USA/England: Becks should follow example of Donovan
The continuing “will he or won’t he” saga regarding a potential move to England’s Premier League hangs over David Beckham and the speculation refuses, for the next couple of days at least, to go away. Perhaps Beckham should put an end to it by announcing that he intends to prepare for the new season with the Los Angeles Galaxy, which begins on March 15th, and finally put the needs of his club ahead of those of his limited aspirations with the English national team.
As tempting as it may be for David Beckham to come back into the fold and be a part of the self-glorifying “Best League In The World” perhaps he should reflect on the fact that he has signed a multi million dollar deal with a club who have come close to winning the Major League in recent years but have suffered from injuries or loss of form at key times of the season. This is in some part due to the non-stop football which the likes of Beckham and his Galaxy team-mate Landon Donovan have endured due to their respective loan moves to AC Milan and Everton FC as well as FIFA World Cup commitments. Donovan actively helped his country on the field whilst Beckham was subdued to a more ambassadorial role due to an injury suffered whilst in Milan.
Having played football with virtually no break for two years Donovan saw sense announcing in late December he had decided that preparing with his team ahead of an exciting new season was his priority and, therefore, rejected Everton’s overtures to join them on loan for a second time. Beckham should now give the same assurances especially given that a speculated loan move to Tottenham Hotspur would be very strange seeing that the player himself said only weeks ago that he would want to play in the English Premier League again but “only for Manchester United”, even if he did utter in the same sentence that he wasn’t holding his breath on such a move taking place. It is no secret that Beckham still has ambitions with the England national team but just how crucial is he going to be when the 2012 UEFA European Championships and/or 2014 FIFA World Cup come around? Already 35 years old, perhaps Beckham should finally allow someone to replace him on a permanent basis and blood some new life to an England side which has looked stale for some considerable time.
Also there is going to be an increased schedule in Major League Soccer next season with two new franchises, Portland Timbers and Vancouver Whitecaps, becoming the latest members of an expanded league which will increase to 18 clubs from the 2011 season. This will mean a minimum of 34 regular season games, an increased play-off schedule (if necessary) with ten of the 18 teams playing in the post-season MLS Cup to determine the champion plus international club commitments such as the 2011-12 CONCACAF Champions League. One final factor to consider is the fact that everybody in the league, whether it be the administrators, sponsors or, most importantly, the fans, feels that the time is right for Beckham to really start giving something back to MLS. Since 2008 Beckham has appeared for the Galaxy 45 times in MLS games, compare that to his two loan spells at the San Siro where he appeared in 28 games and would’ve been at least a few more had he not picked up an achilles tendon injury which kept him out of football for six months. One feels that the best way to get everybody onside is to do what he is paid to do; to play and promote both his team and the league as a whole.