International football managers can’t win; with the amount of players to select from, narrowing a squad down is hard enough let alone picking a first eleven that a nation will agree on and not complain vigorously about.
There are exceptions and stand out decisions that can be fatal for any manager, by picking the wrong player, or more commonly not picking the right one, with everyone convinced that they know better than those paid to do their jobs. Personally I could not forgive Glenn Hoddle for choosing to leave Paul Gascoigne out of the France 98 World Cup squad.
Gazza was 31 and admittedly going through a turbulent time in his career and with his personal issues, however he was a national hero idolised for his tears at Italia 90, and a player capable of making a difference in any game. Hoddle’s overlooking of the midfielder was not a popular choice in the press but Gascoigne was never capped by England again.
Stuart Pearce appears to have made a similarly bad call by deciding against selecting David Beckham to represent Team GB in the 2012 London Olympics. The former England captain had been expected to lead the side but after a visit to Los Angeles, Pearce opted to leave Beckham out of the squad altogether.
Some have praised Pearce, stating that at 37 Beckham is too old for International football, however given his ambassadorial role in helping bring the event to London many believe he should have been allowed the opportunity to have a final send off in the capital city of the country he represented 115 times.
There are arguments for and against his inclusion in the squad; his age being one, along with his current position in world football, playing in the MLS, regarded as a subpar league with a much lower playing standard than the Premier League.
The excitement for the football event has declined since the announcement of Beckham’s exclusion, his absence has been the hot topic, more so than the inclusion of any player, or the absence through injury of Gareth Bale, the Welsh winger on whose shoulders much of the weight of expectation had been placed.
David Beckham should be in the Olympic squad. Be it for his ability to inspire a nation, as he did many times for the England side during his term as captain, be it for his marketability, in encouraging crowds to get behind the side, buy the shirts and be at the fixtures supporting Great Britain. Be it for his footballing ability and wealth of experience in big tournaments, there are still few players with similar technical gifts.
David Beckham should be the GB squad because he is the face of Olympic football, even having never competed in the competition; it was his passion and desire to help London win the Olympic bid that created the image for football in the Olympics. A month ago, if you heard the term ‘Team GB’ it was Beckham you thought of, above the likes of Tom Daly, Jessica Ennis or Mark Cavendish, maybe that’s because I’m primarily a football fan, but I don’t think I’m alone in that thought.
David Beckham should be in the Team GB squad because he is the biggest icon in British football from the past twenty years and the image of him representing Great Britain would bring together the British population in support of our team. Because of everything he represents, from being born in east London, to playing for three of the biggest club sides in world football, from captaining his country 58 times to being the hero that he is to millions of people. David Beckham should be in the Team GB squad.