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Fergie Changes His Mind On Beckham’s England Spot

David BeckhamSir Alex Ferguson has long been blamed for David Beckham’s decision to leave Manchester United. The fact that Becks spent 18 months renegotiating his contract, unhappy with with the deal he was offered on image rights, to stay at the club he’d loved since he was a lad, is often forgotten. The writing was on the wall from the day Fergie kicked the boot at Beckham, an unintentional act as far as the manager is concerned.

Since leaving, Beckham has had nothing but kind words for Ferguson though. After United won the title last year, Becks said, “I will never be surprised what Sir Alex Ferguson can do because I know what he is like as a person and as a manager. Whoever writes him off he always proves them wrong – and he has done it again. As a United fan I am really happy for the manager and for the players. As a United fan I am really happy for the manager and for the players.”

It looked as though Beckham was on a downward spiral after leaving United. He hadn’t won a trophy since his big money move to the Spanish giants and was dropped by Capello for Real Madrid last season after agreeing on a deal with LA Galaxy. “We can’t count on him and we won’t count on him because he has committed himself to another club,” said Capello. “A player that has such an important contract with another club can’t play for us. He will not play. He will train with us but he is not going to play.”

However, Beckham redeemed himself, won Capello over, and his great form played a part in Real’s title winning season. Beckham claimed his first winners medal since leaving United, and Capello admitted his wrong doing. “On the sporting side we have made a decision and I am the one that has the maximum responsibility. The truth is that with him we made a mistake,” he said. “Beckham is a great player. Now he is playing at the same level as he did at Manchester United. He is a player that has recovered his physical and psychological condition because he was upset not to be playing with his national team. For every player, the national team is important and for English players, more so.”

When Capello took the England job, Beckham would have been right to fear for his place with the national side, after being dropped by the manager at his former club. With 99 caps to his name, Becks was obviously eager to get one more game, and with the friendly against Switzerland planned, it seemed as though he was in with his chance. “To deny him his 100th cap would not be right,” said Ferguson of his former player. “I think he will get his 100th cap. I don’t think there is any doubt about that.”

However, Capello has named his 30 man squad and left Beckham out, due to his lack of match time. The fact that Beckham decided to take a week’s holiday in the lead up to the squad being announced probably didn’t help his cause. Ferguson has today backed Capello’s decision to leave Beckham out, saying that this is a must win game for the new manager, and he cannot afford sentimentality. “I am not surprised he has been left out,” Fergie said. “What Fabio has said is that David is not match fit. He wants players who are match fit and David has not played any football. That is the reason he has not been picked. It is straightforward. You have to think of Fabio’s position. He has to win that game. It is an important match as it is his first as manager of England and he is a foreign coach with a great reputation.”

Is Fergie right to change his tune on whether Capello was right to drop Beckham?

About Scott

Scott is the editor of Red Matters - 50 Years of Supporting Manchester United and an author of Play Like Fergie's Boys and Not Nineteen Forever. He writes for ESPN, The Metro and Bleacher Report. Follow @R_o_M on Twitter.

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  1. craig mc says:

    capello is a JERK of the highest order. If Becks is not match fit, what would have been the harm in bringing him into the game for the last 10 minutes, and he would have his hundreth cap. Capello has got it in for Becks, BUT THE ENGLISH MANAGERS WILL FIGHT FOR THAT CAP FOR BECKS. He friggin deserves it, and Fergie and other managers routing for him no that. But then, the English FA always cover themselves in SHAME don’t they?.

  2. Ivor says:

    Capello is a genius of motivation. If he’s a ‘jerk,’ then what do you make of those stunts in practice where Ruud Van was encouraged by the Gaffer to bullly Cristano Ronaldo with the objective of toughening the lad up? So,I guess Sir Alex is a JERK, too!? Becks, by his own admission in a number of interviews, was out of shape after leaving O.T. for the Bernabeu. That is, until Don Fabio went to war with him. Clearly not the brightest spoon in the cutlery drawer,Becks has to periodically relearn that he’s an adult and that it’s football which serves the extraneous other bits of his career, not the other way round. Having made his bed in L.A. for oodles of cash, it’s now up to him to get into real shape for the next M.L.S. season if he wants to get back with Ingerland. Considering the mediocrity of Downing, Bentley, Young and Wright-Phillips, none of whom seem to be able to hold on to the ball or cross it, there may still be a place on the national team even after he becomes Silver Balls. Capello knows what he’s doing, even if he is a JERK. He’s certainly got to be better at motivating the lads than Svengoolie or Second-Choice Steve!

  3. Tom F says:

    2 Things:

    1) SAF said it would be wrong to deny him off a hundreth Cap.

    2) Beckham has not been denied, he just has to wait a bit longer until he is match fit.

    Why should the lesser known / played players work their arses off only to be left out because of sentimental reasons. Beckham will be back for England and leaving him out of the friendly will only be a positive thing for him in the long term.

  4. craig mc says:

    Ivor – Ok mate, if as you say Capello is a genious motivator, then why did he have to publicly admit, THAT HE GOT IT WRONG ABOUT BECKHAM, SAYING HE WOULD NEVER PLAY FOR REAL MADRID AGAIN?. Then when results went against him, he quickly had to restore Becks!!!!!!!!. You say he knows what he is doing, I say that still has to be proved. If you are proved right, I will be the first to hold my hands up and say you were right. Until them I still think he’s a jerk!.

    Tom F – do you really believe that other players have been working their arses off for England?. Who is better than Becks?. He changed things when McClaren brought him on against Croatia. That’s when his pass offorded Crouch a goal. If he had been on earlier I swear we would have had so many more chances of possible goals. There is nobody better on that right flank at providing the same perfect crosses into the box, I don’t care how much they work their arses off. There is nobody IMO who loves his country more than Becks. He friggin deserves his 100th cap, and most english managers agree. Fergie says Becks should not be denied that cap. But hey, it’s just my opinion, and I respect and accept you all have yours. I think United fans forget what Becks was to our club. Shame!!!!!!!!

  5. Tom F says:

    Craig mc: Yes, I am in fact a fan of David Beckham and have always wanted him in the national side. I do however believe the fact that Capello wants to win his first game in charge and that Aaron Lennon, who has done very well this season and most importantly has played regularly where as David Beckham has not played a match in a while and won’t do before the friendly. You are letting this small friendly eat away at your temper, when it is a fact that David Beckham HAS NOT been banished from the England side forever, just for this friendly. Also, I do believe Aaron Lennon has always done well for England and rightly deserves to be where he is.

    I think Wayne Rooney is better than Emile Hesky and I also believe that Michael Owen is better than Andy Johnson, however if the first choice are injured or not match fit, surely it makes sense to go for the players who wouldn’t usually make it in the starting 11 based on the fact that they are fit enough to last the distance???

    I don’t go around ranting based just on my own beliefs, I try to look at things in a more realistic way. I have always been on Becks side but this time there is not much to argue over, it’s ONE friendly he has been left out of and that is it.


  6. craig mc says:

    Tom F – I would agree with you except that Capello wouldn’t!!!!!!!. I understand Lennon has been demoted to the under 23′s – WHY?. Well your guess is as good as mine Tom. Are you saying he has been reinstated into the senior squad again?. If so, then Capello really is confusing everybody/

  7. Tom F says:


    In all honesty I really don’t pay too much attention to what goes on in the England camp. I only care about United, though obviously the United players too playing for their respective countries.

    I see he isn’t in the senior squad, that’s a bit odd. Still there are other fit players. A lot of left sided players, I guess SWP does deserve a chance. My main point is if he isn’t fit, wait until he is. I really don’t think FC will leave him out forever.

    is anyone else feeling sick at the thought of cheering to a City win today? I guess Arsenal fans will think the same about Spurs…


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