By Tom Mallows
He said he would never go back, but this week David Beckham did an about turn and left the door ajar for a possible return to the Premier League
It is perhaps no surprise his comments have come in the wake of the frosty reception he received upon his return to the L.A Galaxy after his brief sojourn with A.C. Milan.
I have to admit I feel some of the criticism of Becks has been a bit harsh, especially as other players chose to play in Europe during the MLS break – Landon Donovan being one of them. But I can understand American ‘soccer’ fans' frustrations.
The MLS and all of its previous guises has seen European players cross the Atlantic to finish off their career with a nice pay cheque, with little effort in return. That was fine a few years ago, but as football searches for credibility within U.S. sport, fans have become tired of half hearted performances from over-paid European stars.
As far as Beckham is concerned I think things changed when Steve McClaren recalled him to the England squad. Don’t forget when Becks signed his deal with the Galaxy he was out of both the England and Real Madrid sides. A semi-retirement in L.A. looked a decent option then.
But once back in the international fold a fourth World Cup appearance suddenly seemed an option. The passion for playing for his country is one of Beckham’s defining characteristics and it seems a good international football bet that he would do anything to keep on playing for the Three Lions. That includes playing all year round across two continents.
Beckham has publicly assured us that he is committed to his role as an ambassador to the MLS; well of course he is going to say that. But I can't help thinking he regretted moving to the US the day he returned to the England fold and realised he still had something to offer the highest level of football. Fabio Capello has already stated he believes Beckham should return to Europe in order to preserve his England chances, I wouldn’t bet against that happening before the year is out.