Beckham resumes his lead-clown role

By Paul Gardner

It's surely no longer possible to believe that David Beckham is in touch with reality. For a while there, last month, it looked as though he had discovered a splendid role for himself as an impressive ambassador for England's World Cup bid.

In the welter of politicians and show-biz celebrities, DB shone through as a genuine soccer person, and a warm human being, too.

England’s bid, of course, was a colossal failure, but that was hardly DB’s fault -- he was one of the few people involved to come away with his status enhanced. Sadly, it hasn’t taken him long to scuttle that position. Here we go again, with DB resuming his more familiar role as the lead-clown in the low-down, knock-about, vaudeville farce that has surrounded him ever since he arrived in the USA.

DB, it seems, must be playing soccer year-round. Otherwise he can’t possibly be fit ... or at least he can’t be fit enough to play for England ... or rather he can’t be fit enough to be considered as a possible England player by Coach Fabio Capello.

Various thoughts occur. If DB, at age 35, is still a possible England player, then the England team must be even worse than it looked in South Africa. And has DB not been paying attention to the messages his own body has been sending him for several years now? Actually, no, he has not -- he really does seem to consider himself a soccer superman.

His tedious four years with the Galaxy tell a wildly different story. His sporadic playing time for the team has been occasioned by his picking up injuries. When he has played, he has never looked anything other than a tired player ... and he has usually found a way to let everyone know that he is playing through pain -- a hobbling limp here, a grimace there, an ice-pack and a few bandages, and so on.

With the result that the Galaxy has not won anything with DB aboard -- has in fact been a remarkably dull team that has not really deserved to win anything.

The glorious climax to DB’s insistence on his own invulnerability came last year when he convinced the Galaxy, for the second year running, to allow him to zoom off to Italy on loan to AC Milan.

The Galaxy should have known better. Maybe it did, but DB has a way of getting whatever he wants out of the Galaxy. So off he went, and in no time at all that wonderful supremely fit body of his caved in, and a torn Achilles’ tendon kept him sidelined for six months -- which meant that his treasured notion of playing for England in the World Cup went up in smoke.

He returned to action with the Galaxy last September, dubiously fit but certainly out of form if not out of shape. His mediocre on-field performances did nothing to prevent another unsuccessful season for the Galaxy.

That catalogue of poor decisions, miscues and injuries would have convinced any mere mortal to stop trying to defy old age with around-the-calendar soccer. But not our DB: “My body feels good at the moment,” he explains -- which is why the rumors are flying about him going off on loan to Europe yet again.

This time, it seems that DB will have to cross swords with his Galaxy bosses. The Galaxy has issued a statement that seems to squelch any idea of a loan deal, and that appears to tell DB that, for once, he has to put the Galaxy first: “We are not aware that David [Beckham] is looking to be loaned to any other team and we are fully expecting he reports with the rest of his Galaxy teammates in late January for the upcoming season.”

That sounds pretty conclusive. But not to DB and his advisers, who have simply ignored that warning and are talking up a storm about a new loan -- to a club in England this time. A DB spokesman revealed that “[Tottenham] Spurs are one of many clubs interested -- but we have not yet had detailed talks.”

Oh? No talks? Not yet, because DB & Co., “are waiting on the decision of LA Galaxy with regards to a loan move.” In other words, the Galaxy statement is being treated as so much piffle that the clout of DB can quickly nix. Past experience suggests that they’re probably right.

Talks or no talks, the DB camp has it all worked out: “The loan,” they say, “would be a short one until the start of the MLS season. David would then return and play a full season with the Galaxy. The loan is part of David's desire to keep fit and make himself available for England again.”

This is evidently no longer about DB playing for England’s World Cup team -- even he cannot be seriously expecting to be on the 2014 team, at age 39. So what is he after? Well, there’s the Great Britain Olympic team in the 2012 London Olympic Games (now there’s a title the English might actually have a chance of winning) ... or there’s the dream of a gala farewell game sometime in Wembley Stadium.

Into this swirling fog of contradictory statements and personal promotions we can welcome the sharp light thrown by one Bernie Kingsley, the Chairman of the Tottenham Supporters' Trust.

Kingsley has a word to describe the possible arrival of DB at Tottenham. The word is “dreadful.” Kingsley continues: “He's one of the most over-rated players in the game. He's a circus and totally about David Beckham -- not who he plays for. I just don't want to see him anywhere near Tottenham. We have a good team and we're having a good season ... [we] don't need the distraction of some prima donna player who is only interested in himself.”

Bravo Bernie! for those striking words that will no doubt find some resonance among Galaxy supporters.

38 comments about "Beckham resumes his lead-clown role".
  1. Greg Myddelton, January 4, 2011 at 4:30 a.m.

    That joker of a Spurs fan doesn't speak for the majority of English football fans who would love to see DB playing proper football again.

    And England don't compete in the Olympics, you said it yourself; it is Team GB! DB wants to compete in the 2012 Euro Champs, not necessarily the 2014 WC.

  2. Scott Mooney, January 4, 2011 at 4:55 a.m.

    Have to say I am confused by both the article and John's comment.

    John, to start with David Beckham was neither sacked by Man United or Real Madrid. Beckham was sold by Man United, and mainly because he had a falling out with the United boss, but the only reason United let him go is bacause they had already secured the services of someone they thought could replace him - Cristiano Ronaldo! He took the decision to move to America instead of renewing his contract with Real Madrid and their then coach Capello refused to play him ever again, but Beckham trained so well that he forced his way back into the team! Definately not sacked.
    I think any club in England would be delighted to have Beckham in their squad. He wont play every week, and probably will rarely start - but his influence oni the younger players at the squad and around the training ground will have a massive influence on any team. He would be used as a sub to come on and potentially deliver the killer blow the team needs. Beckham is a very intelligent player on the pitch and would certainly do a job for Spurs.
    And the olympics have an age restriction of 23 with only 3 players allowed to be over that age, even Beckham doesn't believe he would be one of those three!

  3. luke berry, January 4, 2011 at 5:35 a.m.

    Who ever wrote this article obviously has absoloutly no idea about football. David Beckham is considered one of the greatest footballers of his time, so to try and criticize him is just ignorant. Beckham hasn't been playing well for the LA Galaxy because he is playing well below his standard, which is proved when he plays for teams such as AC Milan and is a starter for them. The MLS is regarded as one of the worst football leagues in the world. So if Beckham, a still world class footballer, wants to play in a high standard league then he should be allowed to play in the Premier League.

  4. jeff jefferson, January 4, 2011 at 5:36 a.m.

    It appears Lalas and many American "soccer" (sic) figures and fans don't fully grasp the gulf in quality and respectability between the European and north American leagues. Landon Donovan slated Beckham for his first loan move, and then absolutely LOVED his time in the English Premier League. I don't understand why it is seen as a slight or undermining of the MLS league. If Beckham, who has always been renowned for his physical condition, sees that playing in the MLS off-season would be viable, let him go. In truth, when I was in LA, I saw a couple of Galaxy's games in 2008, Beckham pretty much ran the whole show, practicably playing every position, it seemed like he was crossing the ball and getting on the end of his own crosses, it was absurd. Donovan is pretty good, as proved at Everton last year, but the rest of it was a poor joke; perhaps the MLS fans are too proud and insular to see their league for what it is, which is rather poor and certainly fledgling to say the least. I think the bitterness should be shelved. Beckham's move to MLS has brought a wider audience, brought better quality plays from Europe who are getting toward the latter parts of their careers but are still great representatives of the sport, and yet people jumped on Beckham very quickly. I don't get it. I'm not a Man United fan, or Real Madrid fan, I'm just a football fan (yes, football, not soccer - you don't get to rename the global sport), and Beckham seems to have the right intentions (he went through a petulant patch in his early 20s), regardless of his ridiculous haircuts and mind-boggling fame. MLS sucks, European leagues don't, he's too good for your league and yet he still stays there. All he wants is to keep his international career an option and to maintain his sharpness for a couple of months. Get over it.

  5. jeff jefferson, January 4, 2011 at 5:44 a.m.

    Luke Berry is right, if he's been playing poor, it's because the people around him aren't up to scratch. Definitely the case when I saw Galaxy. I saw Beckham having to play left full-back and then switch to all across the midfield, back and forth, the whole game. I saw that happen twice, the 2nd game he had to play in defence and also up front, as well as right midfield. He then scored a goal from his own half. This is embarrassing to watch as someone who watches (far too much!) decent football. If he's playing rubbish it's because there is no quality around him, and Beckham's game has always been about the assists.

    Urgh... god, you lot know nothing about this sport... not that he's the best ever player, but he's certainly better than you know how to appreciate correctly.

  6. Patrick Cormac, January 4, 2011 at 7:15 a.m.

    I had to sign up for this just to leave a comment for this incredibly misguided, horrifically inaccurate interpretaon of David Beckham and his decisions/ intentions. I have lived in America since 2005 and am English. America does not appreciate Beckham. The country isn't fit to comment on him. Good luck to Beckham in his endeavours to play alongside real footballers as opposed to hatchett and journeymen. How dare Donovan say anything - all his peers are just jealous of him and as soon as a Premier League team even sniffed at Donovan he jumped at Everton and incidentally loved it at Goodison. Double standards. David Beckham is a hero, an exceptional role model for kids, an ambassador for the sport and a perosn to be celebrated. For him to be criticized by pathetic, poorly educated, biased and petty septic journalists and nouvo "soccer" fans from a country that is in no way qualified to comment is ridiculous. Good luck to him, to Spurs and to anyone else. You've been lucky to have him in your league for as long as you have and if he's underperformed you need to look at your coaching staff, your players and your general attitude towards this sport. Incidentally, Alexi Lalas is a poor excuse for a human being.

  7. Julian Peppitt, January 4, 2011 at 8:58 a.m.

    I am a Spurs fan and would love to see Beckham playing for us. As Scott mentioned he would be a great influence and role model for our team. Best of all he knows how to win and that experience should prove invaluable for our run in both the Premiership and CL.

    Jeff - although i agree with what you say I do have to correct you on one thing though, "Soccer" was originally the name given to football by the FA to distinguish the difference between Association Football and Rugby Football, which was named "Ruggers".

  8. T B, January 4, 2011 at 9:11 a.m.

    Wow. Unfortunately, I too had to sign up for this rubbish to post a comment. How on earth this pathetic excuse for journalism ended up on the BBC News website is beyond me. I guess it says a lot about the state of the once great broadcasting network.

    Anyway, back to the topic. So much absolute tosh it's difficult to know where to begin. Yes, I feel sorry for the Galaxy and their fans who have seen far less of Beckham than their investment warranted. But having played "soccer" in the States for 4 years, I can understand how Becks has failed to perform. It just isn't football: fast paced when greater control is needed, slow when an injection of pace is required. Individually the players are ok; as a league it's little short of atrocious.

    I also take great umbrage with a two bit "soccer" journalist talking down on the state of English football. Our WC was a complete an utter disaster, yet we went out at the same stage as the US. We were a complete and utter embarrassment to the sport, only bettered by Donovan's histrionics and Hollywood post-match interviews. That gave me a timely reminder as to why I left the States.

    As for Bernie Kingsly, one might guess that he holds a grudge against a man who grew up down the road from WHL. Beckham over-rated? Well, his trophy cabinet suggests otherwise. Ask any Man Utd fan who the real player of the "treble" season was and the answer might surprise dear old bitter Bernie.

  9. Gene Jay, January 4, 2011 at 9:48 a.m.

    wow. Shocked to see all the Beckham support for the 'stupid boy'--English press words, not mine. Yes he was darn good at United, with some great seasons pre/post treble. But fair at best in la liga, very average in MLS, and 2-3 good games in Milan (lost his spot due to massive inconsistency). Not one of the comments from others provide any credence to his current credentials other than to say he was a hero 10 years ago. But the Spurs, now? Tell me Spurs fans, who would he play in lieu of? Bale? Lennon? modric? Kranjcar? I would suggest he is behind even Jenas and Bentley. you have got to be absolutely kidding me. He would slow down those Spurs stallions to a crawl.

  10. Gak Foodsource, January 4, 2011 at 9:50 a.m.

    James Williams and others - Gardner and other American fans are objecting to the fact that Beckham's current loan request is unprofessional. His first loan with Milan had to do with his desire to escape the brutal play of MLS, something even Gardner is quite prompt to recognize (Check his previous comments on the Colorado Rapids as MLS cup champs.) His second loan request was a legitimate one - he wanted to play for England in the World Cup. But his third is disrespectful to his current employer - the LA Galaxy - and to the American cause he signed up to advance. Not once has he stayed on with the Galaxy during the off-season to train with the Galaxy players and actually be that wonderful professional that England is so quick to suggest he is. Instead he has chosen to add more games to his slate in Europe and incur a significant risk to his current playing contract. Playing with Tottenham this winter is not going Beckham a better, more fit, player for the 2011 MLS season. He has been there and done that. Staying and improving his teammates and their playing abilities would help his (American) cause much more than a loan spell with Tottenham. He may be a total professional to you British fans, but his repeated loan requests have made it difficult for American fans to warm up to him. -Gak

  11. Austin Gomez, January 4, 2011 at 10:20 a.m.

    Loyalty + Common Sense = No Spurs Adventure! You would think DB would utilize more Common Sense, especially at his Age (35), to rest up during these winter months and thus become refreshed/revitalized for his LAST spring/summer/fall season of the MLS. I believe that, if the Galaxy are paying him all the millions as a Player, that their vested interests/statements/desires would be strictly adhered --- 'prima facie."
    Does DB have "quixote" type-symptoms of false, unreal hopes that his Body would endure 3 EPL months and then be ready immediately for his first team: the Galaxy. I don't think so! DB owes a bit of Loyalty to his LA team & organization! Team first -- Player last; NOT Player first -- Team last!
    But no so the concept: this English gladiator wants to perform in a Colisseum across the Atlantic rather than to renew, hone his Skills near the Pacific coast! It is quite difficut to fathom!

  12. Richard Andrew, January 4, 2011 at 10:30 a.m.

    What A complete douchebag to write such misguided tosh.
    Big difference between being fit and being match fit especially in the latter stages of a career. Yes Beckham could quite easily do a job in the middle of the park for England as he's still world class. Harry Rednapp wants to take him on loan at spurs because he knows he's quality. He would improve any team in the world regardless of the fact he is 35, just accept it. This is a talent we can only admire. Maldini played at the highest level until he was 40. Some players including Beckham can play on longer simply because they have a good engine. You can hardly criticise him for getting injuries now and then. Why don't you take to the field and get a studded boot scrapped down your achilles and then run it off you welp?. I wouldn't doubt he could play in the next World Cup as well. Just accept that David Beckham was and still is one of the best players in the world and he wouldn't get so much publicity if he wasn't. I think their is some bitterness in the attention he receives and also the fact that any team he plays for in order to be a sharper player for the Galaxy will be a better team in a better standard of league.

  13. T B, January 4, 2011 at 10:44 a.m.

    Gene Jay - You speak of others focusing on 10 years ago and past glories and then drag up a headline from....1998. Stupid boy.

    Beckham was actually one of the better players in an overpaid Madrid team. The fans loved him and, unlike some of you, could appreciate things others than speed. It's funny because those that call Beckham average always refer to the fact that he isn't quick or can't beat a player. How the current England squad is crying out for somebody with the technical ability to pick a pass and keep the ball. It's a shame that one of only two players capable of doing so - the other being Cashley Cole - is 35.

    Thankfully, Beckham can put aside his ego and is willing to play bit part roles to keep playing the (real) game. He undoubtedly made a footballing mistake in moving to the States; who's to blame him for regretting such and wanting a touch of the real thing every winter. Yes, it's not Galaxy's fault and I do feel sorry for them. I understand people criticising his commitment to the club. But to criticise him as a player and a person? Stupid boys.

  14. Ade Harrison, January 4, 2011 at 11:15 a.m.

    Please...David Beckham would grace the EPL for the 3 months loan period. I am English but have also seen the Galaxy play and to be honest the rest of the team (except Donovan) are not good enough to lace his boots. Let him go, stay up late and watch him play in a decent might even enjoy it :)

  15. Bill Ford, January 4, 2011 at 11:19 a.m.

    Well said Gak! I love how you Brits claim soccer as your own and continue to live in the past. Your teams performance in the last World Cup proves that you've been past up by the rest of the soccer world.

    Big dumb physical soccer doesn't work anymore. This isn't the 1960's!

  16. rob wallace, January 4, 2011 at 11:38 a.m.

    Manchester Player of the year
    1993–94 - Eric Cantona
    1994–95 - Andrei Kanchelskis
    1995–96 - Eric Cantona
    1996–97 - David Beckham
    1997–98 - Ryan Giggs
    1998–99 - Roy Keane
    1999–2000 - Roy Keane

    English league (writers)player of the year
    1993–94 - Alan Shearer
    1994–95 - Jürgen Klinsmann
    1995–96 - Eric Cantona
    1996–97 - Gianfranco Zola
    1997–98 - Dennis Bergkamp
    1998–99 - David Ginola
    1999–00 - Roy Keane

  17. T B, January 4, 2011 at 11:46 a.m.

    Bill - Er, nice one, dude. And the US and their "soccer" is the future? Yeah, you had a pretty good WC too.

    Gak - Completely understand your point and if I was (unfortunate enough) to be an LA Galaxy fan I would feel the same. That being said, and having played in the States, I sympathise with Becks. He has made a commitment, which he needs to honour, but it must be killing him. Additionally, if he was able to stay fit during his loan spell at Spurs then he would come back in better footballing shape.

  18. Robert Kiernan, January 4, 2011 at 12:09 p.m.

    Well whether David Beckham is selfish for wanting a loan or not misses the real point here, just is he a Galaxy player or a free lance who sometimes plays in a Galaxy uniform? It is a fact that he has closed down his "youth" academy and that his arrival in MLS was hyped to the max... but he has to face facts and one of them is that he simply can not go on playing two seasons worth of futball each year and still stay healthy. Nobody in their right mind would seriously compare MLS to the EPL or La Liga...but if Beckham is being payed to play for the Galaxy then that is what he should be doing. Would Spurs like to get him as a loan player on the cheap, well very likely, but that isn't something that should be the LA Galaxy's concern. The problem with all of this is that so long as MLS has such a gulf in the level of money it or any other MLS team can spend to build a team AROUND any big name player they import, they will always have the problem of maintaining the rest of there squad on virtually a shoe string... and when their top "name" player clearly would rather not be playing in MLS, well it isn't surprising that star or not, the reaction is less than enthusiastic.

  19. Greg Myddelton, January 4, 2011 at 12:14 p.m.

    I think everyone is getting a bit carried away; even if Beckham did sign for Spurs he would only be eligible for about 4 PL games. He obviously wouldn't play every minute of every one of them so claims of burn-out are crazy (even for a 35 year old!). Surely he would be in better condition if he trained for a couple of months with a Premier League team at top-class facilities with world-class players and coaches than in a pre-season environment at the Home Depot Centre?

    And who knows while he is in London he might even teach Aaron Lennon how to cross a ball!!

  20. Albert Harris, January 4, 2011 at 12:16 p.m.

    Didn't know that Paul had such a wide readership until I saw the reference that said it showed up on the BBC site which explains the outrage from across the pond. Once you cut thru the knee jerk anti-MLS sentiment...we know it's not La Liga, we not idiots...most of the comments seem to come down to ranting about how dare us Yanks have an opinion about soccer (a perfectly good brit term as Paul has pointed out in the past, not to mention the OED). Well chaps, once David takes our money, we have a right to have an opinion. I neither think he's the god some folks do, nor the rubbish that others do. He's a 35 yr old player who is vulnerable to injuries as all that age are. He's coming off a torn Achilles injury. I think he'd be better advised to rest it and actually play a full season for the people paying his salary for a change. But hey, I was born on the wrong side of the Atlantic, so I'm sure I'll be feeling the love from the Sceptered Isle before long. Ta, all!

  21. T B, January 4, 2011 at 12:21 p.m.

    Robert - I think whether Beckham is selfish (or whatever you want to call him) for wanting a loan is entirely the point, isn't it? There's no debating that he's the property of LA Galaxy, hence people questioning his commitment etc.

  22. T B, January 4, 2011 at 12:34 p.m.

    I think the reaction is more about the snide remarks about England and its football team. You're welcome to an opinion, but we find some of it a bit rich considering your own standing in world football.

    Plus insulting Beckham is akin to blasphemy :-)

  23. Mark Edge, January 4, 2011 at 12:44 p.m.

    "The only thing I can say (is) of course you don't need to speak about his talent or his professional attitude because that was absolutely fantastic."-Arsene Wenger
    Chelsea manager Carlo Ancelotti, who worked with Beckham at Milan, hailed him as a "fantastic professional player"- Ancelotti
    David Beckham wants to come to West Ham he is welcome. I like him as a player and as a person, and he's a local lad.

    "Many clubs want him but if he wants to come to West Ham I would be happy." Avram Grant

    Blackburn, Tottenham, Newcastle, and Sunderland are also interested.
    Gardner managed to find a slightly less qualified spurs fan to support his arguement, but I'm sure Gardner knows better than the above. After all they've only managed to actually coach top quality teams and top quality players, so what would they know.
    Once again he uses his column to spout anti-premiership, anti-English and anti-Beckham drivel.

  24. Bill Ford, January 4, 2011 at 12:47 p.m.

    Did I say anything on US Soccer?? It's as horrible as England. Sorry to say but both of our country's are on the same soccer path these days the only difference is you Brits are still in denial about it!

  25. a d, January 4, 2011 at 1:21 p.m.

    I strongly disagree with this article. I too am English and have seen MLS this season, albeit not Galaxy, but instead the Red Bulls end of season games and play offs. The standard was very low and from the televised Galaxy games in which I have seen DB he has had to compensate for the poorer quality of player around him. Someone mentioned DB had double standards… what about Donovans Everton spell then…. I like what MLS is trying to do but don’t believe it to be better than it is.. it isn’t!!

  26. james alan, January 4, 2011 at 1:38 p.m.

  27. james alan, January 4, 2011 at 1:39 p.m.

    ^^ someone who knows what theyre talking about. maybe you can learn something.

  28. Duncan Rowe, January 4, 2011 at 2:36 p.m.

    The Galaxy should be damn grateful for the publicity and respectability Beckham brings to the table.

    Your article is buffoonery. The soccer world has a lot of time and respect for Beckham. Your provincial short sightedness and lack of genuine understanding of the game are evident.

    The MLS as a whole benefits when any of its players sign loan deals with 'real' clubs in 'real' leagues, and if you can't understand this, you've no business writing about the subject at all.

    Personally I don't think Beckham would make the fist team at many Premier League clubs at this stage of his career. However, he's still clearly a class above the majority of MLS 'stars'.

    If you think Beckham going on loan to a European club does anything other than enhance the credibility of MLS, you're beyond educating.

  29. Gak Foodsource, January 4, 2011 at 3:09 p.m.

    Duncan I couldn't disagree more with your take on how Beckham's decision to leave affects the credibility of Major League Soccer abroad. MLS looks weak when a 35 year old player who you feel couldn't start regularly for a first team at many premier league clubs leaves its league for greener grass abroad. It says that the MLS is below his talent and that his teammates aren't good enough. He isn't training with Tottenham to get in better shape for the Galaxy - he is doing it because he can't stomach the thought of having to do pre-season with inferior Galaxy players and because he knows that if he wants to play for England in 2012 he needs a better standard. When Beckham sends that kind of message to fans, and when he carries that kind of message to places like Tottenham or AC Milan, how can that be a boost for MLS' credibility? Why would potential MLS players like Gallas or Keane want to play here? As TB mentioned, I don't necessarily blame Beckham. It was clear when he left the first time for Milan as fast as he could that he knew he had made a big mistake signing with MLS too early in his career. But MLS as a league looks weak when it sells its collective soul to the whims of David Beckham, and allows him to determine when he will be coming, going, and playing. I blame Beckham for being unprofessional in requesting loans during the off-season when he should be training here and making his teammates better, but I blame MLS brass much more than Becks for creating its own worst enemy. -gak

  30. Rita Cocking, January 4, 2011 at 4:03 p.m.

    If anyone is "out of touch with reality" it is the idiot that put pen to this article,I cannot believe that anyone would expect David Beckham to turn his back on his country for the ske of a glorified pub team like LA Galaxy,when all they have ever done is exploit him,they have frequently allowed him to play when he was carrying aninjury which I believe led him to rupture his achilles just before the 2010 World Cup.He has put LA Galaxy on the map and made them shedloads of cash ,so they shoukd not begrudge him the right to end his career playing for a proper football team with a pedigree(ie the mighty"Spurs") where he might actually stand a chance of winning some silverware.Okay,so maybe he made a mistake going to the MLS when muppet McClaren dropped him from the England team and Real Madrid renaged on the deal they had with him to extend his contract,but who has never made mistake? Not the idiot who wrote this article that's for sure!

  31. Jorge Giraldo, January 4, 2011 at 5:41 p.m.

    Im just amazed how we let people like this guy write articles? I dont really see which games are you talking about beckham looking tired!!, been watching him since he got here and that is not the picture, more than his running time on the field, you have to count his experience on the field!!. Followed him his whole career but when I heard he was coming over here, it was a mixture of feeling: finally I get to see beckham play live, but at the same time, why would he pick such a underrated league where this rookie fans are always expecting more than what they got then expect beckham to come over here and score 3 4 time each game, he is a midfielder not a striker... should I keep going!!

  32. Jim Miller, January 4, 2011 at 11 p.m.

    Wow, look at all of the Beckham fanboys out there. Paul Gardner gets a lot of smack talk today from citizens of the soccer country he holds in contempt: England. Beckham is okay on free kicks, but other then that he is a liability to the Galaxy. He's too slow to keep up with anyone and the only part of his game that he has developed over the last 2 years is his hacking and fouling. I'd rather see younger and more dynamic players from North and South America play here in MLS then old men from Europe who are looking for a cash grab.

  33. To' Azeredo, January 5, 2011 at 12:40 a.m.

    It is highly amusing to see the Beckham droogs out in full force to claim that their "King Canute" really really can command those waves to stand still [and only Yankee rubes could be so darn ...well, rubish to think otherwise].
    Beckham has been running from the responsibilities of his contract since he came here, and when he's had the chance to prove his worth he simply hasn't. Blanco showed that quality will out, even if your team is average. Even Ljungberg showed that quality can out, when it wills, even if your team is average. Beckham has shown nothing of quality, as a man or as a player.

    But the Droogs and I do agree on one thing. England deserves to have its full taste of Beckham. Now, and forever.

  34. Brian Herbert, January 5, 2011 at 2:42 a.m.

    Ric, I've agreed with you here before, and I will again now. Good points also made by Duncan Rowe. Easy on the trash-talk from both sides of the pond, fellas. Here is my short take as a lifelong American soccer player and fan (I'm 45 and started playing at 7, and play in an over-30 tournament this weekend): 1. MLS always benefits from these January loans to top-flight European clubs 2. Everyone new what Becks was about, or should have, when they signed him - he's not going to be your obedient-soldier but he will bring many positives to Galaxy, MLS, and soccer awareness in our country 3. No single player should be dropped into a team and then ridiculed if he doesn't transform the team overnight, the other ten will impact what you see from that "marquis" player. 4. Becks doesn't do everything, but I enjoy his style of play and he still is very creative and can place the ball with rare precision in a range of match situations.

  35. Duncan Rowe, January 5, 2011 at 3:19 p.m.

    For the record, I like MLS a lot. I live in Seattle and regularly go to Sounders games. But the harsh fact is that nobody in Europe gives MLS so much as a second thought. If Beckham wasn't trying to arrange this loan deal, no one in Europe would be talking about MLS at all. At least it's now on people's radars.

  36. Robert Killian, January 6, 2011 at 2:14 a.m.

    Why should America appreciate Beckham? He hasn't even played in 50% of the Galaxy's games since he's been here. Let him go back to England and ride the bench. The fact that Beckham can even be considered for the English National team shows you how pathetic their team is. All of these English America bashers need to look in the mirror because the US is on the way up and England is on the way down. Your national team is way overated with players deemed "world class" but they only look good surrounded by foreigners in the EPL. Wait till 2014 rolls around and your best player is Wayne Rooney whos scored 2 goals from the run of play in the last nine months...

  37. Brian Something, January 6, 2011 at 10:17 a.m.

    Some of the above commenters display their true ignorance of the business of soccer. This has nothing to do with the quality of play of MLS as compared to the top European leagues. This has to do with being professional. David Beckham and his coterie knew very well the standard of MLS when he agreed to grab tens of millions of dollars from the league and its sponsors. In doing so, he had an obligation to give 100% effort and commitment to the people paying him those tens of millions of dollars. I don’t think anyone who has a clue could accuse him of giving 100% effort and commitment to the LA Galaxy or MLS. But apparently effort and commitment aren’t things that English supporters value. If he’s not interested in the league, let him quit the Galaxy and forego those millions of dollars. That he won’t shows that he’s interested in the money but not the hard work of earning it.

  38. Brian Something, January 6, 2011 at 10:26 a.m.

    Robert is right. How can Americans appreciate Beckham when we see more of him in a Milan jersey on TV than in a Galaxy jersey in our own stadiums? Our English friends think they can foist their over-the-hill, overrated players on us and expect us to not know the difference. We’re a little bit more sophisticated than they seem to think. It’s not 1977 anymore.

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