Stuart Pearce on collision course with Premier League clubs over Team GB Olympic squad

 

Team GB's Olympic football manager Stuart Pearce will be given authority to select just about about any player he wants for the Great Britain squad, no matter how inconvenient League clubs find it.

By the end of next month, Pearce will select an 18-man squad, plus standby players, for the under-23 tournament this summer. This includes three over-age players, one of which could be former England captain David Beckham. Otherwise,the only advice Pearce has been given is not to pick anyone selected for England's 2012 Euro Championship squad.

The Olympic football tournament runs from 26 July to the Wembley final on 11 August, which is exactly one week before the new Premier League season kicks off. However, that does raise the potential for players who just miss out on the Euros being asked to report for Olympic duty.

While no player is expected to be prevented from participating, it is easy to imagine some managers being unhappy at losing too many players from their pre-season schedule, especially if rival clubs were unaffected.

It is understood that the Football Association has full confidence that the relationship Pearce has already built with senior Premier League clubs will ensure potential problems are sorted out before they become an issue.

The matter is complicated by the fact that it has not yet been decided who will pick the Euro 2012 squad, with Pearce still a possibility, even though the FA have said they intend to have a full-time replacement for Fabio Capello in place in time.

At the moment, Pearce is juggling both jobs and has just whittled a 191-strong list of Olympic candidates down to 80. Representatives from all four Home Nations are in that list, including Gareth Bale, Craig Bellamy, Steven Fletcher and Chris Brunt, and the FA remain optimistic that non-English players will accept the chance to play in a major tournament on home soil.

However, the Welsh, Scottish and Northern Irish FAs are completely opposed to participation and, while they accept there is no legal basis to bar selection, dire warnings about the future of national teams are bound to be made.

Arsenal's Jack Wilshere has been ruled out through injury but Joe Cole, currently on loan at Lille, is among the potential over-age players, while Birmingham's Jack Butland, Chelsea's Josh McEachran and Crystal Palace's Nathaniel Clyne are among those who meet the under-23 criteria.

In excess of 50,000 have been sold for the opening game at Old Trafford on 26 July and a double-header friendly, featuring both the men's and women's teams, will be confirmed for the north-east at some stage over the next few weeks.

GB will learn their three group-stage opponents at Tuesday's official draw, although it is likely they will be kept apart from fellow European contenders Spain Switzerland and Belarus, plus Brazil, who will almost certainly also be a top seed.

Argentina, the United States and Australia are among the most notable teams who have not qualified but the presence of Uruguay, Mexico and New Zealand should generate wider interest.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

General Election 2015: The masterminds behind the scenes

The masterminds behind the election

How do you get your party leader to embrace a message and then stick to it? By employing these people
Machine Gun America: The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons

Machine Gun America

The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons
The ethics of pet food: Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?

The ethics of pet food

Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?
How Tansy Davies turned 9/11 into her opera 'Between Worlds'

How a composer turned 9/11 into her opera 'Between Worlds'

Tansy Davies makes her operatic debut with a work about the attack on the Twin Towers. Despite the topic, she says it is a life-affirming piece
11 best bedside tables

11 best bedside tables

It could be the first thing you see in the morning, so make it work for you. We find night stands, tables and cabinets to wake up to
Italy vs England player ratings: Did Andros Townsend's goal see him beat Harry Kane and Wayne Rooney to top marks?

Italy vs England player ratings

Did Townsend's goal see him beat Kane and Rooney to top marks?
Danny Higginbotham: An underdog's tale of making the most of it

An underdog's tale of making the most of it

Danny Higginbotham on being let go by Manchester United, annoying Gordon Strachan, utilising his talents to the full at Stoke and plunging into the world of analysis
Audley Harrison's abusers forget the debt he's due, but Errol Christie will always remember what he owes the police

Steve Bunce: Inside Boxing

Audley Harrison's abusers forget the debt he's due, but Errol Christie will always remember what he owes the police
No postcode? No vote

Floating voters

How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public
'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

Vince Cable interview

'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat