Team GB manager Stuart Pearce says he will choose Jack Wilshere for the Olympics if fit, no matter what Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has to say
Wenger has repeatedly said he does not want Wilshere to play at the 2012 Olympic Games, fearing for his fitness, but Pearce will not be dictated to by a club manager.
Wilshere, one of the Gunners’ top players, has been out with an ankle injury for months, and has been ruled out of Euro 2012 for England.
This means the 20-year-old midfielder is eligible to play for Pearce in the Olympics, and the England caretaker boss says he will choose the youngster if he is fit to feature.
A determined Pearce said in the Daily Mirror: “We’re in constant contact with Arsenal and we’ll see how this one rides.
“But, will any manager get a veto over who I select? Of course not.
“We would obviously let them know if their players are in contention and the dates they would need to be made available.
“But we’re talking about Great Britain here. The Olympic Games. If you strip it down solely to the players, this is an opportunity of a lifetime.
“Lionel Messi took his club (Barcelona) to court because he wanted to play at the Olympics. That’s the best player in the world.
“I wouldn’t want to get into a legal battle, but we’re not talking about taking players away for a whole season.
“We’re not even asking them to miss a competitive match.”
Wilshere is one of 80 players on the list at the moment, which will be cut down further as the tournament in July draws near.