Wednesday, June 18, 2003

At last!

Now that Mr Beckham is now finally on his way to Madrid, what to make of it all? Well, he's got the move he wanted, despite being cynically manipulated as a political pawn in Joan Laporta's ultimately successful bid to get elected president of Barcelona. It's debatable whether he wanted the move at all, though - Man Utd, with no good reason to sell him, seem to have decided to do just that.

Much as I think he's a bit of a laughable character off the pitch, he's earned my respect by virtue of proving himself a good leader on it for England time and again, and that's surely what he deserves for his commitment and loyalty towards Man Utd over the years. Sure, it might be said that it's easy to be loyal to a club that's paying you a small fortune every week, but then he could have doubled his earnings by moving to the continent long before now. Anyway, it seems to have been less a matter of choice, and more a case of him being shipped out in a pretty undignified fashion. Let's just hope the decision backfires spectacularly and blows up in Fergie's fish-eyed face.

Quite how he'll fit in at Real Madrid is anyone's guess, though. He just bolsters the ranks of supremely talented footballers available already, and I sincerely hope Newcastle don't get drawn in their group for the Champions' League - assuming we get through the qualifier, that is...

The Beckham transfer could actually frustrate our ambitions rather sooner and rather more directly than that - both Man Utd and Barcelona have money to burn and disgruntled fans to appease, and are consequently threatening to thwart our pursuit of dentists' nightmare Ronaldinho. Still, the deal to bring Feyenoord's Brett Emerton to St James' Park looks to be edging towards completion - that's some consolation.

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