This is just a short posting about last night’s England game v France. I didn’t see the match over here in Italy, unsurprisingly they were focused on the international against Spain. So I can’t comment as an eye-witness. But I have read a lot of online reports and been listening to UK radio all day so I can get a picture of how it went.
But the most telling comment was provided by Italian tv news reports this morning. They’ve been covering French President Sarkozy’s visit to the UK with his glamorous new wife quite extensively (they’re intrigued by the thought of the two shagging away at Windsor Castle with the prim Queen and Prince Philip listening to them groaning away, down the corridor) and the match against France provided an obvious reference angle. Well this morning we were treated to the match highlights from England’s perspective – it consisted of one weak header from Rooney and a sort of goal mouth scramble involving Beckham who seemed 14 light years away from actually scoring. That was it. Meantime Anelka and Ribery stole the highlights show.
Wholesale changes from Capello at half time, followed by Beckham’s substitution after 62 ineffective minutes meant the honeymoon’s over for the new manager pretty quickly. Let’s face it France are a very good team but their side consists of many players our top players would have come across in the Premiership/Champions League/EUFA Cup but it sounded like England played as if they’d come across a team from a superior sporting planet. The adventurous 4-2-3-1 formation was abandoned for the familiar 4-4-2 in the second half but to no real effect.
So David’s got his century of caps and maybe he deserves to be in the same company as Moore, Wright, Charlton and Shilton. I certainly think he’s been a good and committed captain who appreciated the honour of the role but he’s given too many below-par performances for me largely because he was selected when patently unfit by managers in awe of his presence. He can still cross a ball beautifully but I dare say Hoddle can still hit a pass 40 yds and land it on a sixpence. It’s the total game package which matters and it seems that Beckham hasn’t got the legs and engine to play at this level any longer. That’s no disgrace but maybe now we can all move on. The look seems to say it all…..
ps if it’s any consolation the Italy v Spain match wasn’t much cop either but did you see the David Villa goal? What an absolute belter. Have you seen a better one this year? Lovejoy!
Only an Italian can introduce shagging in an article about sport. 😯
It was harrowing to sit through, the French just had pace we lacked desperately.
Although not a footie fan, like to watch international games and as a Rugby coach I still (stubbornly) believe Beckham has more to offer.
Your site is a sight for sore eyes (couldn’t say that after a few pints) need to check it out .. Tomorrow.
many thanks for checking in. i’m actually an english guy living over here in italy. but i guess the sun and the grappa blur the boundaries a bit.
i’ve been a big fan of beckham as a man u man but feel sure capello should be bringing the next generation through now. buy happy to listen to counter- viewpoints.
So what’s FPB stand for? Could say something rude. but haven’t had enough Rioja.
Have you found what you’re looking for in sunny Italy!
I’m ex-merchant navy and remember Gaeta with the ladyboys hanging around outside the harbour.
Oops, sorry off subject. Which is it shagging or sport or a bit of both!
it’s from an early blog – it stands for fat pasta boy; a comment on my expanding waistline since moving here. it seemed to resonate with my friends…
yep we’ve really enjoyed the move here from the uk. we have 3 daughters all grown up with kids of their own now and love to host them over here.
i guess it’s a mix of both with food and wine and kids and grandkids and good friends all rolled in. you’ll see that the blog covers a wide range of stuff wg.
i hope becks is picked for south africa- he’ll break shiltons record and would become the most capped england player ever. i think he deserves it, here’s an article i wrote which explains why/how he’s continuously proven his doubters wrong (also got published on soccerlens)
many thanks for checking in and for your comments.i’ve checked out your posting and try not to take offence by me saying this but for an American you write a decent piece about football. you clearly get the game.
i wouldn’t argue strongly against what you say to be honest. i really admire what david has achieved and he has shown tremendous determination to win back his England place. Here’s the thing though. Capello is an extremely smart operator (and thank Christ we don’t have to endure that muppet mcclaren any longer) and he has selected beckham as a squad player basically.
i think he realises that none of the newer generation playing in beckham’s position are quite there yet. bentley flatters to deceive. he’s a great player but only in his own mind. he can’t even get into the first team at spurs. wright-phillips has all the attributes but he is a brittle player psychologically and he doesn’t have the mental toughness of his father. his fragile confidence means that he can all too easily become marginalised. walcott is probably the best of the new bunch, full of potential but that’s the point he’s still the unfinished article. so capello continues to pick beckham because he knows he can add something else, even if it’s only for 20 minutes these days. he represents a plan b, if the main game plan isn’t working – his beautifully accurate crosses into a target man and his free-kicks of course.
i know he started the game against andorra and played a lovely game as a footballing quarter-back but the reality is that no other senior team in the world would give him that much space and freedom (as well as to the receiving wingers and full-backs). Capello knows that, but for a one-off exhibition match won from the 3rd minute, it was a rare bit of fun.
i’m also of the view that Capello who is very much his own man, also finds no complaints from his bosses at the FA at the selection of Beckham. The fans love him and he helps pack that stadium, which the FA need to see if their re-payment schedule for the debt is to be kept on track. i know you’ll think that’s cynical but influence can be very subtle and Capello isn’t a fool.
So will beckham make the squad for south africa, assuming we qualify? very probably. will he be worthy of a squad place? I guess so though i hope capello and the FA can prevent it turning into a distraction again. at the same time it would be a little sad if walcott or one of the others hasn’t progressed by that stage to be a real force player don’t you think?
cheers. i agree with what you’re saying. perhaps he will be used best as an impact sub (last 20 minutes, free kick…ill have becks)
haha thanks for the american comment – i grew up in england that explains it haha.
cheers, ill be checking in on your footy stuff on this site too.
many thanks chris. you’re welcome anytime.
i should have known that you were brought upon the game over here! still it’s good to read things from an american perspective.
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