Tomorrow afternoon, Stuart Pearce will announce his Great Britain squad for the London Olympics 2012 football tournament. It is understood that David Beckham will not be part of the final 18 with the three over-23 candidates likely to be England’s Micah Richards and Wales duo Ryan Giggs and Craig Bellamy.
Whilst the inclusion of Micah Richards was inevitable considering he was wrongly left out of the Euro 2012 squad by Roy Hodgson, the all-but-confirmed absence of David Beckham is, in my mind, baffling.
“Everyone knows how much playing for my country has always meant to me.
“So I would have been honoured to have been part of this unique Team GB squad.
“Naturally I am very disappointed, but there will be no bigger supporter of the team than me. And like everyone, I will be hoping they can win the gold,” said David Beckham.
Ryan Giggs believes Pearce has made the move in order to “go for gold” but surely Beckham would have brought more to the team than most, considering he is a man with a wealth of experience and, evidently, still a desire and hunger to succeed in football, combined with an ability to do so despite being 37.
This was a text book curler from David that he scored in the MLS against the San Jose Earthquakes only yesterday. David Beckham still has it. His passion for the game is still vibrant to all that watch him play. He is a figurehead in the sport both domestically and internationally and the inclusion of him in the squad would of given it an instant boost to start with.
I don’t think Pearce will be able to vindicate his move to leave Beckham out of the Olympics that will be played on the doorstep of his birthplace in East London.
Roy Hodgson found himself in a similar scenario when he chose to leave Rio Ferdinand behind and take John Terry to Euro 2012, considering that Rio had the better season in the Premier League and the impending case that hung over John’s head. However, I think he made the right move. John Terry and Steven Gerrard were our two best performers in that tournament and they gave everything. Sure, Rio Ferdinand might have done a job equal to that but Terry did impress me with his body-on-the-line performances that he gave every game.
However, Stuart Pearce has shot himself in the foot by not including Beckham. He is seemingly set to choose Craig Bellamy and Ryan Giggs as his other two over-23 players. Ryan Giggs was almost a dead cert with his general fitness and attitude to the game so it seems a toss up between Craig Bellamy and David Beckham was found in the Welshman’s favour.
Nobody has done more for the face of English football in the past decade than David Beckham. Fact. He has been an ambassador for the game and an ambassador for the Olympics. His global recognition, only superseded by his love for the game, is richly deserved and I have always loved seeing Beckham in an England shirt.
Lord Seb Coe has said that he will find an alternative role for Beckham but it will be a bitter sweet affair. I feel that the Great Britain football squad was always in an uphill struggle to go for gold with Brazil boasting a starting up including Neymar, Ganso, Hulk, Thiago Silva et al. However hard a task it was going to be from the outset, I think Stuart Pearce has made it infinitely harder by not including the man who helped make it all happen in the first place.