beckoning beckham

With the former England captain training with Spurs and the club trying to obtain a deal to get him to play
on loan while he is at Tottenham, what are the pros and cons of the 35 year old joining Spurs ?


OK, so we all know that David Beckham is a world-wide familiar face and name.  he opens doors wherever he goes and seems to have shed a lot of the baggage he used to carry around with him in the days when he was a clothes horse, although his wife still undertakes that function.

When he went on loan to AC Milan last year and suffered a ruptured Achilles tendon, it looked like it might be all over for Becks, only for him to come back from the injury and the disappointment of missing playing in the World Cup finals to recover and to lead LA Galaxy to the club's second successive Western Conference title in 2010.

His move to Europe in the MSL close season is not a new phenomenon.  He has had two loan spells with AC Milan and in 2008 spent three weeks training with the Gooners.  There are always risks in such moves, but one bad injury seems to have been taken as a major slight by the Americans, who appear to have something of a campaign against the man who has won over 100 England caps, with the Galaxy fans ever ready to shout abuse at him and US soccer legend (and those three words tell you a lot about the weight you might attach to his comments) Alexei Lalas (a player known for a weird beard more than any achievement on the field) spoke about Beckham's lack of contribution since he and his circus rolled into town.  Even team-mate Landon Donovan doesn't seem to have too much time for him following his comments about lack or commitment in 2009.

Well, I doubt whether many in this country outside the die-hard MLS fans who would have been aware of the existence of the LA Galaxy had Beckham not chosen to move to the US.  So, in that respect alone, he has done a marvellous job.  He has been in the side that has taken them to a number of trophies since he left Real Madrid for the States in 2007, but his efforts seem to count for little.

But enough of what they think of him Stateside already.

All we know at the moment is that he is at Tottenham to train and negotiations to try and allow him to play for the club, which Jermain Defoe has said is what Beckham wants to do, are still on-going, although the chances are fading with Galaxy wanting him back in early February.

I can't see that his short stay would boost the club's coffers with money for shirt sales, although there would be some of that happening.  Also, just to be there as a figurehead to help Spurs win the bid to take over the Olympic Stadium after the 2012 Games is not really a serious reason for getting him in at White Hart Lane.  After all, any decision to pay him to play for the club must surely be made on a footballing level.

So much has been said about his presence being an upsetting influence on the squad, but Harry believes that David can show the younger professionals (and maybe some of the older ones) exactly what is takes to stay fit and the dedication to training to stay at the top. 

Obviously, one player who might have benefitted from Beckham being at Spurs Lodge would have been David Bentley.  The former Blackburn Rovers winger modelled himself on him and even dubbed himself the new Beckham - haircuts and all ... so much so that the players nicknamed him "Becks" before he went back to being "Bents".   And in his earlier career, Bentley showed that he was capable of producing some of the qualities that Beckham displayed.  His crossing and free-kicks bore a trademark look of his legs bending in extreme attempts to get bend on the ball.

But as time went on and he came to Spurs, it appeared that the desire to copy Beckham had come to an end, as he seemingly thought he had made it.  That may not have been the case, but from the outside that is the appearance he gave.  Becoming the joker in the pack is not something you can imagine Beckham doing.  He might have a laugh and a joke, but during time on the training pitch and the football pitch, it was a serious business.  No time to prat about when there was work to be put in on the grass.

Coming in as a replacement for Bentley has been mentioned as the reason he has tried to be signed and apart from being able to step straight into the DB emblazoned Spurs training kit and just being on the fringes of the squad without actually getting a game, there appears little to back this up.  Well, Beckham could probably match Bentley for pace over short distances, although maybe not for the full 90 minutes, but then we haven't seen Bents do it for 90 minutes very often.  On the evidence of the last few times Bentley had been in the team, it would appear to this pair of eyes that Beckham can still cross the ball better than the man who has joined Birmingham City on loan until the end of the season (so he will now probably go and prove me wrong).

Some reporters in the media have suggested that Beckham will be coming in as a replacement for Aaron Lennon because his final ball is not always that good.  I think Spurs are aware that cover is needed on the right wing, but after Andros Townsend's performance against Charlton Athletic in the FA Cup, there is an option to replace pace with pace.  Also, it is obvious that Beckham has no pace, but the assets he would bring to the team are that he can cross accurately and consistently and that he can hold onto the ball.  I would imagine that any plan to have Becks as cover for Lennon would involve him being on the bench in the closing stages of a game to close it out, if Spurs were in a point gaining position.  If we were under pressure, I can't imagine Harry bringing Beckham on to shore things up or to track back.

With Phil Neville and Wes Brown also being linked with moves to Spurs and William Gallas already in the side, Harry Redknapp may be looking for experienced heads to mount a challenge on three fronts in the coming months.  Old legs might not be great in terms of playing 38 league games a season, but old heads may come in useful when they have been in these situations before.

If Beckham comes on in the Spurs shirt in league or cup, I am sure he will add something to the team.  And for Tottenham, it might be the establishment of a link for future connections with the England legend.  With Harry not getting any younger, there have been stories about Beckham working under Harry to manage the GB side in the 2012 Olympics, so the next logical step might be to groom him to take over at Tottenham.  At the moment, he has little experience apart from being a cheerleader at the World Cup with England, but he has played at the top level and been working under some of the top managers in the game.  I know that doesn't make him ideal management material, but if Levy sees potential there, he might go for it.

A professional attitude, some experience on the pitch (if he gets that far) and a degree of star quality which may help attract other top players to the club are perhaps the main things that David Beckham would add to the club's current situation.  But, as we stand, he is only here to train.  The rest is all just speculation and something for Spurs fans to talk about ... as if there isn't enough going on at the club at the moment !!

lee crawford

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