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.

Wednesday, 28 December 2011

Paris Saint Germain

As the January transfer window gets ever closer, it looks increasing like Dave Beckham may be heading to PSG on an 18 month deal at a reported £700,000 per month. French politicians are up in arms at the proposed salary which would make Beckham the highest earning sportsman in France.
Added to this speculation is the distinct possibility that Carlo Ancelotti is also set to join the Paris club as coach setting the scene for an AC Milan 'old boys' network with Leonardo already installed...

I was personally hoping for a return to the Premier League for Beckham, but hopefully if this move comes off, it will present the right platform to launch his bid for a place in the British Olympic team for 2012. Watch this space for breaking news....

UPDATE: The BBC are now reporting that Beckham may be favouring extending his contract with LA Galaxy, which initially looked to be a strong contender - however, taking this step might mean he is in a worse position to get a place in the Olympic team.

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Melbourne Victory 2 (3), LA Galaxy 2(4)

In what proved to be the toughest test of the tour, The Galaxy drew 2-2 with hosts Melbourne victory in their final exhibition match, going on to take the victory in the penalty shoot-out.
It was penalties that got them the draw in the first place, both of them sent home by Robbie Keane. Beckham had a chance to repeat his rare trick of a goal from his own half, this time narrowly missing the target.
Berhalter came on for Beckham in the 89th minute, sparing Beckham the penalty shoot-out - Berhalter scored his penalty and LA took the honours despite Landon Donovan sending his effort over the bar.
Donovan is heading for another short stint at Everton in January, Beckham looks increasingly likely to be heading for Paris..

Monday, 5 December 2011

Phillipines 1 LA Galaxy 6

Beckham scores the opening goal in open play (!) in what quite frankly a rout seeing a host of the Galaxy's star players getting goals. Beckham opened the scoring on 20 minutes curling the ball past the keeper from just outside the box. Magee scored a scorcher from Donovan just before the 40 minute mark, and the Phillipines quickly got one back 2-1 to the Galaxy at half time.
Keane scrambles the ball into the net straight after the break, Cristman headed a goal on the hour mark to take the score to 4-1, well out of sight for the Phillipines team. The Galaxy won a penalty on 80 mins and veteran Berhalter took a great penalty to take the score up to 5-1, and Cristman rounded it off on 86 mins, the game finished 6-1 and never for a second did it look like any other outcome was likely..

Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Indonesia 0 LA Galaxy 1

The Galaxy continued their MLS form as they start their Asia Pacific Tour 2011. With the whole squad minus a couple (Ricketts having been traded and Birchall left at home to deal with domestic affairs), it was nonetheless a lot a unfamiliar faces that graced the Indonesian turf to grind out a win for The Galaxy in typical gritty style. One would like to think that a full star-studded squad would have made more of an impression, but a win is a win, and The Galaxy have 'blooded' some players who normally don't get the chance to play under the top-class spotlight.
It was Robbie Keane who scored after 14 minutes, the ball falling to him out of a penalty-box scramble - his finish was sharp and precise as he placed it just inside the right-hand post. More chances followed but went unconverted, and the home side was lucky to only concede the one goal in the first half.

Keane was substituted at 60 minutes, and Beckham had a few set-pieces to try a trade-mark goal, but failed to find the mark. Beckham stayed on the park for almost 85 minutes and left to a standing ovation. Indonesia came into the game more in the second half and crafted a few chances without managing to get anything past reserve keeper Brian Perk. The Galaxy see the game out retaining the one goal lead.

Monday, 21 November 2011

The 2011 MLS Final LA Galaxy 1 Houston Dynamo 0

The Galaxy settle in quickly and have the majority of the possession in the first half, plenty of chances to get forward but no efforts on target. Beckham does his fair share of set-up play by pinging balls to the front men. The first half ends 0 -0, but LA are looking likely to score at any minute. The Galaxy have Keane, Cristman and Donovan running rings around the Dynamo defence, Magee spurned a chance near the end of the first half. Cristman headed over the bar under pressure, plenty of corners have been forced, everything but a goal..
Cristman was visibly struggling and was replaced by Birchall early in the second half as The Galaxy continued to pile the pressure.
Keane had the ball in the back of the net just before the hour mark, but he was judged (wrongly according to the replays) to be offside, this rallied Houston a little and they turned attackers for a short spell.
However, it was Donovan who broke the deadlock on 72 minutes combining with Beckham and Keane and scoring the only goal of the final and securing the victory for The Galaxy. The Galaxy hold on to take the title, Beckham gets another yellow card...

Any other result would not have been right on the night, had they not found the net, it would have gone to extra time and penalties - The Galaxy out-classed Houston on the night, and have been consistent all season, if ever a trophy were deserved, this one was...

If this is how the five-season experiment ends, finally one can say it ends with success, a league title which incidentally, I think Beckham has won with every team he has played for.
We wait to see what Beckham will decide, bearing in mind the nagging back injury, the burning desire to play in the Olympics and the demands of a young family.

Monday, 7 November 2011

LA Galaxy 3 Real Salt Lake 1

The Galaxy get off to a good start with a Landon Donovan penalty after 22 minutes. Up to that point, both sides had chances to score, and neither team had a good hold on the match. This was borne out 2 minutes later when RSL convert a corner to level the match at 1-1. From this point, LA look to be taking control of the match keeping possession and creating chances, Salt Lake largely restricted to hitting Galaxy on the break. Both teams hit the woodwork in a busy first half, but the honours are even at half-time 1-1.
Just 13 mins into the second half, Mike Magee got his head onto a Beckham cross for Galaxy to take the lead. Just 10 minutes later, the result was more or less sealed as Donovan fed Keane to take the score to 3-1. A couple of yellows were picked up on the night (NOT by Beckham who is now on an extended run of not getting booked..), but nothing that will prevent players taking part in the MLS final in two weeks time. Beckham was sub'd during extra time, but stood up to the task well considering that games have been coming thick and fast this week, and the continued concern over his back injury.
Keane looks to be over his injury worries, just needs to hit the net more than hitting the post (it's a bigger target after all!). Beckham will be looking to take this chance to win his first MLS cup, having lost the final in 2009 (on penalties), and lost the semi-final in 2010, LA are hopefully a little wiser and better prepared in 2011.

Friday, 4 November 2011

LA Galaxy 2 New York Red Bulls 1 (3-1 agg.)

Leading 1-0 from the first leg, LA Galaxy take on New York Red Bulls at the Home Depot. It was New York who struck first after just three and a half minutes. Henry fed Rodgers splitting the Galaxy defence open, Rodgers passed the ball into the net to level the two-leg tie. Luke Rodgers lost his head a bit after the goal, getting a booking for 'unsporting behaviour', then fortunate not to get a second before 10 minutes have elapsed as he fires the ball into the crowd in frustration. However, in general Red Bulls are looking the most composed of the two teams early on. After the initial knock-back, LA begin press the visitors and come close a couple of times. There was a short-lived scare for LA fans when Beckham was helped off the field clutching his back, but he then rejoined the play and delivered the perfect corner for Mike Magee to head into the net on 42 mins for 1-1 on the night, 2-1 ahead over the two legs.
Beckham returned for the second half, and after plenty of goalmouth action, if was Beckham who won a penalty after being kicked in the ribs from behind whilst shielding the ball in the box.
Donovan stepped up to calmly stroke the ball home, 3-1 up in the tie and LA are in full control with 15 minutes left on the clock. This was just about enough for Beckham who spent enough time on the turf for one match and was substituted with about 12 minutes remaining.
Hopefully the back will hold out for the home game against Real Salt Lake on Sunday for the Western Conference Championship game - if successful, LA hope to be playing in the MLS final on 20th November especially as it will be played at the Home Depot Center.

Thursday, 3 November 2011

Beckham News

I have been saying all along that Beckham would probably hold to the MLS to the franchise deal that was included in his five-year contract, however this is something for retirement and does not answer the question of where Beckham will play out his career.
It looks likely that he may retire after 2012 if he manages to make it to the GB squad, but whether this is a pipe-dream remains to be seen.
I am quite certain that Capello will not pick Beckham for the England squad - whether Pearce will pick him for the GB squad is surely not exactly nailed-on? although if you check with the bookies - they have him as odds-on for a place in the squad.
The question remains where will Beckham sign next, and as someone who has been observing his tactics for the last few years it will be somewhere that promotes his chances of a GB squad placing, and surely the best place for that will be Spurs? Paris St Germaine gets him into Europe, but now we know what the agenda is:
  1. Olympics
  2. Retirement
  3. MLS Franchise
...a place at Tottenham with Harry Redknapp (confirmed Beckham fan) would surely
be preferable to playing in France? I suppose when you look at it from Pearce's point of view, having Beckham to call on gives you a lot of positives including an undisputed world-class set-
piece expert (not including penalties of course). He potentially plays holding mid-field and can still curl devastating ball into the box from mid-field as well as from the right wing. With Gerrard looking rather injury-prone at the moment, and Lampard not being a dead-cert any more, there may be central gaps that Pearce will want to fill.

In other Olympic news, already Welsh contenders have annoyed the
Welsh FA by being pictured in the GB kit. The non-English home nations don't want their players to be involved as they are worried about losing their identity. To be honest the Welsh, Scottish & NI FA's don't really have an identity to be worried about - their leagues are hardly high-profile, and they should be gracious enough to give their blessing to players who want to play at a level that would normally be denied them


Monday, 31 October 2011

New York Red Bulls 0 LA Galaxy 1

The Galaxy headed up to New York in the cold and managed to steal a win away from home in the first leg of the play-off with the Red Bulls.
The goal came early in the game after Robbie Keane had already hit the bar - Beckham lobs the defence for a very much on-side Mike Magee to volley home on his left foot.
After the break, a re-invigorated New York side came out to get back on even terms, but Josh Saunders managed to keep them out. Donovan spurned a clear chance to go two goals ahead which would have been a useful cushion for the return leg. Despite the pressure from New York, the game finishes 1-0 to The Galaxy, but there was an unsightly fracas at the end of the game which left a couple of Red Bull players on the floor and Juninho needing protection from the officials and his team-mates. Juninho and Marquez (Red Bulls) received red cards for their part in the action and will miss the return leg - Everyone else will no doubt be fired up for Thursday at the Home Depot...
Beckham manages another full 90 minutes (probably more like 95) without a booking..

Monday, 24 October 2011

Houston Dynamo 3 LA Galaxy 1

This was a chance to rest the first team and send out the youngsters as The Galaxy are already in a commanding lead of the Western Conference, the result however did seal Houston's entry to the play-offs. No sign of Beckham, Donovan or Keane for this one and it was LA teenager Jack McBean who got his first MLS goal just two minutes from full-time, in an otherwise forgettable match.
The majority of the play was dominated by The Dynamo putting pressure on The Galaxy goal, LA displayed quite a degree of naivity in conceding the three goals which was probably to be expected. The one bright spot of the night was down to Chad Barrett's generosity in squaring a ball when he could have taken a shot, leaving McBean on open net to aim at with time to take a touch.
The Galaxy now head to the play-offs on Sunday Oct 30th away at either Colorado, Columbus or New York - they will play a home leg on Thursday November 3rd

Friday, 21 October 2011

LA Galaxy 1 Motagua 0

This win ensured that The Galaxy head Group A in the CONCACAF and they secured a place in the quarter finals. Keane is still not fit, and Donovan came on as a substitute. It was Juninho who took the only game of the match on the half-hour mark with a 30 yard effort which looped over the keepers head and dipped just under the bar.
Despite Motagua's best efforts to force their way back into the game, The Galaxy emerge victorious putting behind them a few lacklustre performances earlier on in the campaign.
The Galaxy could face Salvadoran club Isidro Metapán or fellow MLS sides Toronto FC or Seattle Sounders in the quarterfinals

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Where will Beckham go next?

As the MLS season comes to an end, speculation is mounting over which way Beckham will turn when it comes to signing a new contract.
I have to say that the easiest option would surely be to stay with the Galaxy, or even switch to a different MLS team with the option of an MLS franchise in the future. Gathering momentum now (thanks to the Daily Mail and various French newspapers) is the proposed move to PSG under former AC Milan head coach Leonardno. Speculation is fuelled by the fact that PSG have new wealthy owners who would like to make an immediate impact by bringing in some big names.
No doubt Mrs Beckham would feel quite at home in Paris, but it is doubtful that Beckham will want to drag the family away from LA, unless it was a move back to the UK.
I am still of the opinion that Tottenham is the most likely premiership team who will be able to swing the deal unless Sir Alex has a sudden change of heart (which is not likely).
When you look at all the options and factor in the fact that Beckham is highly unlikely to get another shot at an international appearance, I believe The Galaxy looks like the option that keeps most people happy. However, there is no knowing what Beckham's personal ambitions are - so there is always the chance of a surprise.

Monday, 17 October 2011

La Galaxy 1 Chivas USA 0

No Landon Donovan for this game, and Juan Pablo Angel's first chance to face the Galaxy since he left, and since leaving turned himself into a regular goal machine.
Galaxy nearly score in the first minute when Chad Barrett rounded the keeper, but had his shot cleared off the line by in-rushing defenders. The Galaxy keep pressuring mainly through Beckham's steady provision of curling balls into the box from the right wing, although most of his moves start from the middle of the park in his now familiar central role. Despite this service, Chad Barrett doesn't manage to create a goal and towards the latter stages of the half, Chivas build up more of an attack and begin to gain ground in the Galaxy half of the pitch. Despite good chances from both teams, the first half ends without any goals.

It was a combination of Cristman and Barrett that broke the deadlock in the 53rd minute, Cristman floating a cross from the right for Barrett to head home, 1-0 The Galaxy, a score destined not to change despite a late rally by Angel whose old team mates were only too anxious to nip in the bud. Galaxy deserved the win, Beckham played another 90 minutes without getting a caution - Beckham however is missing the quality up front that Donovan normally provides, Donovan trained this week, so hopefully will be ready at least by next weekend to take an active part in the game.

CONCACAF on Thursday, final game of the regular season next Sunday against Houston Dynamo away.

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

NY Red Bulls 2 LA Galaxy 0

Although The Galaxy missed out on the change of clinching the supporters shield on the night, Seattle's loss at the weekend secured a second successive supporters shield win for LA Galaxy.

On the night, LA were missing Keane and Donovan and looked a shadow of the team that normally puts in a decent effort at least. Luke Rodgers and Thierry Henry scored on the half-hour and hour mark respectively, not only that but both NY strikers hit the inside of the post during the match allowing The Galaxy to get away with a defeat rather than a humiliation. On a positive note, that's back to back games in which Beckham has avoided a yellow card..!

Hopefully, the team will find some motivation from somewhere for the play-offs with two more league games to come and a concacaf game taking us up to the end of October.

In the meantime, Leornardo is apparently still pushing to have Beckham at Paris St Germain with some French press speculating that the deal is agreed in principle and just needs a signature. This is unlikely to be accurate, and until David puts pen to paper, the speculation will no doubt continue. There are few that would doubt that this next deal will probably be the last, and the previous requirements to impress the England manager is not so pressing as Beckham is unlikely to earn any more caps.
At this juncture I would say that he will likely as not stay at Galaxy as they are sure to want him - a move to England would be risky, but if it was going to happen, I would say Tottenham under Harry Redknapp. I don't see a bid by any other European club being considered seriously, but you never know...

Sunday, 2 October 2011

LA Galaxy 2 Real Salt Lake 1

Headline news today, David Beckham plays 90 minutes without getting a caution - in other news.. LA pull a 2-1 win out of the hat after going down a goal right at the end of the first half. The goal after a largely uneventful first 45 minutes, from a corner kick beautifully headed into the corner leaving Josh Saunders no chance.
In the second half, Beckham finds Chad Barrett from distance in space in the penalty box, the ball looks like it is going to be sheilded out, but Barrett pokes at it with his left boot and scores to level the game on the hour mark.
Just 11 minutes later, it is another Beckham delivery, this time a free-kick that finds a target in the box, the resulting shot hits two real players before hitting the back of the net to ensure LA have yet another home win in what is turning out to be a spectacular season for them.
No sign of back problems for Beckham, and with Robbie Keane back in the frame, The Galaxy are look set to take the Supporters Shield and maybe more..

Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Galaxy 2 Morelia 1

Donovan starts this one and certainly adds his contribution - Beckham is out with yellow-card accumulation (no surprises there). Galaxy get off to a good start by scoring after 20 minutes through Magee courtesy of Donovan, and end the first half in control.
The Mexicans however, were not ready to lie down and end up with a scrappy goal after a Galaxy defensive fiasco on the hour-mark. Sensing a possible result, Morelia hit The Galaxy with everything they've got and come close to scoring on several occasional. But it's Juninho who has the last say by scoring in the dying seconds to clinch a much-needed victory for The Galaxy.
The Galaxy head to Honduras on Oct. 20 to face Motagua to clinch a spot in the quarterfinals, the Galaxy, Morelia and LD Alajuelense of Costa Rica are all tied on nine points - victory will see LA through to the quarterfinals of the Champions League

Monday, 26 September 2011

Columbus Crew 0 LA Galaxy 1

Donovan starts on the bench, Robbie Keane and Beckham are left out of this one as The Galaxy travel to Ohio. The first half lacked the excitement that might otherwise have been present had at least one or two of the big names had put in an appearance, ending with no goals scored. Donovan joined the fray after an hour replacing Birchall - it was his rasping shot coming back of the keeper that gave Chad Barrett the chance to bury the ball for the only goal of the match in the third minute of stoppage time.
This result serves to consolidate The Galaxy's position at the top of the Western Conference 10 points clear of Real Salt Lake.
Josh Saunders had plenty to deal with, and all-in-all, LA were fortunate to get the points without their star players. LA must now ready themselves for the next CONCACAF match on Wednesday, they have faltered after a good start in the Champions League.

Thursday, 22 September 2011

Alajuelense 1 LA Galaxy 0

Plenty of chances in this game, but it was a first half free-kick that left Josh Saunders clawing the air before picking the ball out of the back of the net. The only goal in a game which was a combination of half-decent football and football nonsense.
The Costa Rican side used a mass of silly tactics to slow the game down in the second half, but the fact remains that The Galaxy could not penetrate the goal. In fact Alajuelense scored twice, but the second was a clear offside. This leaves The Galaxy struggling after a decent start having suffered two straight defeats in the CONCACAF. Beckham got himself another booking and will miss the next game next Wednesday. Now The Galaxy must turn their attention to their visit to The Columbus Crew on Saturday.

Sunday, 18 September 2011

Galaxy 3 Whitecaps 0

Beckham back in the starting line-up, three goals and not one of them from Donovan.. Josh Saunders takes charge of goal-keeping duties for the evening.
It was almost up to half time (40 mins) before the first strike came, Beckham finding Keane down the left, crosses into the goal mouth to find MaGee running in for a first-time left foot strike leaving the keeper no chance.
The first half closes with the home side keeping their one-goal advantage.
The second half brings a goal for Keane this time as Jordan crosses from the right finding Keane with lots of space in front of the net - Keane meets the ball with a strong expertly-directed header into the right hand bottom corner of the net - again leaving the keeper stranded.
MaGee gets his second from another Jordan cross, he was probably looking for Keane, but MaGee steps across and heads the ball into the bottom left corner beyond the reach of the diving keeper once more.
This game was as much about Jordan being allowed too much space to get into dangerous positions as it was about anything else. Beckham seems comfortable in his now-familiar central mid-field role, he and Donovan were substituted after the third goal - no doubt to preserve them for upcoming games. CONCACAF champions league on Wednesday, Columbus Crew next Saturday (both away games).

Saturday, 17 September 2011

Beckham Speculation

Speculation is gathering over what Beckham will do when his Galaxy/MLS contract is over at the end of this season, the options are many and various, and I don't imagine that an early decision will be forthcoming.
Variants of the options open to Beckham are:
  • To take on an MLS franchise - this option was in place at the start of the 5-year contract, and still remains a distinct possibility even if he chooses to play or even manage elsewhere (other than the US of course) - his kids are settled stateside, and he may not want to move them on. Obviously this option has been on the table for a long time, and will probably be a contender although not many speculators are favouring this option.
  • Paris St Germaine - Ex-AC Milan boss Leanardo (who bought Beckham to Serie A for a short spell) has voiced his interest in signing Beckham
  • Tottenham Hostpur - would probably be the club that Beckham would consider if the Premier League still interests him. Naturally, if he performs at the top of his game in the Premiership, he would be considered for further England appearances, though it has to be said that Cappello is not short of young English talent at the moment.
  • QPR - have thrown their hat into the ring, but in all honesty, I don't think they have the profile that Beckham will want - the same goes for any clubs in The Championship - he won't want to give the impression that he is dropping down the 'ladder' in order to get a game.
  • Naturally, there are those that would like to see Beckham remain as an LA Galaxy player, and that is certainly an option.
  • Arsenal - are in trouble at the moment and he also had a pre-season training session with Arsene Wenger's squad in the past - Wenger may view Beckham as a valuable acquisition, although this would be uncharacteristic - football is a funny game. In any case, it seems likely that if he were to return to the Premiership (and Sir Alex was not interested..) then it would surely have to be to a London club.
Personally, I would like to see him back in the Premiership, which really means him coming to Spurs under Harry Redknapp, this is made more likely by the 'pre-season training' he undertook with Spurs. There has also been speculation about involvement in the UK squad for the Olympics, and coaching/management which could come to fruition under Redknapp's guidance (especially as Rednapp is a strong contender for the England job). I have always thought that it would make sense to take on an MLS franchise, but as a club owner, he would still be free (in theory) to have a 'job' in another league without conflict of interest - this would enable his family to remain in LA.

There are a lot of 'balls' to juggle, and at the end of the day, he must make plans which suit his fitness, his ambitions and his family (not necessarily in that order..)

Thursday, 15 September 2011

Morelia 2 Galaxy1

Having established a lead in the second half through some Robbie Keane brilliance, The Galaxy had two goals scored against them in the closing minutes. Beckham missed this game having been listed as 'questionable' with those recurring back spasms.
It was almost 10 minutes into the second half before Keane ghosted past his defender, slipping the ball to the right whilst taking the long way around the left side of the defender meeting the ball with a great strike. Up to then, the play had been fairly even-handed with good chances at both ends. Keane very nearly upstaged Beckham with a shot from his own half which the keeper just managed to scramble over the bar.
Both teams continued the quest for more goals, but it was an error from the Galaxy keeper that ended up with him clutching at the ball as it headed for the goal. In replay, it looks like he has the ball and is bundled over the line by a Morelia attacker, yet the goal is given. Keane scores again, but is somehow deemed offside. He is played onside as the ball is struck, and when the ball bounces off the keeper, he is deemed offside even though no other Galaxy player touches the ball - It was an easy error to make, but at this point it should be 2-1 to The Galaxy - if not 2-0 depending on your view of the Morelia goal. No doubts over the second Morelia goal as a very strong header from a corner kick goes straight through Josh Saunders, who will be very disappointed with his performance.
This leaves both clubs (Morelia and Galaxy) on the same points at the top of Group A in the CONCACAF.

Saturday, 10 September 2011

LA Galaxy1 Colorado Rapids 0

Donovan Ricketts returns to The Galaxy after breaking his arm back in June, and keeps a clean sheet proving that The Galaxy have two top class goalkeepers available once more.
Beckham managed to keep himself out of the referees notebook, but did take a knock in the second half, landing heavily on his back which may agitate the back spasm problems which apparently are still a problem. He made his usual contribution of long-range pinpoint balls and clever passes including a telling pass for the only goal of the match (Donovan). Overall, The Galaxy dominated the game although Colorado had a goal struck off for offside. Keane was bought on after 60 minutes having recently returned from international duty. The upshot is that LA are now guaranteed a spot in the play-offs with plenty of games to spare - they should easily top the Western Conference again this year


1LA Galaxy552815310402218
2Seattle Sounders FC48271359422913
3FC Dallas4627137736297
4Real Salt Lake42251276352114
5Colorado Rapids41291081139372
6Portland Timbers322691253341-8
7Chivas USA31277101032302
8San Jose Earthquakes2626510112735-8
9Vancouver Whitecaps212641392742-15