David Beckham - A Critique

(euphemism for hatchet job)


Oh, how I laughed when it was revealed that David Beckham (Mofih*) was caught throwing his designer toys out of his designer pram when he was not granted a knighthood in the recent new year's honours list due to ongoing concerns about his tax affairs. 

The awards system is far from perfect, but how can a celebrity like David Beckham be considered for a knighthood over a real hero like George Johnson, the last surviving Dambuster who put his life on his line for his country, whereas Beckham never put in a full shift in for his country. (In reality the powers that be probably would not put George Johnson's name forward for fear of upsetting the Germans further - don't mention the wars, the 1966 World Cup or Brexit!)

The contradictory irony is that his unsmiling missus is to get an OBE, for services to the fashion industry. Bizarre. (Which is where I would expect to find many of her products in a bring and buy bizzare Bazaar.)

Free kicks and unmarked crosses and corners aside I have never rated Beckham as a footballer whatsoever. On the plus side I will give him credit though that in his youth he practised endessly, all hours of the day and night with his free kick and corner taking technique, that he honed to perfection. On the debit side it is a pity that he did not have a go at practising dribbling skills and taking his man on or even basic tackling.

With respect to his lack of pace, in fairness there is little or nothing he could have done to improve that. We will never know if he could head a ball as I have never seen him do this, probably because he did not want to get his hair messed up. To me he was just a show pony, a self made product with this 'Look at me, it is all about my image' attitude. Sir Alex Ferguson hit it on the head when he asked Beckham if he wanted to be a great footballer or a famous footballer. I am guessing he went with his wife's choice on that one.

To his credit Beckham recently on his own admission stated that he was never one of the all-time greats. In my book he is not even one of the all time Okays.

He did not annoy me that much when he was playing for Manchester United as he was surrounded by quality players who could allow for his limited ability. It was his performances for England that used to and still do rankle with me. I cannot argue that he did have a few decent games for England but when you have played for the national side on 115 occasions, the law of averages dictate that you will have some good games.
"We will never know if he could head a ball as I have never seen him do this, probably because he did not want to get his hair messed up."

It can be argued that he had seven more England caps than Bobby Moore. Maybe, but the difference being that 'THE' England captain played the full 90 minutes in all of his 108 appearances for his country and (unlike Beckham) was never subbed on or off, or sent off. Let's not forget the additional 30 minutes of extra time Moore played for the World Cup winning side in 1966 as well as the further 30 minutes of extra time in the 1970 World Cup quarter final in Mexico against West Germany). Someone once worked out Beckham's time on the pitch v Bobby Moore's and I can't recall the exact number but in real terms Beckham would have less than 100 caps to his credit.  Moore did not do three, four or five minute cameo appearances for his country as a substitute. The same could be applied to many, many other England greats such as Bobby Charlton.

Many people rave about the free kick from which he scored against Greece that enabled England to qualify for the World Cup in 2002. Despite it being his fourth or fifth attempt there is no doubting it was little short of superb. Mind if Dimi had been between the sticks for Greece on the day he would no doubt have tipped the effort over the bar, or in all likelihood caught it.

What people forget though, is that he was a member of the golden generation of English football. With the players available England should have done far better in the qualifying stages than having to rely on getting a draw against Greece in the first place. It was rumoured that David Beckham seemingly had more influence over Sven and the team than the England manager did over him or them. Beckham and Eriksson - what a combination!

Like many of his fellow countrymen who have played for England over the last few years Beckham failed to perform on the big stage when it mattered, Wayne Rooney being another example. Since 1875 to date only 13 players have been sent off whilst playing for England. Beckham and Rooney hold the joint record for being sent off twice for their country. Not exactly something to be proud of. I felt Beckham (Mofih*) above all let the nation down on a regular basis - yes he had his moments, but overall,when you run the rule over his World Cup record it is lamentable:
1998: Sent off against Argentina; Ten man England knocked out
2002: Jumped out of a tackle from which Brazil scored; England knocked out. 2006 Turned up unfit.

It would be churlish of me to say that his actions cost England two World Cups but he played a significant part in England's elimination in 1998 and 2002. Off the field he did not have much luck with the World Cup either when, along with David Cameron and Prince William, they failed to secure votes from team FIFA to hold the World Cup finals in England in 2018. One could however argue that Sepp Blatter 'bent it', but not like Beckham. More disappointment followed for Beckham when despite his creditable involvement with Seb Coe ...and Co in landing the successful bid for the 2012 London Olympics he was considered a dead cert to be picked for, and be captain of, the GB football team. It is fair to say that he had his self-inflicted ego spectacularly dented when GB manager Stuart Pearce failed to select him for his squad and told the media that Beckham was omitted purely for 'footballing reasons' which could also be interpreted as him being a distraction. Seb Coe to his eternal credit never once mentioned his disappointment about not being chosen to represent Great Britain in the 1,500 metres (1,640 yards and a bit) track event.

What now for Beckham? His advisors have probably told him to keep a low profile and polish his golden balls, and perhaps in twenty years' time he might be once again considered for a knighthood over someone more deserving.

Can you image the thought of having a Lady Posh. If, God forbid, he ever did receive a knighthood, I am sure that Posh would soon be pushing to have his name being put forward as King. Several years ago I recall seeing a fitting epitaph in a newspaper for David Beckham's playing career: "Totally unspoilt by failure".

In next month's edition of Monkey Business we look at who will fill David Beckham's ineffective role in the England set up. Don't miss our next critique: Raheem Sterling - Still going around in circles.

 *MOFIH = Most Overrated Footballer In History