Capello applauds Pearce decision to drop Walcott

England boss Fabio Capello was on the phone congratulating Stuart Pearce after he dropped Theo Walcott but still sealed a place in the European Under-21 Championship semi-finals.

Walcott was on the bench at Gothenburg's Gamla Ullevi but came on after an hour and set up James Milner's goal in the 2-0 win against the highly-rated Spanish.

Capello then spoke to Pearce to congratulate him on reaching the last four after what proved to be a bold decision on leaving out Walcott.

"He just said congratulations, just watched the game and he's pleased as punch with the result, and obviously I'll feed that back to the players," Pearce said.

"They're the eyes of the man they want on them. Yes, me as their manager, but they want Mr Capello's eyes on them and see that gutsy performance.

"Credit to them and a lot of our players will have done themselves a lot of credit and that's what this tournament is all about."

Pearce admitted Walcott was disappointed when he named the team and got the news that his quiet 45 minutes in the win over Finland was not good enough for him to keep his place.

Adam Johnson was picked ahead of him and Pearce's message was that Walcott would not get special treatment because he is established in Capello's squad.

"I've only ever treated everyone equally," Pearce said. "People get in and out of the team on merit and that has happened this time.

"I didn't speak to him before, the team went on the board and Theo took it like any member of the staff would take it. He was disappointed but when he came on he put a performance on, going forward and helping by tracking back."

England went into the break goalless after Milner had a penalty saved. Walcott came on after 62 minutes and Fraizer Campbell opened the scoring shortly after, with Milner sealing the victory by thumping home Walcott's cross.

Milner received a yellow card that rules him out of the game against Germany next week, although England will be in the semi-finals even if they lose.

"I said before we left that Theo would be treated the same as the other 22 in the squad," Pearce said. "What I do ask for is a reaction if they do get left out.

"You saw what he was about as a man and a player. He reacted the way I thought he would."

Micah Richards was named man of the match but he admitted the award should have gone to Fabrice Muamba for anchoring the midfield.

"That was as good a performance as you'll see," Pearce said. "We wouldn't have won without him."

Richards added: "They found it very hard to break us down because of Fabrice.

"Credit to Theo, when he came on he change the game and set up a goal."

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Sport
Ray Whelan was arrested earlier this week
Arts and Entertainment
In a minor key: Keira Knightley in the lightweight 'Begin Again'
film
Arts and Entertainment
Celebrated children’s author Allan Ahlberg, best known for Each Peach Pear Plum
books
News
peopleIndian actress known as the 'Grand Old Lady of Bollywood' was 102
News
Wayne’s estate faces a claim for alleged copyright breaches
peopleJohn Wayne's heirs duke it out with university over use of the late film star's nickname
Caption competition
Caption competition

Bleacher Report

Daily World Cup Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Career Services

Day In a Page

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting
Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

In the final part of our series, Chris Green arrives in Glasgow - a host city struggling to keep the politics out of its celebration of sport
Out in the cold: A writer spends a night on the streets and hears the stories of the homeless

A writer spends a night on the streets

Rough sleepers - the homeless, the destitute and the drunk - exist in every city. Will Nicoll meets those whose luck has run out
Striking new stations, high-speed links and (whisper it) better services - the UK's railways are entering a new golden age

UK's railways are entering a new golden age

New stations are opening across the country and our railways appear to be entering an era not seen in Britain since the early 1950s
Conchita Wurst becomes a 'bride' on the Paris catwalk - and proves there is life after Eurovision

Conchita becomes a 'bride' on Paris catwalk

Alexander Fury salutes the Eurovision Song Contest winner's latest triumph
Pétanque World Championship in Marseilles hit by

Pétanque 'world cup' hit by death threats

This year's most acrimonious sporting event took place in France, not Brazil. How did pétanque get so passionate?
Whelks are healthy, versatile and sustainable - so why did we stop eating them in the UK?

Why did we stop eating whelks?

Whelks were the Victorian equivalent of the donor kebab and our stocks are abundant. So why do we now export them all to the Far East?
10 best women's sunglasses

In the shade: 10 best women's sunglasses

From luxury bespoke eyewear to fun festival sunnies, we round up the shades to be seen in this summer
Germany vs Argentina World Cup 2014: Lionel Messi? Javier Mascherano is key for Argentina...

World Cup final: Messi? Mascherano is key for Argentina...

No 10 is always centre of attention but Barça team-mate is just as crucial to finalists’ hopes
Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer knows she needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

18-year-old says this month’s Commonwealth Games are a key staging post in her career before time slips away
The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

A future Palestine state will have no borders and be an enclave within Israel, surrounded on all sides by Israeli-held territory, says Robert Fisk
A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: The German people demand an end to the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

The German people demand an end to the fighting
New play by Oscar Wilde's grandson reveals what the Irish wit said at his trials

New play reveals what Oscar Wilde said at trials

For a century, what Wilde actually said at his trials was a mystery. But the recent discovery of shorthand notes changed that. Now his grandson Merlin Holland has turned them into a play
Can scientists save the world's sea life from

Can scientists save our sea life?

By the end of the century, the only living things left in our oceans could be plankton and jellyfish. Alex Renton meets the scientists who are trying to turn the tide
Richard III, Trafalgar Studios, review: Martin Freeman gives highly intelligent performance

Richard III review

Martin Freeman’s psychotic monarch is big on mockery but wanting in malice