Welcome to the World of Beckham blog, we aim to keep you up to date with developments in the career of David Beckham a footballer from the UK who has played for some of the top teams in the world.

Friday, 30 November 2007

Beckham wows New Zealand

At a training session today, 15,000 youngsters came to see David Beckham in action prior to tomorrows match against the Wellington Phoenix. The excitable crowd cheered, chanted and celebrated the presence of the global soccer superstar.
Beckham is creating a major Kiwi stir, and there is no doubt that the few remaining tickets for tomorrow's exhibition match will be quickly snapped up.
LA Galaxy v Wellington is guaranteed to be sold out, let's hope they get to see another good Beckham performance, but more importantly that he manages to stay injury free.

Tuesday, 27 November 2007

Sydney 5 LA Galaxy 3


Over 80,000 attended the game ( a record for club football in Australia) and Beckham gave them what they all came to see. His trade mark free kick bent into the top corner just before the first half ended. This however after Sydney had already netted three times. Things could have gone badly for Beckham after a bad tackle had an effect on the same ankle he had trouble with earlier in the year. Seemingly, he was able to recover sufficiently to score Galaxy's first goal and continue, even getting booked himself for a deliberate foul just after the hour mark.

Apparently about 20,000 Galaxy shirts (no doubt a good number of those with 'Beckham' emblazened on the back) were sold, and the crowd went away happy. The Galaxy and their captain will catch a plane to New Zealand next to take on Wellington Phoenix on Saturday.

Sunday, 25 November 2007

Raring to go...

Beckham is keen to show that he is ready to play a full 90 minutes of football tomorrow against Sydney. In his own words, there are no England games on the horizon and the MLS season is over, so there is no reason for fitness to be spared. Contractually Beckham must play 55 minutes (such is the position he finds himself in nowadays!), but he evidently feels that he is good for a full match and is keen to show that he is up for the challenge. It's difficult to recall exactly when he last spent 90 minutes on a football pitch, but lets see if he can stay the course tomorrow...

England Mourns

David Beckham took part in the final Parkinson TV show on Thursday and explained that England should be celebrating, but sadly were in mourning following the failure to qualify for Euro 2008.

Despite acknowledging that England has the players and support (omitted to mention the coaching staff...) to really go places, somehow we find ourselves reflecting on what went wrong.

Michael Parkinson says he hand-picked the guests from amongst the thousands of celebrities he has interviewed over the years.

Saturday, 24 November 2007

England manager latest

More people who don't want to manage the England team:

Alan Curbishley (West Ham) says he is happy where he is and is not interested in the job this time, not surprising since he was publicly snubbed last time...

Arsene Wenger (Arsenal) says he would be interested if he were English. Wenger would no doubt be a popular choice amongst England fans, but why on earth would he give up the Arsenal job, to find himself as another failed England manager in two years time...??

Franz Beckenbauer has suggested that Jurgen Klinsmann is the man for the job. He has a history at Tottenham of course, but apparently is not prepared to uproot himself from his home in California.

There are reports that players Terry and Gerrard will be canvassed by the FA for their opinion about who should manage the team. This proposal flies in the face of Roy Keane's view that ego's amongst the playing staff are at the route of the problems. He didn't suggest that Gerrard or Terry were the one's with the inflated ego's, but you have to question making the precedent giving this type of power to players who have failed to produce the results.

Friday, 23 November 2007

Who would be an England Manager?

Several new hopefuls have emerged as prospective England Managers, some it should be said, may be using the opportunity to wangle a new paydeal from their current employers (Surely not...!).
The latest crop include Rafa Benitez (hoping for new pay deal at Liverpool.....), Steve Coppell (Reading) who says he has attracted speculation simply because he is English, and Harry Redknapp (Portsmouth) who has said that he doesn't really expect to be asked....
Martin O'Neill may be reluctant to apply since he was turned down before by the FA, Mourinho says he doesn't want the job, but is still favourite with many....
Sam Allerdyce (Newcastle) was interested when he was working at Wigan and his bosses were 'happy' for him to apply, but this time around, he says his loyalty is with his new club and new contract.
So, far lot's of people saying that it won't be them... let's hope the smoke clears soon, and the speculation is ended with a swift appointment.

Thursday, 22 November 2007

Steve McClaren sacked

The FA have today sacked Steve McClaren from his job as England coach following the failure of the England team to qualify for Euro 2008. There was not much doubt that this would be inevitable, and there was no guarantee that McClaren's position would heve remained tenable even if the team had qualified.
The search for a new manager can now go public. So far I have seen speculation about Fabio Capello (former Real Madrid coach) and Martin O'Niell (Aston Villa). Hopefully this issue will be resolved swiftly so that England can rebuild in time for the next world cup. There is also some speculation that out-of-work Jose Mourinho could be in line for the job, which would be a bold choice indeed!!
Watch this space for developing news and speculation on how this will effect David Beckham and the England team.

Wednesday, 21 November 2007

England fail to qualify

Despite the best efforts of Beckham who joined the game for the second half when England were already 2 - 0 down, England fail to make two additional goals count as Croatia knock them out with a third. Final score England 2 Croatia 3 - the side were blatantly missing that vital spark when a Scott Carson error allowed Croatia to go ahead in the seventh minute.

Still reeling from the shock, the defence step out, but not sufficiently to stop Croatia popping a second past a stranded Carson in the 14th minute. From then on England had all the possession but very few creative ideas.

A dejected team left the field at half time to be bolstered by Defoe and Beckham in the second half. A penalty got England back into the game, well taken by Lampard. The inevitable Beckham cross and Crouch finish took England to 2 - 2 with all to play for. Agonisingly the third wouldn't come until the Croatia substitute striker scored a wonder goal burying England hopes in the mud of Wembley.Will we see more of Beckham in an England shirt now he has reached 99 caps? On tonight's performance I have to say Yes... His impact on the second half was undeniable, he gives hope to the team every time there is a free kick and corner. Hope and positivity which was sadly missing when he was not on the pitch in the first half.

Beckham won't start at Wembley

Tonight's vital Euro 2008 qualifier against Croatia will start without David Beckham according to the latest rumours. Shaun Wright-Phillips is tipped to replace Beckham in the starting line-up. Steve McClarens bold decision will hopefully pay off otherwise it may be one of the last bold decisions he will be making as the England Manager. Already the stories are emerging of who is likely the replace him, and these aren't just idle speculation.
Wright-Phillips on the one side with Joe Cole on the other may just provide an injection of pace to catch out Croatia, but unless either player can get some telling crosses in, England may not be making the best use of the ultra-tall Peter Crouch.

Tuesday, 20 November 2007

England v Croatia

This is the big one then, the last chance for England to qualify for Euro 2008. Croatia are certain of a place, but the pressure is now on Russia who need England to fail in order to qualify, assuming they can overcome Andorra.
A minimum of a point is required for tomorrow's game at Wembley, and this time Steve McClaren is not giving any clues as to who will be in the starting eleven.
I am fairly certain that Beckham will play at least a hour, with the possibility of Wright-Phillips replacing him in the latter stages if things are comfortable or if Beckham is tiring. I would hope to see Gerrard and Barry start the game with Lampard kept in reserve in case of early injury. It looks like big Peter Crouch in the lone-role up front which should give the Croatia defenders something to think about, complemented with the pace and skills of Joe Cole and the whipped crosses from Beckham. McClaren will be hoping that this is enough to keep the lid on a Croatia team that have the potential to burst the England bubble...
At the back will be an admittedly make-shift combination built around Micah Richards, Sol Campbell and maybe Wes Brown.
The good news is that Croatia are not under pressure to win, the bad news is that Croatia are not under pressure to win!
C'mon Andorra!!!

Saturday, 17 November 2007

Israel 2 Russia 1

Hope springs eternal for England's chances of qualifying for Euro 2008 and Beckham's chances of reaching the target of 100 England caps. Israel go ahead as Russia start nervously, Russia pull themselves together, score the equaliser and begin to stamp their authority on the game, only to lose out to a second Israeli goal leaving them 2 points behind England in the group. With one more match to play, assuming Russia will beat Andorra, England need 1 point minimum from Wednesdays game against Croatia. England's fate is firmly back in their own hands - remember Beckham's last gasp goal against Greece which qualified us for the European Championships? Something along those lines is definitely on the cards.... Many thanks to the Israeli team for their efforts!

Friday, 16 November 2007

Austria 0 England 1

Well, the plan didn't really go according to script tonight, England win but were far from convincing against fairly ineffective opposition.
Beckham played his part by providing the cross from a corner for a Peter Crouch headed goal (I predicted something along those lines at least), but the team as a whole did not really get their teeth into the game and stamp their authority. Worse, Michael Owen is injured and will not play on Wednesday. McClaren will be heavily criticised for the injury to Owen, but his future (if it is not already decided) hangs on how the Israel v Russia and Croatia v Macedonia games go tomorrow.
As predicted, Barry got a run-out in the second half, leading to speculation that he and Gerard (also played 45mins) will start on Wednesday. Defoe looked sharp as a replacement for Owen and may start up front with Crouch. We saw Ashley Young make a good start with Alan Smith coming off the bench and Bentley joining him.
Beckham played about an hour, which was expected in light of the game on Wednesday, everything points to Beckham starting on Wednesday, with the possibility of Wright-Phillips replacing him later in the game.

Thursday, 15 November 2007

England starting XI

Steve McClaren named his starting eleven for the friendly against Austria tomorrow night.
England team: Scott Carson, Micah Richards, Joleon Lescott, Sol Campbell, Wayne Bridge, David Beckham, Steven Gerrard (Captain), Frank Lampard, Joe Cole, Michael Owen, Peter Crouch

I was disappointed to see that Gareth Barry has been replaced, even if it is with Lampard, but I would not be surprised to see him playing next week unless Lampard has a phenomenal game...
Other notable exceptions are Rooney who is injured, Fredinand (suspended), ShaunWright-Phillips and Paul Robinson.

This looks like a slightly experimental team at this juncture with a few players needing to prove themselves for the vital Croatia game, Beckham included. I would expect a slightly different starting line-up next week.

Beckham then, is set to collect his 98th cap, and much interest will be generated by his presence on the pitch, he will feel he has something to prove, this is often when he at his most dangerous. He will have option of crossing to Crouch or Owen, both top-class finishers.

A Beckham assist whipped in from the right for an early goal (header by Crouch) would settle the side and show Euro 2008 what it will be missing if this team doesn't manage to qualify. I would hope to see this followed up by a Beckham 'bend it' special free kick from the left-side a few yards outside the penalty area for goal number two, and a slipped Lampard pass for Owen's deft touch to pop the third past an unsuspecting keeper....

There's my prediction then, for what it's worth - I really hope I don't have to eat my words when the result comes in tomorrow... Either way, if Israel can't contain Russia on Saturday, it will be a disappointing blow and will make the Croatia game a 'just for pride' match as far as England are concerned. Beckham to collect cap no 99? will he ever get the chance to make it to 100??

Tuesday, 13 November 2007

England v Austria

England manager Steve McClaren is set to start both David Beckham and Ashley Cole in the match against Austria this coming weekend. Both players have had recent ankle injuries and need some top class football before the vital clash against Croatia.

McClaren has defended the decision to play Austria, despite rumblings that the match is pointless. There will be opportunities for Cole and Beckham to play a competitive match which will form part of the preparation for 21st, and a chance to try Scott Carson in goal as a replacement for Paul Robinson.

England supporters will be hoping for a convincing performance, some goals (in the right net) and a distinct lack of injuries....

Monday, 12 November 2007

Galaxy 2 Thunder 1

The Galaxy beat the USL's Minnesota Thunder in a shootout when the two teams drew 1-1 after full-time. Beckham provided the assist in the 7th minute for the Galaxy goal and played 73 minutes in total. He took control of kicking duties for free-kicks as expected, but the Galaxy could only manage the one goal in normal time.
Over 20,000 turned out to see the spectacle and Beckham left the pitch to resounding approval from the fans.

Next stop Vienna on the 16th for the warm up before the real clash on 21st against Croatia.
The Galaxy were originally scheduled to come to Minnesota on Oct. 10, but the match was rescheduled after Beckham sprained his knee.

Friday, 9 November 2007

Back in the England squad

Beckham currently has 97 caps and is chasing a century at least before retirement. Time will tell whether this will be possible, but not qualifying for the Euro2008 championships could strike a fatal blow to that ambition.

Steve McClaren as expected, at noon today named Beckham in his squad for the friendly against Austria (16th Nov) and the qualifier against Croatia (21st Nov). Of course, it could all be over if Israel succumb to Russia at home on 17th November. In which case, it will be interesting to see how the politics plays out. Beckham will undoubtedly want to play, whether the Galaxy will want him to play may be a different story, especially with some lucrative exhibition matches on the horizon.

It will be best all round of course if there is something to play for on the 21st, the atmosphere is going to be a bit flat otherwise, and it will probably be the last time that McClaren will take charge of the England squad. If courage and determination are required, the England squad only need to look to the England Rugby team for inspiration, a team who managed to reach the World Cup Final against all the odds earlier this year.

In other squad news, Rooney, Ferdinand and John Terry are all out with injuries.

England squad: Robinson, Carson, James, P Neville, Campbell, Richards, Brown, Lescott, Shorey, Bridge, A Cole, Beckham, Wright-Phillips, Bentley, Gerrard, Lampard, Hargreaves, Barry, J Cole, Downing, Young, Smith, Crouch, Defoe, Owen.

Gullit to join the Galaxy

As much as David Beckham will be (hopefully) the dominating player for the coming MLS season, Ruud Gullit will undoubtedly become the dominating managerial figure. Gullit unleashed his charismatic management style at Chelsea after retiring as a player, and will no doubt be breathing a breath of fresh air into the the Galaxy team and the MLS in general.

Former coach Frank Yallop stepped down after the end of a disappointing season to return to San Jose Earthquakes.

Although the arrival of Gullit will definitely cause a certain amount of fuss and interest, it will not quite be as dramatic as the arrival of Beckham. However it is good the see that The Galaxy have consolidated their resolve to improve the team by bringing in another class act to complement the captaincy of Beckham. I look forward to an exciting start to next MLS season with these two hug characters on board.

Thursday, 8 November 2007

Vancouver 0 LA Galaxy 0

Beckham played around 70 minutes in the 0-0 draw with Vancouver Whitecaps yesterday. This will be his last competitive match before the England game against Austria next weekend. The good really news is that there appears to be remaining ill-effects from recent injuries.
The official announcement of the England squad will take place tomorrow, Steve McClaren is expected to include Beckham in the squad following his visit to LA for the charity match earlier this week.

Wednesday, 7 November 2007

Beckham may take Galaxy back to Real Madrid

The long list of non-competitive fixtures may now include an invitation for LA Galaxy to play Real Madrid on December 5th for the 'Santiago Bernabeu friendly' trophy.
The annual challenge match originally been scheduled for August 28th against sporting Lisbon, but was postponed after the sudden death of Sevilla FC player Antonio Puerta.
Sporting may not be able to make the rescheduled game, so it is believed that the Galaxy are been offered the challenge instead.

Tuesday, 6 November 2007

Back in the England squad

Steve McClaren the under-pressure England manager, is expected to include Beckham in the England squad for the friendly against Austria, and the Euro 2008 qualifier against Croatia. The friendly takes place on 16th November, the qualifier on th 21st. England's fate may already be sealed if Israel succumb to Russia at home on November 17th. This also means that Becks will not play in the charity match organised by former Real Madrid team-mate Zinadene Zidane on 17th November in Malaga.

McClaren does not officially announce his squad until Friday

Monday, 5 November 2007

LA Galaxy 10 Hollywood United 4

On-form Beckham scores two and sets up three goals whilst raising $100,000 for the wildfires charity. The good news is that Beckham managed 83 minutes on the pitch, the longest period he has managed since moving state-side....and didn't pick up any new injuries

Steve McClaren travelled to LA to tell Becks that he will be included in the England squad which will be officially announced on Friday. The first game will be a friendly in Vienna on November 16th. The critical Croatia game is on the 21st, though if Russia beat Israel on November 17th England will effectively be out of the Euro 2008 competition. This rules out Beckham's inclusion in the 'Match against Poverty' charity match on November 17th in Malaga.

McClaren has come under severe criticism for travelling to LA to use the charity match to assess Beckhams fitness for national duty, but he is in a last ditch gamble position anyhow, so I don't suppose he will take much notice.

Among those playing for Hollywood United were former players Jorge Campos, Frank LeBoeuf and Eric Wynalda, Galaxy General Manager Alexi Lalas, Def Leppard guitarist Viv Campbell and actor Anthony LaPaglia, who started in goal.