So me old china Stuart ‘Psycho’ Pearce has been named as the new Team GB football manager for the London 2012 games. Hardly a surprise as he’s worked the system well by holding an influential position with England’s under-21 team and will prove to be popular with some of the players. But the biggest question for us Jocks is just what will that mean for any Scottish hopeful to force his way into Pearce’s plans?
Those players born north of the border have so often been classed as the poor cousins and with Scotland’s domestic game in crisis there’s hardly likely to be a fair representation when Pearce announces his picks. Welsh players, Tottenham’s Gareth Bale and Arsenal’s Aaron Ramsey, however, have already stated they want to play in the Games. However, to be fair to both of them at least they’ve got the class and ability to back up their case to win call-ups.
Manchester United’s Darren Fletcher, Sir Alex Ferguson’s Scottish flag bearer at Old Trafford, might stand a chance of a fringe roledepending on Pearce’s choices. The former Nottingham Forest defender, who has not ruled out selecting David Beckham, claims players from all four of the home nations stand a chance of winning him over.
Stuart Pearce has said:
“I’m not going into this job looking only to select English players. It should be made up if at all possible of all the home nations,
“They should come forward and put their players up for selection. A lot of it will depend on the mentality of the players.
“If the players want to be part of it then that would be fantastic. I think they will.
“I think they will be very, very excited to be part of this showcase of football.
“Dialogue will come into it between myself and the federations and the managers concerned and I think support will be galvanised as the months go by and the tournament nears kick-off.
“Everyone will be up for selection. Form and fitness will determine who I pick.”
“The FA have said to me the decision is totally yours, you pick who you deem right and proper to be part of this spectacle.”
The Olympic GB football team has divided opinion for some time now with former Scotland manager Craig Brown urging Scots not to take part if they are called up. Aberdeen manager Brown, who bossed Scotland at the World Cup finals in France ’98, reckons a unified team from Britain would be the start of the road to nowhere for his beloved country.
Basically Brown fears for Scotland’s identity, saying:
“I would be very disappointed if any selected Scottish player decided to take part because that’s the thin edge of the wedge.
“We definitely fear that the autonomy of Scotland would be jeopardized if we were to participate as a GB team.
“It would be very selfish of the player to play and it could also have an impact on their club careers.
“Football is also discriminatory in the Olympics because we have under-23 players competing along with some over-age players.
“So it’s not the best of the best. If I had my way I would discriminate against the Scottish players from taking part.
“The chief executive of the Scottish Football Association has also said he’d be very much against Scottish players taking part.”
Do you sympathise with his concerns?