…fit to drop.
It was one of the few decent things McClown did during his stint in the England job, dropping Beckham and it’s about the only thing Capello should copy his predecessor by doing.
Beckham hasn’t been fit for England for over half a decade now and it’s cost us.
He was unfit for the 2002 World Cup, which led to him poncing out of that challenge against Brazil in the quarter final which resulted in Rivaldo equalising in first half injury time, lifting them and deflating us.
He was unfit for Euro 2004, where he puffed and panted his way through the matches in Portugal, blatantly not fit enough to stay on the park but never being removed by his worshipper Svennis, his main contribution being two missed penalties, one against France in the opening game the second in the quarter final shootout that saw England go home.
World Cup 2006 he was again unfit, it was no coincidence that during the qualifying England played there best stuff when he wasn’t in the side, well obvious to all but the bald Swedish man kissing his feet. Come the finals and it was the same old story, exactly. He laboured up and down the right, never being able to beat anyone, living off a fluke goal and one cross, he came inside and cluttered the middle and started banging Hollywood balls over Crouch’s head, as we struggled against the might of not only Trinidad but also Tobago.
Surprisingly Svennis did sub him during the group stage, he was dehydrated and blowing chunks but was desperate to stay on, can’t have made Beckham happy that as Lennon had looked the part in his cameo appearances earlier and when he did come on for a few minutes as a sub for the he showed what racehorse speed does that cart horse plodding can’t – scare defences.
Sven said he would drop Beckham if he felt it was right, well all the evidence was there from every tournament game the manager had over seen in his spell in charge, it was time for a change. Did it happen, did it buggery back for another quarter final showdown with Luiz Felipe Scolari.
And again Beckham failed and again put himself ahead of the team, insisting that he should stay on when injured, for some bizarre reason Sven saw through this con act and subbed him for Lennon, who again produced the goods while the England captain sat on the touchline and cried, not for English football but for himself the captaincy and his chances at 100 caps.
Because that was his main interest, personal glory, brand Beckham ahead of the best interests of the national side and he’s still at it desperate to get his hands on that 100th cap, desperate to join the greats of Bobby Moore, Sir Bobby Charlton, Billy Wright oh and Peter Shilton who while great for a while overstayed his welcome.
A man who hasn’t played a competitive game since October and then it was only a half in the MLS thinks he’s fit enough because he’s trained a bit with the Woolwich Wanderers for a couple of weeks and jetted out to Brazil for a bit of keepy up to walk straight into the side.
It may be only a friendly and getting his 100th would get it and him over and done with but it would be a mistake, it sends out all the wrong signals about how his regime is going to go about things.
We’ve been promised it far too many times before, clean sweep, get rid of the deadwood, no favourites, so I won’t be holding my breath this time around…Thursday’s squad announcement awaits.