Monday, 9 October 2006

Beckham's woes increase

David Beckham could be facing a pay cut if he stays at Real Madrid, reports Simon Talbot on Thursday's Guardian. With both sides currently locked in contract negotiations, this is probably just another media salvo to up the psychological stakes, but it does mark another stage in Beckham's torrid last few months. England's disappointing (to say the least) World Cup campaign was followed by his tearfully stepping down as captain the morning after his team had been knocked out by Portugal.

His troubles were just beginning, however, after Steve McClaren swiftly made it obvious that the former captain did not have a place in his new-look side and Real's coach Fabio Capello has shown he prefers ex-Gunner Reyes on the right, relegating Beckham to the bench in their last four games. Beckham can start talking to other clubs from 1st January, as his contract expires at the end of this season, but I expect him to renew for at last one more season and for both sides to claim they got what they wanted out of the negotiations. To leave Real Madrid having won no trophies (the Spanish Supercup does not count) would be a monumental failure and I don't see him going back to join a Premiership side other than United. Going to another major European club is probably out of the question; he's found it hard enough acclimatising to Spain (Steve McManaman spoke better Spanish in three months than he has in three years).

On the bright side, he should feature in Capello's plans in the long term; the Italian has shown he likes players with commitment above those with quality, and one thing Beckham has in spades is his workrate. This is something he has in common with Raúl, his captain at Real, whom Capello has stood by even after he had been dropped from the Spanish squad by troubled manager Luis Aragonés. Also, it is reported that the MLS is changing the rules over the player salary caps from next season, paving the way for a multi-million dollar move to the US once Beckham decides his days as a top-rated footballer are over.

1 comment:


Care to link up, matey? Cheers.