I don’t really have an axe to grind with occasional footballer David Beckham. He seems a good family guy (leaving aside the Rebecca Loos shenanigans) and a pretty decent bloke. However, it’s fair to say that David Beckham’s career has always been about David Beckham.
There’s a fairly strong argument for him to be considered the fourth best of Man United’s turn-of-the-century midfield with himself, Scholes, Giggs and Keane. Beckham’s celebrity status often saw him capture the headlines ahead of more talented players albeit, at times, not without justification. But Alex Ferguson wasn’t a fan of Brand Beckham and shipped Becks off to Real Madrid in 2003.
In 2006 Beckham struggled to make an impact under new manager Fabio Capello at Real. After being dumped by useless England manager Steve McClaren (although it seemed a fair decision at the time given the burgeoning form of Shaun Wright-Philips and Aaron Lennon) in August 2006, Becks decided, probably in a bit of a strop, that the game was up and announced that he was going to the USA to earn hundreds of millions of dollars revolutionise the sport. How could you have The David Beckham Show – a dramatic production about a young, pretty family with a distant footballing back-story – without David Beckham at the forefront?
The American experience turned out to be largely underwhelming for Beckham and his club, and the former celebrity was becoming a footballing afterthought. But a lifeline emerged as Beckham was recalled by a desperate McClaren after just nine months in the United States footballing wilderness. In spite of concerns over his fitness and the effects of jet lag, Beckham continued to turn out for England under McClaren and, eventually, new coach -ironically – Fabio Capello.
Now Beckham really was “back” and in order to maintain match fitness his US club Los Angeles Galaxy agreed to loan him to AC Milan during the off-season. Beckham was a surprising success and Milan inquired about taking him permanently. Suddenly the David Beckham Show had been recommissioned and, like the ultimate opportunist, Beckham started making noises about abandoning his failed US project.
“I know it will be difficult to go back after everything that’s happened,” he said. “There will be more talks this week between the two clubs and hopefully, as I’ve said before, they can come to an agreement.”
Everything is a circus with David Beckham and it’s very disappointing to see him walk out on his contract with LA Galaxy in the manner that he has. I doubt he ever intended to go back once he had engineered the loan move to Europe.
I can’t blame the guy for trying to extend his career at a high level but, let’s face it, the guy did the math two years ago and liked the number of zeros avaialble in the US. He wasn’t center of attention at Madrid (at the time he signed the LA deal – he went on to influence the title race in Madrid’s favour) and England had dumped him. So he got the hump and sodded off to attend dinner parties with Katie and Tom and their nutter friends.
I would have had more respect for him if he gritted his teeth, accepted his place at Real or at a club of lower stature and played in a competitive football league in his final 2-3 seasons.
I guess all that’s happened now is that the rights to The David Beckham Show have been sold back to the European market and, no doubt, it’ll be shoved down our throats again.