why we hate ...
... david beckham

Originally featured in MEHSTG Issue 13 - March 2000

Now, I know exactly what you are thinking. Why are you picking on the faux blond England midfielder – are you running out of targets and taking the easy option ?? Well, no. Not really. You see there is more to this than meets the eye.

There are plenty of things that you could say about Beckham. The young man who has the looks and the talent, but when he opens his mouth shows that God has got a sense of humour (something he shares with West Ham’s Joe Cole). The fact that he used to train at Tottenham when a youngster and always used to wear his Manchester United shirt. His Granddad is a season ticket holder and would have loved him to play in the lilywhite shirt, but he chose and always wanted to play for the Gold Trafford side. But now he has many more problems on his plate than just playing football (although that alone seems to cause him untold trouble).

His marriage to Victoria (Posh Spice) Adams has catapulted him into a world where he has been unable to adapt. His role for Adams is a bit of a role reversal, in that rather than the footballer having a pretty woman on his arm to accompany him to parties, restaurants or film premieres, Becks has become her ornament. A living Ken to her Barbie, she gets to dress him, talk to her friends about him and also, we are lead to believe, pick his feet !! She has taken him to all the top places and their shopping sprees are extreme, with them appearing to be like rich kids let loose in a toyshop. The escape from a ban for his driving misdemeanour, because he was frightened by a photographer following him, was “celebrated” by Beckham going out and buying another new car. How many can you drive at once ?? Surely, he will have to buy another “Ken’s deluxe quintuple garage” to fit them all in !


"Now, if I can just slip 
them off her without 
her noticing ..."

The lifestyle aspect of their marriage – from the marriage photos in Hello! to their release of every little detail of their relationship to the general public – is what really aggravates people. Who cares that “David is really intelligent” (according to Posh) or that they call their baby “Broccoli” as a pet name ? Who cares what she was wearing or whether or not she is anorexic ? Who cares if he is wearing her underwear (a good laugh, but so what) or if she is trying to get him to change sports to basketball to fit in with her fanciful film career in Hollywood ? What really matters is what he does on the pitch and that is why he gets stick.
He gets barracked for the good things and the bad. All fans will try to upset the other side’s good players, so he can expect songs and chants about him, but because of the other stuff off the pitch, it all provides more ammunition for fans to wind him up. Let’s face it, anything will be picked on and has been through the years from Shilton’s car crash to certain people in football’s sexual proclivities. He will then be pilloried for the things that he does wrong on the pitch. The sending off when playing for England against Argentina in the 1998 World Cup will stay in people’s memories, because for once in many years, the national side had an opportunity of going all the way in the competition. One moment of petulance condemned his country to a fate which left them never knowing what would have happened had England been able to face the opposition for the remainder of the match with equal numbers. So, when he studs a Mexican on the upper thigh in a World Club Championship match, why does he expect anything other than a red card and critical media coverage? Are we supposed to slap him on the back and say “Well done”? The player lets himself down as well as those who play alongside him and who follow his side. Having played football at park level, he reminds me of the player who is trying to prove he is hard, but usually carries out the cowardly, niggly fouls. A bit like that rich kid in the toyshop, he comes across as a spoiled brat who tries too hard to get his own way if the referee doesn’t let him have it. He knows that his Uncle Alex will always stand by him. He won’t tell him off. Having won everything they could (apart from the Worthington Cup which doesn’t count at MUFC), there are few things that he needs to do in football now. So, what are his career ambitions ? At club level, to go on winning things and earn loads of dosh. It only leaves England and the World Cup as a target to aim for.

Sorry, News of the World, 
it might just be too late.

The shame of the whole thing is that he has a special talent. Why someone doesn’t sit him down and tell him straight what needs to be done to turn him into one of the great players, I don’t know. But, he now moves in circles where everyone is only too happy to tell you how wonderful you are and no one dares to utter the truth. The King’s New Clothes syndrome.

For his sake, you hope that someone can sort his behaviour on the field out or one day, someone will sort him out on it.

There, all that and I didn’t even mention how unfair it is that someone who appears to be of limited intellect ends up earning untold millions. DOH !!


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