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Published: 20 February 2000


If (IF) the shitehawks are correct and Beckham has taken that one step too far (as did Ince and a few others) and (AND) if Beckham is placed on the transfer list, then the asking price has (HAS) to be 30 to 40 million pounds for starters.

My reasoning is this (and I KNOW that I will be corrected if I am wrong)....... Real Madrid paid close to 22/23 million pounds for Anelka. Anelka is nothing more than a journeyman footballer. I have been watching football for over forty years and could name hundreds (HUNDREDS) of players who were/are equally as good as Anelka is (was?). Peter Davenport for instance. Perhaps the only difference between Davenport and Anelka being pace; but then Linford Christie has pace but would anyone seriously spend 22 million pounds on Christie as a footballer?

So if Beckham is to go we must (MUST) (FOR ONCE) not give him away. We must (MUST) ensure that we get what he is worth in todays inflated and absolutely silly market. Forty million would allow us to buy two or three wide men both to satisfy the right-hand side 'void' and also (and significantly) to give much needed support to Giggs. Giggs has, I believe, a mental problem with both his hamstring (no - I'm NOT suggesting the hamstring is psychosomatic) and also the lack of real cover. Jesper is a smashing lad and IS cover but the lad seems to be very unlucky with his fitness.

I've given much thought to Beckham over the past twenty-four hours (since we heard he was not playing and MAY be leaving). I have tried to consider his progress against the likes of Best, Connelly, Morgan, Coppell, Hill, Thomas, Kanchelskis as a wide man and Charlton, Giles, Chisnall, Daly as a midfield player. I have tried to decide if Beckham is really world-class or not.

Daly was a similar player in that he could go wide and cross a lovely, 'telling' ball and also he could drop into the centre of the midfield to hit both short and long passes. Daly was as good as Beckham aged twenty.

The question I ask myself (and you) is whether Beckham WILL reach full potential (as both Charlton and Giles - both starting as wide men - DID) or whether he has peaked. This might sound strange but to me it is vital in deciding whether we must move heaven and earth to keep the lad (as we quite obviously did do for Keane).

I also consider Best in all this. When Best left (in his head he went in August 1968!) we lost a brilliant footballer and we never really recovered for seven/eight years. But the difference is that when we lost Best we had nowt else in the team (the greats had all peaked) and today we have a squad of wonderful (and YOUNG) stars. Similarly with the departure of Ince, Hughes and Kanchelskis. When they went the 'prophets of doom' said it was all over for us - it wasn't as we had other players, arguably better players. Plainly we do not have a better wide right player than Beckham at the moment, but that is not really my point.

Without doubt Beckham can cross a ball. Without doubt he can hit beautiful long ball passes. And without doubt I would prefer him to be in my team rather than not. BUT I do NOT believe that the lad is irreplaceable in terms of his wide right role. Coppell was as good as a wide man, so were Hill and Thomas. The lad at Highbury is as good and possibly better. We COULD replace Beckham (we could NOT have replaced Keane) should the need arise (I repeat I hope that that proves not to be the case).

So if Beckham is behaving like a stupid little boy/spoilt brat (and I suspect, father or not, that he is - by the way ANYONE can become a father if they have the wits to drop their trolleys) then Sir Alex the Wizard should show him the door. If Beckham really does believe that he (and his wife) really are bigger than Manchester United then I'll pay his train fare to London myself. Nobody (NOBODY) is bigger than Manchester United. If the lad thinks he can improve himself (in ANY sense) by leaving Old Trafford then he should just bugger off. If I had some more time I could list many, many players (good players, some very good players) who have left Old Trafford and just gone into oblivion. Beckham may just become the next one as far as I'm concerned.

I hope, though, that this is nothing more than 'seagull shite' and a 'storm in a teacup'. I would prefer Beckham to stay - but NOT at a diminution of the standards (WONDERFUL standards of integrity, decency and honesty) which have been established by Sir Alex. Sir Alex is ALWAYS right and that will be good enough for me. Beckham, on the other hand, suggests that he is a stupid little boy who needs both a good kick up the arse (step forward my dad) and a real dose of growing-up medicine.

Keep the faith, but keep it ONLY in committed Reds (not 'glitzy', 'showbizzy' stars - let those bastards sod off to London). The NORTH is for real, proper, decent people who know how to behave themselves, are NOT prima-bleeding-donnas and understand what 'work ethic' really means.


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