Aaron Ramsey has been included in the 18-man squad to represent Great Britain at the Olympics – the first time that there has been a British football team since the 1960′s. However, Kieran Gibbs missed out on a call-up to Stuart Pearce’s side and Ryo Miyaichi was a surprise omission from the Japan squad. Both players will proceed with regular pre-season training with Arsenal.
Craig Bellamy, Ryan Giggs and Micah Richards are the three over-age (over 23-years-old) players included in the squad. David Beckham has been controversially left out for “footballing reasons”, which I think was the wrong decision given that he is the face of British football and was instrumental in bringing the Olympics to London. Pearce was apparently unimpressed with Beckham’s fitness and chose to look elsewhere as a result. The good news is that Lord Sebastian Coe has offered Golden Balls some sort of official role at the Olympics, so at least he will get to play a small part in the event that he helped to organise.
The squad also does not include any players from Scotland or Northern Ireland; the Scottish and Northern Irish F.A`s outlined their worries about having a British team from the beginning and this has clearly influenced Pearce’s decision, even if he won’t admit it.
Ramsey is now ruled out of Arsenal’s pre-season tour of Asia and (depending on how far Team GB progress) could miss Arsenal’s tour of Nigeria. However, he doesn’t seem to be too worried about his lack of pre-season training. Aaron told Arsenal.com:
“I’m delighted to be a part of it. Playing in the Olympics will be a great experience and I am looking forward to it so much. It’s fair to say that this could be a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
“I haven’t played under Stuart Pearce before so that is something to look forward to as well. And looking at the squad of players we have I think we have a lot of quality in there. Now we need to work together over the next few weeks and get an understanding of each other. If we do that then I’m sure we can do well, especially with home advantage.”