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.

Saturday, 31 January 2009

Beckham not in Uefa squad

It has been revealed that Carlo Ancelotti has not included Beckhams name in his Uefa squad leading to speculation that he may be returning to LA after all. Although officially listed as a Milan player until June for logistical reasons, there exists a 'gentlemans agreement' that will see him start for Galaxy in March. Amidst all the speculation finally a story about it appeared on the LA Galaxy site, a story that combined all the fantastic rumours about potential purchases with the possibility that either or both Beckham or Donovan would not return from their 'loan' periods in Europe.
I imagine the strategy behind lumping these stories together was to illustrate that each of the 'rumours' were equally unlikely. The rumours line up like this:
  • Beckham to stay at Milan where he is clearly wanted and clearly wants to stay
  • Donovan to stay with Bayern Munich where he has scored goals in exhibition matches, impressed Klinsmann and stated categorically that he wants to stay.
  • Players rumoured to being sought by The Galaxy include Michael Owen and Del Piero
Actually Michael Owen would make a good replacement for Landon Donovan and might be an interesting prospect to play alongside Beckham, but I imagine that he would only be interested if he truly thought his England career was over and I don't think that is anything like a certainty. Bruce Arena also joked about looking for a job for himself at Chelsea, but despite the humour I imagine he and The Galaxy are rattled by the prospect of losing two star players to Europe. A dozen new players have come into The Galaxy during the break, but whether last years failure can be turned into success in 2009 is in the balance.

Friday, 30 January 2009

Beckham in doubt for Lazio game

On the day that Milan have revealed that they have registered Beckham until June 30th, there is doubt whether he will be fit enough to play Lazio on Sunday after sustaining an abductor injury on Wednesday.
The revelation about Beckham's registration shows that Milan are not under any obligation to sign him in the January transfer window if they want to keep him for the rest of the season. Beckhams contract is actually held by the MLS rather than LA Galaxy, and it apparently has an option to leave this Summer which would seem to be timed to co-incide with the European transfer window rather than the end of the US soccer season.
A few more weeks of suspense will follow while we wait to see whether Beckham gets on that plane back to the US...
Apparently Capello was on hand to see Beckham's triumphant goal at the San Siro and must be considering him for the friendly clash with Spain on February 11th

Wednesday, 28 January 2009

Milan v Genoa - Beckham scores again

AC Milan 1 Genoa 1
To continue Beckham's fairytale week in Milan, he scored again against Genoa in front of Milan's home crowd and from one of his classic free kicks just outside the box. The 'keeper got a glove to it but could only deflect the shot into the top of the net.
This game lacked the graceful flowing football of the previous outing as the two teams who are placed third and fourth in Serie A slugged it out.
The goal came in the latter half of the first half, and Milan seemed to be happy to rest on their laurels for the second half - retaining possession, but content to take the sting out of the game hoping to frustrate Genoa (and possibly their own fans...). There were few opportunities coming Genoa's way and Milan were nowhere near as effective up front as they were at the weekend.
I was concerned that Beckham was looking slow and tired in the second half until I noticed that the whole Milan team seemed to be playing that way - like a soccer equivalent of Mohammed Ali's famous 'rope a dope' trick...
On 70 mins, Beckham had a chance to take the applause as he was replaced by Flamini, 5 mins later Ronaldinho replaced Pato. Just two minutes after he came on, Ronladinho had the chance to trump Beckham from a similar free-kick, but the' keeper got fingertips to it.
Senderos came on for Milan, as the Genoa substitutes brought fresh legs and fresh impetus to their team. On 80mins Genoa were starting to take control almost leveled the game but for a great reaction save. A nervy 10 minutes ensued and the Genoa pressure finally found an outlet on 87 minutes when they were able to squeeze the ball past the keeper. This woke Milan from their slumbers, but to little avail. Genoa were gifted a final chance when a tackle from behind gave them a free kick similar to the chance that Beckham scored from, but the ball bounced off the wall and the whistle blew on a game which had the thrill of a Beckham goal, but lacked the skill that we know Milan can show.

Tuesday, 27 January 2009

Milan play Genoa on Wednesday

Beckham makes the squad again as 18 players are named for the mid-week clash against Genoa at the San Siro, all the usual suspects are included:
Abbiati, Dida, Antonini, Favalli, Jankulovski, Maldini, Senderos, Zambrotta, Ambrosini, Beckham, Flamini, Pirlo, Inzaghi, Kakà, Pato, Seedorf, Shevchenko, Ronaldinho.
The team is riding high after the emphatic win at the weekend, and the team were clearly delighted to see Kaka score a brace and to see Beckham open his account - if he can do the same at the San Siro, the Milan fans will surely never let him leave... LA seems so far away...

Sunday, 25 January 2009

Beckham Scores for Milan!

Bologna 1 Milan 4
An action-packed first half saw two penalties, four goals and a red card, not only that but 45 minutes of beautifully flowing football from an AC Milan side that can only be described as 'fluid' as they streamed forward dominating the play. Milan went down 1-0 in the first 10 minutes when the ref blew up for a penalty after a strong challenge in the box and Di Vaio slotted the ball away driving the Bologna fans wild - their joy was short-lived. On 13 minutes Seedorf got onto the end of a rebounded shot to level the scores at 1-1. The flowing football was a joy to watch and demonstrated the artistry which is a trade mark of Serie A, something that was somewhat missing in the other games I have watched. A penalty for a block in the box was taken neatly by Kaka to make the score 2-1, and Kaka scored with his left on 42 minutes to wrap up a successful first half. Beckham started in his customary position and showed how well he fits into the AC Milan style and was even allowed to drift into a more central position as we have seen him do at previous clubs.

Bologna showed a little more urgency at the start of the second half, but they could not stop Milan from applying pressure of their own. After just 2 minutes Beckham collected the ball on his chest in front of goal and laid it on a plate for Pato who skied it. Five minutes later Seedorf puts it on a plate for Kaka who muffed his shot. A few minutes later Di Vaio came close again for Bologna but a great save kept him out. On 59 minutes one of those flowing Milan moves found Seedorf putting Beckham in the box on the right hand side and Beckham smashing it first time between keeper and post for his wildly celebrated first goal in Serie A, taking the score to 4-1.
On 71 minutes with the game more or less won, Ronaldinho came on for Pato, and Inzaghi for Kaka. Just short of 75 minutes Beckham again receives the ball from Seedorf in the middle of the pitch and his cross/shot just bobbled past the left-hand post. At this point Milan were in complete control with anything straying into Milan territory being dealt with by the defence, at the other end of the pitch shots and crosses were peppering the Bologna goal.
When Milan had finally finished playing with Bologna, like a bored cat with a battered mouse, the ref blew up and a very happy Milan with a very very happy David Beckham, went home having had their fun...

Saturday, 24 January 2009

Beckham in the Milan squad for Sunday

AC Milan play Bologna on Sunday afternoon and once more Beckham will be considered for a starring role. A 20-man strong squad has been named on the Milan website alongside fellow stars: Seedorf, Shevchenko, Ronaldinho, Inzaghi and inevitably Kakà.
This week Beckham has further endeared himself with Milan by visiting Stefano Borgonovo Milan veteran suffering from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis which leaves him communicating via a compter interface. He went with Milan coach Carlo Ancelotti who frequently visits his old colleague and team-mate.
Ancellotti has stressed this week that David is under contract to The Galaxy, but has also left the door open for Beckham to stay at Milan. Clearly Beckham is enjoying his time in Italy, and would be clear to take an option to leave Galaxy after the next MLS season, but will that be soon enough?
Maybe the best compromise might be to see out the three months in Milan, leave them wanting more and join them properly at the start of the next Serie A season if things don't improve at The Galaxy - with the out of sync seasons in the MLS and Europe there are a number of options available. Apparently as well as the opt out in 2009 that Beckham has in his MLS contract, is the option to buy a team at the end of his five years - Perhaps he could buy the Galaxy and sell himself to Milan...

Saturday, 17 January 2009

AC Milan 1 AC Fiorentina 0

Once more, Pato was on target for Milan this time within the first ten minutes for the only goal of the match. As promised, Beckham started the game and this time with Ronaldinho on the bench, stood a better chance of getting a chance to take the odd free-kick.
Beckham seemed to be the nominated corner-taker from both left and right side and consistently delivered good corners, though the in-swinging cross from the right-hand side that we know and love was notable for it's absence.
The game was even-handed if not in Milan's favour for the first hour but after that things started to get heated in the Milan penalty area and the keeper was called upon to keep them in the game - it was about this time that Flamini was warmed up and we wondered if Beckham would be removed, but it was Seedorf that gave way and Beckham moved into more of a central role.
Fiorentina continued to push for the elusive equaliser, but Milan managed to resist their advances.
Ronaldinho finally took to the field on 77 minutes to replace in-form goal-scorer Pato and Senderos came on for Becham on 80 minutes. All in all it was another competent performance from Beckham who still looks at home in this set up and hopefully will be able to bring a little more to the table when he finds his feet properly and finds the right-handed cross...
It seemed poignant that Kaka made a point of going round all his team-mates after the game, and kept both the match ball and his Milan shirt - for the last time perhaps??

Beckham will start for AC Milan again

With Man City apparently willing to raise the price tag for Kaka close to quarter of a billion pounds sterling, the pressure is off Beckham at Milan.
Beckham will start again for Milan in their match against AC Fiorentina today. "Beckham will play from the first minute," Milan Coach Carlo Ancelotti said after training on Friday.

Getting top notch games under his belt is exactly what he needs and will to go some way to convince Capello that he is ready to take his place in the England squad. So far we have heard Beckham say how happy he is at Milan (perhaps in contrast to how he has felt in LA??). He has talked publicly about how much he loves Man United, how he fell in love with Real Madrid and now his heart has been stolen by Milan, markedly omitting to speak of his love for the club he is currently contracted to in Los Angeles… Reading between the lines (and that is all I am doing…) it strengthens the growing feeling for me that Beckham will not be making that return trip back across the Atlantic.

Tuesday, 13 January 2009

Will Beckham return to the Galaxy

With his first successful outing as a Milan player, speculation is now building about whether David Beckham will want to go back to Los Angeles to see out his Galaxy contract. There is still no official acknowledgment on the Galaxy website that Beckham is even on loan at all, yet they were happy to publicise Landon Donovan's loan period in Germany.
The tight-lipped approach from LA, and Donovan's public (if not now rather hypocritical) criticism of Beckham seems to indicate that all is not well between Becks and the Galaxy. This on top of the embarrasing withdrawal from the publicity game that was to be played in Australia in December. When Becks was not going to be available, no-one in Australia would have turned out to see The Galaxy so the game had to be 'postponed'.
With tight controls on the soccer 'employees' in the US, it is not unreasonable to suppose that The Galaxy had not the experience to cope with a demanding global superstar dropped into the middle of their comparatively docile team. Beckham has crossed alex Ferguson and left to go to Madrid, he crossed Capello at Madrid and left to play in LA - who is to say that the accord between Beckham and his Galaxy paymasters has not come to an end?
This is not new speculation, but we can now add to this with repeated assurances from Milan that they want Beckham to stay, Beckhams impressive return to fitness and the desire by fans and players alike to have Beckham in the team. The understanding was that David would be able to play maybe 45 or 60 minutes on Sunday, but he felt fit and strong and showed tremendous desire. Serie A did not prove to be too tough a task for him and honestly it looked like the style of play would suit him quite well. The Italian league seems less physical than the EPL and arguably less physical than the MLS, plus at Milan he is only one of many targets with Kaka and Ronaldinho amongst the stars playing alongside him.
What would you do?
  • Give the MLS another shot in the hope that something can be acheived with The Galaxy in the next season?
  • Cut your losses and accept the hand of friendship extended by Milan?
Why not make your views known by commenting or taking part in the survey in the side-bar (it will be up for the next two weeks)

Sunday, 11 January 2009

AS Roma 2 AC Milan 2

After some speculation about the starting lineup for this game, Beckham took the field for a full 88 minutes alongside fellow-legends Ronaldinho and Kaka and looked comfortable in the team and comfortable on the ball. He resumed his standard role on the right hand side of midfield pinging balls into the box but with little to aim for. In too many cases there were 2 against 6 in the Roma penalty box.
Roma took the lead after 22 minutes on their home ground and the game stultified into a sedentary affair with few chances to show for the efforts of the two teams - not maybe what one was expecting from Serie 'A football.
The second half offered more chances and importantly more goals. After just 3 minutes of the second half, Pato had a tap-in from Kaka to level the game, and just 4 minutes later, he lobbed the keeper from the left hand side to see the ball nestle in the far side of the goal for his and Roma's second. The game then started to pick up a little and in the 71st minute Roma pressure paid off with a fairly soft goal to level the game.
The second half lived up to expectations far more than the first paltry offering, but at 2-2 both teams were done and Beckham was replaced by Flamini with just two minutes to go

Wednesday, 7 January 2009

Beckham gets first game with Milan

After speculation about how long it would take to reach match-fitness, Beckham defied his critics by playing the first 45 minutes of the friendly Dubai Football Challenge against Hamburg, to be replaced for the second half by Flamini.
David assumed his usual role on the right side of midfield and showed his usual dedication to the cause and high work-rate, it remains to be seen whether he has done enough to merit a regular spot.
The full-time score was 1 - 1, Milan won the fixture in the penalty shoot-out in Dubai where AC Milan have been going through some winter training. All eyes will be on the team list to see whether Beckham will make a start against AS Roma on Sunday.

Sunday, 4 January 2009

Beckham in training with Milan

Beckham has been assessed at training camp and found to basically fit enough to play for another five or six seasons with some alterations to his training regime required according to the AC Milan doctors. This underlines the AC Milan master-plan to try to keep Beckham in Italy beyond his loan deal or entice him to leave after the very next MLS season.
The assessment concludes that he will require two or three weeks work to get him to Milan’s ‘required level’. The Milan schedule includes a friendly in Hamburg on 6th January and a league game against AS Roma on 11th January. The club already maintains Paolo Maldini at the rare old age of 40 and is adept at keeping one of the most elderly squads in Europe match-fit.
Beckham's immediate priority however will be to impress England manager Fabio Capello to ensure he gets a fair chance of taking part in the rest of the build-up to the next World Cup.