Would David Beckham be in your Team GB Olympics squad?
There are lots of markets available for people to bet on football and millions of pounds are spent this way every week. But never before has the betting market on whether a 37-year-old man will represent a scratch international football team in a competition that isn’t particularly valued at the upper echelons of the game garnered quite so much interest.
If you stuck money on Becks appearing at London 2012, you’ll be fairly pleased with yourself today. It has been confirmed that Becks is still in the running having been included in an 80-strong shortlist of possible players to represent Team GB at this summer’s Olympics.
An initial list of 191 players for Stuart Pearce to choose from was slashed to 80 today. The squad will be cut agaun to 35 by 8 June, before a final 18-man squad is announced on 6 July.
British Olympic Association chief executive Andy Hunt confirmed that Beckham’s Olympics dream is alive and well in an interview with the BBC this morning.
He revealed that Beckham, Gareth Bale, Craig Bellamy, Steven Fletcher and Chris Brunt are also still being considered for the squad.
Joe Cole is also on the shortlist. He’ll face stiff competition from the likes of Beckham and Bellamy to be named as one of three overage players in the squad.
And it’s also known that Birmingham City goalkeeper Jack Butland, Chelsea midfielder Josh McEachran and Crystal Palace defender Nathaniel Clyne are among those aged under 23 and still in the mix.
So, would you include Beckham in your Team GB squad? It’s very hard to make a case for him on footballing grounds. He’s significantly older than any of the other overage players being considered, he arguably plays his football at a lower level than any of the other players being considered, and he hasn’t played international football since 2009.
It is easier to argue for his inclusion in terms of his experience. There’s is nobody else at Stuart Pearce’s disposal who has so much top-level experience. But just because it’s good to have an older head around the squad, does it need to be the oldest head possible?
That leaves us with sentimentality. This is where Beckham wipes the floor with the other contenders. He used his profile to help win the Games for London, he was born in East London and he’s just about as close to a sporting national treasure as you can be while still competing.
Is that enough for you? Would you pick Becks on those grounds? Or does that just signify that the Team GB is more about show than performance?
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