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, 27 February 2009

AC Milan tribute to Beckham

To keep you amused until the next Beckham-related story comes along...

Thursday, 26 February 2009

Milan 2 Werder Bremen 2

As expected, Beckham started this game for AC Milan. Milan made a great start to the return leg of the tie by going two goals up in the first half. Prlo got the first on about the 25 minute mark with Pato scoring a second just 7 or 8 minutes later. As the first half progressed, the German side showed that they were not defeated by keeping Dida very busy in the Milan goal and the half finished with Werder Bremen threatening to be the next team to get on the score sheet.

Werder Bremen continued to push in the second half and got their reward on 67 minutes from a free-kick which was headed past a helpless Dida in the Milan goal, 2-1 and all to play for... on 77 minutes another header past Dida leveled the score at 2-2 and no-one could argue that it wasn't coming. Bremen had been living in the Milan half with very little creativity coming from the Italians. A frantic few minutes ensued when Bremen could have easily taken the lead, this woke Milan from their slumbers a little, but they lacked firepower with Schevchenko up front and by this stage Beckham could be found playing in centre back territory rather than on the wing. With seconds left on the clock, Bremen had another free-kick in a dangerous position and had another free header which somehow missed the target.

Werder Bremen take the tie as a result of the two away goals and on reflection you have to say they deserved it after a remarkable come back. Milan did themselves no favours by sitting back and creating virtually nothing after netting the two goals early on.

Wednesday, 25 February 2009

Beckham lastest

Latest Beckham quote being reported in the media makes tantalising reading:
“I really don’t know what will happen, but I do know that next week will be very important.”
Leaving us thinking that there will be a breakthrough soon, and to be honest the longer this goes on the more unthinkable a return to the MLS becomes. There is no doubt that David Beckham is far more at home with AC Milan surrounded by players of similar experience and quality. The MLS experiment has not been a success and will have left Beckham frustrated and looking for a way out.
LA are keeping to the line that Beckham will be on his way back in a few short weeks time, but this is surely just a negotiating stance now, even they must acknowledge that the move is in the balance, Beckham wants to go and Milan have the money to buy him.
Meanwhile, the player himself will be preparing for the return match against Werder Bremen tomorrow, a game in which he is likely to start having been given a short run-out in the win last weekend.

Sunday, 22 February 2009

Milan 1 Cagliari 0

Seedorf scores in the 65th minute bringing AC Milan back within 11 points of the Serie A leaders. Cagliari put up a spirited confident performance against a Milan team that were missing some key players. Inzaghi started up front again as the only available striker since illness ruled out Pato and Ronaldinho, with Kaka and Schevchenko still sidelined.
Beckham continued to rain in crosses although there was rarely anyone available to take advantage of them. Inzaghi had the ball in the net on 22 mins but was ruled offside (again..). The Sardinian side Calgiari however created more dangerous chances but failed to get the ball past the Milan keeper Abbiati. In general Seedorf had a poor game, but capitalised on a defensive error in the second half and made no mistake from short range. Milan closed ranks to protect their undeserved one-goal lead, Inzaghi being withdrawn much to the Milan fans' disgust.
Winning when not performing well is often a sign of a strong team, and Milan can comfort themselves with three points even if they did ot look much like winners today.

Saturday, 21 February 2009

Latest on Beckhams move to Milan

The saga continues with a declaration from Milan that they feel they have offered sufficient money for Beckham considering he could become a free agent in eight months time. LA Galaxy are insisting that this does not meet their requirements and the 9th March looms large for Beckham as his designated date for return to LA.
There are rumors of a deal which keeps Beckham at Milan until June to see out the Serie A season and return to LA until November - This would seem like a good compromise, but you have to wonder just how much of a welcome LA and their fans would give him when he finally returns.
Meanwhile, Milan prepare to meet Cagliari on Sunday afternoon whilst The Galaxy have started the pre-season positively with a 2-0 win over Oita Trinita in the Pan-Pacific Championship and are fixing to play Suwon Samsung Bluewings today. Both Beckham and Donovan are missing from the Galaxy squad and it remains to be seen when or if either of them will return.
Bayern Munich have yet to declare their hand in making a bid for Donovan, despite encouraging comment from Jurgen Klinsmann, Donovan has not had quite the same impact in Munich that Beckham has had in Milan.

Wednesday, 18 February 2009

Werder Bremen 1 AC Milan 1

With Beckham struggling after the disappointing game against Inter, he was missing from the starting line up for the first time since he has been available to AC Milan. This is what could be a crucial week for negotiations between Milan and LA Galaxy and the MLS. There are two weeks to go before Beckham must return, and although he has said he will be professional about it if he must return, it is surely in his and Milan's interest to make sure he stays in Italy.

A good first half ensued in a game which Milan were expected to win, with Inzaghi taking Milan into a 1-0 lead after 36 minutes. Milan 'keeper, Dida did not look that comfortable in the game, but the Milan defence were solid as usual, despite lacking Maldini who cannot realistically be played in three top-flight games in a week at the grand old age of 40.

Beckham resumed his position on the bench for the second half whilst Bremen started brightly and with real intent, threatening the Milan goal from the whistle. Before an hour of the game had passed, Beckham was out warming up on the sidelines, whilst Bremen continued to press a shaky looking Dida in the Milan goal. On 57 minutes, Milan and Inzaghi in particular had a good few chances of their own. On 65 minutes Inzaghi was bearing down on goal after receiving a glorious pass, but managed to rattle the woodwork when he should have been collecting plaudits for a second goal of the night. The game got a little scrappy as Milan defended their goal with more enthusiasm than skill.

On 83 minutes the pressure from Werder Bremen paid off when Diego who had been worrying the defence all the way through the game had a clear shot on goal leaving Dida as a woeful observer.
Beckham joined the game for the last few minutes just as Bremen looked like they would score again, striking the crossbar from a free kick. the game ended 1-1, but Milan will be happy to bring Werder Bremen back to the San Siro to prove their superiority.

Sunday, 15 February 2009

Inter Milan 2 AC Milan 1

The star-studded cast lined up for both teams in the San Siro and Inter were the first to threaten goal within the first minute from a free-kick. In an eventful first 5 minutes, the tackles were flying in on the pitch as were flares from the crowd and the referee had to stop the proceedings to have one cleared from the Inter goalmouth.
The first half was an entertaining affair with football flowing from one end to the other only spoiled a little by the goal scored by Adriano on 23 mins which plainly went in off his fore-arm when the replays were viewed. On the whole it looked like AC Milan had the better of the first-half play as they controlled the ball in the opposition half without creating enough clear-cut opportunities, as they so often seem liable to do.
AC Milan's non-productivity with their possession was punished once more, this time by a clean strike by Stankovic for Inter to take the score to 2-0 right before half-time.

Adriano spurned a great chance right at the start of the second half as the end-to-end action resumed. In the first ten minutes of the second half, there was a free-kick in Beckham territory. Despite the crowd calling for David, it was Prlo who took the kick and drew howls of disappointment from the crowd as he sent it wide of the upright. Shortly after that, Beckham was substituted with what looked like a hamstring pull.
Inter were able to pile on the pressure as Beckham was replaced with Inzaghi, and came close to extending their league with most of the chances falling to Adriano.
On 72 minutes, after Inter were getting the best of the play, Pato was fed the ball right in front of goalmouth and coolly slotted it away to bring the score to 2-1.
On 77 Inzaghi netted an absolute cracker only for it to be (correctly) judged offside much to his annoyance, AC Milan continued to pressure for a draw as Inter hung on to their now slender lead. Inzaghi had another great chance to equal the score heading just over the bar after a wonderful cross into the box from Pato. Despite their best attempts to pepper the Inter goal, AC Milan could not get the vital goal to draw the game, yet this game was a testament to the best that Serie A has to offer in terms of action and entertainment.

This week we wait to find out the extent of Beckham's injury and the outcome of the extended negotiations with LA Galaxy and the MLS.

Saturday, 14 February 2009

Milan call bluff

The MLS deadline has passed, yet Beckham and Milan seem confident that a deal can still be struck. On the one hand LA Galaxy and Bruce Arena have stated that they expect Beckham now to return to the US in March, yet the Italian club are calling their bluff saying that they will consider their options after the important Milan derby tomorrow.
One option still open to Beckham is to buy himself out of his contract, whilst the USA contingent believe this is unlikely, it could bring the uncertainty to a speedy conclusion. The MLS have tried to force Milans' hand but as far as the Italians are concerned, they are free to make an offer any time up until Beckham steps on a plane in March.
On the face of it, The Galaxy think they are getting their man back, in reality there is still all to play for, the real end to the saga will probably be in the next seven days.

Thursday, 12 February 2009

Deadline set for Beckham deal

Don Garber, MLS commissioner has set a deadline of Friday (tomorrow) for the Beckham deal to be completed otherwise Beckham will be required to return to The Galaxy next month.
LA Galaxy have been reported as asking for £15m, AC Milan have been reported as saying they won't pay over £5m for the 34 year old player. The consensus is that a deal can be done for around £8m with the option of Beckham buying himself out of his MLS contract.
Personal terms have already been sorted with Becks reportedly in line to receive 50% of merchandise sold with his name on, and 50% of revenue from friendlies in which he features. Part of the deal may involve a friendly played in LA, of which ironically Beckham could actually receive 50% of the revenue. His wage demands have been reported as modest and not out of line with what Milan would expect to pay at £75,000 a week - nowhere near the half a million that Kaka was reportedly offered by Man City...but as Beckham himself says 'at this level, it's not about the money' - after all if it were all about the money he could probably make more in LA.

Wednesday, 11 February 2009

Spain 2 England 0

Beckham starts on the bench, but is already warming up after 10 minutes - possibly because Wright-Phillips took a knock early on. The first few minutes see good possession for the home side, but a couple of chances created by England. From early on in the game it became apparent that England would be playing 11 players from Spain plus the referee. A blatant foul on Heskey mysteriously became an offside against Heskey within the first quarter of an hour, and the ref continued to show home sympathies throughout the first half. Having said that Spain seemed to have the best of the game showing better technique, with England showing more rugged determination.
Spain got the goal they deserved on 35 minutes by a mesmerising David Villa who made and scored an excellent goal. England responded by attacking the Spanish goal, Heskey heading wide and once again earning a mystery foul (presumably the ref blew up just in case the effort was on target...).. As the half petered out it was becoming obvious that the England team was missing the forward thrust of Joe Cole, Steven Gerrard, Frank Lampard and Wayne Rooney never mind David Beckham.
For the second half, Beckham came on to a warm reception from all sides of the stadium to claim his 108th cap for England.

In the second half, Beckham is joined by Robert Green (in goal), Upson, Lampard and Crouch, for David James, Jagielka, Barry, Downing and Heskey whilst Wright-Phillips goes to the left-hand side. Beckhams first touch from a free kick brought a save from Pepe Reina who had come on for the second half for Spain. The Beckham-Lampard axis in midfield promised improvement going forward as David Silva came on for Spain to replace David Villa. Just after the hour mark, Torres was replaced by Llorente. On 70 minutes the Spanish were looking comfortable in defence coping with anything that England could throw at them. Although Becham managed a delightful long-range cross which found Wright-Phillips on the far left, he cut neatly inside but wasted the shot by striking it straight at Reina. On 75 minutes Carlton Cole came on for Agbonlahor but none of the potential front-men pairings looked like much of a threat tonight.
The main threat on the England goal continued to be the French referee who eagerly blew up for another mystery foul which led to a second brilliantly-taken headed goal for Spain. In the closing 5 minutes Beckham threaded the ball through for Carlton Cole who rounded the keeper and cut the ball back from a difficult angle only to have it cleared off the line from a fast-returning defender. The referee was sparing with the cards, but had a rush of blood and booked Beckham when he questioned his decision to penalise Johnson for handling the ball whilst in the process of falling over having being tripped up by a Spanish player. Beckham hadn't paid enough attention to the rule that says if the home side commit a foul, the ref has to try and find a way to award a foul in their favour - In case you don't get the idea... the ref was shocking, but to be fair England were not robbed.
In conclusion, you can hardly say England deserved to win, the Capello plan for the match failed badly, in retrospect you have to say Beckham and Lampard should have played the first half, Rooney and maybe even Owen/Defoe/Joe Cole (ie. someone who can score a goal) were sorely missed, but the side was not that different to the side that defeated Germany in November.
After the game Beckham acknowledged the skill and good play of the Spanish opposition, he expressed his delight at gaining his 108th cap and recognised the contribution of his various managers for his longevity at this high level of football. Regarding his future in Milan, he said 'We'll have to see...' which I would take to mean as long as the negotiations go well, I'll be staying in Italy...
Capello recognised that the game was poor, and stated that he believed that England 'can do better...'

Tuesday, 10 February 2009

Going to plan?

The Beckham plan is coming to fruition in Milan. The first part of the plan is secured as David is assured a place in the England squad for the the friendly against Spain tomorrow. Capello has declared himself please with the way Beckham has performed for AC Milan.

England squad:
Goalkeepers: Robert Green (West Ham), Joe Hart (Man City), David James (Portsmouth).

Defenders: Wayne Bridge (Man City), Ashley Cole (Chelsea), Rio Ferdinand (Man Utd), Phil Jagielka (Everton), Glen Johnson (Portsmouth), John Terry (Chelsea), Matthew Upson (West Ham), Luke Young (Villa).

Midfielders: David Beckham (LA Galaxy), Gareth Barry (Villa), Michael Carrick (Man Utd), Stewart Downing (Middlesbrough), Frank Lampard (Chelsea), James Milner (Villa), Shaun Wright-Phillips (Man City), Ashley Young (Villa).

Forwards: Gabriel Agbonlahor (Villa), Carlton Cole (West Ham), Peter Crouch (Portsmouth), Emile Heskey (Villa)

Meanwhile the speculation about him remaining at Milan beyond March is rising as Galaxy and Milan openly begin the debate about how much Beckham is worth...
Gloves are off now as The Galaxy are finally publicly acknowledging that they are losing their grip on David Beckham - I can't see any resolution to this now other than Beckham joining Milan.

I am going to have to redesign the Beckham Blog to fit in with a new Rossoneri colour scheme..

Saturday, 7 February 2009

Milan 1 Reggina 1

Beckham was once again in the starting line up for this game which Milan were hoping would help them to consolidate their position in the league and close the gap on league leaders Inter.
The first half did not go according to plan as Reginna squeezed the ball into the net half-way through a half which really should have seen Milan take control of the game. Milan had the best of the posession but were kept out of the goal by a strong defence, their best chance coming on 40 mins when Beckham released Kaka on the break from defence to just over the half way line, Kaka was brought down, but Ronaldinho collected the loose ball and drove forward just curling the ball beyond the keeper and the post.
Both teams came out with intent in the second half which made for a racy game, Seedorf had the ball in the net on 60 mins but the goal was disallowed.
On 65 mins, Ronaldinho was replaced by Inzaghi, and almost immediately Pato was brought down in the box for a penalty, Kaka calmly slotted the ball away to make the score even at 1-1. On 72 minutes Beckham supplied a cross onto Inzaghi's head only for the ball to fly over the goal. Despite the game exceeding 95 minutes, neither team found the net again even though there were plenty of chances.
A good game, fast and furious thoughout, and I believe this was the first game at this level that I have ever seen that had a female official running the line...

Wednesday, 4 February 2009

Rangers 2 AC Milan 2

The first half failed to see either team establish a real hold on this game. Milan looked good going forward with Beckham appearing in the middle of the park as often as on the right hand side. Ronaldinho started this time along with Flamini, Schevchenko and Inzaghi up front.
At one point half-way through the half Ronaldinho was fouled in a perfect Beckham freekick position, but immediately made a grab for the ball. He took the subsequent kick, had the keeper beat, but not the goal-post.
In all, you would have to say that Milan were favourite to score, but Rangers showed that they were dangerous on the break particularly with ex-Portsmouth player Pedro Medez leading the way.
In one sense the game was living up to expectations, with two Milan players be-gloved (Ronaldinho and Inzaghi) as against one Rangers player... (my prediction was a ratio of 2;1)
In the second half Seedorf came on to replace Beckham, so there was no chance of seeing Beckham adding to his tally of goals or assists.
In fact it was DeMarcus Beasley who scored first for Rangers on 64 minutes squeezing through the defence on his own and scrambling the ball past the Milan keeper. It was only five mintes later that Kaka and Pato combined to slot the ball home at the opposite end of the pitch levelling the match once more. Less than ten minutes later and Kaka added a second for Milan, giving them the lead for the first time in the match. Just three minutes later Rangers levelled again through Papac leaving little more than 12 minutes left for the superstars from Milan to regain the initiative.
It finished honours even 2-2, with neither team disgraced or embarrased, you always felt that Milan had the firepower to take the game, yet Rangers were not without threat and showed that they are not minnows to the giants of Milan.

Milan set to play Rangers

It has been widely reported in Italian papers that Beckham has been talking to his lawyers about ending his Galaxy contract and making the move to Milan permanent. Praise has been raining in from all sectors of the Italian media, and there is no doubt that Milan are more than impressed with the way the loan period has played out. Beckham has impressed both management and team-mates with his industry and enthusiasm for the team and the game.
It would not come as a massive surprise to learn that he has very little enthusiasm for returning to LA Galaxy to continue the ill-fated experiment. All it takes is a recognition of the fact that the Beckham experiment failed in line with other greats such as Pele and George Best...
Meanwhile the team have turned up in Glasgow in preparation for the friendly against Rangers all wrapped up like Michelin men - I hope Milan brought at least fifteen pairs of Adidas gloves with them... I predict a 2:1 ratio of Milan glove-wearers to Rangers glove-wearers and would hope that no native scots will let the side down by wearing such unwarranted apparel.

Sunday, 1 February 2009

Lazio 0 Milan 3

AC Milan's local rivals Inter Milan lead Serie A, and todays win takes AC into second place six points behind Inter as Inter only managed a draw against Torino on Saturday.
Despite concerns that he may be carrying an injury, this was a great game for Beckham. Even though he didn't manage to get onto the scoresheet this time, he is credited with creating two of the three Milan goals.
The first goal came late in the first half when Beckham crossed to Pato who against the run of play, unerringly took his tenth goal of the season. Not long after, Beckham and Pato repeated the trick (this time Pato used his head brilliantly..) but the effort was ruled out for offside. Thus ended the first half...
Within the first minute of the second half, a foul on Beckham gave Milan a free kick. Beckham took the kick and placed it on the unmarked head of Ambrosini for goal number two. Lazio lost the impetus and fight that they had demonstrated in the first half as Milan piled on the pressure. Beckham was in fine form orchestrating, showing professionalism and enthusiasm and giving possibly his best display since arriving in Italy.
In the final ten minutes, Lazio pushed forward allowing Seedorf and Kaka to combine on the break, Kaka calmly and easily taking his chance to make it 3 -0 to the visitors.