Pearce unmoved on Beckham
4:30am Tuesday 3rd July 2012 in Sport
Team GB manager Stuart Pearce is adamant he would never have taken the job if it meant being forced to select former England captain David Beckham.
Pearce unveiled his 18-man squad at Wembley and, as expected, there was no place for the Los Angeles Galaxy midfielder, though he remains on the standby list.
England Under-21s head coach Pearce insists his decisions were made purely on football grounds and is comfortable he has selected the strongest squad available in a bid to deliver gold at London 2012, with Craig Bellamy, Ryan Giggs and Micah Richards the manager's three allocated over-age picks.
"From the offset, I was given the opportunity to manage this team as I normally would manage - I look on form, fitness, availability of players, and in that respect I deemed this was the best squad available to take this squad on. It was as simple as that," said Pearce.
"I have got a vast amount of respect for David and what he has done for the bid process in bringing the Olympics here, David as a person and for what he has done as an international with England.
"But I have got a duty of care for everybody within the squad to pick, in my mind, the best possible squad.
"The only relevance I really have is footballing terms and have treated them all in the same manner.’’ Pearce added: "I sat down with the (Football Association) chairman David Bernstein, some time before Christmas, when he offered me the opportunity to pick the squad.
"If at that stage he had said to me that certain individuals would have to be included I certainly wouldn't do that job. I don't know any manager worth their salt who would have.
"Right through this process I have had carte blanche to pick whatever players I deem proper.
"I do enough hours watching matches and I think I've done due diligence on all the players here.
"In regard to ticket sales, merchandising whatever, I am a football man and I pick solely on football ability.
"I have to back my opinion and that is what I have done.’’ Ex-Manchester United and Real Madrid midfielder Beckham had indeed done much to help deliver the Games to London.
Pearce accepted the 37-year-old - whose last of his 115 England caps came in October 2009 - still possessed the hunger and "passion’’ to deliver on the world stage.
l Squad: Jack Butland (Birmingham), Jason Steele (Middlesbrough); Ryan Bertrand (Chelsea), Steven Caulker (Tottenham), Craig Dawson (West Brom), Micah Richards (Manchester City), Neil Taylor (Swansea), James Tomkins (West Ham); Joe Allen (Swansea), Tom Cleverley (Manchester United), Jack Cork (Southampton), Ryan Giggs (Manchester United), Aaron Ramsey (Arsenal), Danny Rose (Tottenham), Scott Sinclair (Swansea); Craig Bellamy (Liverpool), Marvin Sordell (Bolton), Daniel Sturridge (Chelsea).