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.

Tuesday, 30 September 2008

Galaxy play the Columbus crew on Saturday

The Galaxy remain tied for sixth place in the Western Conference, and are due to play overall league leaders Columbus crew this coming Saturday. Unable to repeat their win over DC united, The Galaxy defence collapsed under the slightest pressure from Chicago last week, even with the same line up taking the field.
Galaxy have some serious issues in defence and that is not going to bode well when playing the MLS overall league leaders. Arena has had enough time to stage a turn-around, but it seems that there are some unresolvable problems right now which can only be resolved by drafting in some solid players at the back.

Sunday, 28 September 2008

England World Cup qualifiers

England are off to a good start in their World Cup campaign with two straight wins against Andorra and Croatia. These are the details of the remainder of the games that England will play this year:
  • Saturday October 11th - England v Kazakhstan (2010 World Cup Qualifier)
  • Wednesday October 15th - Belarus v England (2010 World Cup Qualifier)
  • Wednesday November 19th - Germany v England (Friendly International)
The next round of qualifiers starts in April 2009, and at that stage England will be hoping to be boasting a 100% record with hopefully a decent game against Germany under their belt...
It remains to be seen whether Beckham remains part of Capello's plans for England.

Friday, 26 September 2008

Chicago Fire 3 LA Galaxy 1

The crisis (as this must be now seen) at The Galaxy deepens as Chicago come away with a 3-1 win taking away the confidence that was built up after the Galaxy's last victorious outing last Saturday.
From the start the Galaxy defence looked fragile, the shot for the first goal against actually went right through four players before beating the keeper low to his right.
Galaxy managed to reply with a cross from Klein finding Eddie Lewis on the goal line, the game levelled on 33 minutes at 1-1.
On 40 minutes Beckham was able to surge forwards slipping the ball into Buddle, only for Buddle to send a stinging shot just wide of the far post. Galaxy denied a lead before the half-time whilstle.
The second from Chicago was an absolute mess in defence with a mix-up between defender and keeper leaving Chicago to have a free shot on an empty net on 56 minutes. The final nail in the Galaxy coffin came only two mintes later when Chicago had men left over running at the Galaxy defence and Chicago slotted a third into the Galaxy net. On 70 minutes Donovan missed a good opportunity to volley into the Chicago net.
A significant loss in that it shows once again the defensive frailty of LA, and highlights the need for some real quality in front of the keeper. At the start of the season, Cronin came in for some criticism, now that he is injured it is more obvious that the fault was not with the keeper but with the defence. The Galaxy are acknowledged as having a potent strike force, now they need some stability at the back if they are going to get back into winning ways

Sunday, 21 September 2008

Galaxy 5 DC United 2

Conceding after only two minutes, Galaxy finally record their first win in thirteen games in an exciting game that saw chance after chance mostly aimed at the DC goal.
Things were looking comfortable at the half-way point when a goal from Gordon and two from Donovan in a first half that got the Home Depot crowd to fever pitch.
DC struck the same blow in the second half by pulling one back after just two minutes, but Galaxy had their measure and a goal from Pete Vagenas followed by a goal for Donovans' hat-trick buried a team that never seemed to really get into a stride.
A foul on Beckham saw a red card shown to DC's Marc Burch in the 63rd minute whilst the game was still at 4-2.
Man of the match was Donovan by a mile not only for his goals, but the assist to Vagenas and his general skill at unlocking the DC defence was unmatched by any player on the pitch. Beckham offered his usual contribution of getting the ball into the box and particularly adept long balls from deep defence to the front men. I would prefer the see him operating further up the field, hugging the right side and taking the game to the opposition a bit more, but let's see how the team perform now they have a significant win under their belts...

Sunday, 14 September 2008

Kansas City Wizards 2 LA Galaxy 0

Whether it was due to travel-weariness, or being asked to play out of position, Beckham looked a shadow of his normal self and The Galaxy looked very ordinary against unremarkable opposition.
Confined to a midfield role which he has played in the past, Beckham lacked energy and vitality in a team that did not seem to click at all. Sure enough Bruce Arena has a great record and is beloved of many an American soccer fan, but his tactics were suspect for this match.
Rookie Bryan Jordan was put on the right, and whilst he showed energy and determination (which were the reasons Arena cited for placing him there) his end product was missing despite his battling, he was outplayed and Galaxy missed the service normally provided from Beckham. It took seventy minutes for this truth to dawn on Arena eventually taking Jordan off and replacing him with Alan Gordon.
The first half was a non event hardly even worth a mention, neither team showed an enormous desire or ability to stamp their authority on the game. 10 minutes into the second there was a rare moment of excitement as Beckham whipped in a shot fom distance which travelled right to left across the goal, but shot past the left hand post. It was another ten minutes in when a cross came low across the Galaxy goal and got squeezed into the net for the opener. Just two minutes later a Kansas player was allowed (as Beckham backed off) to send a shot in from thirty-five yards which slammed into the right hand corner leaving the keeper standing.
This was the point that Alan Gordon came on and Beckham assumed a roving role, popping up on his favoured right-hand side slinging passes in, popping up on the left and in defence too. Galaxy piled the pressure on, but the game was lost and the legs were tired.
A thoroughly disappointing game from a Galaxy point of view extending their win-less streak to twelve games, and lessening the chance of getting to the play offs.

Thursday, 11 September 2008

Will Beckham play in Kansas City

Only three days after the Croatia match and a week after the Andorra match, Beckham will be ready to play for LA Galaxy this coming weekend along with the other players who have been on international duty.
Donovan and Beckham are a vital part of The Galaxy's plan to record their first win in twelve games on Saturday, and after all Beckham has only played about twenty minutes of gentle football on a competitive pitch in the last seven days. The Galaxy herald the return of four players from international duty this weekend, and you can be sure that Beckham will be ready to play.

His future for England remains in some doubt after the Croatia game with Theo Walcott bagging a hat-trick against tough opposition. Walcott is bound to be preferred for future games though he is a completely different prospect to Beckham, and many believe that Beckham will still have something to offer should the occasssion arise. Not every game will be suited to Walcott's strengths, but at the moment you have to say he is the player to watch. It is also apparent that there was no-one in the England side on Wednesday who can take a free-kick like Beckham, Lampard took responsibility on the night and came close to troubling the keeper, Gerrard would probably prove a more convincing alternative when he is fit.

Wednesday, 10 September 2008

Croatia 1 England 4

First half:
In a period of football which must have disappointed the home fans, England showed determination to press forward from the start. Although they didn't enjoy the possession that they did in the Andorra game at the weekend, they certainly controlled much of the game. Beckham did not start the game, instead Walcott was favoured on the right hand side and Walcott did not disappoint. He showed speed and skill whilst retaining an air of calmness throughout. On 25 mins after a movement of rare England fluidity and getting an equally rare 'luck of the bounce' moment, Walcott was able to slot the ball past the keeper with terrific composure for the England goal that would see them reach the half-time whistle at 1-0. Just two minutes later a similar chance presented itself again, this time the keeper got fingertips to Walcotts unhurried shot.
On 39 minutes Walcott was dancing his way through the field and got the ball away to his right hand side only to be cynically body-checked badly enough to see him briefly stretchered off and the yellow card shown to the Croatia No.3. England withstood the Croatian pressure to go into the half-time break one up.
Second half:
The second half was a very different story with the Croatians losing their grip on the game completely and showing their frustrations. On 49 mins our friend wearing No 3 tried the same body check on Rooney and ended up on his backside, he was lucky not to give away a goal from the resulting free-kick which bounced off the keeper from Frank Lampard.
On 51 mins, the Croatia No.4 went up for a header and led with his elbow against Joe Cole to such an extent that Cole staggered covered in blood before collapsing in a heap and had to be stretchered from the pitch. the resulting red card was well-deserved. Jenas came on as Cole was strapped to a stretcher and headed for the treatment room or more probably the hospital.
On 58 minutes Walcott strikes again as England are firmly in control right outside the Croatian penalty area. Heskey gains control, back to goal, passes to Rooney who puts it straight into that same spot where Walcott knocks it home again - same strike, same spot, same result another England goal.
Just 4 minutes later Jenas rescues the loose ball from an Ashley Cole challenge, takes it to the by-line and cuts it back to the penalty spot where Rooney is lurking to place it in the back of the net again, England rampant - first to congratulate Rooney is Walcott... 25 minutes to go and England look as comfortable as they have ever looked against the 10 man Croatian team - home fans are leaving the stadium, away fans are starting a party. Croatia go looking for a consolation goal and make some rare forays into the England half.
On 75 minutes Lampard is denied after waltzing through the defence and beating the keeper as an inactive Heskey is adjudged offside. Two minutes later Terry is challenging for the ball on the halfway line and nearly has his head taken off by a Croation boot, the ref finds no fault and Croatia are able to catch a relaxed England on the break, slotting the ball home for 3-1.
Just four minutes later Rooney turns a lovely reverse ball into the path of a speeding Walcott who takes it across the box and puts it away for his hat-trick and Englands fourth goal of the night. Phew what a game...
Beckham comes on for the last 6 mins and gets to knock the ball around a bit, but the game is done and what a result for England emphatically beating Croatia in their home fortress. A hat-trick for the young hopeful Walcott and a much needed goal for the old(?) hand Rooney. A success for the new England and their manager if not much of a test for Beckham...

Sunday, 7 September 2008

LA Galaxy 2 Real Salt Lake 2

In a game that generated the same score as the meeting of these two teams in May this year, LA were missing the combined power of Beckham and Donovan once again. The Galaxy stretch their streak of games without a win to eleven, and Bruce Arena is still looking for his first win since taking over as manager.
Salt Lake took the game to Galaxy and had much of the play in the opening minutes, they had the ball in the net early on and Salt Lake's Espindola damaged his back whilst celebrating only to find that the goal had been disallowed for offside...
Galaxy took advantage of the injury and Bryan Jordan ran on to a Buddle shot to score his first ever MLS goal. More pressure followed from Salt lake and they managed to level the game at 1-1 in the 20th minute. The scores remained level at the break, but only 7 minutes into the second half, Salt Lake took the lead.
This seemed to wake up the Galaxy who seem set to accept draws instead of wins and they battled to draw level with a Buddle tap-in on 70 minutes. After that both teams disappointingly seemed to settle for the draw, and hardly another attack was seen as they played out the game to it's inevitable conclusion. I can't think that a team captained by Beckham would lay down quite as easily.

Saturday, 6 September 2008

Andorra 0 England 2

Capello fielded an experimental type team with a lot of youngsters and those who might be regarded as second-string players. Beckham was on the bench, Theo Walcott wore the no. 7 shirt Defoe started up front, with Ferdinand declared unfit to start, Glen Johnson played right back, Lescott played left-back with Terry in the centre. Barry and Lampard bossed the midfield
England started brightly with plenty of chances, the first and best falling to Glen Johnson in the opening minutes. Youthful exuberance really led to too many long balls which were not accurate enough and led to nothing, certainly there was a lack of delivery from both the left and right sides. There was no doubt that England were fully in control of the game from the start but half-time brought no goals, and Capello made some changes after the break. Heskey came on for Defoe, Joe Cole for Downing
The switch immediately paid off when Cole got on the end of a volleyed pass from Barry to volley into the net from a few yards out in the first minute or so after half-time. Just ten minutes later, Rooney threaded the ball through the defence for Cole to slip it under the keeper for his and Englands' second. England continued to control the game to the degree that you hardly even caught a sight of David James in his goal. For the last ten minutes or so Beckham came on for Lampard indicating that Capello is using the run-out to warm him up for the Croatia game. Walcott remained on the right wing, so Beckham remained in Lampards slot. He had a chance to show his free kick skills on 85 mins, but it was a cross rather than a shot, and didn't get a good connection.
A competent performance where England could have run rampant if they had exercised some of that killer instinct that they seem to lack when faced with lower-ranked opposition. England controlled completely and played well within themselves, so much so that throughout the game I honestly only caught three glimpses of David James in the England goal - I feel he might be a bit busier next week...

Thursday, 4 September 2008

England's World Cup trail

The World Cup starts this weekend for England as they take on Andorra at the Olympic Stadium in Barcelona Saturday 6th September. Beckham is in the 23-strong squad along with Jimmy Bullard for the first time, Joleon Lescott makes a return to the squad.
Rooney makes the squad, but Owen, Gerrard and Carrick are ruled out through injury.
The Andorra match will be followed by a match against Croatia in Zagreb on the 10th, where England will be looking for revenge for getting beaten at Wembley and thus failing to qualify for Euro 2008.
If David James can perform anything like he did for Portsmouth last week, we could be on target for a clean sheet at least...
Bad News for Galaxy, as they could do with David Beckham to help them break their excessively long spell without a win.