Stuart Pearce: Early exit must not spell end of Team GB experiment

 

If Great Britain's men's footballers are eliminated tonight, Stuart Pearce hopes that it will not be the end of them. Britain play Uruguay at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff this evening, knowing that defeat will likely prevent them from reaching the quarter-finals. Given Uruguay's qualities it is not an improbable outcome, and Pearce, the coach, fears that it might be the end of the experiment which he has overseen.

"I honestly don't believe it will happen again," said Pearce, who clearly believes that it would be a loss if it did not. "From my experience over this short time and from speaking with the players, I think they would love to have the opportunity to do this every four years. It is a fantastic tournament."

After two unconvincing performances, Pearce must know that his side need an improved display this evening if they are to do the necessary. The campaign started with a 1-1 draw against Senegal at Old Trafford before a 3-1 defeat of the United Arab Emirates at Wembley, which was still 1-1 with only 17 minutes left.

Of course, the team is newly assembled but they have not yet shown as much cohesion as many would have hoped for. Brazil remain the strong favourites for gold.

But Pearce is confident that the players are learning, and he hopes that their opinions would be considered regarding future Olympic football excursions. "The political will, if it comes from anywhere, will come from the players," Pearce said.

"If there was any way of it happening, the best thing to do would be to canvas myself and the 18 players that have taken part in it and ask them if they feel it has been valuable and if it has improved them as footballers, and take your answer from there."

One of Pearce's main positives to come from the experience so far has been the presence of the Welsh veterans Craig Bellamy and Ryan Giggs, who have scored one goal each so far. With all but one other player aged 23 or younger, Pearce spoke of a unique learning opportunity for the less experienced members of his squad.

"The professionalism of both is quite incredible," Pearce enthused. "[Bellamy] is as good a professional on the training pitch as I've worked with or played alongside. Ryan is of a similar ilk and a great role model for the younger players. Just look at these two players on and off the football pitch and it's all there for you."

Kick-off 7.45pm, Cardiff

Referee Y Nishimura (Japan)

TV BBC 3.

Odds Great Britain 6-4 Draw 9-4 Uruguay 9-5.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
Mock the tweet: Ukip leader Nigel Farage and comedian Frankie Boyle
peopleIt was a polite exchange of words, as you can imagine
Life and Style
fashion
Life and Style
Britons buy more than 30 million handsets each year, keeping them for an average of 18 months
tech
Arts and Entertainment
TV Presenters Ant McPartlin and Dec Donnelly. Winners of the 'Entertainment Programme' award for 'Ant and Dec's Saturday Night Takeaway'
musicAnt and Dec confirmed as hosts of next year's Brit Awards
Arts and Entertainment
Orson Welles made Citizen Kane at 25, and battled with Hollywood film studios thereafter
film
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Day In a Page

Isis in Syria: A general reveals the lack of communication with the US - and his country's awkward relationship with their allies-by-default

A Syrian general speaks

A senior officer of Bashar al-Assad’s regime talks to Robert Fisk about his army’s brutal struggle with Isis, in a dirty war whose challenges include widespread atrocities
‘A bit of a shock...’ Cambridge economist with Glasgow roots becomes Zambia’s acting President

‘A bit of a shock...’ Economist with Glasgow roots becomes Zambia’s acting President

Guy Scott's predecessor, Michael Sata, died in a London hospital this week after a lengthy illness
Fall of the Berlin Wall: History catches up with Erich Honecker - the East German leader who praised the Iron Curtain and claimed it prevented a Third World War

Fall of the Berlin Wall

History catches up with Erich Honecker - the East German leader who praised the Iron Curtain and claimed it prevented a Third World War
How to turn your mobile phone into easy money

Turn your mobile phone into easy money

There are 90 million unused mobiles in the UK, which would be worth £7bn if we cashed them in, says David Crookes
Independent writers remember their Saturday jobs:

Independent writers remember their Saturday jobs

"I have never regarded anything I have done in "the media" as a proper job"
Lyricist Richard Thomas shares his 11-step recipe for creating a hit West End musical

11-step recipe for creating a West End hit

Richard Thomas, the lyricist behind the Jerry Springer and Anna Nicole Smith operas, explains how Bob Dylan, 'Breaking Bad' and even Noam Chomsky inspired his songbook for the new musical 'Made in Dagenham'
Tonke Dragt's The Letter for the King has finally been translated into English ... 50 years on

Buried treasure: The Letter for the King

The coming-of-age tale about a boy and his mission to save a mythical kingdom has sold a million copies since it was written by an eccentric Dutchwoman in 1962. Yet until last year, no one had read it in English
Can instilling a sense of entrepreneurship in pupils have a positive effect on their learning?

The school that means business

Richard Garner heads to Lancashire, where developing the 'dragons' of the future is also helping one community academy to achieve its educational goals
10 best tablets

The world in your pocket: 10 best tablets

They’re thin, they’re light, you can use them for work on the move or keeping entertained
Lutz Pfannenstiel: The goalkeeper who gave up Bayern Munich for the Crazy Gang, Bradford and a whirlwind trawl across continents

Lutz Pfannenstiel interview

The goalkeeper who gave up Bayern Munich for the Crazy Gang, Bradford and a whirlwind trawl across continents
Pete Jenson: Popular Jürgen Klopp can reignite Borussia Dortmund’s season with visit to Bayern Munich

Pete Jenson's a Different League

Popular Klopp can reignite Dortmund’s season with visit to Bayern
John Cantlie video proves that Isis expects victory in Kobani

Cantlie video proves that Isis expects victory in Kobani

The use of the British hostage demonstrates once again the militants' skill and originality in conducting a propaganda war, says Patrick Cockburn
The killer instinct: The man who helps students spot potential murderers

The killer instinct

Phil Chalmers travels the US warning students how to spot possible future murderers, but can his contentious methods really stop the bloodshed?
Clothing the gap: A new exhibition celebrates women who stood apart from the fashion herd

Clothing the gap

A new exhibition celebrates women who stood apart from the fashion herd
Fall of the Berlin Wall: Goodbye to all that - the lost world beyond the Iron Curtain

The Fall of the Berlin Wall

Goodbye to all that - the lost world beyond the Iron Curtain