David Beckham can train but not play for Tottenham -- or so the Galaxy says
On Sunday, the drawn-out saga of Galaxy midfielder David Beckham's proposed loan to Tottenham Hotspur of the English Premier League came to an end. Beckham, 35, can join the Spurs in training for a month but cannot play for them.
I am not certain that I buy either the conclusion or the logic behind it.
What sense does it make to have Beckham train in England until Feb. 10 when the team that owns him, the team that pays his hefty $6.5-million-a-year salary, itself begins training in little more than two weeks?
What benefit is there in it for Beckham? How can simply training in England advance his stated cause to impress England Coach Fabio Capello enough to earn a recall to the national team?
Was the stated notion that it was "insurance issues" that kept a loan deal from being completed the truth? Or was it merely a way for the Beckham to save face because Major League Soccer and the Galaxy refused to allow him to leave on loan?
More to the point, could it be that the one-month training stint is just a way of buying time while negotiations continue between AEG, which owns the Galaxy, and Daniel Levy, Tottenham's chairman? Could Spurs still be in the hunt?
According to Harry Redknapp, Tottenham's coach, the answer is no. "As far as playing goes, it looks like a no-goer," Redknapp said, citing "problems with the insurance."
Beckham ruptured his left Achilles tendon last March while on loan to Italy's AC Milan, and the Galaxy supposedly and correctly wanted to be amply protected in the event of another injury.
There was no comment from MLS or the Galaxy on Sunday. They have remained silent throughout the saga. No doubt, though, both sides will be sending congratulations winging Beckham's way on the news, confirmed Sunday, that Beckham and his wife, Victoria, are expecting a fourth child.
But having been denied his much-desired loan to the Spurs and the chance to once again strut on the real stage, Beckham, who starts training at White Hart Lane on Monday, might be in no mood to accept them.
-- Grahame L. Jones
Photo: Galaxy midfielder David Beckham acknowledges the cheers after scoring against FC Barcelona in an August 2009 exhibition at the Rose Bowl. Credit: Andrew Gombert / EPA