Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Stuart Pearce - a decent bloke in the wrong job?

Now I don't like Man City, I'll make that plain, but I do have a tinge of sympathy for Stuart Pearce who was sacked by the club yesterday. Here's why. Everyone knows how poor City have been this season, their home record has been one to forgot, and it's well documented so there's no need to paint the picture of gloom, though many a visiting keeper could have filled in their free time sketching, so under employed have they been.

From the outside looking in Pearce seems like a decent bloke who might even be too soft to be a top manager. I'll qualify that. As a player he was hard as nails, he took no shit off anyone, he was a leader too. As a manager Pearce took a hard line on certain issues, take for example the Ben Thatcher elbow on Pedro Mendes. City didn't wait for the FA to act, the manager blasted the defender and then he was banned for six games. Highly commendable stuff. However at the same time Joey Barton and one or two others were publicly criticising fellow team-mates, this was a recipe for dressing tensions and unrest and Pearce should have acted to stop it. It didn't stop and most recently Barton said he wouldn't pay to watch City...clearly there was man management issues at the club.

As I understand it Pearce didnt have a proper long term contract, he made it very easy for the club to sack him. Whatever his faults, he seems like a decent bloke who speaks from the heart and one who cared passionately about his job, that much was clear, his all too often contorted face during the game was visual confirmation of that.

On the timing of his exit. We can view this several ways, it could be that the club are doing the dirty work on behalf of the new ownership regime, or it could be that the current owners were not willing to invest any more cash as they'd lost all faith in the manager. Whatever the reasons Pearce will have learnt some harsh lessons and in my opinion in future, if he's got any sense I think he should stick to being an assistant.

On a different tack, it just shows you how completely and utterly clueless some of the British press are, it wasn't long ago that some of these clowns were touting Pearce for the England manager's job.

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