It’s sad if Beckham century is all we have to get excited about

March 20, 2008

A Beckham fan holds a signIt’s just as well Fabio Capello decided to recall David Beckham to his squad for the friendly against France next week because otherwise there’d be very little else for England fans to get excited about.

Assuming Beckham survives the cut on Saturday, fans and the media can amuse themselves by speculating whether Beckham will win his 100th cap as a proud member of the starting line-up, perhaps even as captain, or in a late cameo role that could mark his farewell.

At least that will get it all over with. Whether Beckham deserves to bring up his century or not — and please let us know what you think about it in the comments — we’ve seen enough of him over the years to be pretty sure he’s not going to be the man to inspire England to World Cup glory in 2010.

Looking ahead to South Africa is obviously all England can do after inexplicably failing to reach Euro 2008. So with an eye on the future, Capello has also recalled 19-year-old Arsenal forward Theo Walcott, Middlesbrough defender David Wheater and Portsmouth striker Jermain Defoe, while picking Gabriel Agbonlahor again after he was forced to pull out against Switzerland because of injury.

If Wheater turns out to be real international material then great, but England have plenty of decent centre-backs. Where England have consistently failed is in finding creative midfielders who do not give the ball away when the team is under pressure, and forwards with the technique, pace and nerve to score regularly against the best.

I suppose Capello did what he could by bringing in Walcott, Defoe and Agbonlahor. But if that’s as exciting as it gets in terms of players for the future, I wonder if he might have done more good by dropping players who have been short of their best of late, as a wake-up call if nothing else.

An England squad without, say, Michael Owen, Peter Crouch or Wayne Rooney … that would have given us plenty to talk about.

PHOTO: A Los Angeles Galaxy fan sits with a sign during a exhibition match between the LA Galaxy and FC Dallas in Frisco, Texas March 15, 2008. REUTERS/Jessica Rinaldi


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Beckham is a good mid fielder, and irrespective of his off the field antics, he has had number of good games. The fact that presently England has some decent mid-fielders like Barry, Young, Wright-Philips, Bentley etc etc, doesn’t mean that Beckham can’t play any more. Of course he can’t expect to be a part of all the games.

Also one shouldn’t and can’t expect wholesale changes to the England setup. Hopefully we will see youngsters like Walcott, Agbonlahor, Wheater getting more games. But Owen, Rooney will still have a place in the team. The young guns need to have some international experience before handling pressures and playing with the seniors will only help them get better.

Rooney and Owen may be out of form, but they are good strikers and will help win matches.

On Peter Crouch … Well I have no comments, except that on his day, he is capable of getting head right on the ball and sneak in a good goal.

Posted by Nachiket Kelkar | Report as abusive

Would think it’s a wise thing to do now and get the 100th cap over with and out of the way rather than let it linger for months or more…It could clear the air, finally, and pave the way for Beckham’s overdue retirement. Let him in and get it overwith!

Posted by Erik Kirschbaum | Report as abusive

I agree Erik….get it over with and let’s move on!

Posted by Owen | Report as abusive

I think anybody who has played 99 matches for the country deserves the 100th cap. As a mark of respect for the achievemnt we should not have a discussion of yes or not, but off course. In his own ways he has served in a proud and passionate way and wish him best of luck for whatever he does thereafter. Let’s see how many disagree with me.

Posted by zak001 | Report as abusive

I actually think 99 caps is spot on for beckham – as a layer he was not quite great and not quite 100 fits well, I should say.

Posted by man ray. | Report as abusive

as a player, I meant to say.

Posted by man ray. | Report as abusive

let the youngsters have their chance; we need to build a team for the future beckham has had his day.

Posted by gwilym | Report as abusive

would it make more sense to allow the new manager to pick his own team mr beckham has played in three world cups to his credit but even at his best he or the team were never good enough if he had any grasp of international football he would have retired after the last campaign giving the new boss a clear field to try new younger hungry players that want to win games and not for their own personal agenda and lets not forget our fans we want to see a new fresh team .

Posted by steve magill | Report as abusive

Agreed. Get it out of the way, then it’s adios muchacho.

Posted by Luc | Report as abusive