It has been confirmed that the current England U-21 manager Stuart Pearce will be the manager of the Great Britain Olympic football team. I have no doubt that this will start the old club versus country debate, with Euro 2012 also looming it looks like it will be a tiring summer for the players that are involved. The squad has to include 18 players all of which have to be under 23 apart from three players that can be over this age.
The players can be from any of the home nations and it’s expected that the squad will include a large number of players from Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. David Beckham has openly admitted that he would love to play at the games; another player that has been suggested is Manchester United’s Ryan Giggs among others.
The start of the Premier League season is going to be delayed due to the Olympic Games, and is set to ruin all pre-season for the players who are involved. Euro is scheduled to start on the June 8th and the final is due to be held on the 1st July.
Then the Olympics start on the 27th July and finish on 12th August. This could be a problem for Arsenal’s Jack Wilshire as he will be looking to be in the England squad for Euro and he is one of the best talents we have and would be great in the GB team as he would be eligible for the squad. However we cannot expect him to play in both and Arsene Wenger has already said that he doesn’t want his players to go, but what power does he have? If the player wants to play then surely the manager cannot stop them from doing so. If they don’t want to play then that is fair enough, but then that raises another question in that players should want to represent their countries at the highest level and if they don’t why not? This tournament is bound to start some disagreements between players, clubs etc.
Aaron Ramsey is another player that could be involved for the Olympics and as Wales failed to qualify for Euro I cannot see any reason why he wouldn’t this could be said for a number of Wales and Scottish players but if the clubs don’t want them to go who decides whether they play or not?.
However the tournament isn’t all bad, if it’s approached in the right way we have as good a chance as anyone else in the competition. It will also allow players form the home nations who haven’t experienced a major competition to compete in one. England’s reputation at big tournaments isn’t the best, we often under achieve in these competitions and we are criticised as a nation for not producing ‘tournament players’ and I feel that this is an ideal opportunity for our youngsters to gain this experience that will enable us to have much better tournaments in years to come.