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Olympics: Ryan Giggs Former Manchester United Team Mate Becks Should Have Been Captain

Ryan Giggs will captain Stuart Pearce's Team GB at the Olympics, but it should have been Manchester United legend David Beckham. Here's why the Games will miss Golden Balls this summer...

“Naturally I am very disappointed, but there will be no bigger supporter of the team than me.

“I would have been honoured to have been part of this unique Team GB squad. Like everyone, I will be hoping they can win the gold.”

That was David Beckham’s reaction to the news that he had been left out of the Great Britain football squad for the upcoming Olympic Games. A humble, openly disappointed but respectful response. The man is a true gentleman, and if you ask me it’s a terrible decision to omit him from Team GB.

Becks is an idol in this country and he would have been the perfect man to represent a side that is in need of uniting. Bringing together players (and fans) of England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland is no easy feat. For such a precarious task you need players that transcend national fandom, and a leader to bring these collective nations together as one. Step forward David Beckham.

Reportedly the three over-23 players selected for the squad are Micah Richards, Craig Bellamy and Ryan Giggs. All fine players, who will probably walk into the starting eleven and add something to the team, but there should have been room to include Beckham.

For starters, Micah Richards should have been unavailable for selection as he deserved to make the England team at Euro 2012. Glen Johnson performed better than expected, but Richards has just come off the back of a season winning the Premier League for Manchester City. He should have been in Poland and Ukraine this summer.

The man is a true gentleman, and if you ask me it’s a terrible decision to omit him from Team GB

The ripple effect of that decision by Roy Hodgson to leave Richards at home – and place Martin Kelly on stand-by ahead of him – may have cost Becks his spot in the Olympics. And at the age of 37, many will claim that he isn’t needed at the Olympics this summer.

But if Stuart Pearce is going to take Ryan Giggs and Craig Bellamy he is suggesting age is no barrier to selection. And Beckham’s form in America for LA Galaxy has been good so far this MLS season, and his enthusiasm to play for Team GB – not to mention his desire to lead the side – would have only added to his possible contribution.

This move feels eerily similar to Steve McClaren’s decision to drop Beckham when he took over as England coach in 2006. Pearce may well be showing everyone that he is his own man. A way to exert dominance after failing to persuade the FA he was the right man for the national team job, which would be incredibly harsh on Beckham.

Olympic football has never caused much of a stir in the UK thanks to a lack of recent participation on our behalf, but this year with the games in London it looks set to interest many fans and supporters.

After the disappointment of Euro 2012, this is a tournament we could actually win given the relatively inferior opposition. And how great would it have been to see Becks captain the side to glory at Wembley? Team GB beating Brazil in the final thanks to a trademark Beckham free-kick – I can’t think of a better possible image the Olympics could conjure up for home supporters.

Ok, so the initial reflex response will be that the former Real Madrid midfielder is past it, too old, too slow and doesn’t deserve to be picked as he is playing in a substandard league. But that is too simplistic for my reckoning.

This move feels eerily similar to Steve McClaren’s decision to drop Beckham when he took over as England coach in 2006

Becks is the golden boy of English football, and despite having not played on these shores for nearly a decade, is an instantly recognisable and hugely respected figure across the world of football.

He’s amassed 115 caps for the national side, played for two of the best clubs sides on earth and his dead balls are still to die for. He’s proved his ability numerous times and has bounced back from set-backs by Fabio Capello to prove the strict Italian tactician wrong about him twice. And with his endless experience he would be the perfect talisman, figurehead and leader for this GB team.

His role in securing the Olympic Games for the capital should not be underplayed, although it is wrong to suggest he should be in the squad on sentiment alone. He has worked tirelessly as an Olympic ambassador and was a crucial cog in pitching the bid in 2005 in Singapore. But the point remains that he deserves his place in the 23 on merit. Team GB could have undoubtedly used Beckham to generate interest, but as a player he still has one more tournament in him before he retires gracefully.

Stuart Pearce may claim this decision has been made to take the competition as seriously as possible. He may not want the stardust that accompanies as big a name as Beckham’s. But if he had wanted a dedicated professional, an able captain and someone who has been dreaming about playing at the Olympics in London for years then Pearce shouldn’t have looked past Becks.

It remains to be seen who else will be named in the Team GB squad, but for most people there should have been a spot reserved for Beckham. He has earned it and the man deserves such a fitting farewell after the career he has enjoyed. So long Becks, you will be missed.

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image descriptionCOMMENTS

Dan 3:33 pm, 28-Jun-2012

It should;t be in the Olympics anyways but not playing Becks is a joke, most importantly he still has the talent, fitness and desire to make the squad as one of they three over 23s which should be the end of it but the frustrating 'common sense over marketing' argument is also flawed... His popularity will clearly help the side, with him in the team, the nation and media get behind team GB, the stadiums will be sold out with cheering GB fans, that is maximising home advantage and the haters like it or not, that helps! Not to mention the young players that can learn from his experience. Personally I couldn't give a rats arse about it now :(

Ted Perechalli 3:33 pm, 28-Jun-2012

The selection, similar to that for the current EURO 2012, makes one feel that the FA does not want the best team to represent the United Kingdom. So we know what to expect, don't we, however much we may be sentimentally attached to UK.

Herp Derpington 4:07 pm, 28-Jun-2012

Absolute balderdash and piffle - why include beckham? to sell more Heat magazines? having football at the Olympics is daft enough as it is, but whats beckham for? the pace he never had? the tackling ability he never had? Oh, thats right because hes the only Brit that foreigners know. If we want to have random people in just to appease the world, then field Prince Harry and William. And Rowan Atkinson - the yanks love Mr Bean. The Olympic team should give young non-PL players a chance - not to brown nose one of the most overrated players of the past 20 years. He'll get his testimonial, knighthood and statue - he doesnt need to be in the olympics too. hes of retiring age playing in a bullshit league in another country. This idolising of normal humans that can play football is ridiculous - Beckham isnt the 2nd coming of Christ and neither is Rooney. And as for selling tickets - theyre a lottery anyway!! you cant buy tickets to see team GB, you might receive them but Beckham isnt a crowd puller in this scenario

TAMBO 4:16 pm, 28-Jun-2012

Have you ever thought, y'know..maybe he's er, SHITE?????

rob rose 4:45 pm, 28-Jun-2012

In my opinion the olympics sold its sold to capitalism long before football so this is good news to me

rob rose 4:46 pm, 28-Jun-2012

Sorry should of been sold its soul

Nick 5:07 pm, 28-Jun-2012

Im still in shock. How can you leave Becks out he's a guy how would give blood for the cause of his country. Not only that the man helped the bring the Olympics to London. Think it's scandalous he not in team GB. My faith in respect and humanity has now gone out the window.

myleftboot 5:39 pm, 28-Jun-2012

Why not Beckham? Let's start with Fat FrankLampard and work our way back. Many better players available. Not many underpants models admittedly. Is that the selection criteria? I didn't realize

Joe 5:44 pm, 28-Jun-2012

I understand not picking Beckhamm for footballing reasons, but then by that same reason I don't understand why he has chosen giggs

Dan 5:48 pm, 28-Jun-2012

@Herp if he never had pace it shows he didn't need it to play at top level so losing it isn't a problem. I guess haters gone hate. It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.

Herp Derpington 5:54 pm, 28-Jun-2012

Hang on, since when did Lord Sir David of BEckham have the monopoly on patriotism and national pride? This romanticism is sickening and total bullshit! no wonder we always think we can win major sports tournaments! we're deluded and have no sense of reality. Remember that Scroobius Pip song 'Thou Shalt Always Kill'? Well Beckham is JUST A MAN. @Nick so your "faith in respect and humanity has now gone out the window"? I'm sure you meant 'and' but, THIS is what does it for you? not the thousands of other stories, but a celebrity not being picked for a sports team? And Beckham 'helped' bring the Olympics to London by being a face - thats all he is - he's PR, thats all he does! he hasn't been a footballer for some time, for years all he's been is the sum of hos commercial endorsements. Don't worry though, he'll still be there, smiling and waving and spewing some hollow plaititudes that someone else has written about 'pride' and 'history' how 'amazing' the olympics are

rob rose 5:59 pm, 28-Jun-2012

The games are suppose to be for amatuers not professionals and certainly not celebrities

Herp Derpington 6:04 pm, 28-Jun-2012

@Dan absolute tripe. this isnt some sort of video game where having a certain character increases skill points for the team - in the real world he is an average player of retirement age playing in a mickey mouse league. If he came back to the EPL he'd be shown up for how lacking he is. What he excels at is being pretty and being famous. If he is a talisman then he can do that in the dressing room/training pitch. As for Giggs - he still has amazing ability at his age and is more of a player than beckham who, by the way, is not made of magic. No one needs the 'idol'; one player bigger and more important than everyone else - its 'Team GB' not 'David Beckham and friends'

Tim 6:06 pm, 28-Jun-2012

Your reckoning points to the fact that you know little about football. Beckham is undoubtedly a global superstar but his talent has diminished and to say that a decent season in the MLS amounts to anything more than a highly paid holiday is akin to suggesting that Ricky Hatton still has it since he elbowed a pensioner in a Levenshulme social club whilst collecting his coat.

Roym 6:52 pm, 28-Jun-2012

What herp said. And btw, Richards ruled HIMSELF out of the standby list.

Thomas Okker 7:40 pm, 28-Jun-2012

'this is a tournament we could actually win given the relatively inferior opposition.' The Little Englanders just never learn, do they?

eltricolor2014 7:46 pm, 28-Jun-2012

a.) The Olympics are not for amateurs, just look at the basketball teams. b.) if the FA can screw up the Euro squad, you better believe they can screw up the Olympic squad. Let's face it, the FA is not her to win, not to field the best team, not to instill pride in club and country; it's about mediocrity, it's about not offending anyone, it's about apologizing any great thing GB has ever done. Geez, it's almost like the FA is run by Barak Obama.

Briano 8:19 pm, 28-Jun-2012

All you beckham brown nosers need to shut up!!Hes past it and thats it!!Never mind that he helped get the Olympics that has nothing to do with anything.Hes been the the US for the last 5 years and he was just looking for one more global opportunity to showcase brand Beckham.

Milt 10:32 pm, 28-Jun-2012

His inclusion would be pointless. You can't chuck someone in just because they've had an illustrious career and they seem a nice chap. How would he unite the fans? I'm sure the Scots would hate him. How can playing MLS prepare a (relatively) old man for this? At least Giggs does it week in, week out for Man United. Nah. He seems a thoroughly sound fella, but his inclusion would be a waste of a space.

Tim 12:42 am, 29-Jun-2012

@Tim - i agree, love the ricky hatton pun

Ian Griffiths 7:38 am, 29-Jun-2012

I'm a solid Fella can I play? It isn't about being nice or a national institution it is about the here & now. How many years since DB did anything useful for his country? Please save your slightly stalker like love of the fella for the privacy of your own bedroom wall. James you have to let go & say thanks Beckham & goodbye.

myleftboot 9:51 am, 29-Jun-2012

Olympics are for amateurs? Ok, name one recent medalist who also had a proper job. Tim Brabant for example took a TWO YEAR sabbatical. So for 2 years his day to day job was sport.

Dan 9:54 am, 29-Jun-2012

If we are allowed to pick any three footballers over aged 23 then are you seriously telling me Bellamy is one of the best three we've got? If Pearce had picked say Ferdinand, Lampard and Scoles then agreed footballing reasons would prevail but Bellamy and Giggs are token and if we went down the token route personally I think Beckham deserves it over those two.

Bob 10:01 am, 29-Jun-2012

Beckham should have been in the team, I'll go further and say he should have been Captain and he doesnt even need to kick a ball just stand on the centre spot. This YOUNG team needs a leader, an inspiration, Beckham's photo would have been on the bedroom walls of some of these players when they were just dreaming of playing professional football, walking onto the same pitch, wearing the same shirt, lining up next to their inspiration, in some cases their childhood hero, it will make them play better, it will make a team and is that is what will win, a team. Think of the dead King strapped to his horse and paraded in front of his army, with the King on their side they win, they fight with passion and grit, if they had known the King was dead lying in a tent would they still have had the heart? Would they still have fought? Team GB had a chance of Bronze, maybe Silver without Beckham......lolympics.

johnnyw 10:31 am, 29-Jun-2012

How in the name of god is pearce left in charge of this team or any team for that matter

Owen Blackhurst 11:37 am, 29-Jun-2012

Disagree Dan. Bellamy and Giggs both played in The Premier League last year, Becks in a league copmparable to the Championship. He should be there, but not for footballing reasons, but because who honestly gives a fuck about Olympic football and he deserved it for the work he did in making sure The Olympics came to London in the first place. Pearce is taking it too seriously, he's a berk.

rob rose 4:01 pm, 29-Jun-2012

The whole ethos of the games was amateur were the sport came first and the people taking part lived and breathed there sport that changed a very long time ago.I despair for this country i really do can we not do anything without a celebrity,The rich and celebrities are working us up the arse but all its seems is people want to bend over even further

dave J 8:05 pm, 29-Jun-2012

leaveing becks out of a competition he worked so hard to promote,Its insanity.Or is it?. Stuart Pearce is grabbing his chance of publicity,just as Ronaldo did on Greeces 5th penalty.

Plastic Scally 5:51 pm, 8-Jul-2012

What utter shite. Putting D Bex in the squad would've been an insult to every other player in the squad who really want to win the Olympic title. Fair play to Pearce.

Ximo 10:05 pm, 8-Jul-2012

I cant really understand who could possibly be upset about Beckhams non-inclusion except far eastern teenage girls who idolise him, gay men who look at him like like we do the womens beach volleyball, or simple clueless idiots who dont really know the fuck they are on about. Not heard one person complain about Paul Scholes' lack of inclusion. there are other less easy on the eye footballers who deserve their place rather than him. 115 caps is to be respected, how many games can you remember him doing something special, considering his superstar status? I can think of 3

Nicho 2:12 pm, 10-Jul-2012

What nonsense, have you been really following the LA Galaxy? They are woefully underperforming and a free kick for the highlight reel doesn't make "golden balls" a standout player. If merit is the basis for inclusion into a squad, where is Michael Owen? He used to play brilliantly for England. Ryan Giggs is a professional playing at the highest level (not the bloody MLS) and is the most decorated player around. Because he can't keep "wee welsh willie" in his trousers is no reason to deny him. Look at Terry, has an affair AND racist allegations, so England appoint Stevie G because he certainly is a role model and definitely didn't beat the snot out of any DJ's on CCTV...

Ryan C 4:18 pm, 10-Jul-2012

Micah Richards should never be in the squad Martin Kelly was not put on standby instead of him Micah Richards REFUSED to be on stand by and went on holiday instead! How does he deserve a place in that team over Beckham as soon as Pearce done with England u21s he will do nothing with his managerial career in fact he has not done anything yet! Good Player-Bad Manager

Tim 5:01 pm, 10-Jul-2012

Seb Coe seems to have done something to bring the games to London. He may be over the hill but let's stick him in the 800m and 1500m! Ridiculous.

Jpw 10:20 am, 5-Aug-2012

@ Thomas Okker- get back to making bacon for our breakfast you insignificant danish idiot. These "little englanders" (it's GB actually) stand head and shoulders over your pro-nazi boring pathetic country.

Bob 5:05 pm, 6-Aug-2012

Can I do the "I fucking said so didn't I?!?!" dance now?

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