Euros tougher to win than World Cup says Stuart Pearce
Friday 02 March 2012
Interim England boss Stuart Pearce has endorsed former manager Fabio Capello's theory that Euro 2012 will be harder to win than the World Cup.
Pearce presided over England's 3-2 defeat by Holland in Wednesday night's friendly at Wembley as caretaker coach.
Although it was the national team's last game before the end of the season, Pearce will continue going round the grounds checking on players, having already made minor tweaks to the Three Lions' planned build-up to the summer.
However, whether Pearce is in charge or Tottenham boss Harry Redknapp as expected, there is a sense that England are going to find it very hard to make an impact.
"The French are in there, Ukrainians on home soil and obviously the Swedes," Pearce said.
"The one thing a World Cup would probably throw up is a match against a lesser nation that would allow you to gather momentum by getting out of the group.
"In the Euros you have to hit the ground running. And make no mistake, with France in the first game we have got to be running very quickly."
And that statement was made without the knowledge that France, previous Wembley winners before Capello guided England through an unbeaten 2011, had just beaten Germany, whom many observers feel are a better bet to win the tournament than world and European champions Spain.
Holland are also bound to be in the hunt even though they seemed to spend most of Wednesday night's game in second gear, increasing the pace only when they felt like it.
Something all four heavyweights have in common is familiarity.
Only France changed coaches after the World Cup and Laurent Blanc has largely stuck by the same group of players he entrusted to lift Les Bleus after their shambolic campaign in South Africa.
The contrast with England could not be greater.
Just over three months from their first game England have no captain, no coach and - according to many - no hope of coming close to ending that long wait for a trophy.
Pearce refuses to see the present situation in such a negative light, though.
"It's not the message I am getting from the public," he said.
"They were a little bit excited by the team we put out [against Holland]. How they view and decode the performance is down to them.
"I will look at the performance when the dust settles.
"Over-expectation always follows the England team. Under-expectation as well.
"We have to handle that within the group."
Harry Potter actor suffered 'severe flu-like symptoms' on a flight from London to Orlando
First full-length look is finally here
World cities ranked in terms of safety, food security and 'liveability'
"Oink! Oink! Hee hee hee!" First interview with the big-screen star
Biohacking group hopes technology will lead people to think about even more dystopian uses
Latest in Sport
Brooklyn Beckham poses in Arsenal training kit following rumours of signing for the Gunners
Manchester United transfer news and rumours: David De Gea could leave for FREE; £38m for Marquinhos; £37m bid for Mats Hummels;
Transfer news LIVE: Manchester United to make £37m Mats Hummels bid; Inter plan Yaya Toure move; Shola Ameobi joins Crystal Palace
Australian Open 2015: Novak Djokovic vs Stan Wawrinka match preview
Danny Ings to Liverpool: The Reds attempt to steal a march on rivals in race to sign Burnley striker
- 2 The awkward moment Sarah Palin raised $25,000 for Hillary Clinton's election campaign
- 3 Ball pool for adults opens in London
- 4 Amal Clooney gives excellent response to fashion question at European Court of Human Rights
- 5 Baldness could soon be treated using stem cells, scientists hope