Wednesday, 18 February 2009

B is for...Beckham

When David Beckham was voted the 2nd best footballer in the world in 2000, George Best made the remark that "He cannot kick with his left foot, he cannot head a ball, he cannot tackle and he doesn't score many goals. Apart from that he's all right."
I always thought Beckham was a decent enough footballer, his ability to ping a football half the length of the pitch and land it directly at his colleagues foot was admirable but i always felt that he was very lucky to make such limited talent go such a long way.
Now he is itching to get away from LA Galaxy and not head the ball or go past an opponent in the Italian League with AC Milan.
Despite his argument that he didn't go to America for the £125 contract and it was to try and increase the popularity of the sport over there, nobody actually believed him. After Real Madrid he had options to come back to England or join any of the Italian clubs who were making noises in his direction but he took the money and went to play in the backwater which is the MLS, by all accounts the standard of our lower Championship leagues.
Now that he has had a taste of the big time again after his loan at Milan, he wants to stay in Italy and has said that he would be disappointed if he had to return to Los Angeles.
Maybe he thought that his England career was over, that he couldn't cut it anymore in the Premier League, Serie A or La Liga but he must regret stepping away from the spotlight when he did and now at 33, his best years are behind him.
Frankly, i am surprised that AC Milan are willing to shell out the millions Galaxy are rightly demanding for him, he can cross a decent ball and take a great free kick but apart from that he managed to make an excellent career out of actually having very little and if the deal falls through and he finds himself back at LA Galaxy, he only has himself to blame.


Cheezy said...

Complete agreement here. In (saner) days of yore, the most famous footballer in the world has usually been the best one, or at least close to being the best one - e.g. Matthews, Puskas, Pele, Di Stefano, Best, Zico, Maradona etc.

Whereas for the last 10 years Beckham's been easily the most famous player in the world, and not even close to being the best. That's (mainly) been Zidane. I'd argue that Beckham's probably not even been in the top ten players for most of his career. In fact, I'd also argue that he's not even the most gifted English player since I've been watching... that's been Hoddle and Gascoigne, who were both far more talented than Goldenballs.

He's seems to have an inflated profile based upon the fact that ladies like looking at him. The tyranny of feminism indeed!

Anyway, back to your point about the Galaxy. They've been treated very shabbily and I hope they take Milan to the cleaners. Becks only went there cos he spat the dummy about being dropped by England (admittedly that was the wrong decision) and literally thought his career all over. Now that he's reconsidered he basically wants his contract torn up. Doesn't work like that!

(Or rather, it probably will work like that... in the end. The Beckhams (plural) usually get what they want).

Cody Bones said...

"Becks only went there cos he spat the dummy about being dropped by England (admittedly that was the wrong decision) and literally thought his career all over."

No, Beckham went there for the same reason every wannabe goes to Los Angeles, he, and that annoying twit of a wife thought that they could be a-listers in Hollywood, and kick (no pun intended)off his movie career. Now that they realize the small fish, HUGE pond analogy refers to them, he want's to slink back to Europe. I hadn't even heard of this until I saw the post by Paul. It shows how little attention he gets here.

The Fez Monkey said...

A Point of View from one of the few American footy (soccer) fans, and even more specifically, one of the actual Galaxy fans.


Becks should stay in Italy. Yes, he was never among the true elite on the pitch, even in his heyday, but watching him surrounded by his Galaxy teammates was sad. I honestly believe he thought the level of play here in the US would have been higher, but he was dead wrong. So, purely from the context of frustration, I empathize with him and don't begrudge him his desire to stay in Milan at all.

In terms of the Galaxy, well they are definitely getting hosed. AC Milan is showing them no respect in this matter, essentially dealing with them as a CEO would deal with a beggar: with disdain and complete lack of respect. So, from that standpoint I'm glad the Galaxy has dug in their heels and refused to cave in. As it stands, AC Milan hasn't offered either the type of money or talent to make a transfer worthwhile.

Ultimately how this shakes out will go a long way to determining whether MLS can be considered a true partner in International football. As it stands now, talentwise the MLS is on par with the Mexican League, and most of the South American leagues. Obviously, the goal is to continue to grow to the level of the "lower" European leagues, such as Turkey, Czech, and possibly even Portugal. The result of the dealings with AC Milan should determine the perception of quality, if nothing else.

Then, of course, there is the matter of Landon Donovan wanting to stay with Bayern ...

Ook ook

Cheezy said...

"he, and that annoying twit of a wife thought that they could be a-listers in Hollywood, and kick (no pun intended)off his movie career."

Yeah, for sure, that was part of it. But my point is that he'd have put that (ludicrous) dream on hold for a couple of years if he hadn't been dropped by the England manager of the time (who has since been deservedly sacked) and settled for 'storming Hollywood' (haha) after his international career was over.

Now that he has had an unexpected reprieve (in terms of his chances of playing in the 2010 World Cup) it's like he wants to turn back time and forget about all the promises he told the LA Galaxy (not to mention the contract he signed). It's a disgrace alright, but also, an amusing sideshow.

Beckham in Hollywood will never work without someone to dub his voice. It's terribly reedy! :)

Nog said...

LA Galaxy? Who? Is that someone's name?

Yeah, I'm pretty sure that nobody cares about soccer in the states. Sure, we all play on teams when we're kids, but I doubt most of the folks here even know we have a soccer league.

As I understand it, a great deal of its popularity as a professional sport stems from immigrants who come from places where soccer is popular (namely Mexico and other parts of Latin America).

Turn on a cable TV here and see if you can find a soccer game on at any time during the day in English below ESPN 5 (or whatever they are at now). I have never seen or heard of an English showing of a soccer game on broadcast or basic cable in the United States (except maybe for a few Olympic games).

I remember when I heard of him coming over how confused I was. I didn't even know that MLS teams had budgets a fifth as high. Who would want to come to the United States to play professional soccer? If he was the best soccer player in MLS history he'd still not rank in the top 50 athletes in the country. He must really suck to ditch European football for state-side soccer.

Cheezy said...

"If he was the best soccer player in MLS history he'd still not rank in the top 50 athletes in the country. "

Fans of someone called Pele might disagree with you there! Ah, actually, come to think of it, it wasn't called the MLS back when he played in the States, was it... It was the NASL I think. So forget I spoke :)

The Fez Monkey said...

Re: Cheezy's NASL reference -

Yep, it was called the NASL. And not only did it feature Pele playing for the Cosmos (the NY side), but we also managed to catch such players as:

Johan Cruyff
Franz Beckenbauer
George Best

And I got to see them all play at one time or another when I went to the LA Aztecs matches as a kid. Hard to believe, but I actually saw soccer royalty. Cool, huh?

All that aside, it seems Becks is returning to LA much to his chagrin. Of course, he can opt out of his contract after this season, so his experiment will be short-lived.

Ook ook

PS: Noah, there are a few of us non-immigrant types here in the US that count ourselves as knowledgable fans, and who watch matches outside the World Cup and the Olympics. :)

Falling on a bruise said...

Fez, as an american football fan you can probably answer me something that i heard. I heard that teams don't actually buy the players, they are bought by the MLS league who then decide what team they play for. Is this really true or was something delicate of mine being tugged?

The Fez Monkey said...

Paul -

I think there is more tugging than not.

The league doesn't dictate where players go, nor does the league pay salaries. However, the league does have some control over costs and such, so there isn't complete independence for the individual clubs. Also, the owners of the Galaxy also own a few other clubs as well, so there is some incest going around.

The short version, however, is that each team does buy their players and can dispose of them as they wish via trade or sale.

Now, if only this whole Beckham mess can get resolved ...

Ook ook