David Beckham still commited to LA Galaxy

Kieran Beckles
By Kieran Beckles

David Beckham playing for AC Milan

Former England captain, David Beckham will be returning to Major League Soccer tonight, with LA Galaxy’s match against the New York Red Bulls.

Beckham has missed the first half of the MLS season after extending his stay at AC Milan amid much faultfinding from critics in America.

He joined AC Milan in January, citing the need to continue playing regular football during the off season in the States. It was a great chance to play for one of Europe’s most prestigious clubs, while maintaining his match fitness to ensure he remained in Fabio Capello’s England plans.

In March 2009, he decided to extend his stay in Serie A for the remainder of the European 2008-09 season. LA Galaxy agreed a time-share agreement with Milan, under the conditions that Beckham could stay on at the San Siro but would have to return come July 10. In addition Galaxy would receive £6.8 million as part of the agreement.

It was this decision to prolong his participation in Serie A which has infuriated American fans and indeed some team mates. He has been accused of neglecting his duty to the Galaxy and showing a lack of commitment. But Beckham denies any wrong doing.

Earlier this month, Landon Donovan brought to light his concerns with Beckham, and in doing so, echoed the feelings of many people involved with LA Galaxy.

Donovan said: “All that we care about is that he committed to us. As time has gone on, that has not been the case on the field or off the field.”

Speaking in a new book, called ‘The Beckham Experiment’, Donovan hits out at his captain, criticising the money he’s earning and his leadership qualities.

“If someone’s paying you more than anybody in the league, more than double anybody in the league, the least we expect is that you show up to every game, whether you are suspended or not. Show up and train hard, show up and play hard.”

“Maybe he’s not a leader, maybe he’s not a captain. Fair enough. But at a minimum, you should bust your ass every day and that hasn’t happened.”

It is ironic that Landon Donovan has spoken out against Beckham’s lack of commitment to LA Galaxy as the American has only just returned from his own 6-month loan spell with Bayern Munich.

Beckham later retaliated to Donovan’s comments in a calm and measured manner. He refused to be drawn into a slanging match with his team mate.

“In every football player’s eyes throughout the world it would be unprofessional to speak out about a team-mate, especially in the press and not to your face.”

He added: “Me and Landon will talk, but that will be a private conversation.”

He went on to assure doubters that he is fully committed to his club and the long term project of expanding football in America.

Beckham also insists he doesn’t need to apologise to the fans of LA Galaxy. He once again guaranteed to all those concerned, that he wanted to continue his American adventure.

“I always said to the manager and the players that I would be coming back and maybe one or two didn’t believe me but at the end of the day I’m here.”

One thing is for sure, Beckham’s critics and fans will be intensely watching his performances for MLS side. The former Manchester United and Real Madrid player will come under much scrutiny as he tries to win over fans he appears to have lost.

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