From the Press box

Nicole Carroll: A one woman mission to make a name in football

Has the England set up lost its talismanic figure?

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Another sub-par England performance today has got me wondering: have England lost their talismanic figure.

Every team needs someone with that little bit of experience, someone who has that international recognition. A player is needed in every squad to be the figurehead of sorts, to provide support and influence to those players around him who may lack experience and may be overawed by international competition.

That figure for England, I’d argue is David Beckham. The former England captain, although not the best player in the England set up, is the most influential.

Although Beckham cannot play this summer, due to a career threatening achilles injury, Beckham needs to be a part of the England set up this summer to provide his wealth of experience, as well as being a support to a squad of players who have massive expectation placed upon their shoulders.

14 years ago Beckham first pulled on the England colours, and he’s been in the news for the nation’s side for both good and bad reasons. Remember this moment, when Beckham was England captain under Sven Goran Erikkson’s reign, where this freekick was crucial to send England to the World Cup?

He’s also felt heartbreak whilst playing for England, and his sending off against Argentina in 1998 left him as a bit of a public hate figure.

The fact that Beckham has felt the good and bad times for England are even greater reasons why he needs to be a part of the England set up. In 48 hours time, 7 members of the current squad will receive a phonecall to be axed from the team that are travelling to South Africa this summer. Beckham knows what it feels like to be axed from the England set up, when the then new England manager Steve McLaren axed him from the squad. Beckham can offer a sympathetic ear to those who are left behind, and can act as a real example of someone who has fought their way back into the England system.

For those who travel to South Africa, Beckham’s wealth of experience is something the players are going to need. Any bad results for England, and the squad are going to feel under major pressure, especially from the media. Beckham has literally been there and done that, and his presence should hopefully stir something in the players, which will hopefully then transfer onto the pitch. Recent performances seem lacklustre, maybe the players are saving themselves for the tournament, but they need an injection of passion that reflects the nations hopes and dreams.

David Beckham’s media record isn’t umblemished, and his England career hasn’t been all highs. Anybody who can assist in keeping spirits high in the England camp, as well as being an ambassador for this country, is invaluable to the national team. Beckham may not be having his dream of his fourth World Cup, but his presence with the squad could prove just as impactful as any presence on the pitch.

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