Be it a shock decision or an act of good managerial judgement, the fact remains that David Beckham (undoubtedly soon to be Sir David Beckham) has been omitted from Team GB’s squad for this summer’s Olympics in his hometown of London.
Team GB coach Stuart Pearce has been criticised for the way in which he went about his decision by naming the LA Galaxy star in his provisional squad of 35 only to leave him out of his final squad. Heavily tipped to be included, many will feel the 37-year-old deserved better treatment, but Pearce made his feelings clear that he would not be picking anybody out of sentiment. Beckham was a central figure in attracting the IOC to stage the games in London and had hoped to be involved as a special send off to his international career.
Pearce did however name the three players aged over-23 as Micah Richards, Ryan Giggs and Craig Bellamy – all performers in last season’s premier league campaign. Questions will be asked of Richards’ selection since his refusal to be on stand-by for Roy Hodgson’s Euro 2012 squad, a stark contrast to the ex-England captain who has always been available to give his services to English football.
A firm fan favourite throughout the world, Beckham racked up 115 caps for his country but with him being in the twilight of his career, he will be frustrated at being denied the chance to hang up his boots having represented his country for one last time.
“Not only am I fuming David Beckham has been left out, but why call up Craig Bellamy? Wasteful from Stuart Pearce.” – @Ross__Moore
“If there was ever one person who shouldn’t need to prove their worth for Team GB it was David Beckham. Disgraceful decision.” – @HBscfc
Upon hearing the news that David Beckham had not been selected for the Olympic football squad, some of Great Britain were not surprised nor disappointed by the decision. Many people had hoped to see the Manchester United legend represent his country just one last time, with the fitting ending of it being at the Olympics in his home nation. There is absolutely no question that David Beckham has worked tremendously hard alongside the bid committee to make this major event possible, however, should that really guarantee a place within the squad?
Not necessarily. Regardless of the unmeasurable effort from the former England captain, the final decision on the squad must come down to current ability. There is also the issue that the Olympic squad may only contain three players over the age of twenty-three – making even less space. The three players stated previously are still playing at what is seen as the highest level. However, the other argument is that there are better choices out there should players make themselves available for selection, such as Paul Scholes, Michael Carrick and Frank Lampard.
From an English perspective, after seeing England’s performances at Euro 2012, this tournament could actually play a vital role in the future of English football. As a nation, we have a chance to watch the next generation of English footballing talent come through and play at a tournament on a large, international stage. Players such as Tom Cleverley and Jack Rodwell have been tipped to go on to achieve great things and people should be focusing on these players being given opportunities at international level, instead of focusing on a player’s twilight appearance.
“Unlikely to win it without sentimentality, no chance with. Rather see young players for the future and better players in over-23 quota.” – @B__Bryant
“No-one deserves to be selected. A place should be earned. Having said that, Beckham is still one of the best MF in Britain.” – @ClaretNBlues
Of course on the other hand, the inclusion of Craig Bellamy is the real surprise. Many have argued that he hardly is at his peak anymore, starting just 11 games for an underachieving Liverpool side in the 2011/12 season. It is different if somebody was included for a fine season. Is the Bellamy call-up really for that reason?
Another point rose when concerning the Welshman is his behaviour throughout his career. With several high profile on and off pitch incidents, he is hardly the role model Beckham or Giggs are. With us being the home nations, can we afford one moment of madness from a player with a short-temper?
It is very hard to criticise Pearce until the final squad is announced, but it also seems as if Scotland have been overlooked. You would expect their most notable players to be over the age of 23, yet the three vacancies have been filled by and Englishman and a pair of Welshmen.
“Very disappointing for the man himself but doubt most people complaining have seen him play lately, nor have I.” – @William11Gunner
“ It’s a real shame. David Beckham has the experience and leadership skills that could of assisted #TeamGB greatly” – @Manaf_Alqattan
Ultimately, you could argue to avoid this sort of backlash from the public, David Beckham could have been offered a role on the sidelines. The Olympic football tournament is nowhere near the importance of the European Championship or World Cup, so why not offer him the manager’s role – even assistant manager. That way, the legend himself is guaranteed some involvement in something he really did put his heart and soul into. Anyway, if you’re still raging after his expulsion, the picture below will brighten your mood. This is what we will always remember David Beckham for; not the fact London Olympics 2012 was the year he was not selected for the squad.