After winning his 109th cap, David Beckham revealed that after securing cap number 108, he received a letter from the family of Bobby Moore, the man whose outfield record he had just equalled, congratulating him on his feat.' The note, from Moore’s widow Stephanie, said that ‘Bobby would have been so proud.’ What a shame that others cannot be so gracious. At the weekend, Jeff Powell of the Daily Mail, a friend of the late, great defender, once again stepped on to his soapbox and delivered another dose of vitriol in Beckham’s direction. The England player was accused of ‘prancing out on to the field’ (he didn’t) as ‘the proudest moment in our football history and the memory of its most commanding player were sold out to the spurious cult of celebrity’ (it wasn’t). Of course, the majority of Beckham’s most recent caps have been won from the subs bench but what’s the bloke supposed to do when asked to get stripped off? Refuse? Powell and his cronies would love that wouldn’t they? And are we really to believe that Fabio Capello, the man who refuses to call up Michael Owen, is only indulging Beckham because of his celebrity status? Beckham may not be the best England player ever nor as good as Moore, but demeaning his achievement simply on that basis just isn’t on.
Yes, I know I work for them but congratulations should go to the Footy Boots team for highlighting the ‘ripping’ problem of the Nike Superfly football boot. Equally, Nike should be commended for their rapid response. Too often, the views of the consumer are dismissed as irrelevant by large multinationals. In this case, Nike listened to what was said, spoke to the players highlighted in the Footy Boots article and then vowed to sort out the problem as quickly as possible. That’s a win – win for all concerned.
Thoughts on the new England home kit look to be split pretty evenly. Some think the retro kit is a great idea, other suggest paying £50 for what is essentially a plain polo shirt is asking too much. Personally, I’m warming to it. My problem is the frequency at which these kits come out. Wouldn’t it be great if Umbro and the FA, in these treacherous economic times, could guarantee fans that the current kit won’t change for say, the next 5 years? That way any parents who need to save up before buying their kids a £50 shirt each, will know that they won’t have fork out another week’s wages in a few months time.
On the subject of young players getting far too much too quickly, here’s quote for you. “The lads are forgetting the hard work that needs to be done to earn this sort of lifestyle. Not enough of them have the same dedication and it’s something I feel very strongly about. They think they have made it already.” Who said it? Not a manager, coach or administrator but England midfielder Frank Lampard. How refreshing. Lampard is advocating a return to the ‘old ways’ where younger players cleaned the boots of senior professionals. Lampard himself used to clean the boots of Julian Dicks at West Ham and was also made to clean the dressing room showers and toilets. And it wasn’t just him. A host of past and current England players started off in the same way. It’s a great idea that football should reinstate immediately.