The Caretakers – The England managers who didn’t hang around
It’s Stuart Pearce’s first game as caretaker manager of the national team and the omens aren’t great. Previous friendlies against World Cup runners-up have been largely miserable experiences for England, and the records of previous caretaker bosses are nothing to write home about either. So how does “Psycho” match up against his predecessors?
JOE MERCER (1976)
Joe lost seven seasons of his playing career to the Second World War, but still managed to win three titles (with Everton and Arsenal) and two FA Cups (also with Everton and Arsenal). He won five caps for England before the war, and played in 28 unofficial wartime internationals. He overcame a severe cartilage injury and was voted Footballer of the Year in 1950. As a manager he won the first ever League Cup with Aston Villa, but is best remembered for taking Manchester City from the second division to the League title, FA Cup, League Cup and European Cup-Winners’ Cup.
DISTINCTIVE FEATURE: His hat.
“OUR BOYS” FACTOR
Joe was a sergeant-major in the war.
Seven games. Three wins, three draws, one defeat.
Highlight: A 3-2 win against Italy on a baseball field in the slightly bizarre US Bicentennial Cup, which is here.