Beckham will not be featuring for Team GB come the summer. Instead the three over-23 spots have gone to Ryan Giggs, Craig Bellamy and Micah Richards respectively. One word…good.
Yes, ‘Golden Balls’ is an icon and an ambassador for British football, but let’s face it, David Beckham is past it. He is a complete shadow of the player he once was. The player who tore into Greece before letting rip with that devastating free-kick which sent England to Japan-Korea in 2002.
He is not even the same player who showed small flashes of quality whilst wearing the famous red and black of AC Milan a few years back.
The best representation, or, vicar of just where ‘Becks’ now stands in relation to anything to do with international football is his non-existent performance for the Three Lions when, on his 100th cap against France at the Parc de Princes.
Sporting flash gold Adidas Predators, Beckham put in an abject display on the right-wing and was duly hauled off after 63 minutes as Fabio Capello slumped to his first defeat as England boss.
Beckham’s inclusion in Team GB would have been, for the most part, purely sentimental. It would have been a selection made to appease his circus of fans. And after seeing exactly what happened to England during the Euros, sentiment is something Pearce must do without as England seek to close the growing gap between themselves and the elite of world football.
The Olympics thus provides the first opportunity for English football – racked as it were by a lack of technique, a lack of Andrea Pirlo-type players and decades of tournament failures – to begin the process of transforming how the beautiful game is played, viewed and philosophized upon in this country.
This requires new players, a new vision, a new mentality and the integration of some quality youth into the international fold. Players like Jack Rodwell, Josh McEachran and Daniel Sturridge.
Such big decisions by previously big managers is not without precedent. Mario Zagallo did the same thing when he refused to take Romario to World Cup 1998 so as to not hamper a young (and fabulously gifted) Ronaldo.
Likewise, the Germans in 2000 did the same thing and it is about time England did likewise. The Beckham fanfare belongs to the past. Rant over…