabio (as a coach) to South Africa in a World Cup.
‘I’ve got the experience to take this tournament on without a problem. I don’t think at this moment in time I’ve got the experience to be the full-time England manager, so my run would end in the summer.’
Capello accepts some of the mistakes he made at the World Cup two years ago were down to a lack of tournament experience and the same pitfalls await his successor if it is a club manager, like Harry Redknapp.
Pearce often talks of ‘tournament management’, which relates to keeping players free from fatigue and suspension on the pitch and occupied and entertained off it.
It is perhaps significant that 15 of the 25-man squad have been with Pearce through at least one of his three European Under 21 Championships, which have involved two epic penalty shoot-outs.
These include the two uncapped players in the squad — Campbell and Tom Cleverley — and Micah Richards, recalled after being persistently overlooked by Capello.
Experience: Pearce worked closely with Fabio Capello
‘I had 20 caps to my name when I went to Italia 90 and the exposure of a major tournament was something different to anything I’d experienced. It took me three or four games. It got to me a little bit,’ said Pearce.
‘It’s important I do my job and make sure that doesn’t happen to the next generation of players.’
Arsenal teenager Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain had been tipped for a call-up under Capello but Pearce chose to leave him in the Under 21 squad for a Euro qualifier against Belgium, also on Wednesday.
‘Playing 90 minutes in a qualifying match will serve him much better than a 10-minute cameo role here,’ said Pearce.