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Time To Inject Some Life Into The England Setup?
Footytubeblog (Blog) 3 years ago
It’s not just the manager of the England senior team that is under huge pressure to succeed. Stuart Pearce, England’s Under-21 coach, has come under criticism lately after his side lost their opening European Under-21 match to Italy. Lorenzo Insigne’s free kick was the difference between the two on the score sheet, but there was a bigger difference on the pitch.

Stuart Pearce admitted afterwards that his side were second best, but that wasn’t exactly difficult to spot. Despite Craig Dawson having a goal ruled out at a corner for an apparent, (also known as invisible), “infringement”, England never took a grip of the game. The young lions had just half the shots Italy did, as well as lower passing success rate and less possession. Stuart Pearce’s team were too impatient, and looked for the miracle pass too often, while their opponents were calm, creative, and waited for their chances.

Glenn Hoddle, who was a studio guest for Sky Sports during the match, wasn’t impressed with the display either, and launched a pretty cold, but honest, summary of England’s performance: “We struggled to pass the ball all night until perhaps the last 10 minutes, when the game got stretched and we went 1-0 down, and sometimes it is easier to play when you are 1-0 down as you have nothing to lose.

“I was disappointed with how we played long, we played too many long balls. We had no options on the ball and it is a concern it is running through to the national team.

“We have got to find players that can cope with the ball and be confident to take the ball even when they are marked. We haven’t got those types of players in there at the moment.”

Fair comments from the former England manager, who once managed Pearce at international level. But the public criticism from Hoddle led to one big question: Should he be in charge of the England Under-21s instead?

There must be some defence for Stuart Pearce to start with. He was without Wilfried Zaha and Callum McManaman due to injury, and Tom Ince because of suspension. With three of his key and most creative players missing, Pearce was already on the back foot coming into the game. He couldn’t call on Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Phil Jones, Jack Rodwell or Danny Welbeck either, as they were all with the senior team for their extremely important and vital friendlies against Ireland and Brazil. Instead of gaining tournament experience, the FA thought they would gain more from two meaningless matches instead. Jack Wilshere was also unavailable, however that was due to injury, although he too would most likely have been included in Roy Hodgson’s squad.

So Pearce was restricted in who he could select. That said, he still had a strong team on paper, with plenty of Premier League players included in the squad. But Wednesday night’s team weren’t playing the attractive football we have seen in England’s top-flight. Impatient, long-ball football was seen too often, which just gave possession back to the Italians. That could well be the fault of Stuart Pearce. The man who decides on the tactics beforehand, and instructs the players on how to play, the former left-back got his strategy all wrong.

It was all watched on by Hoddle, a man passionate about English football, and someone who arguably could bring the best out of the England side. Hoddle spent his managerial career getting his teams to pass the ball, keeping it on the floor, and trying to work on each player's technique. A creative midfielder as a player, he wanted to get every player at every team he managed to have the similar attributes that he once possessed, making them calm on the ball, and play creative, attacking football.
The FA built St. George’s Park, and clearly outlined it to be where the future of English football will come from. The centre’s website even claims:

“St. George's Park is also the home of FA Learning, The FA’s educational department. Through the delivery of national coach education courses, St. George’s Park will provide a platform for the communication of The Future Game philosophy, which outlines a vision for the development of English football.”

But it seems that the development and future of English football is being stopped with Pearce as Under-21 coach. We assume that the words “Future Game philosophy” means adapting a similar plan to the likes of Spain and Brazil, and teaching youngsters about technique and passing from an early age. But all that hard work then stops at Under-21 level, where Pearce’s old fashioned style of football undoes all of the work done before him.

Pearce’s tournament record at Under-21 level is a mixed bag. In 2007, his side lost on penalties to Holland in the semi-finals, while in 2009 he guided his team all the way to the final of the competition, only to be hammered by a Germany side that started Manuel Neuer, Jerome Boateng, Matts Hummels and Mesut Ozil. But then came embarrassment in 2011. England were eliminated in the group stages after failing to win any of their three matches. Despite a squad that consisted of Phil Jones, Chris Smalling, Kyle Walker, Tom Cleverley, Daniel Sturridge and Danny Welbeck, England could only scrape two points from their three matches, and were sent packing.

Incredibly, Pearce was then offered a new contract after England’s shocking exit from the tournament. A remarkable tournament result considering the strength of that squad, and now Pearce has started the 2013 tournament the way 2011 went. England again have a talented squad, but under Pearce’s management and tactics, seem to be struggling, just like the team did two years ago.

So surely England need change, and need a man who cares about England, to become the new coach of the future of the nation’s football? Glenn Hoddle is that man. Hoddle has even started his own football academy; with the intention of helping young, British players get a second chance at professional football, and continuing their development in the game. He has often shared his concerns about the amount of foreign players coming into the Premier League, and the effects it has on young British players.

Hoddle would be a breath of fresh air in the Under-21 set up. Pearce has done a good job in the past, but now is the time for a new manager, with new ideas to come in. There is no doubting Pearce’s passion for England too, but his tactics are just so wrong for playing a top nation like Italy. Hoddle, who plays flowing football along the ground, could turn England into champions for the first time since 1984.

Despite injuries and players being called up by Roy Hodgson, Stuart Pearce still had a good team in front of him. But he doesn’t know how to get them to play, or know how to play against top teams. But Hoddle could take his attitude towards football into the Under-21 side, and change everything. His tactical knowledge, and passion for improving players, is the next step forward for England.

It would be crazy to waste Hoddle’s understanding of the game in the TV studios, when he could be brought into the set up, and change the future of English football. The FA have made taken huge steps to improve the future by spending £105million on building St. George’s Park. So why waste all that money by having an old style manager, while Hoddle watches on in disappointment.

Written by Dan Eyre

This blog does not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of footytube or its partners.

Mt1234 (Bolton Wanderers) 3 years ago
Pearce pulled a Mourinho and insulted the players that came to the tournament by essentially saying "I wish I had the players that were on the senior squad". Idiot move. He deserves to be fired for that vote of no confidence
Northstream (Tottenham Hotspur) 3 years ago
Agree. Just too many excuses. I'm Norwegian and I still have to ask how the heck they manage to lose to a Norwegian team with players from Blackburn (only English team), some German and Austrian teams at similar level and Norwegian teams like Viking and Odd.... Not exactly world beaters.

A player like Jack Rodwell was available but unbelievably overlooked. Instead he travelled all the way to Brazil and got to play 7 (seven) minutes for the England senior team. He should have been playing 270 minutes with the U21.

Stuart Pearce is long overdue to be kicked out. The FA need to bring in someone like Glenn Hoddle and move on!
Coyb18 (Chelsea) 3 years ago
Play McEachran and Chalobah more    - unbiased fan
Honeybabymwah (Manchester United) 3 years ago
The players should work better than that. An awful lot of decades of winning absolutely nothing for National team with the players that England had, just not good enough for Country I'm afraid. They rather want to play more for their Club than Country. I cannot see why England won't win big if the player deliver top gear of Barclays Premier League style with a blithering pace in the game

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