Shearer backs Pearce for England job

Wayne Rooney is not concerned about the nationality of Sven-Goran Eriksson’s successor – but former England skipper Alan Shearer insists Stuart Pearce’s inexperience should not count against him if the Football Association choose a home-grown candidate.

As the most talked-about young player in the English game, Rooney is bound to be a key figure in the plans of the man who eventually gets the chance to replace Eriksson following this summer’s World Cup.

The list of favourites for the job is currently led by Martin O’Neill, while Guus Hiddink has also been strongly tipped, as have Pearce, Alan Curbishley and Sam Allardyce.

Although he is a huge patriot, Rooney’s experience of playing under Eriksson has been positive.

And after seeing how the Swede has brought his own personal skills to the job, the 20-year-old does not feel it has to be an Englishman who takes command next.

“It makes no difference whether the new manager is English or not,” he told MUTV.

“It is not my choice anyway, that is down to the FA. All I care about is they appoint the right man for the job.”

With no outstanding candidate, Pearce’s name has come to increasing prominence, even though the Manchester City boss still has less than 12 months’ experience in the management game.

The 43-year-old continues to insist he is a novice, who should not be considered, although he has also refused to rule himself out of the running and made it be known to FA chief executive Brian Barwick that he would be willing to hold discussions over the post.

As a former England team-mate of Pearce, Shearer knows exactly the qualities he would bring to the job. And he feels Pearce’s name should be under serious consideration.

“I do not see why Stuart’s lack of experience should count against him,” Shearer told BBC1’s Match of the Day programme.

“We have always gone down the experienced route, with people like Bobby Robson, Glenn Hoddle and Kevin Keegan, but we haven’t won anything.

“I think Stuart can do the job, so why not give it to him? It is a tough job - but I don’t know an easy one.”

According to Rooney, whoever is handed the responsibility of replacing Eriksson will have a tough act to follow.

As the man who handed him his debut, the Manchester United striker has plenty to thank the Swede for, although it could also be argued Rooney would have played for England by now no matter who was in charge.

Nevertheless, Rooney has plenty of respect and admiration for the Swede and cannot find fault with the work he has done.

“In my eyes, he is brilliant,” said Rooney.

“He gave me my chance with England. I really appreciate that and I am sad to see him go.

“I have a lot of admiration for him because of the way he works with and speaks to the players.

“England do have some good players but you always need a good coach or manager to bring you on, point out things about the opposition and make sure you are prepared properly.

“Sven has done that and I have really enjoyed playing under him.

“He has been put under a lot of pressure and it has been difficult for him at times but his record is a good one.

“He has taken us forward and hopefully we can go on and give him a really good send-off by winning the World Cup.”

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