Should David Beckham be selected?

There has been much debate recently over whether Team GB coach Stuart Pearce should select David Beckham as one of his three over-age players when he announces his provisional 35-man Olympic squad on Friday.

Some, such as former England manager Graham Taylor, believe that players should be selected on merit alone and that Beckham should not be selected on that basis. Taylor questions whether the 37-year-old would have the legs to fully contribute the Britain’s Olympic campaign, suggesting that “it would be wrong to pick him just because he is a name.”

However, I would argue that Beckham is still good enough to be included in the squad. Granted, he may not have the legs to play in a flat 4-4-2 these days, but he would be ideal as a deep-lying playmaker in the middle of a five-man midfield. Whether or not Pearce would want to use such a formation is a different matter. If nothing else, Beckham could be used sparingly, either as a starter or an impact sub. His eye for a pass and dead ball delivery are still second-to-none. He is also a consummate professional who I am sure the younger players would love to have around.

Secondly, whether you like it or not, there is bound to be a degree of ceremony involved at London 2012. David Beckham is the most internationally recognisable sportsman Britain has ever produced. He is sure to guarantee bums on seats and a genuine interest in a competition that has disappointed organisers in terms of ticket sales, in a way that no one else possibly could.

It would be a dream end to an impressive career for Beckham to lead Team GB on home soil, one that he deserves; not just because of his name, but because of his ability.