01/08/2012 11:31 | By Thomas Oakey

Team GB should have national quotas, says Martin Keown

Team GB can't live up to its name without including players from all four home nations within its ranks, according to Martin Keown.

Martin Keown

Football legend Martin Keown getting in the sporting spirit at BT House (30.07.12)

The former England and Arsenal defender told MSN that Stuart Pearce should have been forced to include footballers from England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Such a policy could actually have benefitted the side by bringing a broader range of approaches, he added.

"There are too many English players involved" Keown said in an interview at BT House in London. "We have three overage players, so we should have had three players from each nation, because I think there's a lot to be learned from one another."

Great Britain go in to their final group game against Uruguay on Wednesday evening looking to avoid defeat in order to progress to the knockout stages, following a 1-1 draw against Senegal and a 3-1 victory over the UAE.

Though the Scottish, Welsh and Northern Irish Football Associations have previously made it clear that they oppose a combined 'TeamGB', for fear of compromising their own national sides, they were prevented from blocking players from participating. However the non-English contingent is made up of just five Welshmen.

Keown added: "The Welsh players have been magnificent; but I would've liked to have seen some Irish bodies in there. We talk about the British Lions, and it's the characters you remember, and the personalities, and I know for one that there's plenty of personality in the Irish and Scottish and it's a shame they weren't involved."

The veteran centre-back, capped times 43 times for England, also questioned the exclusion of David Beckham by head coach Stuart Pearce, revealing that he would have selected the former England skipper.

"Olympic football is a little bit unique; I think that it's been seen as an opportunity to gather experience really, and then the overage players are used in sort of a supportive role...which is why I think we missed the point with David Beckham.

"If you compare him to Ryan Giggs, two iconic figures, both players who've been fantastic in their ability... I think if you're making room for Ryan, which I think you should've done, I would have liked to have seen David involved as well."

  • MSN caught up with football legend Martin Keown from BT House at BT London Live, to see who else will be there and what's on offer head to http://www.btlondonlive.com/
01/08/2012 22:52

MSN crap again. Just headliing and stirring to evoke comments.

Simple reality is you pick the best from those that want to play. Why should Stu pick inferior players? To ppease who?  Not the fans who pay the money, not the home nations that want to see Team GB do well.

 Leave the sour grapes and anti English where it belongs  - in the gutter - and suport the Home nations.

 Gosh they be saying next you should pick player near the venues they be playing at to save bus fares lol.

01/08/2012 21:51

On Martins point though hes in my opinion wrong


In no other sport that represents GB is there an equal representation of athletes from the 4 countries

01/08/2012 23:19
And what other 'country' would be forced to do this?
02/08/2012 01:44
I can see where keown is coming from but Team GB shouldn't be forced to put forward players. I, myself am from Northern Ireland and none of them would stand a chance of getting in the starting 11. I can see a few scottish players maybe getting a few minutes but realistically they aren't going to have a major impact. Besides, both their football associations were against 'Team GB' for football. In my opinion Team 'England and Wales' is the best team.
01/08/2012 17:59
Irish rugby players are picked because they are the best out there at their positions
a GB team should still be made up of the best players on offer

01/08/2012 20:31
Well here's a new one,if a boxer who has turned professional ( ie taken off the vest and taken payment for what he/she does) cannot return to the Olympics,then WHY have we got professional footballers,tennis players,etc etc. appearing nowadays. Seems to me only boxers get penalised for earning their living after being in the Olympics.
The guy's an idiot! There isn't a Scot good enough to play for GB.
02/08/2012 08:36
I watched the game last night, to me only Bellamy came out with any credit. Ran his legs off to get over crosses, and our forwards were still in their own half. I finished up using bad language at the telly and i dont think that i would be the only one.
01/08/2012 20:30
Darren Fletcher would probably have been one of the overaged players if he wasn't so ill. No other Scotland player is good enough. (I'm from Scotland btw)
01/08/2012 18:53
You are dead right, obviously it needs to be on ability not just nationality. Why have we called it Team GB, it should at least be Great Britain & Northern Ireland as it was in the mens single sculls this morning, or even better, what it really is - United Kingdom.
02/08/2012 07:35
Who gives a rats **** how team gb do.they should have included the disiplines that the footballers excel in.who can role the farthest when hit by a feather.who can get to the ref first when it should have been a foul.who could throw there toys out of the pram farthest when any decision goes against them.there would not be enough medals to go round..
01/08/2012 21:49

Actually Michael youre wrong otherwise why on the the official olympic medals table does it say Great Britian and Northen Ireland



I am glad Keown isnt manager.If Ireland and Scotland want no part, what is the point of Pearce being forced to take them. As for Beckham, i am glad he isnt there.There is enough problems with the setup without having a celebrity player that hasnt played decent football for years.
02/08/2012 09:13
he has 43 caps played in 1 world cup and 2 euros he has 3 premier league titles 3 fa cup trophies 1 uefa cup and 3 charity shields its amazing how people can have a dig at someone like this a man who played with so much pride and passion for his country but thats typical england fans tho and as for keown being a thug on the pitch look at the  GB manager his knickname is psycho the guy was a nasty piece of work.
01/08/2012 18:59
Sorry but he is talking rubbish. The British and Irish Lions are made up of the best players at the time and not chosen because of where they are from. Following this logic the rest of his statement becomes daft. There is no way we could leave Bellamy out as he deserves to be there even though I cant stand him and Richards should have gone to Euros so better choice too. I am a great fan of Becks on and off the pitch but Pearce got it right.
02/08/2012 00:00
Martin Keown is one of those few former England internationals with a functioning brain. I think he is entitled to his opinion. It is not team GB we are watching - more like team England and Giggs (lock up your sister in laws). Even rugby union put a couple of Irish and Scots in the British Lions. Some of the English players in the squad are pretty average and they could have easily included Robby Keane etc
02/08/2012 08:39
Pearce is a dick either way, believing that singing the national anthem isnt important. He's now become a **** like Waddle in 1990.
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