If there was an analogy for everything that is wrong with English football, you do not need to look much further than Stuart Pearce.

Remember this is the guy who missed a vital penalty for England, yet seemed to revel in the perverse notoriety it gave him. A man who epitomised the `bulldog spirit`, the `never say die` attitude that seems to so stir the media in this country so much that they miss the point by a mile. That point was put into focus this weekend in a great Euro final between Spain and Italy where two teams that could actually play football went head-to-head in an assembly of artistry that people like Pearce could only have dreamed existed in his Roy of the Rovers comics.

In a way, it is Pearce`s way of venting his frustration at his lack of ability that he made the spiteful decision to leave out David Beckham from the olympic football team. Instead, he picks a player in Richards who was not picked for the England Euro squad, then refused to be on the standby list and flew away on holiday in a fit of pique. In Beckham, Pearce sees everything that he could never achieve, but secretly wished that he could have been; successful, good looking, popular and talented. Above all, loved by the majority of the public for his dedication to football and his country.

Pearce may believe that ditching Beckham at the last moment will somehow ease the pain of the reality that he will never be as popular and loved as Beckham is all around the world. Unfortunately, all he has done is put the spotlight on an insignificant and bitter man, in charge of an insignificant competition. Essentially, all of Beckham's attractiveness makes Pearce realize how insignificant he really is.

Ticket sales for the England matches at the Olympic venues have flopped. The authorities will not forget that the author of their financial failure will be a man who given even the simplest of jobs that could have endeared him finally to the English public, chose spiteful petty revenge instead. The majority of England will probably not be watching the Olympic Games. Pearce, the Prince of Peurility will be cast into the wilderness of obscurity for good.

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