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Agony

Capello - "David could be our Ronaldo"

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Capello sees David Beckham in Ronaldo roleBy Tim RichLast Updated: 1:22am GMT 28/03/2008Fabio Capello has given the clearest indication yet that David Beckham has a long-term future in his England side by arguing that he can perform a similar job to the one that Cristiano Ronaldo has done successfully for Manchester United.After he completed his 100th international in Paris, there were some who imagined Beckham would be gradually eased out of the England set-up as Capello prepared for the World Cup qualification campaign. However, the England manager, reflecting on the first defeat of his reign, gave Beckham's supporters plenty of encouragement.Capello pointed out that for the first half of Wednesday's 1-0 loss to France he had used Wayne Rooney as a lone striker, supported by Steven Gerrard, because that was precisely where each were currently playing for Manchester United and Liverpool.However, when it was put to him that, at club level, Rooney was supported by Ronaldo, while Gerrard worked with a striker of Fernando Torres's class, Capello replied: "I have David Beckham and Rooney can be our Torres. I believe they are both good players."Capello does not imagine that the 32-year-old former England captain, whose best work is now largely confined to dead-ball situations, can ape the game of Manchester United's highly-mobile 23-year-old but it demonstrates he is not prepared to write off a man he came to know well at Real Madrid. David Bentley, who replaced Beckham in Paris, has other ideas. "Beckham's a great player and a great bloke but I'm here to take his place," said Bentley. "That's what I'll be trying to do. I've got to keep myself at the levels, I've got to keep myself performing and that's what I'll do. I want to play for England, he wants to play for England. It will be interesting when battle commences."advertisementCapello also argued that he saw plenty to encourage him in the Stade de France, but he was critical of the limited number of opportunities England created with substantial periods of possession."We did not create enough from the wings and we didn't go into the centre," he said. "That is one of the things I told the players."Neither Gerrard nor Rooney appeared after the interval and the substitution of John Terry appeared a body blow to the Chelsea captain, who was deemed at fault for the penalty that eventually separated the sides.Capello stressed that nothing should be read into those changes and that they were merely to allow him a closer look at other candidates, such as Everton's Joleon Lescott."My interest is trying to get the team to be ready for the World Cup qualifying campaign," said Capello."The four substitutes at half-time, I did it because I needed to see other players playing against an important team like France."http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/main.jhtm...8/sfnfro128.xml
From The TimesMarch 28, 2008Why David Beckham can never be England's Cristiano RonaldoMartin SamuelFabio Capello believes that David Beckham can be England's answer to Cristiano Ronaldo. There is one problem with this. He can't. It is one thing to attempt to recreate Wayne Rooney in the image of Fernando Torres because there are so few alternatives and, given time, it might work. Recasting Beckham as Ronaldo, however, is to fly in the face of reason. Even were Beckham at his peak it would be a fantastic suggestion.Their styles are so different as to be almost beyond compare. If Capello had Franck Ribéry, of France, at his disposal, perhaps yes, he could dream. He does not, though, and this departure from reality is worrying. The arrival of a flint-hearted Italian pragmatist was intended to apply a swift dose of reality to English football, the bucket of cold water in the face that would awaken our game to its foibles and failings. Instead, Capello is already sounding like his predecessors. Mired in delusion; whistling to keep his spirits up.The game against France on Wednesday suggested that there is little future for Beckham at international level in a starting role. It was not that he had a poor game in comparison with his team-mates or looked out of place in an England team who kept the ball albeit without purpose or impetus, more that he compounded certain weaknesses in the team and did not offer so much in other areas.This England team lack pace and desperately need one wide player who will change that. Nobody wants to hear it, but the instincts of Steve McClaren were correct. When he left Beckham out after the World Cup in 2006 it was because he felt the team were sluggish and, with the player restored, so were the old problems.So while it is true that a succession of replacements, including Aaron Lennon, Shaun Wright-Phillips and David Bentley, are yet to make the same impact as Beckham in his pomp, that does not mean the logic in seeking a youthful replacement is flawed. In Paris, with two holding midfield players shoring up the central area, England desperately needed a flying machine, a wide player with the legs to join Rooney or the courage to play high. Beckham is not that player any more.Pace was never his strength, as he admits, but he had a phenomenal energy level that allowed him to take up a position deep in the opposition half yet still return to protect his full back. That has gone. Always diligent, Beckham's fretting about being caught out of position has negated one of his remaining attributes, his potential to deliver from dangerous areas. He should not be abandoned because his experience, the tidiness of his passing and the expertise of his dead balls can still be of use, particularly in tight matches, under pressure, but it is time to admit that he is a substitute, not a starter, if England are to move forward.Capello was right to pick him because an assessment needed to be made against strong opposition, but his later comparison to Ronaldo was puzzling, unless he was attempting rare diplomacy. To put Beckham in the same bracket as a right-sided midfield player who has scored 34 goals this season, not including international games, to go with his 28 last year, is to overstate his potential influence by a distance of here to d*ck's Sporting Goods Park in Colorado. Capello used Rooney, his striker, and Steven Gerrard, his support striker, in the positions they occupy for their clubs, but when it was pointed out that England did not have a Ronaldo to complement Rooney, or a Torres to complement Gerrard, his response was mystifying.“Rooney played where he is playing for Manchester United, Gerrard where he is playing for Liverpool,” he said. “And I have Beckham who can be our Ronaldo, and Rooney can be our Torres. And I believe they are both good players. We didn't create enough chances from the wings and then we didn't go into the centre. That is one of the things I told the players. We didn't shoot on goal from the centre. We tried two times only in the first half.”So, apart from the wings and the centre, the rest was OK. Perhaps the likeness of Beckham and Ronaldo referred only to their ability from free kicks. The question was clear, though, because it mentioned a supporting role to Rooney. It is unfathomable, therefore, that Capello appears unconcerned by how little connection was apparent between the Manchester United man and his midfield. If Capello is to have two sitting central players, the flanks need vibrancy if his team are not to become static. Ronaldo's game is about getting beyond his man, either from wide positions to cross or by running off him to link up with the forwards. This is the type of player England missed on Wednesday and Beckham cannot be that man, no matter how much he desires to be.The word is that much of Capello's preparation so far has been devoted to defence. As he inherited a team that had conceded three goals at home to Croatia and failed to qualify for a leading tournament because it could not hold on for a point, this is no surprise and the closing down in midfield has certainly improved. But during the forthcoming internationals against the United States and Trinidad & Tobago, having had more time to work with his players, it must be seen that Capello's England can also introduce an element of risk.Gerrard, Rooney and Joe Cole do not look slow for their clubs. Not Linford Christie, any of them, but considerably faster than was visible in the Stade de France. So is this loss of pace between the ears? Is England's midfield so mindful of its defensive duties that it poses little forward threat?If Capello is to persevere with any idea from his first two matches it is surely the one that a successful England is a brave England, as stated before the Wembley game with Switzerland, and that England's future requires an injection of pace, a message delivered by his initial fancy for Gabriel Agbonlahor. Theo Walcott, like Capello's England, may be a work in progress at Arsenal, but nurturing his promise has surely to be a better option than hoping Beckham finds rapidity he never had, at the age of 32. http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/sport/col...icle3635242.ece

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Seriously think England are going to struggle to qualify again. I reckon they will make it but they might come 2nd and then f*ck off in the playoffs to get through to the world cup.They need to get their act together.

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Basically wishing for a whole new set of players.

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Guest Robin_Van_PersG

good way to avoid the question and deflect negativity away from Rooney. Doubt Beckham will be a focal point of englands 2010 WC cup team but will be in the squad. Rooney doesn't need ronaldo but does play much better for united.

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Guest Mickey Kane

Beckham should be in the team. Straight up. England needs to allow this habit of writing off midfielders & strikers over the age of 29 especially with those of Beckham's experience...There's no reason why can't play in the middle alongside Hargreaves & Gerrard in a 3-man midfield.

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Beckham should be in the team. Straight up. England needs to allow this habit of writing off midfielders & strikers over the age of 29 especially with those of Beckham's experience...There's no reason why can't play in the middle alongside Hargreaves & Gerrard in a 3-man midfield.
So true. I learned this when watching Gianfrano Zola take players half his age for D-league substitute defenders.Plus Beckhams game is all about passing now. Long as he can keep his fitness at an adequate level (being 1 of the fittest players in the squad anyway) then he should go to the 2010 world cup.

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Guest Tronics

Beckham should still play because he's one of England's better players, but to insinuate that he can be what Ronaldo is to United is laughable.

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Did you drop the subheading intentionally to sound like P money?
Yeah, was listening to the bars before I made the topic and it got stuck in my head

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