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