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Beckham's World Cup quest
August 14th, 2009 7AM
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[ENGLAND] The Los Angeles Galaxy's David Beckham started for England in its 2-2 friendly home tie with the Netherlands on Wednesday. He was subbed at halftime, when the Dutch had a two-goal lead. The Mirror said Beckham's performance proved he deserved a spot in the 2010 World Cup squad, but other reviews weren't quite as flattering.

The Mirror wrote that, "The days when Beckham could take a game by the scruff of the neck and change it by sheer force of will ... are long gone. But what he lacks in dynamism and mobility he makes up for through his experience and know-how. ... Beckham remains the best crosser of a ball England have at their disposal. And he is still his country's most accomplished dead-ball specialist.

The Telegraph graded Beckham a 6 out of 10 and wrote: "Started promisingly, delivering some trademark set pieces and Hollywood passes but tired very quickly and was replaced by [Shaun] Wright Phillips at halftime."

The BBC said: "David Beckham was prominent in the early exchanges, and he set up [Gareth] Barry for a long-range shot that flew just over the top."

The Guardian pointed out that Beckham isn't an automatic choice for the World Cup roster because of competition he faces for the right midfield spot from Theo Walcott, Shaun Wright-Phillips, James Milner and Aaron Lennon.

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