Pearce to get two-year deal – even if the kids crash out
Friday 17 June 2011
The Football Association is set to announce a two-year extension to Stuart Pearce's contract immediately after the European Under-21 Championship even if the England team are eliminated at the group stage on Sunday in Denmark.
However, it has yet to agree a deal with him to coach Great Britain's team at the 2012 Olympics. Pearce has previously called on his employers and the British Olympic Association to make a swift decision for next year's Games in London. He remains the first choice of the FA to be in charge of the team, which is likely to include many of his England Under-21 players.
Sir Trevor Brooking, the FA's director of football development, said yesterday: "He's been involved in the last four years and that age group will be there, and we want to keep that continuity going."
England need victory against the Czech Republic on Sunday after draws against Spain and Ukraine where they have appeared in need of Jack Wilshere, who missed the tournament to rest. Brooking feels the Arsenal midfielder's absence illustrates a wider problem. "Jack could have made the difference in all our teams – Under-19s, Under-21s and seniors," he said. "But we shouldn't be looking at one Jack.
"The reason we're talking about his 'red zone' and tiredness is that we only have one Jack. We should have more than that. Against Ukraine in the first 15 minutes there were many opportunities to knock it between people but we tend to play safe. And that is what you have to encourage earlier in development, encourage kids to make mistakes. It doesn't matter about losing five games in a row, just play that way.
"It is something we have to transform in academies. You have to be doing those things at 12 and 13 and one of the key areas is playing in-between opposing players, looking forward or diagonally."
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