Olympic Dream

Posted: 27 April 2012

STUART Pearce has just ruffled the feathers of Sir Alex Ferguson!

The caretaker manager for Great Britain’s Olympic football team included Wayne Rooney on the shortlist for the squad and this infuriated Sir Alex.

That is because Pearce had earlier promised that he is not allowing anyone to play at both the London Games and the Euro 2012.

Sir Alex was irked by Pearce’s decision since he feels Manchester United’s preparation for next season would be turned into absolute chaos if Rooney, deemed as England’s best striker, sees action for the side.


Ferguson fears that with a host of Premier League players tipped to be hitched with the Games, clubs’ plans for the new term would be thrown into disarray mainly due to the closeness between the final playing day of the Olympic football hostilities and the start of the new term which is only separated by seven days.

Not only Rooney’s name was linked with the Olympic team. His United teammates like Ryan Giggs, Ashley Young, Ben Amos, Tom Cleverley, Danny Welbeck, Phil Jones, Chris Smalling, Michael Carrick and Jonny Evans were also listed as possible candidates, infuriating Ferguson more.

Ferguson is facing a situation he called ‘’ridiculous, utter chaos’’ if his team is decimated given that he also stands to lost players who are tipped to make the European Under-19 Championships.

Rooney is banned for the first two group matches of Euro 2012 where he faces the possibility of playing as few as 90 minutes.

Sir Alex might just yet end up clutching his frustrations. Olympic organizers could back up Pearce since they want ticket sales at the football tournament where Rooney is one of the biggest attractions, provided he finally plays.


The 26-year-old Rooney has earlier expressed his desire to play for flag and country as one of the three over-age players given slots to play but he could face a chorus of disapproval from United if he is chosen.

Ferguson maintains they need a well-rested, hale and hearty Rooney in their campaign for the 2012-13 season which begins with the Community Shield just 24 hours after the men’s football final at Wembley. And then the Premier League starts on August 18, three days after a planned England friendly in Switzerland.

The seasoned bench tactician can have all the time to grumble about the predicament he is into. He can always bark at the moon. Problem is, he has no jurisdiction and won’t be able to withdraw United players from the Olympics because the tournament has the official endorsement of the FIFA, the world’s governing body in football.

As things stand now, only the players, like Rooney himself, could decide if it’s a yes or no for the Olympics.

If we were Rooney, he should consider – strongly – playing for Team GB, like David Beckham, whose desire to give his career a ‘’last hurrah’’ if given the chance to play for his country is as fervent as ever.


To compete in the Olympics more so when it is held at your home soil is a rare opportunity for a British footballer. It is a rare opportunity waiting to be grabbed and Rooney, like the others who are considered to play, should take this without dilly-dallying.

Just playing for your country in the Olympics is an honour enough for any athlete. Winning a gold medal is just an added bonus but to get there and compete with pride is priceless.

So Ferguson should stop whining. There is nothing to be mad about. After all, United are close to another success in the Premier League. Preparations for next term can always be addressed on time.

Without a trace of bitterness, he should give Rooney a chance to fulfil his Olympic dream.