Becks: the romantic’s choice as Scholes’ successor

This week, Sir Alex Ferguson said that he is finding trouble filling the chasm vacated by Paul Scholes this summer. Who wouldn’t? Many class Scholes among some of the greatest midfielders in the history of not only English football, but the world game.

Hinting at further spending, the Glaswegian manager noted that “If we can get a player along similar lines in terms of the quality of his passing and vision, then yes, we’d have to do something.” But if the United manager cannot land Luka Modric, Wesley Sneijder or Samir Nasri this summer, is there another short-term option? Football romantics might think so.

Watching Gary Neville’s testimonial against Juventus in May, one could not but think about the number seven. Not Manchester United’s Michael Owen but David Beckham, world superstar, one of the biggest brands in football and – many people forget – still a very good player. World class? Maybe. But Becks retains all the attributes and characteristics to sort out one of United’s biggest problems – midfield.

Many will write this off as the fantasy ramblings of a fan – it is – but that does not hide the fact Beckham has the class that could really benefit United.

One of Beck’s characteristics was on show at Neville’s testimonial. Scholes’ retirement at the end of the season means that Beckham is now the best long passer in the world. The 36-year-old’s display during the match included a range of pin-point 80 yard passes for fun. The player also lasted the full 90 minutes and obviously feels that he is in good physical condition.

Beckham’s past speaks for itself; a United legend, helping the team to six Premier League trophies, two FA Cups and a Champion’s League trophy as part of the treble wining side of 1998-99. Beck’s is a set piece specialist and arguably the greatest crosser in the history of the game. At Neville’s testimonial he took the best corner of anyone in a United shirt for years.

Tactically, Beckham could be just as good an option as Modric. After all, the player has always fancied himself as a central midfielder and allegedly engaged in many heated debates on this point with Ferguson who saw Becks’ crossing ability as the player’s key weapon. The Los Angeles Galaxy player has lost most of what little pace he had in his youth and is finally been able to thrive in his preferred position, where he can dictate play with either short or long-range passing from the ‘quarterback’, regista or deep-lying playmaker position.

In fact Beckham is a more feasible option than Inter Milan number 10 Sneijder, whose natural position on the pitch encroaches on Wayne Rooney’s stomping ground in the ‘hole’. Beck’s control and touch also make him a very good central midfielder; more attack-minded than Michael Carrick.

The stats speak for themselves. Becks has made 16 appearances since March for the LA Galaxy and has notched up two goals and seven assists. In the player’s time in the ever-improving MLS, he has made 65 appearances while scoring 12 goals and has made 24 assists. It’s a similar game-goal-assist ratio to Ryan Giggs over the same period.

Another reason for Beckham’s arrival is experience, offering his boyhood club a year of service while allowing rising talents Tom Cleverley, Ravel Morrison and Paul Pogba an earlier chance to break-though into the first team than if the 25-year-old Modric or 27-year-old Sneijder were to join. Beckham’s influence in the dressing room around these young player would also be an invaluable asset to a club which has lost five senior players in recent times.

Beckham has also played in La Liga and his knowledge of ball retention could be a great help to United’s crop of talented youngsters. He might also be able to teach Bébé how to cross! Importantly, Beckham’s relationship with Ferguson has seemingly healed over the years.

Beckham, in the final year of a £135 million contract, would be happy to take a wage cut at the club closest to his heart. He offered to take a wage reduction when trying to secure a loan deal to Tottenham Hotspur earlier this year. After all, the economics of deals for Modric or Sneijder deals are eye-watering; Beckham’s is potentially lucrative for the club. When Real Madrid signed him from United for £25 million in 2003 the club claimed to have made the fee back in shirt sales inside a week.

This is a fantasy of course but there is also a good argument for Beckham’s return, stepping into the shoes of his good friend, Scholes.

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Comments

  1. says

    I actually I agree with you.
    At the testimonial, he was laying absolutely beautiful balls and was probably the best player on the pitch.
    He still has the ability to spot a ass and execute it to perfection.
    Of course it is never going to happen but I would love to see the legend back at Old Trafford and personally I think he deserves it.

  2. Mico says

    Pheeew! Thank goodness for that Alun.
    Was wondering if you prefered left footers for a moment.
    Think they are better out on the flanks and then coming inside, rather than ‘dicktating’ play in a withdrawn, defensive midfield position.

    :D :D

  3. squigs says

    Insane, he was playing in the MLS, it’s a lot lower standard then the English championship never mind the premiership.

  4. Steve Synnott says

    What utter horseshit. Beckham is long past it. A testimonial is no place to rate players’ abilities.

    • says

      Steve – come on, the author described it as the fantasy of a fan. Which is the context in which you really should take this and show a bit more humour.

  5. bman says

    Given that Beckham wasn’t much good in the middle when he was still good enough to play for a top European side (a long time ago), I have to say that this is fucking stupid.

  6. Alfonso BedoyaAlfonso Bedoya says

    Title should have been… “Becks: the Lunatics choice as Scholes’ successor”…

    We’d be better off just getting Scholes to play on…

  7. bman says

    Pastore is the closest replacement for the old Scholes in my opinion, but there hasn’t been even the faintest rumour that we’re in for him though.

  8. ltel says

    bman said:
    Pastore is the closest replacement for the old Scholes in my opinion, but there hasn’t been even the faintest rumour that we’re in for him though.

    theres been quite a few actually.. but i think he has said he wants to stay in italy

  9. captainhormonecaptainhormone says

    Ed said:
    Steve – come on, the author described it as the fantasy of a fan. Which is the context in which you really should take this and show a bit more humour.

    FFS ED!!

    Fantasy…more like an LSD flashback….

  10. captainhormonecaptainhormone says

    Alfonso Bedoya said:
    Title should have been… “Becks: the Lunatics choice as Scholes’ successor”…

    We’d be better off just getting Scholes to play on…

    Again, I cannot argue with the miserable yank cunt..he has hit the nail right in the head once more.

    FFS

  11. Zi Indefatigable says

    Don’t you get the point of the article?

    I’m not looking for someone to play like Scholes in the early stages of his career as a trequartista. He was a striker for his first 5 seasons! And anyway, Rooney’s sorted that out now.

    I’m saying that in Scholes’ regista position, Becks has the same characteristics in terms of passing and vision. He would also be a good influence on the kids, MAKE us money and most importantly (some would say stupidly) it would bring a smile to a lot of our faces.

    Lighten up FFS.

  12. Vinny says

    I think we should ask Robbo back,could really have an impact,his operation seems to have gone well.Ok hes a little old but looked great in a indoor 5 a side last year.

  13. Liam says

    Nevilles testimonial was no more than a training session for wembley for the established names and a knock about for juve. Becks did indeed play very well but it was like a cup final for him, one more game in the red shirt at OT. This is why he looked so good that night. It is a nice romantic idea but also a stupid one!

  14. Mongoletsi says

    IF he came on a free and took sensible wages, he’d be handy still to have around. Pace was never his trademark, and he’s still really fit. Remember; class is permanent, form temporary.

    But only on a free with sensible wages.

    • Liam says

      I agree here, sensible wages and a squad player would be fine and nice for both him and the fans for him to end his career where it started. But not as our marquee midfield signing, not nearly good enough at premier league level. Would be fine in a Michael Owen sort if role

  15. squigs says

    Scholes was not a striker for his first 5 seasons either, first 2 maybe 3 at most.

    Michael Owen was 29 when we took him back and had been playing in the premiership.

    Beckham is 36, over rated and no where near the best passer in the world.

  16. captainhormonecaptainhormone says

    Commenter said:
    Don’t you get the point of the article?

    I’m not looking for someone to play like Scholes in the early stages of his career as a trequartista. He was a striker for his first 5 seasons! And anyway, Rooney’s sorted that out now.

    I’m saying that in Scholes’ regista position, Becks has the same characteristics in terms of passing and vision. He would also be a good influence on the kids, MAKE us money and most importantly (some would say stupidly) it would bring a smile to a lot of our faces.

    Lighten up FFS.

    No…I seriously DON’T get the point of the article..

    Sorry for being so blunt

  17. bman says

    Commenter said:
    Don’t you get the point of the article?

    I’m not looking for someone to play like Scholes in the early stages of his career as a trequartista. He was a striker for his first 5 seasons! And anyway, Rooney’s sorted that out now.

    I’m saying that in Scholes’ regista position, Becks has the same characteristics in terms of passing and vision. He would also be a good influence on the kids, MAKE us money and most importantly (some would say stupidly) it would bring a smile to a lot of our faces.

    Lighten up FFS.

    Jaysus, Valencia’s a good crosser of the ball too. By your logic he’d be an ace replacement for Scholes. Tony V also has the benefit of actually being younger than Scholes by more than a few months, which is a nice characteristic to have in the player replacing your ageing veteran who should have retired years ago.

    So apart from Beckham not been any good in central midfield and being over the hill, the idea’s really worth consideration.

    • Mongoletsi says

      Beckham always hankered after a CM spot, and did well FOR US whenever played there.

      Unless my memory is shot to shit.

  18. Spike says

    Commenter said:
    Look you tossers its a light-hearted piece get over yourselves. Beckham to Man Utd.

    We take footy seriously, so please have a warning sign afixed to any topic as in * not safe for men with head in arse* NSFMWHA

    thank you

    *Laughs at Sid with head in Alf’s arse*

  19. Mikey says

    I think I might actually contemplate suicide if we signed Beckham. The scary thing is, I can see Ferguson trying to sell it to the fans. Like the signing of Owen. As though we’d signed a world class player, capable of enhancing ‘supposedly’ one of the biggest clubs in the world.

  20. captainhormonecaptainhormone says

    Commenter said:
    So the Glaziers can pull the wool over Ferguson’s eyes on who is and isn’t a good player?

    err, no…they could influence him though from a commercial perspective

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