Team GB: David Beckham left out for football reasons - Stuart Pearce

 

Stuart Pearce says his decision not to pick David Beckham in his Team GB squad for London 2012 was made purely for football reasons, and stressed he would not pick any player based on sentiment.

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Right through this process I have had carte blanche to pick whatever players I regard as best.

Stuart Pearce

Pearce has named his 18-man squad, leaving out Beckham as expected.

"Form plays a big part and I don't think there is a manager around who picks on sentiment," he said.

"I have to be comfortable when I have made decisions based solely on football grounds alone, nothing else."

Pearce also ruled out any possibility of using Beckham in a coaching capacity, although the British Olympic Association (BOA) has been in touch with the Los Angeles Galaxy midfielder's representatives about a possible Games role.

"We only have seven passes [for backroom staff]. We have no passes for that," added Pearce.

"The players have to be prepared to come through the door on form alone and that happens to be the case with staffing too. They have their role to play."

BOA chef de mission Andy Hunt said it would be "fantastic" to have Beckham involved in some capacity.

He said: "We'd be delighted and honoured to have David Beckham related to Team GB more broadly.

"That would be fantastic. I've made contact with his representatives over the weekend and we'll see how that moves forward."

It had long been anticipated that Beckham would be included as one of the three overage players in the squad following his prominent role in promoting London 2012.

But Pearce instead opted for Craig Bellamy, Ryan Giggs and Micah Richards - three players the England Under-21 manager believes will give Team GB their best chance of winning a medal.

Pearce said he made it clear when he was appointed that he would only pick players based on merit, and would not have taken the job if he was not in full control over squad selection.

Team GB football squad

Goalkeepers: Jack Butland (England), Jason Steele (England)

Defenders: Ryan Bertrand (England), Steven Caulker (England), Craig Dawson (England), Micah Richards (England), Danny Rose (England), Neil Taylor (Wales), James Tomkins (England)

Midfielders: Joe Allen (Wales), Tom Cleverley (England), Jack Cork (England), Ryan Giggs (Wales), Aaron Ramsey (Wales), Scott Sinclair (England)

Forwards: Craig Bellamy (Wales), Marvin Sordell (England), Daniel Sturridge (England)

"From the offset, when I sat down with the [Football Association] chairman David Bernstein, some time before Christmas, he offered me the opportunity to pick the squad," he said.

"If at that stage he had said to me that certain individuals would have to be included I certainly wouldn't do that job. I don't know any manager worth their salt who would have.

"Right through this process I have had carte blanche to pick whatever players I regard as best.

"I do enough hours watching matches and I think I've done due diligence on all the players here."

The Team GB squad is made up of 13 Englishmen and five Welsh players, with no representatives from either Scotland or Northern Ireland.

"I've got a list of names written down now, who I think ability-wise are good enough to do a job," said Pearce.

"I didn't pick on personality, I didn't pick on ticket sales and I certainly wasn't picking on nationality."