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Beckham given the Boot

August 11, 2006

BeckhamGive the people what they want.

Or at least, what they think they want.

After an easy decision no. 1, McLaren has decided to bow to pressure and make a sacrificial lamb out of Beckham.

If he thinks by placating the media now, it will help buy him some time for when things inevitably go pear shaped, then he is badly mistaken. They will jump on his back with glee and point to his association with Sven as evidence of his reign being doomed to failure from the start.

Effectively ending Beckham’s international career may get him kudos from The Sun in the short term, but in the longer term he will have to face the consequences of what is probably his first of many mistakes as England manager.

Beckham is not, nor ever has been, the player his hype announced him to be. He would have had to have been born in the Pele family to even come close, but even then he would have fallen short. Quite simply, he was never going to meet expectations because they were so unrealistically high, they were not humanely possible, especially for an Englishman. By that, I mean he would have had to have captained England to the World Cup, at least once, and whatever our media might think, that is unlikely to happen in the next 10-15 years, let alone in the past 10 years or so.

Beckham was once seen as key to all things England could achieve, much as Rooney is now. Because of his ‘failure’ to lead England to ultimate glory, he is now a victim of unfair ridicule and criticism as much as he was given unjustified praise in years gone by. The overriding feeling of being personally let down by him clouds objective decision making, but where has anything regarding Beckham ever been objective and grounded in reality?

He was not the eceptional player we were told he was, and he is not as bad as we are told he is now.

His decision to jump before he was pushed was the correct one, and his position in the side is a matter of debate, but to conclude that a player can go from captain of the national side to not good enough for a 25 man squad is, at best deluded, and smacks of being made a scapegoat.

No ordinary player gets to play for Real Madrid, and regardless of whether age is catching up with him, he is still one of the best dead-ball specialists in the game.

By all means play Lennon or Wright-Philips in the starting eleven, but surely not having Beckham on the bench is unnecessarily reducing England’s options when Beckham still has something to offer the side, even if it isn’t his captaincy any more. He may not be an impact player in the way that Lennon is, injecting some pace into the game, but he is in the same way Peter Crouch is a great impact player – it mixes things up.

Like-for-like substitutions are fine if the game is going your way, but if you’re losing, you need to try something different. Throw on Crouch to trouble the defenders, unleash Lennon on a tiring defence, or bring on the dead-ball specialist who just might win you the game.

If a defence has had 75 minutes of dealing with short passes through midfield to feet, suddenly has to deal with Crouch being supplied by pin-point accurate cross field passes from Beckham, then it really could change the game. But this option is one McLaren has denied himself to keep the fickle public happy who want to punish Beckham for not fulfilling their dreams.

What they don’t realise, is that by booting Beckham, they are shooting themselves in the foot as well.

~ TranceFixed

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. August 12, 2006 12:12 am

    You are right. I don’t think Beckham was bad enough to be identified as the worse player on the England team at all. There were many worse. So for him to relinquish the captaincy and sacrifice his place in the team, it shows the mark of the man that he wants to try to win his place back.

    Becks went up in my estimation today.

  2. August 12, 2006 10:30 am

    He is only 31. He still has this season to prove himself and once Wright-Philips and Lennon are found wanting, McClaren will have no other choice but to turn to Beckham. But atleast this shows that McClaren has the balls to do what his predecessor never did. I don’t like McClaren much- Boro used to play the most boring football (after Chelsea) in the EPL and I don’t really know how much of a difference he can make to the English team.

    Anyway, completely agree with you about Neville!

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