A Look At Pearce’s Picks for Team GB
A quick look through the news will show that the Great Britain Olympic football squad has been announced! Obviously, there are a couple of big talking points; firstly, David Beckham being omitted from the squad. Controversial to say the least, and I have mixed views on the matter. On one hand, Beckham has been so helpful with the Olympic campaign, and is also an obvious English football legend, so you could see this tournament being his swan song, his one final hoorah. On the other hand, he is quite old now, and Stuart Pearce seems to be treating this as a competition England can win, so I can see why he would leave out a player who is in the latter stages of his career. Then again, he has picked Ryan Giggs, so make of that what you will! But Pearce was quoted as saying “Form plays a big part and I don’t think there is a manager around who picks on sentiment”, which I do think is a fair enough point.
The three players who were picked over Beckham as the over-23 representatives are the aforementioned Ryan Giggs, Craig Bellamy and Micah Richards. Now this is a tricky selection, because if Stuart Pearce isn’t picking on sentiment, I don’t see why he would he would choose Giggs over a player like Adam Johnson; I mean, okay, you can go on experience and things like that, but Adam Johnson would have more than that in him. In my eyes, it looks like Pearce has picked Giggs as it will be his last major tournament, and a chance to win something for his international career. Moving on swiftly, Craig Bellamy is a pick that I actually agree with, because Bellamy, even with his occasional attitude problems, has proven that he can show his ability on the big occasions, and he is a player that always shows a lot of heart in the game. Micah Richards is also a good player, who should have been at the Euros in my opinion. But we live and we learn, and maybe next time, he won’t reject that space in the standby squad.
Also, none of the players that were picked for the Team GB squad were picked for the Euros, with the exception of Jack Butland. I don’t know if Stuart Pearce thinks they’ll be tired, or thought they didn’t perform at the tournament, but I think a couple of people could have been included. No inclusions for Oxlade-Chamberlain, Danny Welbeck, or even Andy Carroll, who could have all slid under the age limit cap. This is ludicrous! When you consider the preliminary Spanish Olympic squad has the likes of Jordi Alba, Juan Mata and Javi Martinez in their team as well, it makes no sense! And if Stuart Pearce wants to win this tournament, he is going to have a lot of work on his hands if they do come up against the Spanish at any point.
While Team GB is filled with some young talent, such as Cleverley, Bertrand and Sturridge, Spain have players who are regularly featuring for Barcelona, such as Thiago Alcantara and Christian Tello, along with a couple of Premier League players in David De Gea, and Oriel Romeu. It seems like the Spanish squad is building their Olympic team, like they would an academy team at a club. Lots of bright young stars, ready to feature for their country in the next couple of years, while England have filled their squad with the likes of Marvin Sordell and Craig Dawson, players who I do not believe will feature for England internationally in their careers.
Finally, I believe the biggest losers of this squad are to be Swansea. Their new manager Michael Laudrup cannot be completely settled, I wouldn’t imagine, and now are losing three of their biggest stars for their pre season, in Joe Allen, Scott Sinclair and Neil Taylor. These players are going to have to play an even longer season as well, seeing as they don’t have much of a break over summer. The tournament could potentially run from July 26 until August 11, and then one week later, boom, straight into the Premier League season. No rest for the wicked, huh? But these players will come back tired, and they’ll be off the pace for the first few games, and they will need to get back in sync with the squad as well.
So all in all, this tournament could be a very tricky one for England, but we’ll have to wait and see.