It might have been a sure-thing, as yesterday's pro-selection article about that Olympic snub stated
: David Beckham might have been wanted by people from the Olympic committee down to the fans and he might have been a big player in the recent history of English football, but he shouldn't ever have been included as a playing member of the Olympic GB Team. Ignoring for now the inane accusations that Stuart Pearce cut David Beckham after initially including him on the short-list as some kind of publicity stunt to "make a name for himself," or that Beckham should be included as a member of the playing squad to represent Britain simply because of his effect on the gates is absurd, there are a number of reasons that make his snub a wholly justified one. And when that second argument is backed up by assertions that his snub somehow suggests that his inclusion on the Olympic committee was false advertising, it all gets a little bit tiresome. David Beckham was included on that committee not because he was definitely going to play - Lord Coe isn't participating for instance - he was there because of what he has represented to the sport, and because of his celebrity draw. To include him in the actual playing squad for the same reasons would be outrageous. Here are six reasons why Stuart Pearce was right to leave Beckham out...
6. It Isn't An Exhibition Tournament
Nostalgia counts for nothing. The idea that Beckham would be included as some sort of trophy, and in the process welcoming a circus spirit to the matches as fans apparently flock from far and wide to catch a glimpse of the star is redundant and laughably outdated. No squad player should be included because of their effect on ticket sales, and to do so would be to criminally undermine a major sporting event that is already considered to be an inferior concern to any of the other prestige international tournaments. I keep hearing assertions that we aren't in the Olympics to win, or that Stuart Pearce is taking it all too seriously, and both are ridiculous. When you appoint a man of Pearce's passion to any high-profile coaching job, you get everything that comes with that appointment, including the famous burning will to win that characterised him as a player. If the heads of Team GB wanted the team to have a Harlem Globetrotters style jaunt, they should and would have appointed someone like Terry Venables. But they didn't, they went for a man who they knew would want to win Gold, and then equipped him with the power to pick his own squad for that very reason. Had they wanted a patsy who would have collected together ceremonial players that ticket-buyers would put their hands in their pockets to see, they should have appointed the team that put together the Soccer Aid programme and made Simon Cowell the manager. This tournament is about winning, as every professional tournament should be. And no well-paid underpants model who used to be the best in the world in his position is going to help that.