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Manchester United
Posted by Mark Payne on 07/16/2012

It is not often we have two summer tournaments for English fans to take an interest in. It is a situation that highlights the popularity of the game on our fair shores. Popularity, unfortunately, does not equate to health and events off the field this past month have brought that to the surface.

My thoughts are drawn to a man who will not be taking part in either competition. David Beckham’s exclusion from Team GB is a disgrace. Stuart Pearce has chosen a very public way to show his case of sour grapes towards the former England captain. Pearce was a great player for his country and has loyally stood by through more than one regime change now.

However, his career ended before the big money came to top-flight footballers and it would seem he is bitter about that. Beckham, the man who represents that cash more than any other, is paying the price for his resentment. in my opinion. Beckham deserves better.

The footballing argument put forward by the former Manchester City manager simply makes no sense whatsoever. Beckham has been plundering goals and assists for the Galaxy all season and his body, unlike Craig Bellamy’s, does not have a history of falling apart. Michah Richards, the other overage player, is not fit the lace the boots of the person who laces Beckham’s boots.

The former United great, who was largely responsible for the London winning the Olympics in the first place, has reacted with typically understated class. Lord Coe seems intent on finding him a suitable role but Stuart Pearce has dropped in my estimation immesuarbly.

Don’t even get me started on John Terry…

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Posted by danny powell on 07/16/2012

you are spot on with your remarks and i would bet your thoughts on john terry are the same as mine.

Posted by Martin Higham on 07/16/2012

The former United great, who was largely responsible for the London winning the Olympics in the first place,

Really? Erm, yep and he invented a cure for cancer and was the first man on the moon. Not forgetting receiving the Nobel prize for medicine.

Posted by Roger Dela Rosa on 07/16/2012


Posted by kol on 07/16/2012

you are definitively the worst blogger around, I pitty you

Posted by Jeff on 07/17/2012

Love him or hate him, there is no doubt Beckham raised the profile of the English game abroad, and when you speak about football outside of the UK, his name is one of the first to anyone's lips. The fact that he's omitted is just silly. If they were absolutely keen on winning the Olympics, they'd have picked a much better squad. As it stands, it appears to be a bit of a display team, and Becks would've fit in nicely there. And that's no backhand at his footballing ability. Good words Mark. Not sure its the sour grapes your speaking of, but its certainly a bizarre selection (or lack there of). If Team GB were trying to attract watchers or even just raise the profile of the London Olympics, Becks surely should've been there.

Posted by Jordi Lynx on 07/17/2012

Unfortunately, David Beckham has become an easy target for those who want to stamp their authority on their team, to show that the manager is his own man who will not be influenced by outsiders, this was evident by Steve Mclaren as well.

Its unfortunate that Beckham wont be involved as a player, but I do hope that the English Olympic Council brings him on in some capacity. Its the least Beckham deserves, having been so influential in bringing the Olympics to London.

Posted by David Smith on 07/17/2012

Sour grapes is losing our league title on goal difference to a group of mercenaries....not David Beckham being excluded from the dopey Olympic team.

Posted by revlino mazhinduka on 07/17/2012

I don't see any fuss in leaving out David Beckham from the Olympics team its the managers duty to pick out the team he wants , its not a question of sour grapes at all, it is purely on merit alone where is LA Galaxy on the league table now?Becks is a good player but at the moment he is not playing well

Posted by utkarsh on 07/17/2012

you are a typical united fan,overrating your players and your view is the only orrect view in the world,you know what terry was CLEARED of charges by a COURT a proper court gave the verdict and no one gives a damn about what you mancs think.I am pretty sure anton played the race card just to unsettle terry and then it blew out of proportion.your knowledge of football shows in the fact that you compared richards to beckham.

richards-right back
how in the name of god do they even compare???
bellamy is there because he unlike becks is playing in a decent league with a decent team against a decent comptetion.get a life..

Posted by useyourbrains on 07/17/2012

He is not playing well right now?? That's why his LA Galaxy team is in 5th place instead of first? Clearly you, ravlino mazhinduka, have not watched any, if not all, of his games this season! His team is not at the top right now not because him not playing well, in fact he is one of the best & consistent players in his team. Scored 5 goals and notched more that 5 assists. It was their defence that stunk the team, not him. In fact, he is playing so well right now his team has rise up from bottom to the top right now. Go watch more football, will ya!

Posted by Rahul on 07/17/2012


Can we have something for the new season? What do you think of the new signings? How do you feel about the squad? Can we play Barcelona and hope to survive? Or are we going to stumble across to 90 minutes every game like we did last season?

Posted by Aman on 07/18/2012

I am probably the only United fan who never liked beckham, but besides that fact, he should have been included in the Olypmics squad. But i have to agree that you really cannot compare two players who play in completely different positions.
I have serious concerns about the United squad. Last season it was only the United spirit that got us to equal points with a team managed by an 11 yr old kid walking up and down the aisles of Toys R Us with a bottomless credit card. However with Chelsea making serious signings and the kid whinning how he needs more depth in the squad, we have to come up with serious names for atleast 2-3 positions. Secondly with reports surrounding a rejected 38m bid for lucas, we have to get some strong and established midfielders lined up with an additional leaverage of promoting 4-5 people from our youth ranks with an aim to develop them in 2-3 years (we have hordes of talent).

Posted by theJepit on 07/20/2012

Come on you all United haters. This blog had been around for years and you all still visited it.

This is a Manchester United site on ESPN. What else could you rest expect.

Becks had been sold down the river. He should be on the team.

Next up, no 20 come May..

Posted by Maxitaxi on 07/20/2012

I don’t remember football in Athens three thousand years ago, or tennis or golf. The games are a shameless and avaricious spectacle, dictated by five sponsors.

As for Becks, he's well out of it.

Can't understand Fergie still trying to spend precious funds on a creative attacking midfielder when he has one of the potentially best, Berbatov.

His display in South Africa last week was sublime. If that volley from the corner had gone in, it would be goal of the season before we even start.

If Giggs can change his position to extend his career, why not give this position to Berbatov. He holds/shields the ball well, his passes are defense splitting and oh, he can score a couple of goals a season too.

Most of all, he really wants to play for us and that must be worth something.

Shame if we let him go, Fergie could save a few bob and maybe get us a world class left back or center half.

And the United haters, go back to your own blogs idiots or doesn't your team have one!

Posted by Tapiwa Mubonderi on 07/20/2012

Pearce did not want anyone who would outshine him in the team, like Golden Balls. Spain will probably try and pass their way to the gold medal.

Posted by theJepit on 07/23/2012


It is not the question whether Berbs could play in midfield but more of would he want to play in midfield.

Posted by Gawaya Tegulle on 07/23/2012

Mark I agree with you 100%. Nobody could have put it better. The decision to leave Becks out of the Olympic squad shows there is something terribly wrong with Pearce's judgment. Becks would have changed the team completely, sold out tickets and sent the entire world humming. You'd bet on good crosses, decent penalties and corner kicks for Team GB. Pearce's flaw in judgment makes one understand why and how he blasted the ball high and wide in the 1990 penalty shoot-out with Germany. There is this something about England (heck, I also know this is a GB squad) and dumb-n-dull coaches (including the one for Euro 2012) that I have still failed to understand. If England were a man, you can be sure he would most certainly not have picked a beautiful wife.

Posted by Maxitaxi on 07/23/2012


Fair point, but would like to see him try, he seemed quite comfortable on Wednesday and the through pass to Macheda for the goal was special and what we need. How many times last year did our attack fizzle out with too many passes across the area instead of one incisive pass to the striker.

I’m not his biggest fan but he is a talent and a good player to have in our armory.

I thought Anderson played well on Saturday against Ajax Cape Town but Chicharito looks off the pace and getting caught offside too many times. I wonder if he's been found out.

Would hate to see Berbatov back at Spurs and against us in a league game!

Posted by David Smith on 07/24/2012

Berbatov a midfielder now? Anderson playing well? LOL....maybe we can play "Ajax Cape Town" every week? Hernandez was born offside. He's constantly pulled up for it; has been since the day he signed. As far as "looking off the pace", it's a pre-season match in mid-July in South Africa. Nevermind a taxi, Maxi, you've missed the bloody bus.

Posted by Maxitaxi on 07/24/2012

Eloquent as ever Mr. Smith. Didn't say Anderson was a great a player, which he certainly is not, I just said he had a good game. As bad as Ajax Cape Town are, they made us look pretty dreary.

I understand it’s pre-season but Chicharito played the same most of last season and Fergie said it was because he was tired! The goals he used to poach so well don't seem to be there anymore, that's what I meant. In his first season he was compared to Ole, how has or how is he going to emulate that great player?

As for Berbatov, I know you don’t like him but he played well in midfield and no doubting he has a great touch but now Fergie's spending thirty odd million on another Brazilian midfielder, what, to pair up with Anderson.

Just observations not expert opinions and you're right, I did miss the last bus back to England which is why I now live in sunny South Africa, taxi and all!

Posted by Aman on 07/27/2012

Berbatov would be ideal for the creativity required in the midfield role, however as already mentioned, would he want to play there and more importantly he is a bit soft for that position. Agreed that you need creativity but with the formation United play with (4-4-2 or 4-4-1-1), we need someone who can pass the ball as well as be strong enough to ward off opponents off the ball. He would be an ideal fit at the tip of an inverted triangle upfront in the 4-3-3 formation.

Anyways, i don't think it would happen but i would like Rooney to be placed in midfield and SAF should just buy an all star striker (and for god's sake not Van Persie) and then wait for for our internal talents to develop in another 4 years.

As far as Hernandez is concerned, i think he needs time and if our sports fitness advisors can pump in muscles into the boy (like in the case of Welback last year and Nani two years back) i think he will develop into a class act. He just needs another complete season.

Posted by Patrice- Kigali on 07/30/2012

Hello Mark and my fellow united fans.

I think David Beckham is a disciplined lad and a descent footballer even at his age. I am equally gutted that he was not included in team GB.

There was a lot of talk of a lift between him and SAF when DB was still at united but you need to look at his performances for the team amid such talks to understand how committed to united he was. He is a fantastic professional. I hope Stuart Pearce's Mancity links did not play in the decision to leave DB out of the GB team.

SAF had started to answer my cries of strengthening my team's (,Man united)current midfield when Kagawa was shipped in but i am hurt by the fact that we have not bought a defending midfielder as to me Carrick can't handle counter attacks or make a hard and timely tackle. I hope by August 31, we are ok there. Moura and Baines are needed but a CM/DM is a priority to me. I have my two choices for that position.

Next time.

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