Beckham and AC Milan: The Plan Fails

March 17, 2010 at 6:16 am | Posted in General Football | 1 Comment

Beckham’s recent Achilles injury has robbed the World Cup of one of its great story lines.   Would Capello select him for the England squad? (yes, he would)  would he play if selected? (yes, he would)  and, could he help England win another world cup? (No but perhaps get as far as the semi-final).  The whole reason Beckham went on loan to Milan was to show Capello he could still play at the highest level so he would be selected for the World Cup.  It would be Beckham’s fourth World Cup.

I admire Beckham.  He has re-invigorated my enthusiasm for the World Cup by showing that even the wealthiest and highest achievers at the club level still want to play in the World Cup.  A tendency has been creeping into the game  of late for more established players to decline to play in the World Cup because they feel it will shorten their club careers.  This has led to a bit of a decline in the status of the World Cup.  A few notable players declining to play include Edwin Van Der Sar, who could easily be number one in Holland’s team, and Paul Scholes, who would certainly command a starting place in England’s midfield if he wanted to play for England.

The fact that Beckham, who has done it all at club level and really does not have anything else to win except the World Cup, wanted nothing more than to have a go at winning the World Cup for one last time shows what a consummate professional and complete footballer he is.   Some fools who don’t know the game have said he is not all that he is cracked up to be as a footballer.   Just look at his trophy shelf…  Becks was no passenger in those winning teams either, he carried his teams to those trophies.  Capello knows this first hand: when Capello reinstated Beckham into Real Madrid’s squad after a time out of the team, they went on to win the La Liga title.

Beckham and Milan were two football brands in decline who needed each other.  Beckham needed to play top level football, Milan needed to bolster their squad and their finances as well (I would love to know how much they have made in merchandise!).  It was a marriage of necessity which turned out to be a happy one as well.  The truth is, AC Milan, and Italian football with them, are in decline.  Their squad is old, and they can no longer hold on to the best young players (Kaka for instance).   Their old players are better than their young players coming in, and how long can the likes of old boys Seedorf, Ambrosini, Inzaghi and Pirlo continue to carry the team?

The fact that AC Milan  now stand only one point behind hated rivals Inter demonstrates the “Beckham effect”.  Teams play better with him in the squad, which is why Capello would have taken him to South Africa in June.   Beckham’s injury is not only a disappointment to him, but a disappointment to all football fans who know anything about the game.   The World  Cup just became a bit poorer.


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  1. Well said, I can’t add much except now, quite a few of his past detractors once again are taking pokes at him now that he is down, saying end of career (well he is going to come back and play club level I’m sure). I mean that’s a bit low ball and not just fans but even in ways, other noted figures. If not one of the best footballers in the world, he is probably the most recognizable. Still, I think he’s been a bit commercial at times, the tattoos and some styles a bit too much for me but overall, a positive influence on the game. I did read an article today, that not only do we know of Beckham’s well known faults such as in 1998, red carded and sent off against Argentina in the World Cup but I was reading the author asserting he pulled out of a tackle that led to Brazil’s winning goal in 2002 at the World Cup. I mean, this is a bit foul, why, even with the way Rooney is playing right now, fantastic, he’s a bit suspect too as far as his emotions go, just like Beckham was. Still, I wish Beckham the best. Well, this Poet Laureate wrote a poem on this “tragedy”, hey, there are real situations of suffering in this world but I can recognize this on an artful scale.

    For England, Terry and Cole have acted as screw ups and Wayne Bridge withdraws his name from consideration for the England team. Maybe this spark from Beckham can inspire the team to not be so wrapped up in itself.

    Capello stated the obvious a week or so back, the players are paid obscene amounts and not only has this been a downfall for Terry and Cole but probably in part at least, for the Chelsea team today. So maybe out of this bad with the injury, some good can come out of it in that the players should be inspired to pull together. “and God Bless Tiny Tim”

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