The Season of Return

by Adam Tighe

Paul Scholes stunned football fans when he made a stunning comeback against Manchester City in January. Having retired from playing for the red half of Manchester at the end of last season, it looked like the extraordinarily talented midfielder had left the pitch for good.

His return has coincided with Sir Alex Ferguson’s side defeating Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester City as well as salvaging a draw at Stamford Bridge, having been trailing by three goals to nil with half hour to play.

These results and performances cannot be merely a coincidence that they have all occurred since Scholes shock comeback.

Thierry Henry also sparked some life into Arsenal as he also made a return to the Premier League, this time on a short term loan. Two multiple title winners in England, had come back and raised morale amongst the squads.

With England in utter turmoil following yet another Terry based farce, which eventually lead to Fabio Capello walking out just months away from a major tournament, is it not the perfect opportunity for England to embrace some old heads.

This constant obsession with youth and how we should play the young stars to build for tomorrow does not sit well with me. Look at what we have done to Michael Owen. Exploited him at a tender age and now the man can barely stay fit enough to go to the gym.

Also why not pick our best players just because they are older and won’t be available in two years? The England squad is not some age restricted item in a store or an eighteen to thirties holiday camp. It is a collection of the best and most on form footballers that are English.

This in mind, David Beckham if fit should go to Euro 2012. The man is the most passionate England player we have had in the last decade and I cannot see anyone else who can come near him in that sense.

He has been frozen out and fought his way over the Atlantic just to appear for his country. Hours of flight time and loan deals that have caused him to have no off season just to wear the three lions. Yet, he is too old apparently. He does not fit England’s style of play. What style of play? We are turgid and dull to watch with no style whatsoever.

At least with Beckham you get a player who does not stop working, does not sulk when left out of starting line ups and has a genuine love for his country. Yeah he makes millions playing in America, yeah he is a media whore to sustain his public image but that does not make him a bad person and certainly does not make him not worthy of a place in this England squad.

I feel a player of his natural quality and image would boost the whole England squad. If people take the time to notice, no one Beckham has ever been in a squad with has disliked him or wanted him to leave.

You bring back to older, experienced heads into the fold for a tournament we are already going to be drastically under prepared for; it will provide the entire squad a lift. Also numerous fans will immediately be more interested in seeing Beckham in the side and it may actually regain some of the lost interest in this current England set up.

If Michael Owen was able to maintain fitness I know I would also take him to the tournament. In the last minute of a game who would you rather have with an opportunity in front of goal, Owen or Bent? Owen gets my vote every time but sadly his injury problems make a case for him hard to fight.

If Robbie Keane is good enough to captain Ireland and play in America, David Beckham is good enough to play for England this summer. Add Paul Scholes to the mix with some of the other young and exciting talent this country has to offer, maybe we can have some form of success in the summer.

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