Saturday 25 July 2009

Help the aged

Manchester United should resign David Beckham.

There, i said it!!

And this is coming from someone who is by far and away NOT a member of his fanclub and never was. Not even in the 1990s.

Now I understand that most football fans would see this as a ludicrous statement. A step backwards. Signing a 34 years old man who is clearly past his triumphant best. No longer with that incredible engine. Not being able to take on the full back in that wide right position. Maybe not even being able to cover the full back when he gets forward. It would be an unmitigated tactical disaster.

That is, if you played him wide right.

I still think that as a footballer, Mr Beckham has alot to offer. His performances for AC Milan last season were interesting. Playing in a more narrow role, with the play in front of him. Giving him time to move into a wider position to whip in one of his trademark crosses when the opposition's defence had retreated under pressure. But essentially playing in a central midfield 3...something United have done many times last season, when we have played a lone central striker, and Rooney wide left.

Now I understand that United fans worship the 4-4-2 formation. "Its the United way" they holler. And in the main I agree. But I also like United to have the personnel to play 4-3-3 and 4-5-1. When we have played with a narrow midfield, we have lacked something (see the Champions League Final...Anderson, Carrick and Giggs. Our obvious choice of players to execute this system, all looking lost, not playing tight enough in the middle. Not confident enough to just sit and face the opposition man for man, hanging a tad deeper when needed) Beckham would give us this passing expertise and midfield know-how to play these formations better.

Now age is a problem, but I don't see David as a long term solution. We have a very young squad. Bringing in someone who knows the pressures of United, has played well over a hundred times on the international arena, and would walk over hot coals to see United win, is just the sort of player we need...TODAY! No bedding in for Beckham, no difficult first season, no Berbatov. He is an instant quality addition to the squad for the short term. Henrik Larsson has proved this can be done. It is not impossible.

The main issue is fee and wages. The talk is that he would be made available at around the £11 million mark. The addition of the David Beckham brand to any club means that this fee is chicken feed. Even two years of his service would be worth twice as much as that fee, in merchandise. So because of this the fee is inconsequential. His wages? I would bet you now, he would take a huge cut to rejoin our team. He loves United. He would probably settle for a pay as you play deal, like Michael Owen.

However, in the real world there is one stumbling block. The manager would NEVER go for any of this! And that is where this idea ends. Fergie admits he was wrong to sell Jaap Stam as he thought he was passed his best. However, he was correct in selling Beckham at the time. The bright lights had started to blind the player's eyes and it was time to cash in and move him on.

But this is different

I do not really buy into all of this "United need a destructive midfielder" We have Fletcher and Hargreaves (fitness permitting) to facilitate these roles. Until one of these two are no longer available for selection then we can wait. But a ball playing, passing and creative type? Yes. We could do with one of them. And do we need a free kick and set piece specialist? Yes. Indeed we do.

And for now...just FOR NOW...Beckham could be the answer.

Good enough for the Milan shirt. Good enough for ours?


  1. I think you have a point there ...

  2. Will never happen. And I think we'd be going backwards if it did.

  3. yeah thats part of the point Dan. Its more about our opinion on beckham and our opinion on suppossed "aging footballers"
    I dare say that in the weeks before signing Michael Owen, many said that that was a step backward. Im more interested in players who can facilitate our system and i think Beckham could service this in the short term..but only in the short term, giving Fergie time to recruit rather than paying £50m for someone

  4. Hi there.. I'm new to this post but have found many interesting posts to read. Good work, Rob!

    Well, whatever thoughts anyone has, I'd still welcome Becks back to Old Trafford. Like you said it, Rob, this could only be for a short term solution until Fergie finds a replacement but i think old Becks has still got the heart and passion to play for us. For one, we need someone special to take the free kicks since Ronnie left and if Giggsy's not on the pitch, we will not be a threat to the opposing team in this sense.
    Do correct me if I'm wrong..

  5. i think beckham brings a brilliant dead ball to the table. It would be a huge asset.

  6. I think we are all just smitten with his "fan" comments. Seems like no one wants to come to United lately (Benzema, CR, Mikel, Robben, etc. etc.) and its nice to hear someone say they would love the chance. You may say you are not a fan but I think we are just feeling a bit like the jilted lover who takes up with the towns toothless Tess just for a moment out of the rain that is rejection. You cannot actually think he would improve the squad at this point. No chance. Because he can cross the ball?? Out of your minds.

  7. would he improve the squad? yes he would! but its a quick fix (for the reasons i stated above) I dont see him as a saviour or anything, and as i said ive never really been a fan. But is there a midfielder that ticks these boxes: knows the pressure of United; is a dead ball specialist; would play his heart out for the shirt; can be used centrally or wide. Theres not that many out there. If we could secure a Costa or Sanchez id be happy with that. In fact the player i really want in a Utd shirt is Modric..but he would cost in excess of £20m. Becks would give us an option for a season or maybe 2. He isnt shot just yet.

  8. I've got to disagree with the idea that he has the ability to be more of a help than a detriment and with the idea he could play inside. An occasional free kick wouldn't make up for his inability to support the back in anyway or his lack of pace going forward. I would love to be wrong if for no other reason than, as mentioned, he seems to be as big a fan as us. But I don't think I am.