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Horncastle: Parma have been failed

Serie A
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Pearce: No pressure to pick Becks

Stuart Pearce has stressed there was no political pressure on him to select David Beckham for his Team GB Olympic squad.

The omission of Beckham - a key figure in the London 2012 bid process - overshadowed the naming of the 18 players who will line up at the Games.

It was widely expected that LA Galaxy midfielder Beckham would be one of the three over-age players in Pearce's squad. But the England U21s boss said his selections - Craig Bellamy, Ryan Giggs and Micah Richards - were made for footballing reasons.

"From the offset, when I sat down with the (Football Association) chairman David Bernstein, some time before Christmas, he offered me the opportunity to pick the squad,'' he said.

"If at that stage he had said to me that certain individuals would have to be included I certainly wouldn't do that job. I don't know any manager worth their salt who would have.

"Right through this process I have had carte blanche to pick whatever players I regard as best. I do enough hours watching matches and I think I've done due diligence on all the players here.

"And in regard to ticket sales and merchandise: I'm a football man and I pick solely on football ability. I have to back my opinion and that's what I have done.''

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