[unable to retrieve full-text content]
â€¢ Pearce appears to back Redknapp’s candidacy for England job
â€¢ Tottenham manager also likened to Clough and Ferguson
Stuart Pearce, the interim England coach, has spoken glowingly of Harry Redknapp’s credentials as an elite manager, comparing him with Brian Clough, Bill Shankly and Sir Alex Ferguson in what will be perceived as public backing for the favourite to take over the national team.
The current manager of the England Under-21s and prospective coach of Team GB at the London Olympics will oversee the seniors for Wednesday’s visit of Holland to Wembley. While Pearce has expressed a willingness to take the national team to the summer’s European Championship should the Football Association fail to appoint a full-time successor to Fabio Capello, the former Manchester City manager has stressed he is not ready to take on the role on a permanent basis.
The 49-year-old does hope to retain an involvement within the senior coaching staff in the future, combining that with his position with the Underâ€‘21s, and his praise of Redknapp indicated a desire to work with a manager under whom he played for two years at West Ham. “Harry has all the same traits as all good managers, if I’m being honest,” Pearce said. “I wouldn’t call him unique: Brian Clough had it; Bill Shankly had it; Sir Alex Ferguson’s got it. All the good managers who are successful have that ability to build their players up and give their players confidence. That’s why they’re successful.
“His man-management skills are outstanding, I must say. My first contact with Harry was when I was still at Newcastle as a player and I was looking to move clubs. He rang me a week before the start of the Premier League season â€“ with West Ham due to play Tottenham the next weekend, a massive game in that part of the world â€“ and, having not even signed me, said: ‘You’re playing on Saturday. Get yourself fit. The chairman’s sanctioned the move.’ He was always very supportive towards me and I enjoyed my time with him. The feedback you get from all the players is that they enjoy his management style and he makes everyone feel important.”
Pearce spoke with Sir Trevor Brooking, the FA’s head of football development and a member of the four-man Club England board, last year and stressed that he should not be considered as a potential replacement for Capello, who was always due to leave his position after Euro 2012. The caretaker manager would maintain that stance even if the Dutch, ranked third in the world, are defeated on Wednesday and would only oversee the squad in the summer as a last resort.
“It’s a job for a man with more experience,” Pearce said. “I’m gaining a great deal of experience, especially tournament experience, but when you strip it all down I’ve only managed a team on 160-odd occasions. If they came to me now and offered me the job, I would tell them exactly the same as I told them 10 months ago. I’ll support the man who’s going to come in and do the job. But it’s not for me.”
Pearce is expected to appoint Steven Gerrard as his captain for the fixture, the Liverpool midfielder having returned to the national setup for the first time since November 2010, yet the issue of who leads the team will only be formally addressed closer to kick-off. “I’ll probably wait to tell the captain until Tuesday or Wednesday,” Pearce said. “I’ll make that call then. I’ll let the group galvanise itself and follow it with my eyes and ears, seeing how the group is gelling together.”