KEIR RADNEDGE in JERUSALEM: Just as the UEFA Under-21 finals were reaching their climax so England’s doomed campaign hit the final buffers with the end of Stuart Pearce’s six-year reign.
England had a disastrous time of it in Israel, finishing bottom of their group after losing all three games including the last by 1-0 against their surprised and delighted hosts. England scored only one goal in Israel and even that was a penalty.
Pearce, former Manchester City boss, had made no secret of his wish to continue but the Football Association had other ideas and a contract which expires at the end of this month will not renewed.
Gareth Southgate and Peter Taylor have both been linked with the job.
The competition was Pearce’s fourth finals. In 2007 Englanbd lost 13-12 on penalties in the semi-finals to Holland; in 2009, they finished runners-up after losing 4-0 to Germany in Malmo; and they fell in the group stage in 2011 in Denmark.
In a statement, FA chairman David Bernstein said: “I’d like to thank Stuart Pearce for his hard work. Nobody can doubt his commitment to the job throughout his time as U21 coach.
“He has done extremely well in qualifying for finals tournaments, but after the disappointment of the past two tournaments, we believe it is time to change coach.”