September 10, 2012
You know when you reach a point with a certain person that nothing they can do is right? They’ve annoyed you so many times in the past that just the sight of their face sets you on edge and even if what they had to say was perfectly friendly, witty and articulate you’d still want slap that stupid face with the nearest lever arch file? Well that’s pretty much where I am with Stuart Pearce.
It doesn’t help that he’s got the face of that kid at school who the other kids like to wind up and wind up just to see what happens when they blow. Even in a perfectly calm press conference he looks like he’s at that point where he’s either going to burst into tears, try to bitch slap everyone in the classroom or pull down his pants and lay a turd on the teacher’s desk, raise one fist to the ceiling, shout ‘Turtle Power’ and run all the way home to his weird smelling flat where he lives with his nan.
What I’m saying is he annoys me. But never more than when he’s talking about Arsenal players. Yesterday he announced to the press that he was going to speak to Roy Hodgson about the possibility of borrowing Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain back from the senior squad in order to help out with the Under 21’s tricky fixture against Norway on Monday night.
Now I don’t have any particular problem with the way Stuart Pearce goes about coaching his sides. Admittedly I don’t especially understand what he’s ever done to warrant such a high profile job as England Under 21 coach aside from getting sacked after two years in charge of Manchester City but hey, what do I know? What does irritate me is his apparent lack of understanding of what the very point of his job is.
As Under 21 coach surely his job is to develop young English talent and get them ready for the senior side. Not to take players who have already established themselves at senior level AWAY from the senior set-up while at the same time denying a place to other up and coming youngsters. How is that helping England produce players capable of performing at major international tournaments?
What do you think Arsene Wenger would say if Terry Burton came up to him next week and said his Under 21 side had a couple of tricky fixtures coming up and would it be okay if he borrowed Oxlade for a couple of weeks? And come to think of it we’re allowed three overage players in the team too so I’d quite like Laurent Koscielny, Mikel Arteta and Santi Cazorla. He’d pause for a moment to contemplate how in the hell he’d managed to hire someone with so little understanding of their place at the club and boot him out the door. No one really cares if the kids win trophies. Sure, it’s nice and it’s a sign that we’ve got some real talent bubbling away waiting to make the step up but it wouldn’t mean diddly if the side was packed full of ringers.
In the event I doubt this story will have any meaning whatsoever. Pearce may well sit down and talk about the idea with Roy Hodgson at which point I’m pretty sure Roy will slowly and deliberately explain to ‘Psycho’ that Oxlade is important enough to him that he started for the seniors on Friday and that by the way, it’s more important that England qualify for the World Cup than the Under 21s qualify for the Under 21s European Championship. So this story won’t go any further than today and you could justifiably ask why I’m getting so wound up by it. And the only thing I can tell you is that I just don’t like Stuart Pearce.
Plus there’s not a great deal else to talk about.
The only other real news is that Gervinho apparently played well for Ivory Coast in their 4-2 win against Senegal, laying on two assists and scoring another. It shouldn’t really be big news that our £11 million signing managed to find the back of a net but there it is. That’s where we are. And it’s hopefully yet another sign that his confidence might be coming back after such a tricky second half to last season.
He’s competing for that left wing slot with Lukas Podolski this year, a man who doesn’t hesitate for a second in front of goal and seems to take a good percentage of the chances that come to him. I feel like that could push Gervinho either way. Either he takes his balls in his hand and finds a new level of mental strength in his desperation to compete…or he despairs of his chances of ever getting back in the team and shrinks into himself until he barely even exists anymore.
Hopefully it’s the former. Obviously.
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