England Under-21 coach Stuart Pearce subbed himself out for veteran goalkeeper David James when facing the press after last night’s 1-0 defeat to Israel, it has been done gone witnessed and whatnot.
The result, ouch, left Pearce’s young [obviously] side bottom of their European Championship group without a single point or even goal from open play, a state of affairs that the national media were frightfully keen to quiz him about during that post-match interview thing that managers have to do.
Speaking exclusively to everyone present, an evidently frustrated Pearce declared the defeat to be on his players’ heads, because he’d told them to do lots of slide tackles and show lots of passion and that but would they listen? Would they a*** burgers.
He snarled: “I don’t honestly see why I should be defending the players, let them come out here and defend themselves.
“We’ve been beaten three times – the players have to take that on the chin. I’m not coming out here and defending anyone, I’m sick to the back teeth of doing that in this tournament.
“In fact, you know what, let’s get David James to do it. David, you’re up!”
Pearce then shuffled off to take a seat in the front row as a bemused-looking James came and took his place.
James said: “Er…so, any questions?”
All hands shot straight up, including that of Pearce’s.
James said: “Er…yes, Stuart?”
Pearce said: “Don’t you think the players should come out and defend themselves?”
James said: “Hmmm. Next question?”
It just went on like that, although James did win a penalty when a member of the assembled press drank from his glass of water by mistake.
Speaking exclusively to Football Burp at the urinals just afterwards, James mentioned that he was playing for some Icelandic team now at the ripe old age of 42.
Football Burp said: “Go on, google it.”