After the devastating mess with the penalties, Ryan Giggsnow is very much aware what tournament football is really like. With the agonizing defeat against South Korea, the captain has only late admissions of shortcomings to spare.
The current Olympic Games are witness to the UK’s achievements on other sports. This is a different story however to football. History being repeats itself (albeit a frustration) as South Korea was able to overcome the host team to win 5-4 on spot-kicks after Daniel Sturridge saw his effort saved by Bumyoung Lee.
“We weren’t good enough” said Giggs, reflecting on a tediously fought game that ended 1-1 after 120 minutes. “That is the bottom line. Our luck ran out and it could have gone either way. Not going to a tournament with Wales will always be a (personal) disappointment. We were never good enough, it’s simple.”
“But I will look back on this experience with great pride. To captain the Great Britain side has been a privilege. Obviously it is disappointing to have lost like we did but the overall experience has been nothing but positive.”
Team GB head coach Stuart Pearce, who saw Aaron Ramsey miss a penalty in the 40th minute, shortly after he had equalized a strike from Sunderland’s JiDongwon from the spot, feels that even though they have fallen short of expectation, he felt that they have done well.
“I've been walking around the Olympic park and bumping into families who are telling me it's their first game and how they've never been to football together before,” he said.
“I think these people have really enjoyed it. We've touched another audience.”
“It would be interesting to know how many were first-time football fans coming to the games. If they've turned up and enjoyed the experience under the Olympic umbrella, I think it's been a real success. I really do.”
Pearce will now return to his part as England Under-21 Head Coach but he feels that Sturridge and Tom Cleverley, are now in line for regular senior action. He is positive that Roy Hodgson will be selecting them for his team to face Italy in a friendly next week.
“I certainly think they’ll be around the squad,” said Pearce. “With the talent that’s available, I think the way Cleverley can handle the ball and with Sturridge’s eye for goal, they’re two individuals who can be in and around the senior England team.”
“That’s my opinion. They’ve both benefited from this tournament and they will both go back to their clubs, to Manchester United and Chelsea, with something to prove.”
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