Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Point: Beckham Should Be England Captain for the Switzerland Friendly

See that guy? He's David Beckham. Currently at 99 caps, only one away from joining the pantheon of Billy Wright, Peter Shilton, Sir Bobby Charlton and Bobby Moore. The only men to make it to 100 caps for England. And you're worried about him getting the captaincy of a meaningless friendly against Switzerland in a few weeks! And why is that game meaningless?

Oh Hi I Upgraded Your National Squad

I know, England needs to look to the future. Capello needs to develop new talent. Giving Beckham the armband is a big step backwards and a huge mistake. Blah blah blah blah BLAH BLAH BLAH! Look, England, you have absolutely no chance of winning the World Cup any time soon. You won't be winning the European Championships, if and when you qualify. Your best players are constantly injured (Rooney, Terry), your attacking midfielders play exactly the same position (Lampard, Gerrard), your role players are constantly injured (Hargreaves, Owen, Cole), your goalkeepers stink (Almunia?), and your best defender is a disgrace (Ferdinand), oh and is also constantly injured (Ferdinand).

At most, England can hope for a gutty quarterfinal exit at World Cup 2010. You'll be lucky if England becomes respectable during your lifetimes! It's not like you are sitting on tons of upcoming talent, just waiting there to get called up. Yeah, yeah.... I'll give you Richards, Wright-Philips, Agbonlahor, Young, Bent, maybe Walcott someday. But you know what? Beyond that, here's the next generation of England nationals:

Steve ginger-fucking-nut Sidwell. Which brings us back to Beckham. What is Beckham? He's the face, he's the brand, he's an overrated movie staring a pre-anorexia Keira Knightly, he's all flash and a few fancy set pieces, and goddammit you need him more now than ever because what else do you have to build on but the past? You invented football (or Association Football or even socceras it's called during the 2-minute ESPN Deportes newsflashes) and the rest of the world perfected it. Beckham is your link to the mythical past, the gilded age, to a perfect past with no awareness of a world outside the chalk hills of England.

I will never forget this story I heard from a friend living in England. She was on the Tube circa-2002 and saw this young mother with her 3 year-old son who had a faux-diamond earring, and the young mother says to the lady next to her, "Oh he's my little Beckham he is."

Face it, England, you need Beckham. It doesn't matter whether you lose to Switzerland (and believe me, you won't because none of the players want to face the wrath of Capello, which is what made McClaren such an awful pick for England manager -- no matter the sport, players need a modicum of fear and/or respect for their coach or it all falls apart). Imagine the good will and dancing in the streets when Beckham takes his rightful place as one of the greatest players to ever don an England kit, whether or not he even is one of the greatest English players.

Here is a man with a lot of good looks, a lot of good sense, a sturdy right foot, and about two working synapses in his brain, and he's become the most well-known Englishman in the world. If Beckham gets the captain's armband, for the brief moment before the beginning of the match everything will be right for the world: Posh gets a bit of face time to help sell a few more Spice Girls concert tickets, Beckham gets cap number 100, and Capello gets a lot of good will from the supporters.

All for just one meaningless friendly. And then Capello can get back to trying to polish the turd that is England's national team.

No comments: