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David Beckham

Capello and British Media Wrong on Beckham

Netherlands v England - International Friendly

England Manager Fabio Capello has played a critical role in pushing David Beckham towards Serie A club AC Milan and away from the LA Galaxy of Major League Soccer. This is particularly disheartening because Capello, who managed Beckham at AC Milan for a time did not seem to mind Beckham playing in MLS during England’s early World Cup qualifiers.

Capello’s England predecessor Steve McLaren had no problem recalling Beckham despite continued assaults on the standard of play in MLS by the British media. How did McLaren know Beckham wasn’t regressing by playing in MLS? He actually took the time to fly to Washington DC and see Beckham play against DC United.

McLaren was preceded as England manager by Sven Goran Eriksson who in his current job leading Mexico attended several matches involving MLS sides to scout players. Eriksson, a cosmopolitan flavored manager will never shut any door as we chronicled in an earlier piece today when we discussed his willingness to use naturalized players in key positions for Mexico.

But Capello, the hard charging Italian who has been successful at the club level but has never previously managed at the international level. It cannot be forgotten that Capello has twice previously managed AC Milan and rather than broadening his horizons as Eriksson did, is simply more comfortable with players who play in Italy and specifically with Milan or Juventus, the two clubs he managed and is still well regarded. (Capello is far from universally loved among Roma fans despite being very successful there.)

I also find the tact towards Beckham hypocritical in the English press. Numerous columnists have basically called Beckham a hero for trying to prolong his international career at 34 because it will benefit England’s hopes of winning a World Cup in 2010. But some of these very same columnists just four months ago sided with then Sunderland Manager Roy Keane ( a former team mate of Beckham’s) against another former Beckham teammate  and close friend Dwight Yorke who was 35 at the time. Keane said that at Yorke’s age he should not be pursuing an international career any longer, and most in the British media that wrote about the subject agreed.

So if the captain of Trinidad and Tobago who happens to be the greatest player ever produced by the nation wants to help his country qualify for the World Cup at an advanced age it’s a problem. But if  a Englishman, the former captain of his national team whose not really needed for the Three Lions to qualify and whose presence may or may not help England in 2010 wants to prolong his international career by engaging in unprofessional actions towards the club which owns his rights, it is to be commended?

Between Fabio Capello and Fleet Street, there is so much hypocrisy coming out of London on the Beckham matter it should make even the most hardened Beckham backer cynical. Is this really how David Beckham wants to be remembered in the United States?

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  1. John P. Covington

    September 11, 2009 at 12:43 am

    He is where he is because nine months hence, in the quarters or semis, England could be down one or two with 25 minutes left to Espana and their linkers, and if you think the Lampard, Gerrard and others who have not seen a premier or champions title in years can come back after losing for the previous 65 minutes, the smart money and the tactician who can carry 20 plus footballers on the roster, just might need someone who is not afraid to stick the ball on someone’s forehead, foot or other body part when there are minutes left, requiring nerve, guts, instincts and experience under that kind of pressure with the entire world watching. How many teams have access to a footballer like that? Suggest he is worth a seat on the plane at least!

  2. mike d

    February 13, 2009 at 12:52 pm

    I agree with ossionio-
    I was born and raised in milan and I can understand why beckham doesnt want to go back to US. Maybe he should make the move back in a few years- but he is still competitive and shouldnt waste his talent in a crap league.

    Cappello (who managed beckham at REal not Milan- admitted that he had made a mistake by not playing beckham at real-

  3. Pingback: Ultimate Becks? « The Hills Are Alive

  4. ossinio

    February 11, 2009 at 12:24 pm

    This article is complete tosh!
    Firstly Capello managed Beckham and Real and not AC.
    Secondly, you miss out many important points which would indicate that Beckham and Capello are right in both their actions. In 2008, Capello recorded Englands best calendar year since 1971 (Sir Alf Rasey was the manager then). Capello is a great coach, not good but great and he probably knows a lot than you my son. Comparisons with McClaren who now manages in the dutch league and puts on fake accents make you look like a fool.
    On Beckham, please dont compare to Dwight Yorke. The positions they play and the skill set they bring to each game means that they are incomparable – especially regarding age. Dwight Yorke used to play striker and could obviously not continue so he moved to play a rather jaded central midfield position – at which he could not maintain pace amongst the sunderland team. Beckham plays on the right and his game is all about passing and crossing which he will continue to do for much more than three years. In time, he wont be able to play at the top level and yes, we will probably lambast him in the press for this, but whilst he can still cut it, which we have seen he can, we will welcome him to the time not only for his ability at playing but his experience which he brings to any younger players.

  5. john curson

    February 11, 2009 at 2:27 am

    As a Californian who grew up in Europe let me point out some things:
    1. Capello is being investigated by the Italian tax authorities for a 10 million euro deal in Switzerland (in all the European press – no secret).
    2. AC Milan is owned by Berlisconi, President of Italy.
    3, Capello is essentially telling Beckham ……..if you don’t go to Milan you don’t play for England.
    3. Berlisconi is getting what he wants.. Beckham!!
    4. How will Capello’s rax case be treated? Will he get off?

    Beckham is a pawn..he is a great player who wants to play for his country, and the galaxy but Capello won’t let him. Also the Galaxy let Beckham down in that they promised to upgrade the team to international level, but were more interested in making money off him, and his image as a player suffered, Too bad when business/money polute sports.

  6. Ian

    February 10, 2009 at 11:24 pm

    Good point on Yorke. I had forgotten how savage some of the press was about that game which I beloieve was actually against the USA.

  7. Soccer Guru

    February 10, 2009 at 9:36 pm

    Good post. I too have been wondering how Capello felt it was alright for Becks to play in MLS last May but now it is not good enough.

    The whole affair is leaving a bad taste in the mouths of MLS fans of all 15 teams. We feel the league is being disrespected and that the Galaxy should hold out until the proper respect is accorded by Milan.

  8. JohnBoy

    February 10, 2009 at 8:29 pm

    who cares how he’s remembered in the states, hes a class player and playing at ac milan will only help get him to the 2010 world cup.
    hes wasted at galaxy, all hes good for there is putting bums on seats, and since thats all hes wanted for, you’d think galaxy would loan him out til the summer of 2010 and hope they get him back as a world cup winner and be an even bigger star.
    that would be better for galaxy and the mls as a whole.

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