Thursday, 16 May 2013

Do one Dave: Beckham's retirement is best for both parties

Not content with introducing a new club badge for next season, Paris Saint-Germain will also be taking the radical step of changing the club name.

Yes it’s true, from next season David Beckham’s PSG will be reverting to plain old PSG, with the news announced earlier today that the former England skipper will be retiring come the end of the season. Sadly for Joey Barton’s Marseille, such a change seems less likely down south. Good luck with that OM.

Boules D’Or will be available for PSG’s last two matches, against Brest on Saturday and at Lorient next weekend, so expect him to be all over any free kick in the vicinity of the opposition half as he looks to end his fairytale career with a goal. In fact, such is the worldwide sycophancy shown towards Beckham that I half expect Lorient’s players will be trying to help him find the net too.

Contrary to the impression conveyed in this blog and my tweets, I am not a big Beckham hater. In fact I always used to stick up for him when he was England captain, and the whole celebrity thing never bothered me when he was a decent player, which he undoubtedly was.

The problem is he ceased to be a decent player some time ago, and since joining PSG his contribution on the pitch has been minimal. He can’t run, he can’t tackle and he can’t shoot very well, and aside from moaning a lot and pinging the odd nice-looking cross-field pass out to one of the full-backs, it’s hard to remember anything significant he’s done in a PSG shirt.

So the prospect of him hanging around next season was not one that filled me with joy, not least because he is blocking up a squad position for players much more deserving. Without Beckham there is more chance that Clement Chantome will get a run of games in his proper central position rather than being shifted out to the right. Chantome has his detractors among the PSG fans, but I like him a lot and, according to OptaJean, he is Ligue 1’s most accurate passer. The Parisien Xavi? Maybe not, but still a pretty fine effort:

There’s also the prospect of Adrien Rabiot returning from his loan spell with Toulouse. Rabiot’s future has been up for debate, with the player supposedly considering a move away from Paris. With the prospect of Beckham blocking his path to the first-team having diminished, hopefully he’ll be happy to stay and will be given a bit more game time next year. Rabiot may only be 18, but Ancelotti rates him highly and anyone who’s seen him glide around the pitch will know he has star quality. It would be a crime if another team were to benefit than that.

So yeah, today’s news is probably best for all concerned. Becks can ride off into the sunset before his ageing legs weaken any further, and PSG will benefit from the exposure and “prestige” that will inevitably surround his final game.


Anonymous said...

I wonder if we'll transition back to a midfield three of matuidi/motta paired with two of verratti/rabiot/chantome.

Matthew Gooding said...

Yeah, I think that's a good midfield five. Matuidi, Verratti and Rabiot, for example, would be a great mix of energy and craft.

The only thing is then you have to leave out at least one of Ibra, Lavezzi, Pastore and Lucas/Menez. I personally wouldn't have a problem with ditching JP, but don't think the owners agree!

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