Pearce: Becks would accept reprieve
Great Britain boss Stuart Pearce is confident David Beckham would accept a last-gasp Olympic reprieve - despite admitting the midfielder was the only player he had not told to be ready for a late call-up.
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Beckham's revelation that he had missed out on Pearce's 18-man squad for the London Games caused a storm last week, something the head coach was repeatedly forced to defend on Monday afternoon.
Pearce is still able to hand a lifeline to Beckham if one of his three overage players drops out through injury before the opening game.
But he admitted the former England captain was the only fit member of his 35-man provisional squad who he had yet to ask to keep himself available just in case.
Pearce said: "I've not spoken with him. I've spoken with every other player and said, 'Look, that is the requirement we look for'.
"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."
Pearce claimed he had simply "not got round" yet to offering Beckham that opportunity but then suggested the 37-year-old would not be on the initial four-man list he submits on Friday in any event.
"Unless an overage player gets injured, I can't bring another one in," Pearce said after selecting Ryan Giggs, Craig Bellamy and Micah Richards ahead of Beckham.
"More sense might be to make all four standby players underage so that we will have more of an option."
Pearce also revealed he would not have accepted the head coach job had he been forced to pick Beckham, who earned the last of his 115 England caps in October 2009.
"I don't know any manager worth their salt who would have," he said, praising Beckham's contribution to London's successful bid to host this summer's Olympics.
Beckham has been one of the faces of the Games since 2005, repeatedly declaring his desire to play for Team GB.
Pearce said: "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 overage 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."
Explaining precisely why Giggs, Bellamy and Richards got the nod ahead of Beckham, Pearce said: "Craig Bellamy was a certain given, I had to use an overage 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 overage 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."
Pearce shrugged off concerns about the capability of Giggs and Bellamy - one of whom he hinted could be named captain - playing six times in 17 days, insisting he would need to rotate his whole squad regardless of age.
He was also relaxed about selecting a player in Richards, who snubbed the chance to be on standby for England's European Championship squad.
Pearce said of the Manchester City defender: "Micah has been picked on form alone. He's had a fantastic season for the Premier League champions.
"He also gives me the option of playing at right-back or a central defensive role and any individuals who can offer me that in a squad of 18 is very helpful."
Pearce's squad contains 13 Englishmen and five Welshmen but he insisted he had not deliberately overlooked players from Scotland and Northern Ireland.
Indeed, Scottish striker Jordan Rhodes could even end up on the standby list.