David Beckham's World Cup appearances as a player have been nothing to write home about. The negatives have far outshadowed the fewer positive notes.
Now, he is being taken to the World Cup as a full time member of Fabio Capello's coaching staff. I wonder if Diego Simeone might have a few thoughts on this move. The Argentinian defender after retirement has had a fairly fruitful career as a coach in his county's domestic league. He is also the nemesis forever associated with Beckham's World Cup appearances.
One of Beckham's functions would be to assist Capello in communication. The Italian has never had the best command of the English language and he would entrust the former Milan player with the task of making his tactics known to the players, especially the younger ones.
Now, there would be some merit in this proposal if Capello had come on board two months ago as national coach.
At this stage, one would think if communication were indeed a problem for Capello, then there would be a glitch in England's dramatic comeback from Euro 2008 disaster. After two years as coach to Theo Walcott, Aaron Lennon, and Wayne Rooney, Capello did not give the impression that there was a letdown in information dissemination. And if Beckham is his choice of chief communicator, he could definitely do better.
Beckham will also assist on the training ground. Could Aaron Lennon and Theo Walcott benefit from coaching tips to better service the ball? Maybe. Beckham whose career has been built around such endeavours could be useful in solving these problem areas for both players. However, there is a distinct static quality to Beckham's service. Making such adjustments to the known pace and acceleration of both wingers will be a challenging task. Speed and accuracy are usually inversely proportional to each other.
Still, it does represent a step up from cheerleader in chief.
"It's a big decision for David because he is still getting over the fact that he can't play in South Africa," a source close to Beckham said last night. "But he's always keen to help England in any way he can."
Could be a move fraught with danger. The media circus will be a distraction as will all the less salubrious details of wife in tow.