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, 27 October 2009

Beckham clinches second stint in Milan

The Galaxy having clinched the Western Conference title , Beckham is free to work out his plans for his long-expected second stint in Serie A. AC Milan offer a unique atmosphere in which older players are treated with great care and consideration, prolonging their careers by years in many cases.
The ink is not yet on the contracts, but both parties seem happy and confident that the deal is done, and we will be seeing Beckham trotting out into the San Sero in January once more. Despite the boo boys in the stands of the Home Depot Center, Beckham has enjoyed an excellent year in 2009. He started the year with AC Milan, a year in which England qualified for the World Cup in emphatic style. Not only that, but when he returned to a Galaxy side which had enjoyed a shaky start to the season, the team managed to top the Western conference.
Capello for one will be particularly pleased to see Beckham back in Milan, and as long as he can stay fit, there is every chance that he will be travelling to Africa with the England squad next year.

Sunday, 25 October 2009

L A Galaxy 2 San Jose Earthquakes 0

The Galaxy take the Western Conference title with a 2-0 win over San Jose at the Home Depot Centre in Los Angeles.

After a number of attempts on goal by The Galaxy, including a narrowly-missed Beckham free-kick, the first score came on 23 minutes when a San Jose defender deflected a Donovan cross beyond the keeper's reach and into the net.

It was in the 76th minute after sustained attacking from The Galaxy, that Donovan slotted a great pass from Chris Klein under the keeper and off the post for goal number two. On the few occasions when San Jose broke through the defence, Ricketts was once more unbeatable in The Galaxy's goal. The night was almost capped with another goal from Donovan when a great flowing move saw Beckham crossing and Donovan diving for what would have been the goal of the night were it not for the point-blank save from the San Jose keeper.

The Western Conference semi-finals series starts next week...

Sunday, 18 October 2009

Houston Dynamo 0 LA Galaxy 0

Two teams battling for top spot in the league, both having reached the play-off stages start cautiously, The Galaxy choosing to start with Landon Donovan on the bench. Beckham starts the game having played little more than 30 minutes for England last week.
The first half certainly lacked a sense of urgency though arguably Houston were found pressing more than The Galaxy. Ricketts stood up well in defence of the LA goal. Beckham had a reasonable if not exactly hectic first half, and Galaxy managed to look like a team that were just waiting for Landon Donovan to take the field.
Bruce Arena opted to keep Landon Donovan on the bench at the beginning of the second half, but it was Buddle who had a shot cleared off the line on 50 minutes. Only a few seconds later Donovan took the field with a view to changing the scoreline in The Galaxys' favour. 15 minutes later, Donovan was released into a great position, but the chance was wasted across the width of the net and beyond, eventually going out of play just before the corner flag.
On 77 minutes, Houston had a terrific chance which was saved by Ricketts at point blank range once again proving invaluable for LA this season.
Ten minutes from the end, Beckham was involved in a shoving match after a strong tackle, he conceded a foul but was caught by a retaliation. However, it was an uninvolved Houston player who ended up with a red card and dismissal for his over-physical remonstrations which saw him push Beckham in the face.
Expectations were raised by the anticipated arrival of Donovan, and the second half certainly was more heated than the first, Beckham himself slicing a shot wide in the last few minutes. At the end of the day, the teams were well-matched and a draw was a fair result - a good one for The Galaxy as the visiting team. The match finishes with no score and the battle for league leadership goes down to the wire.

Saturday, 17 October 2009

Web Hosting

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Personally I have been looking for a good deal on 'unlimited' hosting (ie. a service that allows you to host multiple sites for no additional charge) in order for me to bring all my sites under one account. Right now I have about four domain names registered with one service, three domains and hosting with another, along with several blogs hosted by 'blogger'. One advantage of being able to bring all these domains together on one account, is that many of the unlimited deals include free Wordpress hosting which means I could convert all my blogs to the far more flexible Wordpress format.
WebHostingGeeks.com is a site that does the comparisons for you and highlights the top hosting sites in any of several categories. You may be looking for the best blog hosting or best forum hosting, or even a host that offers a 'greener' solution... this comparison site can give you 'top tens' in any category.
There is even a blog that discusses topics related to web hosting, the latest articles addresses some of the green hosting issues such as power usage and cooling at data-centres.

Wednesday, 14 October 2009

England 3 Belarus 0

No Rooney, no Gerrard but a great chance for Beckham to make his case for the final half hour or so, taking his tally of international caps up to 115.
The game got off to a great start with Crouch sliding onto a cross to smuggle it past the keeper on just 3 minutes. As is their custom nowadays, England kept the ball well but they started to lose their way towards the latter stages of the first half - crosses were going astray and the team were not concentrating, a point which I feel sure Fabio Capello will have made forcibly at the half-time break.
The same format took the field for the second half, and still lacked a certain something. These are the occasions where England often become vunerable and can become a victim of their own defensive mistakes. Today could easily have turned into one of those games and there were a number of occasions where England's defence looked less than solid, but thanks to one fabulous reaction save by Ben Foster in the England goal, England kept a rare clean sheet.
At around the hour mark, an excited home crowd noisily greeted Beckham as he came on to replace Lennon. From that single moment, the game lit up and expectations were raised. Beckham's first touch was a corner taken short to Wright-Phillips who jinked inside the defense and shot the ball across the ground evading the keepers grasp and resting in the back of the net for 2-0. In the last 15 minutes, Carlton Cole had a strong shot at goal that the keeper parried, Crouch was once again first to the loose ball and slotted it away neatly for 3-0 and what passes for a convincing win if not quite a convincing performance. Incredibly, for his half-hour contribution Beckham was awarded 'Man of the match' by Steve Bruce, causing Capello to joke that it was a little like Obama winning the Nobel prize.
The heavily bearded Beckham took full advantage of the little time given him to show what he is about, measured passes and full commitment to the cause. He is battling for one of the few remaining places avaiable in the England World Cup squad, and will be hoping to seal a deal to return to AC Milan next year. Currently, we seem to be in the same position as last year, Beckham saying he wants to go, Milan saying they want him, which just leaves the question of cash!! Tonight, when interviewed, David said the deal was 95% done, so I am guessing that the 5% is all about the money...
For now, Beckham returns to LA to finish off a succesful season with The Galaxy and to make his plans leading up the World Cup in Africa.

Monday, 12 October 2009

Englands' disappointment

England fans (and no doubt the squad) will feel disappointed with the result on Saturday, not only did the team lose, but the game was not available for many fans to watch.
However, when you look at the circumstances there are some positives to be taken from the game. However disappointed we are, we are already in the World Cup, OK it is not going to be the 100% record, but before we went on a hugely successful qualifying run, we would have taken qualification at any cost, especially after failing to qualify for Europe last time out... The team of ten men played well against the Ukraine eleven, and certainly during the second half, the only clue to the fact that England were a man down was the lack of shots on goal.
Eight wins on the trot looked great, but we will have to settle for nine wins out of ten, a hiccup on Wednesday is certainly not going to be tolerated and nothing short of an emphatic win will suffice. A decent tally of goals and a clean sheet will restore confidence in Capello and the squad, a one-nil win would not bring great delight, a draw would bring no small amount of criticism and a loss would turn the tide of success completely on it's head.
Rooney is out for the game which will give Capello a chance to give Carlton Cole or Defoe a start, Defoe is the likely choice. I would expect Lennon to get another chance on Wednesday after he was forced to give way on Saturday, and naturally I would like to see Beckham play in the second half. David James will no doubt start as Green is now suspended, and Ben Foster has been drafted in as a replacement.
After this match, Capello must start thinking about the 23 players that will make up the World Cup squad, Beckham will be mindful of this as he seeks employment in Europe in January.

Saturday, 10 October 2009

Ukraine 1 England 0

Nothing at stake but pride for (already-qualified) England, a play-off place at stake for Ukraine. Beckham sits this one out and watches from the sidelines as England fail to make the impression that they wanted to. Within minutes the game is halted to remove flares from the pitch - this sort of action by Ukranian fans could have a serious impact on thier plans to co-host European championship football in 2012.
All the early pressure was from England as with most of their World Cup qualifying games so far. However England keeper Robert Green was sent off early on and David James was brought on with Lennon sacrificed. Remarkably Shevchenko who scored at Wembley, hit the post from the spot kick earning cries of 'who are you?' from England fans. Nonetheless the Ukraine team made the best of extra player almost immediately shooting for goal and getting a lucky deflection from Ashley Cole past David James for a 1 - 0 lead after half an hour. Both teams spurned good chances to add to the score in front of a very exitable local crowd.
England may consider themselves unlucky to go into half-time a goal down, but they have shown time and time again that they do not keep clean sheets against stronger opposition, and once again a defensive error has had more of an impact than any attacking play.
James Milner came on to give more attacking impetus for the second half and the ten men of England certainly were able to look the dominant side but without actually getting very many shots on goal. The shots they did manage to get away were innefective and there was always the danger of being hit on the break as happened several times in the second half much to the crowd's delight. However David James proved solid on those occassions he needed to be and the second half ran down with no change in the score.
On this occassion, whether it was all down to the missing player or the shape up front, there was just not enough fire power Even when Lampard earned a free-kick on the edge of the box, with no Beckham, Lampard hit the wall and the chance was lost. Sadly this means the 100% record has gone, but there will be time to make some sort of amends at least on Wednesday at Wembley against Belarus.

Pay Per View

The Ukraine owners of the broadcast rights for the Ukraine v England game today have decided that the game will only be shown in the UK via the internet. The game will only be shown to those paying a one-off fee ranging from £4.99 up to £11.99 depending on when they applied. Supposedly there is a limit on the number of sign-ups, but personally I can't think that there will be very many people signing up to this deal unless they are accustomed to pay-per-view.
I am inclined to leave it and try peer-to-peer instead in order to watch for free. There is some doubt over whether TV highlights will be available. Reportedly ITV have turned the deal down because under the terms of the deal, they would be precluded from advertising it until after the live game had started - there is still a possibility that the BBC will show highlights, but there remains a huge question over how they will fit it into their programming schedule. If the BBC do close a deal, unfortunately they will not be able to publicise it until the game starts at 5pm today...

Monday, 5 October 2009

Squad named for upcoming England games

Fabio Cappello has named the following 24-man squad for the last two qualifiers for the World cup:

Rob Green, David James, Paul Robinson; Wayne Bridge, Wes Brown, Ashley Cole, Rio Ferdinand, Glen Johnson, Joleon Lescott, John Terry, Matthew Upson; Gareth Barry, David Beckham, Michael Carrick, Steven Gerrard, Frank Lampard, Aaron Lennon, James Milner, Shaun Wright-Phillips; Gabriel Agbonlahor, Carlton Cole, Peter Crouch, Emile Heskey, Wayne Rooney.

Despite scoring this weekend, after his first 5 minutes on the field for Arsenal this season, Theo Walcott is not included, neither is Joe Cole who has just been declared fit after a lengthy break. The last few games are devoid of real pressure since England have already qualified, but there will be a certain amount of pressure to go through with a 100% record since they have won every game to date.

The first of the two games will be against Ukraine (away) on Saturday, followed by Belarus at Wembley on Wednesday 14th. The Ukraine football authorities have declined to sell broadcast rights to UK TV station and have opted to only allow the game to be viewed via the internet (which is how I watch most games anyhow...).

Sunday, 4 October 2009

The final push..

The MLS enjoy a long break now until LA Galaxy play Houston in what will be the show-down of the Western Conference on Saturday 18th October. Winning this game will put The Galaxy clear at the head of the Western Conference, having already clinched a place in the play-offs.
It has been four years since LA were in this kind of position and the last couple of seasons have been heavy with expectation since the arrival of David Beckham, yet poor in terms of league position. The Galaxy have consistently been in touch with league-leaders yet have failed to make the play-offs until this year.
Maybe the Beckham experiment is starting to pay-off, but it has to be said that he has been missing for much of the season, so The Galaxy as a team can feel gratified in a team achievement.
This has been a good year all-round. Beckham had the experience he wanted playing in Europe and was part of a team that qualified for the World Cup in emphatic style. The Galaxy achieved the long-term goal of reaching the play-offs even without the help of Beckham for much of the season. Winning the MLS must be the sole remaining goal for Beckham and the MLS this year.

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House Insurance – many online providers charge extra for paying monthly by direct debit, there may be a considerable financial advantage to be gained by paying 'up front'.

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Saturday, 3 October 2009

LA Galaxy 1 Chicago fire 0

LA are now within striking distance of a place in the play-offs, and temporarily top the league (with one game extra played). It was Donovan who supplied the goal just before half-time, breaking free from his marker and lobbing the keeper making it look too easy. This after a half of good pressure on the Chicago goal without much in return apart from just a few good saves that Ricketts had to make.
Beckham was quiet in the first half, but was a bit more involved in the second, even taking a rare shot at goal forcing a save from the keeper as it dipped over his head 5 minutes from time. Right at the death, there was a crazy goalmouth scramble which could have cost The Galaxy the win, but Rickets managed to claim the ball, and The Galaxy have the vital points which take them to the top of the table at least until the rest of the games are played later today.

Friday, 2 October 2009

The Galaxy prepare...

Training has been a serious affair this week at LA Galaxy as they look to work towards a place in the play-offs by beating their visitors the Chicago Fire later this evening.
Beckham remains a doubt with his swollen ankle, but will no doubt want to be in the thick of it and will want continue to add his contribution to The Galaxy's successes this season.
The Fire themselves are not without their own injury list, and have other similarities to LA in that they also lie second in their conference and will be looking to secure their own standings in the league coming up to the final few games of the season. After tonight, there is a break until 18th October (v Houston Dynamo) and the final game is on 24th (San Jose Earthquakes).