Last Tuesday saw the return of England superstar David Beckham return to the Champions League stage for the first time in three years in a surprise start for Paris Saint Germain.
Beckham, 38-years-old next month, was praised for his high standard during his 70 minutes on the pitch but it was his comments before the match that raised a few eyebrows.
"One of the reasons I never retired from the England team is because, if there's ever an opportunity to play for them again, I'm available," Beckham recently told CNN.
Many have simply dismissed his comments, stating that Beckham has had his time with England and should retire from international football, but should Roy Hodgson give some serious thought into a return for the former Manchester United man? We take a look into some possible factors affecting his chance of a recall.
As PSG showed on Tuesday, experience is vital in big game situations, and David Beckham is one of the best when it comes to big game know-how. He ran tirelessly for 70 minutes and slowed the game down to his pace when in possession, a skill that few English midfielders can do.
Against Montenegro, much of England’s passing was very poor and the midfield was over powered by an average Montenegro in the second half, it was a game that was crying out for Beckham and his pinpoint accurate passing.
Going into some crucial qualifiers now, is it not important to have a star name on the pitch that knows the right decisions to make in tough situations? Surely, to balance out the youthfulness in this squad, a player like Beckham, with his knowledge from over 10 years of top level European football, is needed to keep everyone grounded as they bid to earn a place at Brazil 2014.
Beckham's move to LA Galaxy
In the summer of 2007 David Beckham ended his four-year association with Real Madrid in order to pursue a move to the MLS with American club LA Galaxy. After spending the majority of his career with big European clubs, he left the continent for a new challenge, but effectively was dropping down to a lower standard of football. Only being 31 at the time, he still had a lot of quality but his move to the States all but ended his England career. His dip in footballing standard led to him playing his last England game in August 2009, which many believe was down to his move to America. No doubt his move to Los Angeles played a major part in his failure to extend his illustrious international career.
Ask most England fans if they look forward to England matches and they'll probably answer with a blunt 'No', this is partly down to the drab football England play at times, or even the lack of a big name that everyone loves, surely there is a way to get the country buzzing for their nation like they used to?
Enter David Beckham. Undoubtedly one of the most coveted names in English football over the past 10 years, Beckham can rejuvenate the match day spirit of the fed up Three Lions fans and give the fans a star name to look forward to seeing when they sit down to watch their country. Even the opposition, lining up against the legendary midfielder will be star struck has they shake hands with the midfield maestro. The fan base of the team would soar if people were to see Beckham in an England shirt, even if it were to be for just a few qualifiers, and it would be a grand way to qualify for the World Cup if it did work out.
As the press have mentioned numerous times in the past few weeks, David Beckham isn't getting any younger and will turn 38 next month. Despite playing at Champions League level now, it is still a big ask to make a 38-year-old play for both club and country at the highest level, purely because of fitness issues.
Even if Beckham were to play for the remaining four qualifiers for England, would he have a future past these games? By the time the 2014 World Cup comes around, he will be 39 years old and simply won't have the legs to play in Rio. Is it worth bringing in a player to help qualify for the World Cup when he may be retired come the finals?
Most fans will tell you not. That being said, if you need a player to put a ball into the box when your 1-0 down, who better than David Beckham?
So the question remains - should David Beckham play for England again? It is a well-covered debate and both pros and cons should be effectively studied before even considering recalling Beckham back to the squad.
Although he is getting older and may have had his England time, he certainly does not lack ability, and although he may get little game time, I think he is worthy of a place in Roy Hodgson's next England squad. During a time when our national team needs a bit of quality, who better than David Beckham?
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