I have a question about the headlines careening around the interwebs saying something along the lines of “Stuart Pearce says decision to exclude David Beckham was purely for football reasons.”
Because, what other possible motive would Pearce have for setting brush fires of outrage throughout Beckham-loving England? This is not a Rio Ferdinand-John Terry type thing, where a certain player’s selection might improve collective talent but be toxic for team chemistry. It’s exactly the opposite.
At any rate, the coach of Great Britain’s Olympic team today explained his rationale for leaving Beckham out of his squad. Essentially, Pearce said, his selections were based on form, not sentiment – which is exactly as it should be.
Form plays a big part and I don’t think there is a manager around who picks on sentiment. I have to be comfortable when I have made decisions based solely on football grounds alone, nothing else.”
Pearce told Sky News specifically: “I saw Beckham more than any other player. In the end I decided the other three over 23-year-old players gave me a bit more. … David doesn’t feel it was the right decision, and naturally he was disappointed. But so were all of those who were left out.”
Clearly, there was pressure on him to select Beckham, who wasn’t performing at his best when the Great Britain manager came to see him earlier this year.
NBC News is reporting that at least 19 people have been killed and another 50 are injured following a possible suicide bombing at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester.
Multiple senior U.S. intelligence officials who are monitoring British authorities told NBC News that preliminary reports indicate that a single explosion took place outside the arena on the southwest side opposite the train station. The explosion occurred as the concert ended, catching people as they exited.
Soccer personalities around the world are reacting to the horrible event.
If you didn’t realize Juan Cuadrado still belonged to Chelsea, you’re forgiven.
The Colombian attacker will complete his second season at Juventus after the UEFA Champions League Final against Real Madrid, and won’t be headed back to Chelsea afterwards.
Juve has purchased Cuadrado, and the fee is $22 million, and Juve will pay it over three seasons. Cuadrado, 28, is now signed through 2020 with The Old Lady.
Cuadrado first went on loan to Juve in Aug. 2015, and has eight goals and 18 assists in 83 career appearances with the club.
Chelsea bought Cuadrado from Fiorentina for around $32 million in the January 2015 transfer window, but made just 14 appearances with the club.
Sky Sports is reporting that Jermain Defoe may head back to the south of England following Sunderland’s relegation.
Defoe, 34, spent two seasons with Portsmouth between 2008-09, scoring 15 goals in 31 appearances.
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The 56-times capped England striker had a clause in his Sunderland contract allowing him to leave the Stadium of Light were the Black Cats to be relegated, as they were this season. He’d have little interest in dropping into the Championship given his desire to stay a part of the England squad ahead of the 2018 World Cup.
Bournemouth’s strike corps includes Joshua King, who scored the most goals of any player not on a Top Seven side this season. King’s 16 goals were one more than Defoe’s 15, though the latter scored just one goal following a brace against Crystal Palace on Feb. 4.
Antonio Conte took league and national honors from the League Managers Association on Monday night.
The Chelsea boss was named Premier League Manager of the Year and Manager of the Year after leading the Blues to the PL title and an FA Cup Final in his first year on the job.
Brighton and Hove Albion boss Chris Hughton nabbed another Championship boss of the year award after leading the Gulls to the Premier League. He also won the honor with Newcastle United in 2010.
The League One winner is Chris Wilder of Sheffield United. Wilder won the honor with Northampton Town last season.
In League Two, Paul Cook of Portsmouth was named the winner.