Abandon it like Beckham

This article is a submission for the Soccerlens Football Writing Competition; to participate, please read the details here.

This article was first published at World Football Commentaries.

Recently, David Beckham disclosed that he may return to Europe after the MLS season is over. Some in the media, both mainstream and soccer-specific, have criticized this potential move.

It actually makes a lot of sense for Becks.

Here are a few reasons why:

  • He rests between early September and January. That’s 4 months and is far longer than a regular European player receives.
  • He then arrives to Tottenham, Fulham, Newcastle, ManCity, Aston Villa by the middle of December, has Christmas with the family, and trains with his new club for a few weeks. Then he is ready to go after the New Year when the Premiership is loaded with fixtures and all clubs need depth.
  • If England is through to the Euro 08, he returns to the US for about six weeks, then goes back to England for their training camp. ESPN has the broadcasting rights, and they can promote it massively.
  • He then returns to the US as an MLS registered player without having to wait for the summer transfer window to open whenever England is knocked out (i.e., the group stage).

For MLS:

It gets the “relevance/acceptance” factor – the guy can still play on a high level. It uses his BPL play as promotion for the 2008 season, and then still gets to use him once the season begins.

For ESPN/2:

Should England make it to European finals, the network will have a Beckham based Euro bonanza. It may even send Dave O’Brien over there to make sure the word Beckham is pronounced every two minutes on the dot. Plus, it will enjoy the renewed hype upon his return (hopefully, with his ankles intact) to the US.

For England:

Steve McLaren actually gets to train someone with a crossing ability to find the heads of Peter Crouch and Michael Owen. The Beckhamania takes away the attention away from Steve’s rather dubious coaching ability and tenuous hold on his job. Plus, if England fails to achieve Euro glory, there’s a convenient fall guy.

For His English Club:

Whichever English team lands him – a lot of £££’s. Is that not enough? Okay, here’s some more – £££££.

For Next Coach of the Galaxy:

Now he’ll only have to find nine more players (GK Joe Cannon is solid) to field a competitive LA Galaxy squad for 2008.

So, this is basically a win-win-win-win-win-win situation.

Where do I sign up?

This article is a submission for the Soccerlens Football Writing Competition; to participate, please read the details here.

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