Butler: Where's Beckham Waldo Pearce at Olympics?

Noel Butler
7/28/2012 2:59:37 PM
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Last Saturday night at the Home Depot Centre David Beckham continued along the path of his current rich vein of form when courtesy of a brace of assists he lifted the Galaxy to an impressive 3-1 derby victory over Chivas.

Beckham had gone into the match on the back of an all too rare goal scoring streak including picking up his third goal of the week award this season for a 35-yard curler against Portland - an effort that would have graced any pitch in world football.

That is of course discounting the likes of Wembley, the Millennium Stadium and Old Trafford. Or for that matter any other football venue of the XXX Olympiad.

It was exactly a month ago today; the official opening of the London Olympics that Beckham was informed he was surplus to GB Olympic football requirements.

A farcical decision that earlier in the week registered on the not too inconsiderable radar of Sir Paul McCartney, "I would've thought first choice would be Beckham because of his huge contribution to getting the Olympics. But, you know, some idiot decided otherwise."

Beckham of course had played a man of the match type performance back in early July 2005 as part of Team GB in Singapore. Swinging the IOC vote in a manner similar to how we've wondered at his abilities to defy the law of football physics. 

As 60,000 plus Impact fans could attest to at the Olympic Stadium on May 12 when from 30-yards out Beckham found the exact space between his old teammate Donovan Ricketts and the upright. An equalizer for the Galaxy, yet another Goal of the Week award for Beckham. 

It would seem the idiot tag McCartney refers to is exclusively reserved for GB manager Stuart Pearce. Who in a feeble attempt to defend taking a pass on Beckham Pearce stated it was a decision based on current form. It would seem Pearce is not a subscriber to MLS Live.

How then after a season in which Craig Bellamy only played 27 league matches for a shockingly poor Liverpool got the nod over David Beckham is as mystifying as is the mist surrounding the Loch Ness Monster.

Bellamy over Beckham? Get a grip 'Psycho'.

Accepting though of his Olympic football fate in the exacting manner he took that his playing days at his beloved Manchester United were over Beckham willingly exchanged his football boots for a pair of Olympic sized slippers.

Private plane edition.

Criss-crossing the Atlantic this week as a steeple chaser would his hurdles Beckham has excelled in his old role as an Olympic Ambassador. Whilst putting in more than a decent shift during Wednesday evening's scintillating MLS All Star encounter against Chelsea in Philadelphia.

Beckham's covered more miles this week than the Olympic Torch has since the twice FIFA World Player of the Year Runner Up escorted the Princess Royal to Athens on May 17th to bring it to the UK ahead of its 70-day tour that culminated earlier today as it took its final short journey along the Thames from Westminster to the Olympic Stadium. Situated in Beckham's old school boy stomping ground in Stratford, East London.

The first English footballer to win domestic titles in three different countries since Olympique Marseilles' Trevor Steven achieved the feat 20 years ago started his week by jumping on a jet in Los Angeles before landing early Monday morning eight time zones away in London.

Not to rub shoulders with Royalty this time but to visit a photo booth situated in a shopping mall close by to the Olympic Stadium to shock the living be jibbers out of ordinary working class Team GB fans.

The experience was all too much for one 12-year old boy, accompanied by his mum who was so overcome with emotion, clutching his heart - he pinched himself as Beckham quietly asked if he could join them for their photo.

Tuesday evening it was Beckham's turn to be overcome with emotion at the sight of his all time sporting hero and winner himself of Olympic Gold, Muhammad Ali. This time the venue was a little more up-market. In fact, one of the grandest buildings in all of London - the Victoria and Albert museum located a mere bus stop from Harrods. The occasion was a very regal Sport for Peace Gala where Beckham co-presented an award with Ali.

At around the same time the LA Galaxy were putting the finishes touches to their preparations for Tuesday evening's friendly 'sans Becks' versus Tottenham Hotspur - a club very dear to Beckham's heart.  His grandfather who was adecades long season ticket holder of the club and who upon his death had his ashes scattered at White Hart Lane had saved the money to send Beckham to the Bobby Charlton Soccer School. Following came the invite from Manchester United - the rest English football history.

As London slept Tuesday night Beckham was preparing himself for his return trip across the Atlantic for a 12 hour visit to the city of brotherly love. It was MLS All-Star week and no one player's star has shun as sprightly in the league, as consistently over recent seasons, as that of Beckham's.

Intriguingly for him the opponent in Philadelphia was Chelsea a club that during his Manchester United day's -- with all respect to Roman Abramovich -- Beckham owned.

Only arriving at PPL Park 6 hours or so before kick off he took to the pitch in shocking pink boots and played a pivotal role hallmarked by his 50 yard cross field pass to his captain for the night, Dwayne de Rosario in the immediate build up to MLS's equalizer expertly slotted away by Pontius.

Shortly afterwards Beckham was substituted. Observing him as he at 1st shook hands with the entire extended MLS bench Beckham parked his backside on the steps directly next to his coach Ben Olson and as he took off those shocking pink boots you couldn't help but think Beckham's mind was drifting towards the hallowed gates of Old Trafford.

GB opened their Olympic football campaign at his old Manchester United home yesterday afternoon in a dispirited performance where Stuart Pearce's team were fortunate to hang on to the point against the upstart Senegalese in a match that cried out by the type of passing that typifies Beckham's play.

Beckham meanwhile -- after again taking the red eye to London this time from the home of the 2012 MLS All Star match -- was approximately 200 nautical football miles to the south on the globally famous terrace of Downing Street and in the guise of his UN Goodwill Ambassador's hat was cajoling the UK Prime Minister into organizing a summit to deal with Child Malnutrition.

Last night as Staurt Pearce set about the tactical and personnel changes that will be needed when Team GB take on the UAE at Wembley Stadium Tuesday night Beckham was holding court with the likes of Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie - back to the Victoria and Albert museum for yet another charitable event.
Turning in for an early night and ahead of this afternoon's Opening Ceremony Beckham had an early morning date with America's 1st Lady Michelle Obama at the official London residence of the US Ambassador for a football themed event with approximately 1,000 children of US military personnel stationed in Afghanistan.

Mercifully Beckham has a few hours respite now before making the journey across quaint olde London town to the Olympic Stadium ahead of the Opening Ceremony where he will play a self termed 'small role' in the proceedings.

Save the Surprise has ensured no details have leaked out. Logic infers Beckham will again defy football physics to kick flaming footballs through the Olympic Rings ahead of the lighting of the Olympic Flame.

Which in some way will recreate Beckham's US debut when ahead of signing for the Galaxy in early summer 2005 from the vantage point of Brooklyn Park Bridge and with pin point accuracy Beckham kicked footballs in to a goal that was placed on a floating barge marooned 50 yards out from the East River shoreline.

From the East River to the east end of London and all points in between Beckham continues to mesmerize and bring the type of adulation his fellow Opening Ceremony performer Sir Paul McCartney has been used to for 50 years.

When Beckham finally hangs up his boots let's hope for the sake of his homeland that the Honorary President of the English FA and very good friend and heir to the throne, Prince William sees to it that Beckham has a role that ensures 12-year old kids just like the young lad from that Stratford Shopping Centre photo booth he met earlier this week has his dreams fulfilled as the English national team finally emerges from its 50 year plus malaise.

Heck William perhaps make Becks an Olympic Event.

Ahead of that though and with a global TV audience expected to top four billion the size of which is unprecedented even by Olympic standards take in and fully absorb this afternoon's Opening Ceremony, one wonders if Stuart Pearce will have the humility to tune in.

Noel Butler

Noel Butler

Noel Butler is an analyst for TSN's soccer coverage and his blog can be read on You can follow him on Twitter at and listen to his radio program oranges@halftime on TSN Radio 690 Montreal.


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