Great Britain’s Olympic football squad was last week widely reported to be finalised. The 18-man list is believed to include the likes of Tom Cleverley and Aaron Ramsey, while Ryan Giggs, Craig Bellamy and Micah Richards claim the three squad places allocated to players over 23.
Manager Stuart Pearce‘s decision-making has not been met with unanimous approval, however. Richards’s selection in particular has caused upheaval after his snubbing of a back-up slot at Euro 2012 – despite the fact that his versatility counters injuries to Kyle Walker and Chris Smalling.
…greeted with the most animosity.
But it is unquestionably the omission of a certain David Beckham that has inevitably been greeted with the most animosity. Beckham, for all his patriotism and imperious standing within the game, was overlooked by Pearce despite openly declaring his availability.
And while many support Pearce’s dropping of the 37 year-old, others hold the opinion that the talismanic figure should have been given the nod; especially ahead of Richards.
…provide enough merit…
Indeed, the majority of pro-Beckham arguments centre on reasons beyond the pitch. Many believe Beckham’s initial efforts in helping London obtain the Olympics provide enough merit for the inclusion of the LA Galaxy midfielder. Others have suggested that Beckham’s selection would attract publicity and boost ticket sales for an event that has thus far failed to capture the public’s imagination.
There has even been the notion that Pearce has denied Beckham a befitting end to an illustrious career simply to spite the FA. This suspicion comes following Pearce’s dropping from the England coaching staff during Euro 2012.
…lower-paced and less demanding…
But the fact remains that Pearce’s call remains justified when the objective of winning football matches, and ultimately medals, is taken into consideration. Beckham has now been playing in the lower-paced and less demanding MLS for five years, as opposed to the likes of Giggs and Bellamy who still turn out every week at their respective Premier League clubs.
And though Beckham’s set-piece supremacy and pinpoint crosses may suggest there should at least be a place for him on the bench, he has simply been deemed surplus to requirements. Now, the focus must turn to 15 players who provide hope for the future of British football and the three vastly experienced seniors that accompany them.
…vindicated football veteran…
As for Pearce, only time will tell whether he proves a vindicated football veteran or just a man whose pride came before the fall.