Great Britain Gold Rush: Reasons we can bag ourselves a medal


As the historic team GB prepares for its first Olympics since 1960 there is reason to stem the tide of pessimism that has epidemically replaced optimism across Great Britain.

Firstly team GB possesses a highly astute coach in the shape of Stuart Pearce. Pearce has essential experience from major tournaments as a player and as the U-21 manager of England. His only senior game as caretaker manager for the full national side was a remarkable and courageous display against a technically superior Holland side only for a late Arjen Robben goal to snatch an impressive draw from their clutches after initially trailing 2-0. After the display there were even calls for the FA to appoint him on a full time basis. His passion and enthusiasm for sport and country will come across very strongly to the players and he has already shown enormous strength by leaving out David Beckham and giving the captains armband to 38 year old Ryan Giggs who’s guidance on the pitch can help push any team over the line. Many have voiced their concerns regarding Pearce’s managerial and tactical capabilities but a British coach with such an extensive international pedigree are few and far between.

So GB have the right coach. How about the players? Team GB is also very capable in this department. The previously mentioned Giggs has a medal collection to trump any, while Ryan Bertrand and Daniel Sturridge are fellow Champions League medal holders to add to Micah Richards’ Premier League medal. The likes of Cleverley, Taylor, Sinclair and Caulker are all emerging talents that have had consistent campaigns in the Premier League. The welsh additions of journeyman Bellamy, Swansea’s £15M rated Joe Allen and Arsenal midfielder Aaron Ramsey blends well into the team with their English team-mates. On paper the squad boasts skill, pace, energy and experience in equal measures which could certainly qualify from a group consisting of Senegal, United Arab Emirates and Uruguay.

Much has been made of the fact that these players will not have had time to gel and simply cannot match the likes of Brazil or Spain who’s players have had years to mould a fully functioning team (although it could just as easily be pointed out the two nations share only one Olympic gold medal between them which doesn’t match up to the two previously won be team GB). However if thought about closely enough this could also work to the advantage of the newly resurrected team. Opposing managers will not have any idea what is about to hit them with no backlog of scout reports available. The players will be pumped up, they have automatically stamped their names in history in what could be the last team GB for many more generations to come. Mentally home advantage could prove vital as even the most passive football fan in the world could point out this plays a factor in deciding the outcome of matches. Not to mention the pressure on other nations such as Brazil and its coach Mano Menezes weighs much heavier on the shoulders than the light expectations on those of Great Britain.

This is truly a once in a lifetime opportunity and with the right backing it could prove a rewarding experience. The time has arrived to put down the form book of the superpowers in world football and cast all logic aside as the Olympics cannot be defined by such rational measures. It’s going to be fun, exciting and tense but ultimately there are enough reasons for optimism to suggest the involvement of team GB can only add to the quality that has already been showcased this summer.

Tomos Llewellyn

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