Golden Balls- Beckham- Out
Posted by Sports Snob on August 11, 2006
Well, was this a surprise! England’s new coach Steve McClaren has dropped David Beckham from the English squad that will play European Champions (that seems like ages ago) Greece in a friendly next week. With this move, the odds are that Beckham’s international career is over. Filled with more downs than ups, Beckham has failed to do anything of note in the last three major championships- although an injury could be faulted for his terrible performance at the 2002 World Cup in Japan and Korea.
While a number of fans will point out the fact that Beckham scored once and set up a number of goals in the World Cup in Germany, it is an absolute fact that Beckham was absolutely awful in most of the games. His corners, free-kicks (barring one) and crosses inevitably found the wall or the first defender. He has lost a lot of pace and the fact is that England seem to have better attacking options now. With this move, young Aaron Lennon or maybe even Shaun Wright-Phillips will get to blossom into a dependable right midfielder for England. There is still a lot of time for the coach to experiment.
It will be interesting to see what this does to brand Beckham. He has to win the trust of new coach Fabio Capello at Madrid and also try and win back his place in the national squad. And at 31, time is running out.
I don’t think we have seen Beckham at his best since the horrific Aldo Duscher tackle in the Champions League quarter final at Old Trafford in the 2001-02 season. Since then , he has lost pace and also the penetration in his crossing has come down several notches. It will be interesting to see what happens in the coming season.
Best Beckham moment:
1. Scoring against Greece in the final qualifying game for the 2002 WC at Wembley. England needed a draw to qualify and Beckham equalized with a stunning freekick in injury time.
See video here
With this move and also by naming John Terry as captain, McClaren has sought to distance himself from the previous manager Sven Goran Erikkson under whom Beckham seemed beyond reproach and team seemed bereft of ideas. Hopefully, this will be the start of a new era where Gerrard and Lampard don’t play side by side in the centre of the park, the English team plays with a lot more pace and purpose culminating in a great showing at Euro 2008.
P.S. : What the hell are Phil Neville and Jermaine Jenas doing in the English team?!