Friday, 17 May 2013

The Joy of Becks

I dunno... what's David Beckham going to do with himself now he's retired from football? Poor chap. It's been his life for so long. I mean what's he going to find to distract himself? Apart from appearing in his pants. And, in his strangely charming way, leading another delegation to FIFA and tugging his superstyled forelock in the direction of Blatter and his shifty acolytes. (No. Never again.)

It's a strange fact that for all the utterly mesmerising footballers that have slid effortlessly across out TV screens in recent years: Ronaldo (fat), Zidane, Messi, Ronaldo (thin), Robbie Mustoe... David Beckham has become the most well-known of the lot. You can't put that down to his football.

No, it helps that (1) he's a pretty boy, and (2) he married a famous pop star. The one known as Posh Spice - and if she's posh then I'm related to the Duke of feckin' Westminster. It seems ridiculous to think that she was slightly famous than he when they met. Fate had smiled on Victoria Adams and given her enormous wealth to compensate for her lack of ability.

Beckham's rise to prominence came in a Manchester United team full of 'kids'. He was the best-looking one, made even more so when he walked on to the pitch with Gary Neville, Nicky Butt and Paul Scholes at his side. Beckham didn't lack ability. Or, more importantly, a work ethic.

The single most important aspect to the man's career has not been tattoos or sarongs or film premieres, but his application. He worked his right foot into one of the sharpest tools ever used by an Englishman. We've never had a bloke who could deliver a cross like him. Not ever. (If my Dad's reading this can you not start banging on about Tom Finney and Stan Matthews).

Now of course, he lacked pace. He didn't even manage to break clear of Victoria let along the average left-back. Apparently that boot that Fergie 'accidentally' kicked at him would have missed any other player in the squad, but poor old Becks couldn't shift quick enough. Yes he was slow, but he rather made up for it by hitting sixty-yards passes on to the toes of onrushing centre-forwards and, on occasion, covering every blade of grass himself - in his own time.

Indeed there's not a club he represented which doesn't hold the boy dear. And this is simply because he works his bollocks off (metaphorically speaking or that underwear contract would be a lot less lucrative).

We needn't go on about his United career. God protect us from more OTT OT eulogies. I never wanted him to do well at Man U (save for that night in '99 when I confess I wanted them to win). I'd like to concentrate on his performances in an England shirt.

And as Sven might say 'Well...' it was all a bit up and down. I remember in '98 when Glenn Hoddle, What with having Eileen Drewery in one ear and God in the other, failed to select wither Becks or Owen in the opening fixtures and after defeat to Romania we were worried. Beckham netted a glorious free-kick against Colombia and we all wondered why Hoddle had been so conservative.

Cut to Beckham's sending off for the least effective kick out at an opponent ever seen on a football field. But he walked. He walked all the way home to desperate pillorying from all and sundry. It was far more brutal than that served up to Wayne Rooney after he trod on Carvalho's nads. But then Wayne was an ugly stroppy Scouser who never wore skirts and used old hookers. Not a pretty boy gay icon with the world at his feet.

Fast forward to that game against Greece. Greece were shit then, unlike when they won the Euros - no wait a mo, they were shit then, too. But they were beating England 2-1 and we were off to the play-offs. Cue the shaven headed skipper running around the park like an untethered Jack Russell, snapping at the ball as if it were a rolled up squirrel.

His crowning glory, that free-kick that speared past the stationary keeper and rescued England's qualification, was the single finest moment I've seen from an England player since 1990. He was reclaimed as the darling of the nation and from then on the lad couldn't break wind, let alone a metatarsal, without an enormous fuss being made of him.

There have been further lows - missing penalties in abject fashion: the one v France in 2004 which would have put the game beyond the restorative powers of Zizou; the one v Portugal where a mole popped up at the wrong moment and forced him to scoop it over the bar. Horribly.

But he kept turning up, regardless of which numpty had grabbed hold of the brolly. His loyalty wasn't in doubt. His desire to pull on the shirt - and this at a time when many busy professionals looked upon international football, particularly friendlies, as a right bloody chore.

Frankly, we can all take the piss out of Becks. His children have really odd names: Brooklyn, Romeo, Cruz and Harper - more like a collection of early automobiles than little people. His wedding did look well chavvy.  He's probably not as simple as he's made out to be. He's certainly sincere. The donation of his Paris St Germain wages to charity is just further proof of his good heart. And he's very good at playing poster boy, shaking the right hands, staying smiley and handsome and all that horrible schmaltz that someone, sadly, has to do.

And well, basically, he's a decent lad, with a bit of talent who's got where he is by working hard at the thing that he gets paid for. Forget the modelling and all that nonsense. Well, try to. He will be remembered as a very good footballer who happened to make the most of his pretty face too.








88 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Afternoon Jacks sir.

      Wanted to do a pithy quip celebrating the first comment, but I'm afraid that was all I could come up with.

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    2. I thought it was an excellent exposition of the art of minimalism.

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    3. I followed you til the end, then I confused the minimalism for pointillism.

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  2. 3rd....what do I win ??

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    Replies
    1. So I can count on that then ??

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    2. Saves you having to take your socks off.

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  3. As for Beckham,decent player,decent human being,dozy wife.

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  4. Good stuff RR.

    Becks was always a likeable kind of chap, but in my humble opinion he retired the day he signed for LA Galaxy. That's not supposed to be an insult to the footy played over the pond, I don't have to do that. The fact that players like Robbie Keane excel there tells you all you need to know about that hotbed of soccer.

    It always seemed to me that his loan spells, which we were told was to keep him fit and in the reckoning for an England place, were more for the purpose of shifting shirts then any grand footballing plan, in the end he was more of a fashion accessory then a footballer, a kind of Paris Hilton Chiwawa, a dog that's not really a dog.

    Still. Becks was footballing royalty and the perfect ambassedor, he did his bit to bring the Olympics to London and if you ask me, I think he felt pretty betrayed that he wasn't included as one of the over age players in Team GB, that would of been a far more suitable swansong then him fannying around for another year at the Qatari plaything that is PSG.

    We haven't seen the last of him though, he'll reinvent himself somehow, counting down the days to when one of the Beckham Jrs makes their debuets on the world stage.

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  5. An old When Saturday Comes piece about Beckham.

    http://www.wsc.co.uk/the-archive/31-Players/8280-marquee-signing

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  6. good stuff Robbo. How is the Duke?

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  7. So who's the wife going to drool over now?

    First it was Roger Black, then nice boy Becks, and what(or who) now?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. will see, when I finally get back from D'land in July

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  8. oh and good blog Robbo!
    I would put him above the other retirees(except ol'red nose)

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  9. and farewell Ted Bovis, one of Rotherhams finest

    Now there is only the Chuckle Bros and Howard Webb

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    Replies
    1. Here you go Tone.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZJvGdOC6D1Y

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    2. Think I remember him singing like that in the Rotherham Transport TGWU Social club

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  10. This guy is brilliant

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZNM0ENUCO5I

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  11. Replies
    1. He's in a class of his own Tone,only Degenkolb in the Giro was even remotely good enough to challenge him,and he's buggered off home.

      Hopefully Cav will take the red jersey which will give him a full house for all the Grand Tours.

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  12. http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/art/features/the-museum-of-bad-art-latest-exhibition-to-feature-images-of-wildlife-realistic-imaginary-and-unidentifiable-8621064.html?action=gallery

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    Replies
    1. The paper that doesn't know the difference between one and won. Hilarious.

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  13. alrighty then, what's the word from Stoke's training ground?

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    Replies
    1. here you are trots the latest classy goings on from that classy club

      http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/football/teams/stoke-city/10064569/Stoke-City-launch-investigation-after-pigs-head-is-left-in-Kenwyne-Joness-locker-leaving-striker-fuming.html

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    2. well that's a nice gesture in some parts although some of us prefer the feet.

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    3. Thats we do to old friends in Uruguay. What, you no like it that way here ?

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  14. becks nice bloke, did what he was told, nothing intersting to say but that ye know has never ye know stopped him, good at long balls, empty vessel, fairly blameless life except for the business with that bird who wanked off a pig, that didnt fit brand beckham, but stick him on a plinth and give him a knighthood by all means hes no less deserving than most. hes a strange contrast to paul scholes who never wanted to draw attention to himself, had masses of talent, multi-faceted passing barca-esque game and who seems to have faded away like a star in the morning. keane said in his biog, not that ive ever read it we're all experts now arent we, internet, keane said scholes never mistimed his tackles, he just liked kicking people.

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  15. Love the title, Robbo. The rest isn't too shabby, either.

    What the duck? Waddle claims Beckham isn't in the top 1000 worldwide.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/football/22568870

    Actually, that's probably true. But yes, he worked hard. And damn it all if he wasn't pretty. Had he been ugly, there's no way he would have turned into a brand, and his brand is the only reason he made it across continents. Whatever he was, he was good enough at it, even if he wasn't the best ever.

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  16. A bloody fine assessment of Beckham. Agree with Waddle too, not in the top 1000 as far as talent goes.

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    1. Waddles an ass - Beckham is easily in the top 1000 players in terms of talent. Wouldn't have got signed for united and Madrid if he didn't. He's not Cristiano Ronaldo but better than Stevie G, Fat Frank and the load of rubbish that have represented England in the last 20 years. And yes he was better than Chris "the mullett

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    2. So all that is requred to be included in the top 1000 players of the past 20 years is to play for Un**ed or RM. I learn something new every day.

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    3. no but winning 10 league titles in 4 countries does

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  17. Let's face it, if you're a center forward busting a gut to get into the box, who would you want putting the cross in? Becks or Theo Walcott? 'Nuff said,

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  18. wherever Becks is on the list, Waddle is somewhere behind him, dunno why the fuck he'd even write that shit or allow his name to be put on it.

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  19. Copa del ray? More like Copa del cunts! A disgrace to the game.

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    Replies
    1. Every time I decide to watch a Copa del Rey final involving Real Madrid, the same thing happens. Diving, play-acting, bad refereeing and the inevitable 'brawl' on the touchline. I won't bother next year. Spanish league best in the world my arse. Give me the Bundesliga or Premier League, in that order, anytime.

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  20. Cracking blog Robbo. I liked Becks. Maybe not the best player, but his work rate was top class. I think the majority of his transfers were about shifting shirts, but his attitude won him respect at every club he played at, and he earned his place in whichever team he played for (maybe not PSG).

    And he may be remembered as the last English player to actually have pride in playing for his country. You could argue Gerrard, but not with the passion that Becks displayed.

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  21. Arsenal are close to signing another youngster and what what a surprise... a French lad and striker to boot.

    I am amazed we have not tried to sign Demba Ba or Loic Remy... maybe we havee gone after Remy but pulled out after he didn't.

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  22. In england you prefer midfielders to cover "every blade of grass" even though they do nothing with the ball. Becks had vision on the pitch and the ability to pass. He was slow but in any other league he would have been noted for being one of the best of his generation. He was unfortunate to have been an england player at a time when the national obsession was with hyper fit morons who could run 10k over ninety minutes but in no particular direction and with no purpose.

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  23. Yes that's right nik, poor unfortunate old becks. Got no respect or recognition at all.

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  24. Really respect Becs. Not the greatest for sure but as an example of what you can do if you maximise your talent he is near the top. For delivery from a dead ball, crossing and passing he must be in the top 50 let alone 1,000. Waddle was a decent player but must need the cash to write what he did. It is about dignity Chris, perhaps you left yours in the sock drawer.

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  25. Also Becks seems to be a nice guy which is amazing after the amount of kissing your ass people he must have met. He can also take the piss out of himself, I saw him talking about his favourite jokes about how stupid he is, just class but not posh. Would ave made my team sheet every week in his prime.

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    Replies
    1. Class but not posh? How does his wife feel about that?

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    2. She as grown on me a bit. Started as a fool but has grown up over time and learnt to channel her energy in the right way with fashion etc. she was never a true posh though lol

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  26. NORMAN SMURTHWAIT FUCKING LEGEND


    http://www.onevalefan.co.uk/content/video-norman-smurthwaite/

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  27. Norman Smurthwaite? Now that's a proper name.

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  28. Respect NiK
    Why do we knock people who work hard for themselves,
    You can't be that shite if you get 115 hats, and the managers he won them under can't all be wrong.
    Every club manager he came into contact with has nothing but praise.
    Fair play to him for the business side as well, didn't stop him giving 100%
    crap kid names though

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  29. Becks, he's alright. In the last 20 years or so, there have been some magnificant footballers on show and I feel lucky ot be alive in an age where you can watch them play anywhere in the world. Becks, along with Zidane and Batistuta are the three players who never played for Arsenal but I hoped and prayed they did.

    Top bloke, most committed of professionals and a proper English footballer.

    Who cares who he married and what he named his kids.

    Golden Balls.

    p.s. if there is anyone else in the top 1000 footballers who could score more free-kick goals, deliver better crosses and corners then I've never heard of him.

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  30. Oh, and well done Bradford by and far the best season you guys have had in a long long time. Enjoy.

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  31. And dont get me started on Waddle. He's only jealous becks had better hair than the crimes chris committed on his head.

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    1. Do you agree Trotts ? Does it typically golf grip within?

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  34. the industry standard tolerance is normally +/-0.100mm but 0.127mm (0.005") is ok, still, I prefer a control unit a bit closer to home even though Arizona has some great courses.

    ReplyDelete
  35. As I'm quite close to Arizona relative to most other regular contributors, I feel I must weigh in. Though I generally agree with Trotts' statement, without the original author--let's call him Polish Dick--specifying which other services chance termite are involved, I don't think anyone can conclusively say if the golf grip and its constituent parts are fabricated appropriately to control unit standards (which aren't nationalized and thus vary from state to state, if not county to county). Furthermore, seeing as the link is the same for both of PD's posts, I feel we must consult with an expert in the varied emotional effects (and affects) associated with audio painting in order to form a more nuanced understanding of the intertwined nature of the topics at hand. Thus, Blogs, I humbly pass the baton to you.

    ReplyDelete
  36. I am intrigued as to when such close tolerances were introduced. the game was originally founded in the 15thC, some say much earlier, or was it based on hitting a tin can with a stick in the back streets of S Yorks.

    Either way the micrometer or vernier were not invented/developed till much later

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The micrometer and vernier allowed us to measure and control more accurately but the inch has been around longer than golf.

      The earliest known reference to the inch in England is from the Laws of Æthelberht dating to the early 7th century, surviving in a single manuscript from 1120.[7] Paragraph LXVII sets out the fine for wounds of various depths: one inch, one shilling, two inches, two shillings, etc. "Gif man þeoh þurhstingð, stice ghwilve vi scillingas. Gife ofer ynce, scilling. æt twam yncum, twegen. ofer þry, iii scill."[8][9]

      Delete
  37. Final transfer of the FFL season made, formation and captain chosen, fingers crossed. I just want this fantasy season to end. Been a nightmare for me.

    I'm fully expecting a comfortable win for the Arse today, despite Mike Ashley offering his non-football staff a 1 million pound bonus if they win (how are the non-football staff going to influence the result?). I'm hopeful of a 4-0 Arsenal half-time lead, with a 4-4 full time score, and a 1-0 win for the Spurs, coming from a 93rd minute Hugo Lloris goal-kick bouncing over Mignolet's head and in.

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    Replies
    1. Kind of an anticlimactic end to the season. Last day and only 4th place to play for. Nowhere near the dizzying heights of last season.

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    2. You will be happy to note that I'm backing the gunners for 4th spot too Noel, seeing as they are playing Newcastle, who have nothing to play for. While Sunderland have nothing to play for either, they have a much more passionate (and scary) coach who'll ensure the players give it their best shot.

      Carra...take a bow...one of the our all time greats for me.

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    3. But would he make Waddle's top1000?

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  38. Waddle should keep his mouth shut, Beckham was a major influence in title winning teams, while the crap mullet wearer was winning a grand total of nowt.

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  39. I'd like to send final day wishes to Ahah and a Mata of Faith as they challenge for troffees.

    It would also be interesting to see the entire Top Waddle 1000 list, otherwise known as Twaddle.

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    Replies
    1. Twaddle, ha ha.

      Hold on ................... wasn't he married to Cashley Hole!?

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  40. If I didn't know I would guess wrong as to which team was playing for a CL spot and which was playing for fuck all... Arsenal v Newcastle that is. The gunners have found it difficult to break down Newcastle's defence whereas the gunner's defence is like a block of Swiss cheese.

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  41. has the pig scored for Stoke yet?

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  42. Well, who'da thunk it? A Koscielny goal gets the gunners into the CL.

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  43. Goals galore in nearly every match except the only one I had readily available (Arsenal v Newcastle). Would have loved to see Man Utd v West Brom. Anyway, down to the wire on AH & I for Jacks H2H title. We both won our matches and Lukaku will have closed most of the points gap. It may come down to bonus points to decide the winner.

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    Replies
    1. looks like you've won it Stephen, by a point! Well done! And well done to AH in t'other league!

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    2. Robbed by a point courtesy of an un-necessary yellow to Bale :). Well done Stephen..big victory for the American side of Robbo's Readers.

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  47. That last FFL transfer that I was talking about earlier was to replace Lukaku (playing against Utd) with Sturridge (playing against QPR). That worked out well. Story of my season.

    And well done to Arsenal.

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  48. Wow. Trotts was right. Came down to the wire to deny AH a double by a single point. Guess we couldn't choke away all the titles. I categorically deny all the rumors have me taking over PSG and Real Madrid, provided my mysterious Russo-Qatari backers allow me to return for another season.

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    Replies
    1. I know, me being right was a bit of a shocker!

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  49. I knew Wigan and Liverpool would come back and haunt us ...

    Oh well, we had to make Arsenal work to get 4th at any rate.

    Not all disastrous in spite of that failure. Apparently we scored our highest points tally since the PL begun and I'd say our defence this year has benefited from being a bit more settled instead of having to chop and change CB's every other game because King couldn't do two games on the spin, AND we finally took the Europa league seriously this year.

    AVB's settled in, the players have gelled and team spirit seems good so hopefully we'll kick on next year now.

    Oh well, I'll settle in for three months of speculation over Bale, the team generally being linked to buying any and all midfielders and a great deal of swearing as we see three dozen half decent strikers slip through our grasp.

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  50. In FFL news I'll be keeping my head down and looking for a team to take on as it's a year since I resigned from managing the Pie Keys after they got thrown out of the league last season for financial irregularities from it's then Qatari owner that nobody knew much about.

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  51. Not a bad season for Liverpool. Seeing as we were well behind Swansea, West Ham, Stoke, Fulham and a West Brom around Christmas, to finish 7th and be well ahead of no. 8 by 12 points is good. We also finished just 2 shy of a really strong Everton side and have a healthy +26 goal diff, so all things done and dusted, not too shabby a job by Rodgers.

    Hopefully we dont have to play the first half of next season with the likes of Suso, Sterling, Wisdom, Shelvey et al being regular starters. Still with the amount of money everyone above us (except the toffees) are touted to spend, I dont see us being able to catch anyone except our neighbors, at best.

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  52. Motty: BeckhaaaaAAAAAMMM!!!
    (Cue mayhem)

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