Platform Magazine’s newest recruit Gulraj Kular looks at why “Goldenballs” wont be winning a gold medal.
David Beckham is undeniably one of the icons of the run-up to the London Olympics so far. He was at the forefront of the original bid and has been an inspirational leader through his football career with England. Yet even after all the work he has put in, and his dreams of leading out Team GB on the football pitch, Stuart Pearce has left him out of his squad.
A decision based purely on footballing terms would make this a totally understandable choice by ‘Psycho’. Beckham is 37, well past his best and plying his trade in the less than competitive MLS for LA Galaxy. The MLS has become almost a retirement home for well established footballers, with the likes of Thierry Henry and Robbie Keane also ‘crossing the pond’. Beckham does still retain the ability to put the ball on a six pence with his deadly right foot though – an asset for any team.
There has been plenty of surprise though at Beckham’s exclusion from the three permitted over-age players – with Micah Richards, Craig Bellamy and Ryan Giggs the selected trio. The idea that Richards, who was unwilling to be on standby for England’s Euro 2012 campaign has been chosen ahead of a man that has always offered his services for his country has riled many.
Pearce knows the importance of his three over-age players at the Olympics, and with forward thinking players in Bellamy and Giggs filling two spaces, he clearly felt the need for a defender with experience and Richards fit the bill.
Commercially Beckham clearly represents good value. Football is the one event at the Olympics which will definitely not be sold out by the time the Games come around and Beckham would be a seat-filler if nothing else.
It has also robbed Beckham of the chance to round off his career in the UK on a massive stage, and the end of his illustrious time as a footballer will come away from his native country in the United States, a crying shame for many.
It is a brave decision by Pearce and he will have to ride a wave of criticism leaving out someone who is loved by so many as Beckham is, but being a football manager he clearly has no time for sentiment if he is to be successful. This should be understood and respected. In the end pragmatism has prevailed