Why Beckham Should stay in Milan, and Why the Galaxy Should Let Him

David Beckham, age 33, AC Milan

I’m going to break from my usual match previews and football betting tips for this week’s article.  I feel it is a good time to talk about why David Beckham should stay in Milan and indeed why LA Galaxy should grant him his move to the Northern Italy capital.

As a player Beckham is a great work-horse type player and despite his obvious ability he continues to work as hard as anyone for his team.  On countless occasions I’ve watched Beckham pull on an England shirt and be the only player putting in any kind of effort at all.  His career has taken him from Manchester United to Real Madrid and after spending some time in America I feel it is a perfect time for him to move back to Europe.

Former England boss Steve McLaren tried his best to ruin Beckham’s career by dropping him from the squad entirely.  McLaren was never the right man to lead England and has become somewhat of a joke figure in British football now, his image is not helped by his ridiculous ‘Austin Powers in Goldmember’ fake Dutch accent he has adopted now he is in charge at FC Twente.  Beckham proved that even though his country dropped him and he was practically forced into a move too America by Real Madrid, he still had the ability to get back into the England set-up.

It is not just his England ambition that made him move to AC Milan.  He may be 33 years of age and richer than any other footballer on the planet but he still feels he has something to prove in one of Europe’s top leagues.  The Rossoneri are certainly providing an excellent platform for the former England captain to prove his worth, and his inclusion in every game since his arrival demonstrates his move was not purely for publicity purposes as some cynics suggested.

David Beckham, LA GalaxyLA Galaxy may be keen to hold on to Beckham but in my opinion this is not really in their best interest.  Galaxy didn’t pay a transfer fee for him but they do have him on a very hefty wage bill, and to be honest the style of football in America does not suit Beckham’s playing style.  He is a creator and the type of player who brings out the quality in those around him: his crossing and distribution are renowned world-wide, but if his teammates are not of the same standard the impact he can make is fairly limited.  Beckham has even been booed by Galaxy fans who expect him to beat teams on his own, but that has never been a part of Beckham’s game. The player himself has even voiced his frustration at the style of play in the MLS and he should be allowed to make one last big move to cap a remarkable footballing career.  Should the Galaxy allow Beckham to leave not only would this lighten their wage bill, but it would also free up funds (the transfer fee is estimated at around £6-7m) to bring in new quality players – something the MLS side crucially need after their disappointing last season.

Beckham has shown in his appearances so far that he still has the hunger, desire and ability to compete at the top level.  Dismissed by some as a luxury player or a ‘spice boy’, Beckham has had to prove himself on countless occasions but has always risen to the challenge. His goal against Bologna this weekend was an unstoppable shot and included a nice bit of link-up play with Clarence Seedorf, the type of play he is unlikely to be a part of in an MLS side.  I’m not trying to belittle the American league, far from it, but at the moment it is not the same standard as the European leagues and in truth it will take more than David Beckham to raise the standard.  It will be at least 15-20 years before sides in the MLS can compete with those in Europe – maybe even longer than that, by which time Beckham’s career will be long over.

Editor’s note: After this article was written, David Beckham made it two-for-two and scored his second successive goal in the Serie A, a beautifully-taken free-kick from a tight angle against Genoa. Something which should further convince Berlusconi/Galliani to prolong the English midfielder’s Italian career.

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Posted in Milan, Player Profiles, Serie A |

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  • 6 Responses to “Why Beckham Should stay in Milan, and Why the Galaxy Should Let Him”

    1. Very good article Gareth, many interesting points raised.

      I for one, have grown to respect Beckham over the years (especially after the way he handled his last year at Real Madrid after being benched), and would like to see him succeed in Northern Italy. I think that while his move to the MLS was reasonably justified at the time, it didn’t give the results we had hoped for and overall turned out to be a bad career choice, especially for a player who obviously still has a lot to provide to the beautiful game. In a good team that is, where (as you said) the players surrounding him can utilize Becks’s contribution to the fullest.

    2. Tiro31 says:

      I think Beckham’s finest career-days are over, and I think those who keep pushing for his return into the England team are old nostalgics who can’t bear to see their favorite player sing his international career goodbye.

      With that said, keeping Becks in the MLS now especially after the big fiasco his move was and the terrible season Galaxy has just had, now that would be just a waste of space and talent.

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    4. Jonathan says:

      Becks to the MLS was one of the worst football career moves of the past decade. Most players who signed for these no-talent teams were in their prime years (Batistuta, Rivaldo etc,), but Beckham still had plenty of juice left in his batteries. I really hope he stays with Milan because he needs a compettitive team to show he’s still got it.

    5. Raz99 says:

      Completely agree, brilliant post. It’s like you read my mind. It won’t work in the US for Becks, there’s not enough interest and he cannot carry a team. It’s a waste of talent, and I don’t think he cares about the cash really – he always puts in 100% into any game and he’s clearly frustrated over there. I went to a game at the Bernabau a few years ago and the effort level from him was phenomenal.

      He really, really should stay in Milan – especially as this club in particular is pretty much the perfect for him. They have a long tradition of keeping players at the top level well into their late thirties – not just maldini, you could reel off a list. And Becks game suits it perfectly.

    6. Gnaius says:

      Never been to your site, linked from The Offside.

      This was agreat piece of writing and one I fully agree with. I didn’t understand why Becks wanted to come to the US in the first place; and even with all the hype ESPN gave his move, I figured his talent would be lost to non-soccer fans. He’s not super flashy…. it’s not like he’s really fast or has out-of-this-world dribbling skills or is amzing in the air. What he does have is great vision and skill to hit a pass right where someone at least has the potential to make a play. A casual sports fan probably wouldn’t be able to see that since they don’t have knowledge of the tactics used in The Beautiful Game.

      And I agree with ‘Marco Pantanella’ – I became most impressed with Beckham how after being benched in Real Madrid (for DARING to want to leave), he continued to work and train hard; and eventually “forced” the coach to play him. A number of other athletes would probably have closed up shop; but Beckham continued to train to such an extent the coach had no choice but to use a player who was playing great in training.