Why Pearce should run from the England job while he still can

England caretakers somehow fare even worse than the full-timers


Most appear to feel that Stuart Pearce isn’t worthy of his opportunity to audition for the England job against Holland on Wednesday, but I prefer to flip the argument around: surely nobody deserves the torment, even for only one game.

The position is after all cursed, and even the few the one who escaped without his reputation ruined over the last two decades, Terry ‘two wins in five competitive games’ Venables wouldn’t work at as high a level after departing as he did before.

Pearce might convince himself that this is just one match, a friendly in which victory shouldn’t be demanded, especially with several high-profile absentees, however history shows that it only takes one night as England manager to derail a career.

The two interim bosses in the last 37 years have both vacated the role without celebrating a win and never once looked like scaling the same heights since.

With Howard Wilkinson, that might have been understandable, as he was getting on and later made the disastrous decision to take charge of Sunderland during a period in which they would master the art of going down without a fight, a gift that they would then pass on to Derby.

However, the demise of Peter Taylor was more drastic and dramatic. His one heroic loss to Italy with a youthful team in 2000 is still fondly recalled 12 years on, and was the catalyst to David Beckham becoming permanent England captain.

Yet for all the pats on the back it earned him, it didn’t do much for his prospects, as he was sacked by Leicester within 12 months and within six years had sunk to non-league level, before kind of clawing his way back as Bahrain national team chief.

Given the dreadful recent record of England caretakers, and the fact that Holland are ranked third in the world, the visitors look pretty great value at 7/4. Click here to claim £50 worth of free bets with Ladbrokes.

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