After watching Team GB play last night, I am beyond convinced that Stuart Pearce is a below average coach. What he tried to do with the team was obvious enough and good on him for trying, but he failed himself by trying to force square pegs in round holes – by using players not ideally suited to the role. First mistake.
Also, it was clear that he and his coaching team knew nothing about the Senegalese team. Second mistake.
Third mistake is using Daniel Sturridge as point man. As good as Sturridge is, his game currently makes him no point man. He is too selfish and team unaware to be a point man. Better coaches at Chelsea realised this and stuck him on the right. In fact he lost his place at Chelsea when team play became main strategy.
Pearce is trying to get his team to play a high technical game. The technicality of most of the players he selected are not a high as the game he wants them to play. The more reason why he should have used them in manners that best suit their natural game.
Danny Rose plays better as a left-back that ghosts into attack catching his opponents unaware with his pace. By sticking him in left midfield, he lost the element of surprise his pace gave him and was almost violently marked out of the game. One of the players Pearce has that understands the kind of game he wants his team to play is Scott Sinclair. He was Swansea’s topman last season in the EPL. Scott and Rose on the left would cause havoc for any team. In fact this fact was displayed when TeamGB played Brazil before the Olympics started. How Pearce arrived at the decision that Rose was better than Scott in that role is beyond belief especially if one considers that Sinclair did it week in week out in the EPL for Swansea and Rose barely got game time for his club Spurs.
Pearce does not know more about football than Sir Alex Ferguson. If Pearce had studied the Senegalese then he would have realised that Giggs was never going to be a match for the physicality the Senegalese brought to the table. Giggs, besides the free kick for TeamGB’s goal, did nothing in the game. He consistently played passes that were too short to his team mates, most glaring the one that led to Bellamy almost losing his legs from a bad short pass and a savage tackle by the Senegalese left back. Giggs should be used as an impact substitute. Playing 90mins at full pressure is beyond his legs now, sadly.
If Pearce hopes to revitalise the chances of TeamGB – Men’s football, then he needs to change his team selection.
GK- Butland, LB- Rose, CB – Caulker, CB- Richards, RB- Bertrand, MF- Cleverley, MF- Allen, MF- Ramsey, FW- Sinclair, FW- Bellamy, FW- Sturridge.
Bellamy should be used as the point man. He has the experience, pace and skill to trouble any centre back pairing in the world. Bellamy also possesses the touch and temperament to bring other players into the game and be a team player. If Sturridge must be used, he should be stuck right where he starred for Chelsea at the beginning of last season. Pearce should stop with the blind faith of using Sturridge as the leading striker.