Stand-in England manager and Great Britain Olympic football gaffer Stuart Pearce has warned Arsene Wenger that he will decide if Jack Wilshere will go to the Olympics.
Pearce has the Gunners midfielder on his 80-man short-list for the upcoming games which will take place after Euro 2012, a competition that the English midfield maestro has already been ruled out for.
Wenger has already publicly stated that Wilshere will be unavailable for the Olympic games as he wants his starlet to undergo a full but cautious preseason training. The last thing the Frenchman wants is for the Arsenal academy graduate to suffer another setback. The Frenchman said last week: “The Olympics would be the worst idea for him.”
But despite Wengers comments, the GB manager is confident that if Wilshere can prove his fitness, Pearce will make the overriding decision whether the midfielder will play a part in the competition.
Pearce was quoted as saying by The Mirror:
We’re in constant contact with Arsenal and we’ll see how this one rides.
But, will any manager get a veto over who I select? Of course not.
We would obviously let them know if their players are in contention and the dates they would need to be made available.
But we’re talking about Great Britain here. The Olympic Games.
If you strip it down solely to the players, this is an opportunity of a lifetime.
Lionel Messi took his club to court because he wanted to play at the Olympics. That’s the best player in the world.
I wouldn’t want to get into a legal battle, but we’re not talking about taking players away for a whole season.
We’re not even asking them to miss a competitive match.
This isn’t the first time the managers have exchanged words over the availability of Arsenal players, with the pair previously clashing over Wilshere and Walcott’s participation for the England Under-21’s.
I think I have to disagree with Pearce’s comments as Wenger should have the final say as to whether his player/s are available to play or not.
If Wilshere did play in the competition it is likely he will miss the start of the season because of how long the Olympic games runs, and because he has not played a single competitive match this season a tournament could prove to be too much for the youngster.
But why should Wenger make the final decision? Well who pay’s Wilshere’s wages? What team has suffered from his absence? Which medical team has been working tirelessly for a whole season to get the young man fit? Arsenal. And why risk all his hard work in his rehabilitation program for a team that Great Britain have just recreated for what is considered an amateur tournament.
But then again if Wilshere really wants to participate Wenger might have a hard time stopping him..