The 18-man Great Britain squad for the Olympics has been announced and, as we now know, Stuart Pearce has left David Beckham out of his three over-age picks from the 18 man squad. There will be five Welsh players joining 13 English players.
With Craig Bellamy, Ryan Giggs and Micah Richards named as the over-age players it appeared that the choice came down to a straight battle between Ryan Giggs and his former United team mate David Beckham. Pearce appears to have gone for the player who has been playing at a high standard for a Premier League side which almost clinched the title last season rather than a player who has been playing in America in a team which has been struggling for consistency this season.
It’s sad that Beckham wasn’t selected but the hard facts suggest that Giggs would be the better pick on recent form although there will be a faction of football fans who will say that Beckham should have got a chance thanks to his work for the Olympic bid and perhaps the chance to have a swan-song at Old Trafford. Let’s also not forget that the Olympics would represent a first chance at tournament football for the Welsh contingent though.
Hopefully Pearce will be able to vindicate his explanation of his decision (“for footballing reasons”) with a gold medal in a few weeks.
A recent concern over the fitness of Chelsea’s Daniel Sturridge has seen the former Manchester City striker tested for suspected meningitis but if the pacy frontman was ruled out of the tournament Pearce would presumably turn to his standby list which is believed to include Scotland and Huddersfield Town striker Jordan Rhodes who was the top scorer in the Football League last season.
Speculation has suggested that the lack of young picks from Scotland or Northern Ireland has been due to the reluctance of their respective FAs to sanction the selection of their players even for a one-off tournament for fear that FIFA would seize the opportunity to permanently merge the British FAs together to form a Great Britain team.
Squad: J Allen (Swansea), C Bellamy (Liverpool), R Bertrand (Chelsea), J Butland (Birmingham), S Caulker (Tottenham), T Cleverley (Manchester United), J Cork (Southampton), C Dawson (West Brom), R Giggs (Manchester United), A Ramsey (Arsenal), M Richards (Manchester City), D Rose (Tottenham), S Sinclair (Swansea), M Sordell (Bolton), J Steele (Middlesbrough), D Sturridge (Chelsea), N Taylor (Swansea), J Tomkins (West Ham)