British Olympic football coach Stuart Pearce said no manager “picks on sentiment” as he explained why David Beckham had been left out of his squad for the London 2012 Games.
Last week former England captain David Beckham announced he'd been left out of the squad despite being desperate to appear as an over-age player in an Olympics he'd helped secure for his hometown.
Pearce, himself an ex-England defender, unveiled his 18-man squad Monday with veteran Manchester United midfielder Ryan Giggs, who played alongside Beckham when they were both making their way in football at Old Trafford, Liverpool striker Craig Bellamy and Manchester City defender Micah Richards occupying the three over-age places in an 18-man squad where the other players are under 23.
“From the outset when I was given the opportunity to manage the team, I was given the job to manage as I normally would, looking on form, fitness of players and I deemed this the best squad available for this tournament,” said Pearce.
“I have a vast amount of respect for David and what he has done to bring the Olympics here. I have a duty of care to everyone to pick in my mind the best squad,” Pearce added.
“I have treated all the players in the same manner. I have given plenty of time to view each player's form and this is the squad I have come up with.
“I don't think there's a football manager around who picks on sentiment.”