Your Daily Beckham Update

David Beckham scored again for AC Milan today, while Galaxy Coach Bruce Arena continued to decline to make a substantive comment about the Galaxy midfielder staying in Italy.

Here’s Beckham’s goal – his second in as many games – this time from one of his trademark free kicks in a 1-1 tie with Genoa:

Colleague Phil Collin went out to training camp today in an effort to get Arena to acknowledge reality, but the Galaxy coach continues to have his head up his ass in the clouds seemingly indifferent to reality and threatening to have events overtake him.

It’s unknown whether AC Milan has made an official approach for Beckham, but it appears the Italian team has certainly called Arena’s Monday bluff and is getting serious about trying to keep him.

I won’t scoop Collins’ print story here on the blog, but midfielder Chris Klein explains why Galaxy officials are being circumspect over the possibility of Beckham and Landon Donovan not returning:

“You get all that cap space, theoretically, if one or both don’t come back, but how do you turn around in a week’s time to just get a replacement? It becomes very difficult. I think that’s why you’re seeing resistance. The Galaxy can’t just sit back and say ‘you guys decide, we’ll make do.’ The Galaxy has to look at what’s best for it and same with MLS. Each group has its own decisions to make.”

And here’s Klein on Beckham staying in Italy:

“Knowing him like we do, he’s a good friend and a good guy and so when you take a step back and look at it from that standpoint, you really want what’s best for him. In my mind what’s best for him at this particular moment may not be the greatest for the Galaxy.

“He’s playing very well with AC Milan and with that obviously is going to come rumors and speculation, some true, some untrue, but he may stay there. Milan wants him, we want him, who wouldn’t I guess at the end of the day?

“Listen, at the end of the day his personal decision is up to him and if that’s what he wants to do, I’m definitely not going to fault him. It is AC Milan, one of the biggest, most storied clubs in the world.”

Updated Thursday: Today’s story in the print edition.

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About Nick Green

South Bay-based Los Angeles News Group columnist and blogger Nick Green writes about soccer at the 100 Percent Soccer blog at www.insidesocal.com/soccer and craft beer at the Beer Goggles blog at www.insidesocal.com/beer. Cheers!
  • Joseph D’Hippolito

    Nick, I’m going to cut Arena some slack on this. The fact is that Leiweke and Garber have been horribly out-maneouvered — and have been exposed as being effectively powerless. What other soccer team — or league –in the world would allow any player to negotiate directly with another club for a loan agreement while under contract? If Cristiano Ronaldo tried this, Alex Ferguson would have his head and other assorted body parts.

    Beckham is a lot shreweder than people give him credit for being. He’s also a lot more cut-throat when it comes to business. He didn’t make his millions by being stupid. He knows his career better than anybody — and he knows when to exercise his power for his own benefit (as in this case) and when to refrain from doing so (as in dealing with teammates).

    Regardless of whether he stays in Milan, Beckham has shown himself to be the most powerful individual player in the game — not necessarily the best or the most beloved (though he is beloved) but certainly the most powerful. No way does Cristiano Ronaldo, Ronaldinho, Messi, Henry or any other world-class player have the audacity to do what Beckham is doing.

    And, again, this falls right at Leiweke’s and Anschutz’s feet. With all the opportunity they had, they blew it big time (except for short-term gains like jersey sales and ticket sales), especially Leiweke.

    Then again, Leiweke has had a major role in destroying the L.A. Kings and in screwing up negotiations w/Red Bull over the stadium in New Jersey (imagine Red Bull paying $50 million to AEG to vacate negotiations because of irreconcileable disputes).

    Leiweke has made AEG a laughing stock. Any sane businessman would have fired his wazoo a long time ago.

    In Leiweke’s case “a long time ago” should be “right now.”

  • Ben

    MLS (Garber)
    Would they mind losing the player = no
    Would they mind losing the media/revenue generator = yes

    AEG (Leiwecke)
    Pony enough $ and they will say Adios to Becks and Donovan.

    Galaxy (Arena)
    Would love to keep both. Clearly is planning without them already, but not admitting it.

    Milan (from President, Manager to the cleaning lady)
    All would love to keep him for the revenue and the playing skills

    Becks (Player)
    Loves it currently in Italy (was close joining them twice already, before he went to Madrid and the came to LA)

    Loves living in LA, not necessarily playing it seems.

    His chances to play (not just being in the squad) at the 2010 World Cup, if England reaches it, are higher if he plays at AC Milan then LA.

    Better players around him, making his play more useful in return. (ie Maldini, Pato, Kaka instead of Roberts & Gordon)

    Becks (Brand)
    Wherever hell go and play, hell make a lot of $

    Question is: Work on a legacy, helping the sport grow in North America OR play for one of the best clubs in the world with good chances of trophies and a fantastic track record for getting the best out of older players

  • Ben

    Thanks for the Klein Quotes too!
    I hope he remains a Galaxy player till he retires and then sticks around the team or at least with MLS.