A banner greets Beckham’s LA return
Beckham’s season debut at home did not get much love from the fans even though his performance was an improvement from the Red Bulls game. He contributed to both goals scored and the Galaxy was able to force a draw against Milan.
Galaxy fans in the LA Riot Squad section, an American version of the Ultras booed Beckham everytime he touched the ball. It got to him as he jumped the rail at half time and taunted the crowd by making a “come on” gesture. One of them responded by jumping down onto the pitch and attempted to run at him but was held back by security guards. Later Beckham said that he had tried shaking the hands of one of the them.
“Just towards the end of the first half there was a corner and a few of the guys were shouting some really not nice things,” explained Becks.
“I just walked over at the whistle and said ‘calm down’ and tried to call one of them to shake my hand, he just started swearing…
I have to say that the US crowd has been very patient with Beckham. Put this mild show of displeasure in comparison to Milan’s own Curva Sud crowd and their reaction to Paolo Maldini’s retirement, a player who spent his entire 25 year playing career devoted to his club and led them to glory several times. Their true hero was Franco Baresi and their perception of Maldini was of a player who spurned the peasants for the rich Milanistas. It was not about a lack of commitment.
For some across the pond, the behaviour of the fans might serve as proof that the US does not understand how good Beckham is or that the MLS is too Mickey Mouse a league for his talents. But fans are fans everywhere. I remember Man Utd fans being disenchanted with Beckham when his form began to suffer from the distractions of all the tabloid gossip dating Posh. His relation with Sir Alex’s deteriorated and Roy Keane, Utd’s captain had words with him on his lack of commitment. This at a time when he had won the treble with Utd the previous season.
So if fans are feeling angry and disenchanted by Beckham they have every right to feel that way. And this is good. Because this should push him into not taking the situation for granted, showing up for work and becoming productive for his team in a way he was supposed to. On the other hand if he is this nonplussed at the displeasure of his fans, it is not a good sign. He obviously still does not get it. But who cares when his real base is:
Victoria Beckham and the Beckham younglings were on hand to support David, as were Gary Barlow, Kate Beckinsale, Little Britain’s David Walliams and of course Becks’ bit on the side – Tom Cruise.
It can induce an alternate reality when Tom Cruise takes him aside and tells him how he loathes the LA lumpen after his Oprah meltdown.