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Friday, 29 June 2012

Four reasons why Stuart Pearce left David Beckham out of the Team GB squad

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It has been reliably reported by the BBC, following on from sources at The Times, that David Beckham will not figure in the Great Britain Olympic squad. At one point the superstar looked a shoe-in for a swansong tournament but Stuart Pearce has always been his own man.

Here are four reasons why he might have ditched the ex-England skipper.

1. Pace (or lack of it)

Beckham is 37 which calls into question whether he can cope with an intense tournament. Supporters of the player may counter that he's still a professional player in a challenging league. Overall fitness is probably not the problem though; the issue is one of pace.

The player was never a speedster, even at his peak, and this is a competition primarily played by under-23 year-olds. As a midfielder, Beckham would have been required to defend and Pearce couldn't have risked players taking the LA Galaxy man on in a straight sprint.

2. Style

It's a long time since Beckham played in the English game. He's been in Spain, Italy and the USA and the tempo hasn't been at Premiership level. Pearce is likely to send out a side looking to be positive and Beckham's style might have been a hindrance to this. Also, there may have been a tendency among younger players to play too much through him.

3 Priorities

Pearce can only pick three over-age men and it's arguable that Beckham's position is not a priority. Generally teams look to bolster the spine of the side and that means the over-age slots will be for keepers, centre backs, central midfielders or strikers, or better still, players who can cover several slots.

4 The Beckham Brand

Pick David Beckham and the story becomes about him. That's not entirely his fault but Pearce could probably see endless press conferences focussing on one player. If selected, the speculation would immediately have begun on whether he would be captain - and then about whether he was snubbed by not being made skipper etc etc. - Football News & Transfers

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Hugh Larkin



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