Pearce: 'I see Capello and feel inept'

England Under-21 manager to extend contract but says talk of top job is premature

Stuart Pearce is happy to commit himself to a new two-year contract with the Football Association in the belief that he would not be ready to take over as England manager should Fabio Capello walk away after next summer's World Cup finals. Further progress for Pearce's Under-21s at the European Championship – going into tonight's group match with Germany in Halmstad, they are already assured of a semi-final place – would enhance his credentials, but he confessed yesterday that compared to Capello he is "inept" and well short of the required experience.

Pearce used a racing analogy to make his point: "I'm a manager that has been in control of a team for maybe 150 matches over a four-year period. That is ridiculously lightly raced as a manager. Very lightly experienced. I've got a long-term plan that I keep to myself. The one thing I can tell you is that today I haven't got enough experience by any means. The England manager's job is the pinnacle of anyone's career. When I look at Fabio every day and watch him work, I realise how inept I am as a manager."

Sacked after two mixed seasons with Manchester City, the 47-year-old Pearce originally became England's Under-21 coach on a part-time basis and was confirmed as the first full-time manager after leading the team to the last four of the European Championship two years ago.

He has always hated the tendency to judge managers on a short-term basis. "It's how fickle we are in football," he said, "that maybe two years ago as Manchester City manager I was written off. Two years down the line I'm written back on again. If I lose the semi-final I'll be written back off again."

At least Pearce will not face another losing semi-final against Germany, who caused him heartbreak in penalty shoot-outs at that stage of the 1990 World Cup finals and Euro '96. On both occasions England would have been strongly fancied to win the final. "It never mellows," he said of those memories. "I think about those games because I draw experience from them. I think about it to learn lessons to pass on to these young players, what the pressure was like from those defeats and the importance of the penalty shoot-out."

Having won plaudits for his firm handling of Theo Walcott, who was substituted against Finland, dropped and then brought on to change the game against Spain, Pearce faces another test today in picking a team to avoid defeat while not risking unnecessary suspensions and injuries ahead of Friday's semi-final.

Gabriel Agbonlahor and Micah Richards are not fully fit and also are one yellow card away from a ban. So is the goalkeeper Joe Hart, whose inexperienced deputy Joe Lewis of Peterborough would benefit from a game.

England (4-1-2-3, probable): Lewis (Peterborough); Cranie (Portsmouth), Mancienne (Chelsea), Onuoha (Manchester City), Taylor (Middlesbrough); Muamba (Bolton); Cattermole (Wigan), Noble (West Ham); Walcott (Arsenal), Campbell (Manchester United), Johnson (Middlesbrough).

Germany (4-4-1-1, probable): Neuer (Schalke); Beck (Hoffenheim), Hoewedes (Schalke), Boateng (Hamburg), Schmelzer (Borussia Dortmund); Castro (Bayer Leverkusen), Khedira (Vfb Stuttgart, Aogo (Hamburg), Marin (Moenchengladbach); Ozil (Werder Bremen); Dejagah (Wolfsburg).

Remember the name: Andreas Beck, Hoffenheim and Germany



Sir Trevor Brooking is among those who have admired the attacking right-back in Germany's opening two games. Born in Russia, he had two seasons with Vfb Stuttgart before moving last summer to Hoffenheim, the newly promoted little club side who shocked German football last season by leading the Bundesliga before finishing seventh. Already a full international.

Arts and Entertainment
The eyes have it: Kate Bush
music
Arts and Entertainment
booksNovelist takes aim at Orwell's rules for writing plain English
Arts and Entertainment
Al Pacino in ‘The Humbling’, as an ageing actor
filmHam among the brilliance as actor premieres two films at festival
News
Fifi Trixibelle Geldof with her mother, Paula Yates, in 1985
people
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Sport
Mario Balotelli in action during his Liverpool debut
football ...but he can't get on the scoresheet in impressive debut
Environment
Pigeons have been found with traces of cocaine and painkillers in their system
environmentCan species be 'de-extincted'?
Arts and Entertainment
booksExclusive extract from Howard Jacobson’s acclaimed new novel
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
A Pilgrim’s Progress is described by its publisher as “the one-and-only definitive record” of David Hockney's life and works
people
Sport
Loic Remy signs for Chelsea
footballBlues wrap up deal on the eve of the transfer window
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Art
Arts and Entertainment
Elizabeth McGovern as Cora, Countess of Grantham and Richard E Grant as Simon Bricker
TV
Life and Style
Instagram daredevils get thousands of followers
techMeet the daredevil photographers redefining urban exploration with death-defying stunts
Arts and Entertainment
Diana Beard, nicknamed by the press as 'Dirty Diana'
TVDaughter says contestant was manipulated 'to boost ratings'
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Alexander Fury: The designer names to look for at fashion week this season

The big names to look for this fashion week

This week, designers begin to show their spring 2015 collections in New York
Will Self: 'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

Will Self takes aim at Orwell's rules for writing plain English
Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Toy guns proving a popular diversion in a country flooded with the real thing
Al Pacino wows Venice

Al Pacino wows Venice

Ham among the brilliance as actor premieres two films at festival
Neil Lawson Baker interview: ‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.

Neil Lawson Baker interview

‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.
The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

Wife of President Robert Mugabe appears to have her sights set on succeeding her husband
The model of a gadget launch: Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed

The model for a gadget launch

Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed
Alice Roberts: She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

Alice Roberts talks about her new book on evolution - and why her early TV work drew flak from (mostly male) colleagues
Get well soon, Joan Rivers - an inspiration, whether she likes it or not

Get well soon, Joan Rivers

She is awful. But she's also wonderful, not in spite of but because of the fact she's forever saying appalling things, argues Ellen E Jones
Doctor Who Into the Dalek review: A classic sci-fi adventure with all the spectacle of a blockbuster

A fresh take on an old foe

Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering
Fashion walks away from the celebrity runway show

Fashion walks away from the celebrity runway show

As the collections start, fashion editor Alexander Fury finds video and the internet are proving more attractive
Meet the stars of TV's Wolf Hall... and it's not the cast of the Tudor trilogy

Meet the stars of TV's Wolf Hall...

... and it's not the cast of the Tudor trilogy
Weekend at the Asylum: Europe's biggest steampunk convention heads to Lincoln

Europe's biggest steampunk convention

Jake Wallis Simons discovers how Victorian ray guns and the martial art of biscuit dunking are precisely what the 21st century needs
Don't swallow the tripe – a user's guide to weasel words

Don't swallow the tripe – a user's guide to weasel words

Lying is dangerous and unnecessary. A new book explains the strategies needed to avoid it. John Rentoul on the art of 'uncommunication'
Daddy, who was Richard Attenborough? Was the beloved thespian the last of the cross-generation stars?

Daddy, who was Richard Attenborough?

The atomisation of culture means that few of those we regard as stars are universally loved any more, says DJ Taylor