How many with tickets for Team GB matches bought them hoping to see a fairytale end to David Beckham’s career? Loads. And how many will now clamour for more than a million spare seats in the hope of witnessing Micah Richards instead? Not too many, you suspect. Yes, Beckham should be included for deeds off the field, namely helping London’s bid win and putting national duty first – unlike Richards. But given England struggled to cobble together a midfield for Euro 2012, just who are the other players so deserving of inclusion over him? Team GB would be more interesting with Beckham involved, and it’s hard to shake the feeling he’s been sacrificed on the altar of Stuart Pearce’s eagerness to assert his authority.
If the argument for David Beckham’s inclusion is strictly sporting – not moral – then he is owed nothing. Great player though he is, Stuart Pearce (whether he should be in charge is another matter) has every right to omit Beckham from the squad after his appointment, and by extension, judgment, was backed. Ryan Giggs has proved himself a more worthy candidate, and if all decisions were influenced by sentiment, then several successes – think Jimmy Greaves in 1966 – may never have taken place. Pearce’s motive is to build a successful side, and, rightly or wrongly, if he believes that Beckham’s selection inhibits him doing so, then so be it.