“One of the guys was saying things that wasn’t very nice. It was stepping over the line. I said, ‘You need to calm down and come shake my hand,'” Multi-club ambassador David Beckham comments after his ‘clash’ with LA Galaxy fans during his first home match. This was after a five month secondment to AC Milan, during which he confessed to having fallen in love with the city: “Milan is the ideal place to be a footballer, it’s like being in Paradise,” he said, to the sound of a thousand Big Macs across the Atlantic being spat out.
Of course, all the clash really amounted to was Beckham pointing his finger at a fat American, getting fed up with the lack of response and making a pathetic attempt to jump over the advertising board.
But a hand shake? Is that all he wanted to give this guy? I’d have given him a lot more, if I was Beckham. It perhaps says more about the player (who appears to have adopted the word ‘soccer’ for our beautiful game while over there) than the moronic Galaxy fan he targeted that nothing more came of it.
I’m on Beckham’s side here, quite firmly, but few others seem to be. I’m not sure why. He’s offered his talent to the equivalent of UK Sunday League and has done his best to promote the American game. So, he nipped off to Milan for a few months to play some real football. Who cares? He came back, didn’t he?
I doubt there’s an English football fan in the land who didn’t see his move to the States for what it was; an exercise in creative marketing. However, that shouldn’t detract from the fact that Beckham, to his credit, always gives 100% when playing football and clearly loves the game. There are very few world class players who would be happy to drop to such a level and still keep the pace up. Not that pace has ever been Beckham’s strong point, but you catch my drift.
Say us Brits were treated to a world famous internationally-capped Ice Hockey player from the states who was quite happy to lend his services to Kettering Ice Hockey Club. Would we moan, jeer and threaten god knows what if he decided to nip off for some real Hockey elsewhere? I don’t think we would.
How the Galaxy fans can’t see the benefit of Beckham still playing top flight football elsewhere is beyond me. Were they really expecting him to make a long term commitment to Mickey Mouse ‘He’s stuffed another one in the goal bag’ soccer? If they were, they should have started booing him from the moment he unveiled his squad number.
Don’t forget it was America that tried to impose ‘kick ins’ and ‘time outs’ at the ’94 world cup. For that very reason, I find it difficult to take any criticism they level at a good English footballer very seriously at all.
N.B. Take a look at this video from Newsy.com which pulls together news coverage from different media outlets on the subject of Beckham’s relationship with the Galaxy fans. Interesting stuff: http://www.newsy.com/videos/the_beckham_experiment