29 June 2012

Bit of a knockbeck


Only people who don't get the concept of sport are outraged over David Beckham's omission from the GB Olympic football squad. This, for all its irrelevance to football as a whole (football in the Olympics is a hideous notion), is a winnable competition, and so Stuart Pearce has to pick what he sees as his best 18 players. Beckham is not among them.

Sport is about winning, first, foremost and last. Beckham has been a winner in the past but ceased to look like one the moment he left the European game to play in the USA. That wasn't a sporting decision, it was a decision based on his image, his future and his desire to increase his showbiz profile. That he loved, and loves, playing for his country is not relevant; even less relevant is the work he has put in through the whole Olympic bid and plan. He has to be good enough. He isn't.

Beyond his diminishing ability, he is such a megastar that the majority of the players in the squad - the ones under the cut-off age of 22 - would be ludicrously starstruck by him. He'd be a massive distraction. But all arguments against him, such as this one, are also irrelevant. It's sport, it's about ability and Beckham doesn't have it any more. Pearce has got it bang on, and those who moan that Beckham "deserved" it, or would have helped shift the 1.3 million unsold football tickets, are missing the point entirely.

5 comments:

Kolley Kibber said...

Did you happen to hear John Prescott's pathetic defence of Beckham on PM last week? "He's a fantastic ambassador for the country, he's the people's choice, and he WANTS it, so he embodies the Olympic spirit more than anyone I can think of...let him in the team."

It was almost as though Prescott himself is up for election soon or something. Utterly ghastly.

John Medd said...

I can't agree Matthew; Pearce is treating it like an England game (no Wales or N Ireland players). It is, however, nothing more than exhibition soccer. A tin pot addition to something totally unconnected with association football. Nobody gives a flying f*ck whether we win, lose or draw. In other words, it's made for Beckham.

Matthew Rudd said...

Craig Bellamy and Ryan Giggs are in the squad, John. They have pushing 150 caps for Wales between them. As for NI players - well, have you seen the current NI squad? Pearce wants to win the OLympics and has picked the best British players available. That most of them happen to be English is a coincidence. We also don't know how many players from the other home nations were pressured not to take part by their clubs, while Gareth Bale has pulled out with a convenient back injury.

Kolley, just one thing we should all remember: John Prescott is a knob.

John Medd said...

Sorry Matthew, I meant Scotland. I take your point, but at the end of the day it's razzamatazz. What sort of name is Team GB for a side? And what will the fans sing? Don't get me wrong, I'm no fan of Goldenballs, but you'd put him on for the last 20 minutes, wouldn't you? Wouldn't you?

Matthew Rudd said...

It's only a razzmatazz to people not in football, John. To Stuart Pearce and the players he's picked, it's a serious and winnable tournament.

And no, I simply wouldn't. Even beyond the three overage players to usurp Beckham, there are others like Joe Cole, Frank Lampard et al who are more likely to aid the winning of a competition than he is.

Anyway, football shouldn't be allowed anywhere near the Olympics. But while it is, and for once a GB team is in there, those involved should attempt to win it. With Beckham about, it becomes mildly lessm likely.