David Beckham’s career at Los Angeles Galaxy continues to grow sour as he was sent-off in Saturday’s 2-0 defeat by Seattle Sounders FC. Beckham was given a straight red card for a tackle on Sounders midfielder Peter Vagenas
, in the 17th minute of the game. The former England skipper interestingly claimed Vagenas, a former Galaxy player, was one of his best mates in a post match interview.
‘Pete is one of my best friends,’ he said. ‘I think it’s a hard tackle but not with means for a red card. I’ve never gone in one tackle wanting to hurt someone. The referee saw it differently.’
While he may not have intended the force of the tackle, the foul clearly deserved a red card. Please feel free to agree or disagree with me on that, but I think when you go in with your two feet like Beckham did, it’s a straight red. Simple as.
However, this is not the first time Beckham has been in the spotlight recently, and I don’t mean wife, Victoria appearing on American Idol. Since returning from his loan spell with Milan relations have been frosty with Galaxy fans, who have had enough of Beckham’s half arsed commitment to them.
He has been involved in confrontations with fans during his first three games back in a Galaxy shirt. At his first home game for Galaxy Beckham had to be restrained after the midfielder attempted to jump over the barrier to a section of the crowd that had been jeering him.
Afterwards he told the press what had happened: “One of the guys was saying things that really weren’t very nice. It was stepping over the line. I said ‘You need to calm down and come shake my hand’ and he jumped over.
Fans have also come bearing banners stating: ‘Go home fraud!’ and ‘Hey Becks, here before you here after you, here despite you.’ His return has also been punctuated by booing from his own supporters every time he gets the ball also, but what more can you expect, they’ve simply had enough of him.
The MLS did not need Beckham, he needed the MLS. After starting his career in England with Manchester United playing with them for 10 years. Back in 2003 he left to sign for Spanish side Real Madrid. So after conquering Europe it was time for him to do something different and going where Pele failed before him, America, joining LA Galaxy.
When Beckham came to play in the MLS in 2007, he had this to say: I’m coming there not to be a superstar. I’m coming there to be part of the team, to work hard and to hopefully win things. With me, it’s about football. I’m coming there to make a difference. I’m coming there to play football… I’m not saying me coming over to the States is going to make soccer the biggest sport in America. That would be difficult to achieve. Baseball, basketball, American football, they’ve been around. But I wouldn’t be doing this if I didn’t think I could make a difference.
And make a difference he has. Perhaps not as much on the pitch as he would have like but he has certainly attracted new supporters for Galaxy, which celebrities such as Tom Cruise, Katie Holmes, Eva Longoria, Simon Fuller and chef Gordon Ramsey have been coming along to see Beckham in action for Galaxy, as well as worldwide media attention.
Yet despite all the fanfare of his arrival in 2007, Beckham is still to help Los Angeles Galaxy reach the end-of-season play-offs.
Recently it has been made very clear that not only the fans have had enough of him, his team-mates have also. In Grant Wahl’s book ‘The Beckham Experiment’ team-mate Landon Donovan made comments that the Englishman was not dedicated enough to Galaxy. It’s a bit rich coming from Donovan who was desperate to earn a place at Bayern Munich, but thats footballers for you, ever the hypocrites.
But after his actions this weekend, and the occasions before, it certainly looks like the former England skipper’s days in America could be numbered.
It is reported that the 34-year-old who has been linked to a move back to the UK, is likely to seek another loan deal to Milan from January to May, in the MLS close season as he aims for a place in Fabio Capello’s World Cup squad next summer.
Beckham always expected this treatment from the Galaxy fans but: ‘This doesn’t change anything for me. I intend to stay until the end of my contract and maybe futher (doubtful, and most likely not playing football) – I’ve always said that. I’m committed to Galaxy and to the MLS and that hasn’t changed.’
Evidently the feeling is not mutual. I have always admired Beckham, but I think sadly the American Dream has come to an abrupt end. When you’ve lost the fans, there’s no more you can do and with that proposed loan spell to Milan again, they won’t be coming back on his side just yet.
It would be nice to see him back in the Premiership, but, just not at Manchester United. Possibly with Ancelotti, at Chelsea who I hear was a big admirer of him when he was on loan at Milan. Beckham to Chelsea? Stranger things have happened I suppose. You only have to look at Michael Owen at Manchester United to see that, or maybe he’ll return to where it all began, at United? Who knows?
One thing is for certain, the American Dream is fading away.