Pearce hints Beckham could make Team GB standby list

Team GB manager Stuart Pearce has offered David Beckham an Olympic lifeline with the news he could yet be named on the squad standby list.

Despite making the 35-man shortlist, Beckham failed to make the cut for Pearce's 18-man squad with Micah Richards, Craig Bellamy and Beckham's former Manchester United teammate Ryan Giggs chosen ahead of him as the three over-23 selections.

The LA Galaxy midfielder received yet a further blow this week with the news he would not be offered a coaching role in the Team GB set-up.

However, Pearce has confirmed he has not ruled out the possibility of naming Beckham on the squad standby list and says he thinks the 37-year-old would jump at the chance to potentially be involved.

"David, being the ultimate professional that he is, I'd very much be surprised if he said he wouldn't want to be on that standby list."

Despite this omission, Pearce concedes it is unlikely that Beckham would participate even if named on the standby list and is therefore contemplating only naming under-23 players on the standby list.

He continued: "Unless an over-age player gets injured, I can't bring another one in.

"More sense might be to make all four standby players under-age so that we will have more of an option."

"There's no doubt David had a burning ambition to be part of this - he said it many times before.

"The other 18 players had the same burning ambition, the three over-age players especially - they have been absolutely desperate to be part of this.

"I spoke to Ryan Giggs and Craig Bellamy at the same time I spoke to David and it excites them, they are totally passionate.

"What we mustn't be sidetracked with is to think that David is a standalone professional who is desperate to play in the Olympics above anyone else who is on this sheet of paper.

Pearce has remained adamant throughout his selection process that every player named in the squad has been picked on merit rather than reputation.

And the 50-year-old says he is delighted with his three over-23 selections, claiming they have all had excellent seasons domestically with their respective clubs.

He continued: "Craig Bellamy was a certain given, I had to use an over-age pick on that - let alone his form, he's had an outstanding season this year and I think he's been one of Liverpool's best players.

"Micah Richards to come in and supplement the centre of our defence, where I felt as though we had one or two individuals missing, namely [Chris] Smalling, [Phil] Jones, [Kyle] Walker.

"In the centre of midfield, I think Ryan Giggs' form has been outstanding.

"I'm more than happy with the three over-age selections I've picked in regard to that and I think they stand up to any scrutiny because of the seasons they've had in the Premier League.

"You have to make big calls and whilst I would say David not being in the squad is a big-ish call, from the offset I was only ever going to pick on what I see with my own eyes in regard to footballing reasons.

"That's solely what I've done and I have to stand by that, which I will do."

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