Last season, when Stuart Pearce was being mentioned in the same breath as Martin O’Neill and Felipe Scolari, I was one of the unwitting few who thought Psycho would have actually made a good coach. He was English, he had a long and successful international career, he was not a big name boss but did have experience in coaching and management and he was the underdog.
He wasn’t the safe and boring choice though, nor did Manchester City’s results keep up with the first half of the season. City floundered, so did Pearce’s chances and the FA picked McClaren over O’Neill (and everything for England went downhill after that).
Now though, Pearce is getting involved at the right level – the Under-21 tournament in the summer will give him an excellent shot at making a name for himself, and if I’m not mistaken, it’s a stepping stone for picking up the Under-21 tab permanently in the future.
Plenty of people have worried that the manager won’t be able to concentrate fully on Man City’s league challenge. Richard Williams is worried about England’s youth development suffering with the part-time appointment symptomatic of an apathetic attitude towards young talent. Both concerns are justified.
Ideally, Pearce should be (like Peter Taylor should have been) appointed as the Under-21 manager fulltime. Nothing against Manchester City, but I’m an England fan too and I’d like to see the current crop of young England players developing into a team that can realistically challenge for honours in 2010 and beyond.
That won’t happen unless the English FA makes the appointment full-time and gets serious about youth development in England (yes, I know that this is a bandwagon everyone likes to hop on when bashing the management, but excuse me just this once 🙂 )
Manchester City? They should start looking for a new manager.