Julian Finney/Getty Images
Team GB’s Olympic football campaign attracted little more than peripheral interest from the host nation’s population; indeed, you could argue the women’s team got the better end of coverage.
The apathy surrounding a Team GB squad, which included the legendary figure of Ryan Giggs, left Pearce in a no-win situation.
If his men won the tournament it is doubtful that home nation fans would have been particularly jubilant; track, field, swimming, cycling and rowing have been dominating the headlines this summer, even tennis has proven itself to be more popular.
Such lack in expectation, however, does not mean that Pearce didn’t fail as a manager.
Psycho picked a squad with little attacking threat; Daniel Sturridge had served as a winger for Chelsea during last season’s league campaign, and Marvin Sordell could not make it into a misfiring Bolton team.
At the back GB were woeful, especially in the heart of defence. James Tomkins’ positioning was poor and the nation’s best right back was forced to play alongside him in order to allow Ryan Bertrand, a left back, to occupy his role.
Steven Caulker looked largely solid but his concentration needs to improve; the Tottenham academy graduate was outclassed by Luis Suarez against Uruguay and played a helping hand in allowing the UAE to equalise in Game 2.
The midfield held onto the ball well, but they were unable to get the ball up the pitch enough. The team were overly reliant on Bellamy to bridge the gap between midfield and attack; a vulnerability Pearce took too long to respond to.
What’s more, there was no sign of the passion that made
Despite these weaknesses, it seems that the former England left back has won over the support of his players.
Daniel Sturridge commented: “He’s known me since I was a young player,’’ said Sturridge. “He gave me my debut at Man City. He gave me my Under-21 debut. He gave me my England debut (against Holland in February). I can’t thank him enough.
"On a collective level he gets the boys going. “If you don’t have a manager like that it’s going to be difficult to get yourself going on the pitch. He says the right things for the boys. He says the right things for individuals. He is fantastic to work with.’’ (The Telegraph)
Despite such praise, questions remain about the FA will do with him next…