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Stuart Pearce braced for club v country battle with Arsenal boss Wenger

07:32 25 April 2012

Team GB head coach Stuart Pearce during a press conference after the Offical Draw of the London 2012 Football Tournament at Wembley Stadium,

Team GB head coach Stuart Pearce during a press conference after the Offical Draw of the London 2012 Football Tournament at Wembley Stadium,

The Team GB boss has kept Jack Wilshere on his shortlist for the London 2012 Olympic games

Stuart Pearce is set for a club v country argument with Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger.

The Team GB boss for the London 2012 Olympic games revealed injured Gunners midfielder Jack Wilshire remains on his shortlist for the football tournament squad.

“If I make one selection proviso for one manager I’ll have to do it for everybody,” Pearce said. “The important thing for me is my duty of care to Great Britain to win a gold medal.

“I don’t want to get in a tête-à-tête with Arsene. I can’t change that (Wenger’s) opinion. It’s not a great concern to me, really.

“I think (Lionel) Messi took his club (Barcelona) to court (to play in the 2008 Olympics).

“That’s the strength of feeling from Lionel Messi, the best player in the world.

“Now I, as a football club or a player, wouldn’t want to get involved in a legal battle but I think somewhere down the line...”

Wenger’s stance is unlikely to have changed since October when he ridiculed the Olympic tournament.

“The Olympic tournament for me is not a real football tournament, for me the Olympics is for track and field basically,” the Gunners boss said.

Wilshere has missed all of this season with an ankle injury and Pearce is going to assess what is best for the 20-year-old before selecting him.

“Jack’s been out a hell of a long time,” the Team GB boss added.

“The duty of care to Jack as a player is paramount in my mind.

“For me to leave him on a shortlist is probably prudent at this stage.”

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