So we now know who Great Britain will be playing in the Olympic football at London 2012, but we are yet to know who will be in the squad.
Team GB manager, Stuart Pearce, has claimed that the ‘shortlist’ is currently down to just 80 players – nice and short then.
The eventual 18-man squad will be made up of 15 Under-23 players, or those born after January 1 1989, and three players over the allotted age.
Choosing the 15 younger men will be a hard enough decision, but deciding which three older players to take will be just as tricky, if not more.
So, GMF saved Pearce the trouble and decided exactly which three ‘senior’ stars he should take with him and the nippers to the athletes’ village.
There were certain criteria that had to be decided before assessing our options, but the first, and in our opinion most important, is that the three should properly represent Great Britain and so should come from three different nations – we realise this means one nation being left out, but it was as fair as we could get.
GMF also thought it important for the overage players to provide an experienced spine to the team, so we decided that they would be a defender, midfielder and attacker.
A goalkeeper was contemplated, but we decided that experienced players in front of him would probably be more valuable to the team.
The final criteria was that the English player chosen should not be going to Euro 2012 because it would be cruel to make him play two tournaments in one summer – he’d get tired you know!
After much deliberation we came to a decision, and we are certain that roughly 68 per cent of you will not be pleased with the choices. Here they are anyway….
Defender – Phil Jagielka, England
The Everton centre-back has been unfortunate with injury this season and subsequently lost his regular starting spot in David Moyes’ team during his convalescence. While being a regular face around the latest England squads, his absence has seen the emergence of Gary Cahill, Phil Jones, Chris Smalling and the resurgent Rio Ferdinand.
While we are ready to be proved wrong, GMF feels as though a lack of regular football will have effectively ended Jagielka’s chances of going to Poland and Ukraine.
However, he is still a very good player and is the kind of influential figure that can inspire a group of young players. Jagielka has a fantastic work ethic and his all action style is useful in a high-pressure situation.
Midfielder – Ryan Giggs, Wales
This was a tough one and the choice that was always going to affect the make up for the other choices the most, as it was probably the most high-profile member of the elders.
While we don’t want to go all moist-eyed over the fact that Great Britain’s most decorated player has never been to a major international tournament, we thought it would be a bit harsh to leave him out.
Before you go decrying Giggs’ inclusion as a sympathy vote, his lack of international tournaments was only an afterthought and his relevance to the team was foremost in our minds. The Welshman is still delivery the goods for Manchester United, just not as frequently, and who better to lead and inspire a young squad?
His versatility is another factor, as he can play in the middle in either a deeper playmaking role or more advanced, while also being able to play out wide.
We know it will probably crush him, but David Beckham is going to have to sit this one out and we aren’t entirely sure if Paul Scholes has actually ruled himself out of Euro 2012.
Striker – Kenny Miller, Scotland
Another dilemma here, but we thought we would opt for the most experienced of the forwards available, but also because he has had a positive season with Cardiff City in the Championship this season.
Miller is a hard working forward, plus his movement and tactical intelligence mean he can play a variety of roles in attack.
The Scotland striker has also shown an ability to perform whenever he is faced with a step-up in class for both Cardiff and the national team. There is also a wealth of young attacking talent to choose from in the British Isles, so the nippy nous of Miller would compliment them well.
There you go, that is who GMF think should be going. You can ridicule and berate us for the terrible choices below.
Leave a comment and join in the debate….