Bish's Briefs - England can cope without Beckham
Published: 16 Mar 2010 - 11:09:39
Heartbreaking - It's the only word you can use to describe the events that unfolded this weekend.
What else can you say about a 34-year-old footballer who provided iconic moments in his country's footballing history having to miss out on the biggest event remaining in his career?
But that's enough about John Aloisi. Sydney FC will have to fight on without him as they look to defeat their rivals Melbourne Victory and clinch the A-League Grand Final on Saturday.
Of course, another 34-year-old, David Beckham, saw his final shot at World Cup glory disappear at a slippery San Siro on Sunday night.
One hundred and fifteen caps, 17 goals and a host of life-changing moments - it was certainly not the way for a glorious and record-breaking international career, to, in all likeliness, come to an end.
But let's also be realistic. David Beckham came on to a standing ovation at Old Trafford last Wednesday night. He came on to a standing ovation because he was not deemed significant enough to be part of what, by their own illustrious standards, is a poor Milan side.
Beckham probably would have gone to the World Cup. In my opinion he should have and I hope that in another capacity he still will.
Think back to those iconic Beckham moments, the free-kick against Greece, the penalty against Argentina. Career-defining moments when England's most famous number seven stepped up and delivered for his country.
The problem is that the last of those two moments came eight years ago. Since then Beckham has not produced anything similar. An occasional free-kick here, a cameo performance there - not the type of influence to merit the hysteria that met his unfortunate injury on Sunday night.
The boy from Leytonstone had become a very good option from the bench - able to deliver a pin-point cross or free-kick. But in truth, that's about it.
David Beckham is now more of a name than a footballer. His move to LA Galaxy further spreading the brand to North America.
A fine ambassador for British sport - think of his place on the 2012 London Olympic bid team. Now think of his role as the FA looks to bring the 2018 World Cup to England.
Beckham still has the wow factor, just now more off the pitch than on it.
I would be amazed if he was not in South Africa, using that glowing smile to woo the FIFA Executive Committee and anyone else that might influence a vote that probably means more to the majority of the nation than the forthcoming General Election.
He could also be a vital character to have around the squad to help the younger players deal with the occasion of a World Cup should Fabio Capello want him there.
It is a bitter pill for Beckham to take, a man that went from national villain to hero through his actions in an England jersey.
He saw this World Cup as the chance to sign off a tumultuous international career on a high. That will now not be the case.
His move to AC Milan, instigated by Capello, and the platform for him to show that he still had something to offer his country, in the end, became the setting for one of the few chapters in his fairytale story that he would rather forget.
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- FOOTBALL.CO.UK BLOGGER:andy bishop
- Having worked in radio, newspapers, magazines, internet and television I hope to now bring my passion for the game to your computer screens with analysis, comment and tongue-in-cheek humour on all things global in the world of football - from Barcelona to Boca and from Blatter to Berlusconi...enjoy!
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