To take the eye away from Forest briefly, it can hardly have failed to grab your attention that Forest legend Stuart Pearce takes charge of his first England under 21 game today. Spain are the opponents, just as they were on that cathartic day when Psycho took his first post-Italia 90 penalty during the Euro 96 tournament – and it’s hosted just down the road at the theatre of sheep.
With tickets only £10 for adults and £5 for concessions I was quite tempted to pop down, but have decided against it – but I’m sure there will be plenty of well-wishers from Nottingham making the short journey down Brian Clough Way to cheer him on. So far he’s only had one training session – which was yesterday – and then will be literally chucked in at the deep end when the game kicks off at 8:00pm this evening.
The U21s have already qualified for the European Under-21 Championship – and Pearce has already gone on record as saying he won’t be tinkering too much with the formation that delivered former coach Peter Taylor eight goals in four qualifying games. In typically candid fashion he said “The squad and the ability within the squad lends itself to keeping on going the way they have been. It would be foolish of me to come in and try to drastically change things.”
Pearce has three games before the tournament to familiarise himself with his squad and ensure they all get some playing time. Certainly for me it’s reignited (well, okay, ignited!) my interest in the under-21s – I vaguely kept tabs on them when the clueless bastard David Platt moved into the role (although I’m thankful he did, as it prised his grubby mits off my beloved Forest) mainly to see the predicted downfall – but certainly I can’t imagine anybody reading this will want to wish Pearcey anything but the very best.
Psycho! Psycho! Psycho!