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Wilshere in contention

Image: Jack Wilshere: Stuart Pearce thinks players would benefit from playing at the Olympics

Team GB coach Stuart Pearce will continue to consider Jack Wilshere for this summer's Olympics.

Arsenal midfielder remains on Pearce's 80-man squad list

Team GB coach Stuart Pearce will continue to consider Jack Wilshere for this summer's Olympics. Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger last week confirmed the midfielder would miss Euro 2012 after failing to recover from an ankle injury that has kept him out of the entire season. It was also suggested Wilshere would not be available for the Olympics, which would have been a back-up option for the 20-year-old, who had previously admitted he would relish the chance to be involved. However, Wilshere was in the 80-man provisional squad Stuart Pearce selected last week. And the Great Britain coach has confirmed he will not rule anyone out until he is satisfied they cannot play, even if the odds on Wilshere making the final 18-man squad appear extremely remote.


"He is on the shortlist," said Pearce. "We will look at everyone individually and check their fitness and the medical people will speak with the clubs. "We do have to be acutely aware that with an 18-man squad, and possibly six matches in 16 days, all the players are fully fit. "You can't be losing two or three to injury, otherwise you will be on the back foot." The news is bound to alarm Wenger who, like Sir Alex Ferguson, is not convinced by the merits of Olympic competition in the first place. Ferguson has already spoken of the havoc that could be caused to Manchester United's pre-season preparation by a large number of British call-ups, in addition to David de Gea and Javier Hernandez, who will be playing for Spain and Mexico, respectively.
However, Pearce believes this attitude undermines the merits of a tournament which it is now known will pitch Britain into battle with Senegal, UAE and Uruguay following Tuesday's group stage draw at Wembley. "I am acutely aware that club managers have a duty of care to their individual clubs," said Pearce. "But once the tournament starts, excitement will be generated and people will see the greater good it will do for the individual players and the feel-good factor it brings. "Plus we will be returning the players to their clubs before the season starts, so all they will be missing are pre-season friendlies. "If I was a player, I would much prefer to be playing at Old Trafford, Wembley and the Millennium Stadium, competing for a medal and then going back to my club. The lift that would give me would be fantastic."

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