Euro 2012 - Paper Round: Pearce attacked already

Fri, 10 Feb 08:49:00 2012

Less than 24 hours after being named caretaker manager of England, Stuart Pearce got a taste about just how unforgiving the British press can be.

The Sun front page 10/02/2012 - 0

The Sun's front page story reads "England in race storm No. 2" as they dig up a story from 18 years ago when Pearce was forced to apologise for allegedly racially abusing Paul Ince during a match in 1994.

The paper also seems to take relish in pointing out that: "Pearce's brother Dennis is a member of the ultra-Right British National Party, for whom he has stood as a Parliamentary candidate" – although what that has to do with anything we can't quite gather; as the old saying goes: "you can choose your friends but you can't choose your family."

The Daily Mail also runs the story on its back page, albeit with a slightly less aggressive tone, saying the FA have been "accused of hypocrisy over racism when they unveiled Stuart Pearce as temporary successor."

The story is even referenced in some of the quality papers with the Times' piece prominent within their sports section under the headline "Pearce's role raises new race questions."

Fabio Capello of course resigned his position following the FA decision to remove the England team captaincy fromJohn Terryafter theChelseadefender's trial for allegedly racially abusingQueens Park Rangers' defenderAnton Ferdinandwas adjourned until July.

Pearce is currently second favourite with the bookmakers to be named permanent England manager after odds-on favourite Tottenham boss Harry Redknapp.

What Redknapp makes of the tabloids attacking Pearce in such a manner remains to be seen.

The Tottenham manager's lawyers were certainly unhappy with the prosecution in his recent tax evasion trial for relying so much on information gathered by the tabloids and Redknapp will no doubt consider whether he wants the extra media scrutiny that taking the England job would undoubtedly bring.

It certainly is looking like he will be offered the job though, with pretty much all the papers agreeing that the FA has pencilled Redknapp in as its number choice in the next few days.

He can expect a salary of between 4m to 5m-a-year depending on which paper you read, and the FA may even allow him to stay as Tottenham manager and just take the job on for the European Championships if they cannot land him full-time. Such a temporary set-up is believed to be attractive to Redknapp, according to Henry Winter in the Daily Telegraph.

Redknapp favourite

As for what happens to Capello, well the Sun says that "last night (he) emerged as a shock contender to replace Andre Villas-Boas at Chelsea."

The paper says: "there is spiralling speculation at Stamford Bridge that the former AC Milan and Real Madrid boss is about to be installed as Blues' eighth boss in eight years.

A Chelsea source told the paper: "There are strong rumours that Capello is coming and it could be sooner rather than later."

Away from the England circus, and Real Madrid are ready to make the first move for Arsenal captain Robin van Persie. Influential Spanish paper Marca says Real coach Jose Mourinho tried to sign van Persie while in charge at previous club Inter Milan, and the Bernabeu giants will still go for him even if the ex-Chelsea boss leaves, as has been reported, this summer. (Daily Mirror)

Tottenham have opened talks with Ledley King over a new contract but the injury-prone centre-half, 31, will reject a pay-as-you-play deal. (Daily Mail)

Valencia want Manchester City full back Pablo Zabaleta, 27. Valencia are likely to lose defenders Jorge Alba, Miguel and Antonio Barragan in the summer. (Daily Mail)

Paul Pogba's agent watched Juventus beat AC Milan 2-1 in the first leg of the Coppa Italia semi-final on Wednesday, amid growing claims in Italy that the Manchester United midfielder will head for Turin when his contract expires at the end of the season. (Daily Mail)

Finally, Chris Samba is holding Blackburn to ransom by insisting: I'll play for you again... but only if you put a get-out clause in my contract. (The Sun)

England without coach


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