Will Tidey - Stuart Pearce represents the future for England
Published: 09 Sep 2010 - 07:02:14
How do you affect real change and progress in football? Turn to a proven leader whose dog-eared footballing glossary is a product of decades in the game? Or entrust the future on a younger man who'll stick around to see it through?
That is the big question facing the FA after Euro 2012, and for the sake of the nation's sanity let's hope the suits finally get it right.
If we truly want a revolution, this is not the time to revisit the past with Glenn Hoddle or Steve McClaren. And Harry Redknapp, while a tenacious and highly adaptable club manager, is hardly a visionary - and will be 65 by the time Fabio Capello hangs up his spectacles.
- Capello to quit England after Euro 2012
So to will Roy Hodgson, arguably the most viable of English options from the ranks of working club managers. Hodgson has international pedigree, and would be the thinking man's choice, but is he really the man the cleanse England's fear factor?
As for Sam Allardyce, that one's a joke surely. And having remained invisible to England for the entirity of his playing career, Steve Bruce seems unlikely to be plucked from the Stadium of Light and handed the keys to a castle he's never seen.
All of which leads us to England's Under-21 coach, and in my opinion the only man worth considering in 2012, Stuart Pearce.
The 48-year-old has nurtured and inspired England's next generation, lead them to a semi-final and final in consecutive tournaments and promoted a brand of football that has proved as effective as it has exciting.
Nobody knows England's potential class of 2014 like Pearce. And it's hard to imagine a greater motivational figure in the English ranks than a man who stepped out for England 78 times and never once wilted in the spotlight.
Euro 96. Penalty shoot-out against Spain. You know the rest.
Also in Psycho's favour is the fact he's been living on international time for three years, and has an inside perspective on what needs fixing. They'll be no period of adjustment, and no awkwardness is his relationships with players old and new.
But the biggest incentive for appointing Pearce in 2012 is the fact he could potentially steer England all the way to what should be our home finals in 2018.
This would not be about a £6 million contract, and there would be no looming appointment with retirement. Pearce, as he showed as a player, would be in for the long haul.
If the FA really are serious about planning for the future, and committed to going English, Pearce is the only choice.
- FOOTBALL.CO.UK BLOGGER:Will Tidey
- Will Tidey writes on sport for CNN, Eurosport-Yahoo! and Bleacher Report, amongst others. His first book, 'Life with Sir Alex', an account of Sir Alex Ferguson's 25-year reign at Manchester United, is set for release in October this year. Pre-order it now at http://tinyurl.com/6xzl62b. And follow Will on Twitter here - www.twitter.com/willtidey
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