Friday, December 14, 2007

Capello Extending Beckham's England lifeline?

Anyone else shocked by Fabio Capello's inclination to extend David Beckham's national team career? Yeah, Becks is one cap short of 100, but he's also a few legs short of being a viable player again. He can't take two steps without getting laid up for six weeks with a bad ankle, knee or wisp of hair.

The buzzqoute about Capello so far is that he's not one to "suffer fools." Translation: he's going to sweep through the English roster and mold players to his system, not vice-versa. This would figure to jeopardize the national team longevity of Beckham, Michael Owen--maybe even Frank Lampard.

Beckham may have the sentimental vote to get is 100th cap for England and Capello is now likely toss him a bone. But Capello isn't a fan of Becks. He chopped him from the Real Madrid roster toward the end of Madrid's title run last year, and the two did not part amicably. With Capello, no doubt, anxious to put his imprint on this team immediately, it wouldn't be a shocker to see him clean house and impose his will on Day 1.

Yet, politically, it might not be a bad move, Capello may be thinking, to extend Beckham's England career in a meaningless friendly. It's doubtful it would go much further with World Cup qualifying on the horizon. Capello's mandate is qualification at a minimum, especially after the McClaren Euro debacle. He'll need to establish a tenor and a top 15 players fairly quickly; that means cementing his midfield and finding a striker for the longterm.

Should be interesting.

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