Date: 15th May 2007 at 9:51am
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Stuart Pearce believes he was treated like a caretaker manager during his two years as City boss.

‘Losing your job is all part of football management and I knew it would have to happen one day,’ Pearce told the Manchester Evening News.

‘I wasn’t taken aback, shocked or angered by the board’s decision. I am not naive or stupid. I felt we were going in the correct direction but needed some finance to drive the club forward.

‘The previous manager had around £50m to spend and if the club is taken over the next manager may have £50m to spend, so in that sense I feel as though I have been a caretaker with no money to spend, getting the books balanced whilst keeping the club in the Premiership. But I do not regret taking the job.

‘I feel City are not far away from becoming the top six side they want to be and nothing would give me greater pleasure than this time next year to see Richard Dunne climbing the steps at Wembley to lift a major domestic trophy or the side to qualify for Europe.’

What baffles myself is Pearce’s unwavering conviction that the club was moving forward.

Sure his side created a record for top flight football this season, but not really one the club would wish to be associated with.

His record in the transfer market speaks for itself and inspires no confidence that he would have been any better had he had £50 million to spend.

Tales of dressing room unrest have been proven to be correct and that in itself is not a sign of a club moving forward, indeed one of the players on whom Pearce staked his reputation, Joey Barton, criticised the direction of the club before deciding to ‘allegedly’ assault one of his team mates.

The last damning statistic is that the club have not moved forward in terms of league performance one iota. Pearce managed a near European finish in his first part season. That was with Keegan’s side. Since then he has dismantled that side and built a new team in his image. The team that Pearce created has struggled in both of his full seasons. Quite frankly the club wasn’t moving forward and Pearce had more support than most managers could expect to have.

His wasn’t a caretaker role; more a role that demanded more than he could give.

 

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