December 21st 2010: “Maybe one day I’ll come back and play here, but I’ve always said it will only be for Manchester United.”
November 30th 2010: “It is always great to be wanted by different managers and different teams even if it’s on loan or a more permanent spell, it’s always nice. I have got great respect for David Moyes from playing with him at Preston. I think he has done an amazing job at Everton, but I am a Man United fan – it’s too close to home.”
January 3rd 2011: David Beckham’s spokesperson confirmed that the player is interested in a loan move to the Premiership, with Tottenham Hotspur “one of the many clubs” they have spoken to.
Harry Redknapp confirms that Beckham spoke to his son Jamie: “Jamie rang me, said he’d spoken to David Beckham and would we be interested because he’d love to come and play at Tottenham. He just said, ‘I’d like to come back and play and I’d fancy playing for Tottenham, because I like the way they play’.”
“I saw the scarf there and just put it round my neck. It’s the old colours. That’s all I know. It’s nothing to do with me how it’s run. That’s to do with other people.”
January 3rd 2010: “I’d have loved to have stayed at Manchester United for my whole career and never gone anywhere else.”
February 2nd 2010: “When you are a Manchester United player and a Manchester United fan you never want to play for any other club.”
June 10th 2003: “I’ve never said that I’d never move away from Manchester, and I’ve never said that I’d end my career there.”
There’s no denying he did a great job for the club when he was one of our players and he surely must have strong feelings for United still. But like Wayne Rooney more recently, David Beckham repeatedly behaves in a way that will earn him adulation and support from Manchester United fans, regardless of what his true intention or feelings are.
I can’t imagine many United fans would have begrudged him joining another Premiership side too much, but to perpetuate this image of himself as a top red, he claimed he would never play for another English team other than United. But then he got involved in talks with Harry Redknapp over a move to Spurs. Why lie? Why say he feels so strongly for United that he could never wear another shirt in the country? Because he wants United fans to boost his “legend” status.
I can’t imagine many United fans would have begrudged him not picking up that green and gold scarf when he returned with AC Milan, but to perpetuate this image of himself as a top red, he wore it around his neck and applauded the Stretford End. But when he asked after the game why he did it, he denied any knowledge of the protests against the Glazers. Why lie? Why wear the scarf if only to bottle out of supporting the fans’ protests when given the opportunity to join them? Because he wants United fans to boost his “legend” status.
Beckham likes to push the idea that he was “forced” out of United, that he had no choice but to leave. If Ferguson was such a tyrant and kicked Becks out of the only club he ever wanted to play for, why does the player have nothing but kind words to say about Sir Alex? I’m not suggesting the manager is entirely blameless in the situation but he doesn’t kick out world class players who love the club and don’t want to leave, does he? Look at the fuss he went to in keeping Roy Keane, Cristiano Ronaldo and Wayne Rooney at the club. Beckham’s attitude was waning, his best performance of the season came when he was in the shop window against Real Madrid in the Champions League, and before signing for the Spanish club, he reaffirmed his opinion that he had never claimed to be United through and through, only wanting to play for United. He felt like he was too big for United and couldn’t resist a move to Real Madrid.
“I have always loved football,” he said upon being unveiled. “Of course I love my family. I have a wonderful life, but football is everything to me and joining Real Madrid is a dream come true. I would like to say thank you to everyone coming and joining me in my arrival. Gracias – hala Madrid!”
Genuinely, I think Becks is a good guy and was a great footballer. He helped United achieve things we probably wouldn’t have done if he wasn’t in the team. He cares about United, he has so many friends still at the club, and would want us to win the league every year if we could.
But there’s no denying he always tries to say the ‘right’ thing, the thing which will make United fans go “Wow, David Beckham, proper red legend.” He was a special player for a club, one we should be proud to have brought through the ranks, but the sooner everyone stops lapping up every word that comes from his mouth the better.