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'Mythic' Beckham Saves England
San Francisco Chronicle, June 26th, 2006 3:14PM

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There are two sides to David Beckham, writes Bruce Jenkins of the San Francisco Chronicle: One is a mythic figure capable of doing incredible things with a dead ball and the other is an aging soccer star past his prime, and probably Jenkins says, hurting his country. Beckham's goal against Ecuador was pure mythic-Beckham; played at the best angle, the ball looked as if it were thrown in like a boomerang that would return to his hands but for the net and gravity. Prior to that goal, ABC commentator Marcelo Balboa was going on about how Beckham slows play down. Writers and former players across the globe have been calling for Sven Goran Eriksson to take him out of the starting lineup. That's all fine and good, but who out there has a better solution? The truth is, England have only looked dangerous when Beckham plays the ball into the area. Aside from two great, unexpected, goals from England against Sweden, they've looked poor offensively, to say the least. And Beckham had a hand in each of England's other goals. Take him out of the equation and ask yourself who out there is making things happen for the English offensively. The defense, meanwhile, has contrived to save England on several occasions so far, putting in three solid performances and one dreadful one in the last three weeks.

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