Iconic Reds: David Beckham – a cracking kicker of the ball, especially from a free-kick

David Beckham is one of the players that many supporters in their 40s, 30s and younger rate as a player, being that he was one of the players who was nurtured into one of the best in the country during the reign of Sir Alex Ferguson. Beckham was one of the six players from the famous Class of 1992, which included Paul Scholes, Ryan Giggs, Nicky Butt, Gary and Phil Neville, all of whom are still working in the game today with Butt the head of the Academy at United, the others working in coaching, analysis or punditry roles.

Beckham himself is currently getting his MLS franchise in Miami up and running, passing his expertise in the game onto those in the United States of America, where football, or soccer as they call it is still a sport which is seen as something only the privileged can partake in, especially in the youth ranks, which is something that may need to change, with Beckham wanting to get involved in that. David Beckham, love him or hate him was one of the best players to come through the Academy in the 1990s. Many did hate him, if only for the ‘Brand Beckham’ part of his life, but that was at the time football was changing, which has seemingly become normal in this modern-day football.

Beckham scored 85 goals in 394 appearances at the Old Trafford club, playing in some of the best matches in Sir Alex Ferguson’s career, winning the treble in the 1998/99 season. Beckham helped United win six Premier League titles, two FA Cups, two FA Community Shields, a UEFA Champions League and an Intercontinental Cup. During his time in the Academy, Beckham also contributed in the FA Youth Cup winning season back in 1992.

Beckham famously scored from the halfway line against Wimbledon at Selhurst Park back in August 1997, a great goal which showed the guys confidence and ability. Beckham, much like George Best in terms of practising his ability, would spend hours as a child kicking balls, much like one of the greatest ever players to grace the Old Trafford pitch. Back in 2003, Beckham left the club, after a turbulent time with manager Sir Alex Ferguson, leaving for Real Madrid, with a new guy called Cristiano Ronaldo coming in to effectively replace Beckham, who was a much-loved figure at the Theatre of Dreams at the time, a player that many misses, even to this day.

His replacement did not do all that bad either. Beckham did not achieve the great heights he was expected to at Real Madrid, winning one La Liga and a Supercopa de España during his time at the Santiago Bernabeu, scoring 20 goals in 155 appearances. In 2007, at the expiry of his contract, just weeks after winning his first La Liga title, Beckham left the Spanish capital for Los Angeles to play for LA Galaxy in the MLS, despite still being able to offer something in the game, at the highest level. Beckham played for LA Galaxy for five years, winning the MLS Western Conference three times, the MLS Supporters Shield twice and the MLS Cup twice.

During his spell in the MLS, during the off-season in the USA, Beckham made two loan spells with Milan in the Serie A, playing 33 matches in total over the two spells, scoring twice. He did return to Old Trafford with Milan, which was good to see, even donning a green and gold scarf during the protests of the club owners, the Glazers. For LA Galaxy, Beckham scored a total of 20 goals in 118 appearances, upping the profile of football (soccer) in the United States, which was something he was brought in to do. Frank Lampard and Steven Gerrard have too left the Premier League for the MLS, not with the same effect as Beckham though. Which again shows just how underrated the man was in the game.

After leaving the USA, Beckham signed for Paris Saint-Germain, playing for one season before hanging up his boots for the final time, of his career anyway. Beckham and football would always be something that goes together. Becks has returned to the field for charity, playing for Unicef in a game at Old Trafford, which also saw him reunited with former manager Sir Alex Ferguson, and sharing the pitch with his son, Brooklyn, not for the first time. Beckham played well in that match, really turning back the years. Before retirement, Beckham would add another trophy to his impressive haul, willing the Ligue 1 title with PSG, playing 14 matches in the 2012/13 season, saying an emotional farewell at the end of the season, which was a sad affair.

Beckham loves football and football loves Beckham. That is not something that will change either. I was gutted to see Beckham leave Manchester United back in the summer of 2003, even more so after the way he left the club. Still that is all water under the bridge now and both Beckham and Ferguson have buried the hatchet, with Beckham still calling Sir Alex boss, which just goes to show the immense amount of respect the player still holds for the most successful manager in the Premier League, which is something the manager still shows for Beckham, one of the best players he has managed.

Those that do not rate Beckham, I do wonder why. They probably hold his off-field antics against him, but based purely on football, Beckham was one of the best to grace the Premier League. There are many players ahead of him, but rightly so, he still deserves some plaudits for what he did. His ability to cross and score free-kicks is something that has seldom been replicated at the Theatre of Dreams, something United could do with today! Beckham has been honoured by LA Galaxy with a statue outside the clubs stadium in Carson, California. He has also started an MLS franchise, named Club Internacional de Fútbol Miami, or Inter Miami for short.

This is something Beckham has been trying to set up since 2013 with the club playing their first MLS fixture in the 2020 season. The new MLS franchise will be playing their matches at the Lockhart Stadium in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, at least for their first two seasons. A new stadium will be built for the club near to Miami international airport, which will be called the Miami Freedom Park. It is clear that Beckham still breathes football and will do for the rest of his days.

Written by John Walker

Manchester United offer top transfer target Jadon Sancho the famous number seven shirt – reports

Manchester United are reportedly offering their number one target of the summer the famous number seven shirt, once worn by the likes of George Best, Bryan Robson, Eric Cantona, David Beckham and Cristiano Ronaldo. Borussia Dortmund winger Jadon Sancho could be a hard player to catch this summer, considering the state of world football at the moment.

The English winger, 20, seems to be in a major tug of war with Dortmund seeking to extend his contract and United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer finally getting his man. The lucrative offer, if it is in fact true, would be something for the player to weigh up as he could well be the next star player to don the famous shirt number.

Sancho is one of the hottest properties in Europe right now with United’s Premier League rivals, Chelsea, also seeking to land him this summer, or whenever the next transfer window opens. Chelsea player and Sancho’s England teammate has stated that he would like to be reunited with the player for the start of next season, whenever that starts.

The coronavirus pandemic has paid an end to world football at this moment in time with many league up in the air as to whether the current season will be completed and whether there will be a delay to the next season starting, let alone what happens with the summer transfer window.

Solskjaer seems to be hell-bent on landing his man and finally getting a player who can pay and end to the terrible time United have had in the right-wing position. However, there are other options in that position should they not get their man, but this offer could be something that seals the deal. The number seven shirt has not been the same since Ronaldo left.

In that time, Michael Owen, Antonio Valencia, Memphis Depay, Angel Di Maria and Alexis Sanchez have all donned this number, all of them not hitting the high notes that were expected to come with it. Sancho could well be the player to lift United in this respect, solving a positional problem at the same time. Here is hoping.

United forward Marcus Rashford has stoked the fire regarding Sancho by talking about him and suggesting that he hoped to link up with him in the same team and that he’s a new generation of player and it was exciting seeing him develop. This will be great news if it happened, especially this summer, with suggestions of big money splurges not happening. Rashford said:

“I think our link-up play would be good. Sancho is a great player.

“He’s like the new generation of player. It’s exciting to watch him become the player he is developing into.”

Another report stated that United would need to break their transfer record to land Sancho, which currently stands at £89 million when Paul Pogba returned to the club for years ago. It is also suggested that Sancho has an agreement with Dortmund allowing him to leave if there is a record bid. I am sure we will see what happens in the summer.

United definitely need to sign a player that can play on the right-wing. It has been a problem area for as long as I can remember. United are linked to many players all of the time with Sancho being the most prevalent. Recently though, Kai Havertz of Bayer Leverkusen has been linked and he can play on the right-wing, a position he has scored and assisted more goals in during the current season. This could be interesting.

David Beckham a Manchester United Legend

Although David Beckham was part of the class of 92 that took football by storm in 90’s and early 2000’s he was actually born and raised in London. However, his roots and love for Manchester United were instilled from an early age as the club was passionately supported by his family. As he got older and began catching the eye of a few clubs especially after attending a football school ran by Bobby Charlton his footballing ability meant he was a hot prospect.

Both Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur were vying for his signature and it left Beckham with the choice of the South or the North. Beckham, of course, joined Manchester United and joined up with the likes of Paul Scholes, Gary Neville and Ryan Giggs in the youth set-up. They formed a unique bond and won a string of reserve trophies including the FA Youth Cup. Following a brief loan spell with Preston North End, Beckham finally was promoted to the first team alongside the other members of the Class of 92 and this provoked much criticism from the media as Sir Alex Ferguson entrusted the kids rather than bringing in marquee signings.

This turned out to be another masterclass from Ferguson as the side went on to win the Premier League and FA Cup in that season. Throughout his time at the club, Beckham was a masterful right midfielder who was deadly with Free Kicks and his crosses combined with vision created an abundance of chances for his teammates to get on the end of. He also scored some eye-catching long-range strikes that added to his phenomenon most famously his halfway strike at Wimbledon caught the eye of the nation even being named in the top 100 Greatest Sporting Moments by Channel 4.

He collected a compelling list of awards at United both with the team as he helped clinch six Premier League titles, two FA Cups and the UEFA Champions League and at an individual level winning BBC Sports Personality of the Year as well as coming runner-up in the prestigious Ballon d’Or in 1999. As Beckham surged into the British and world limelight his every move was analysed and it became far more than just about his football.

Towards the back-end of his career at Old Trafford, the media began to push the story that his Celebrity wife had become a bad influence and this seemed to begin his departure at the club an idea reiterated by Sir Alex Ferguson in 2007, stating that:

“He was never a problem until he got married,” and that “He is such a big celebrity, football is only a small part.”

It was his rise to household name status that ultimately led to his career at Old Trafford coming to an end and although his time at the club begun his metameric rise to stardom it was also his passionate relationship with England that helped forge his legacy.

His time with England had the extreme lows and the extreme highs, the death threats he received following a red card against Argentina in second round of the 1998 World Cup could have spelt the end for most players but he fought on and ended at the time the most capped outfield player in the country’s history with 115 appearances only to be surpassed by fellow Manchester United legend Wayne Rooney. One of his most famed highlights was the perfect free kick he famously whipped in against Greece to secure World Cup qualification at Old Trafford.

His life after Manchester United has been just as rewarding. Following his departure from the club he had successful periods at Real Madrid, AC Milan, Paris Saint-Germain and LA Galaxy. It was his spell in America that convinced him to pour more of his time and effort into founding an MLS team in Miami. Which is aiming to be established into the MLS in 2020. Beckham is almost certainly one of the most popular and well know icons in the UK and perhaps the world having careers as a footballer and a celebrity particularly featuring in the world of fashion.

Ultimately, he really is a true legend of the club and is met with great applause and rapture whenever he returns to the club and whilst globally he may be remembered for differing reasons he was forged at Manchester United a club that has a special place in his heart.

Written by Josh Keifer

copyright: JW