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Tuesday, 11 January, 2000, 11:12 GMT
Beckham: Help or hindrance?

Manchester United star David Beckham is in disgrace again after being sent off in the team's opening clash in the World Club Championship.

World Club Championship
Manager Sir Alex Ferguson insists Beckham was unlucky, but the slow motion images suggested an ugly challenge and a loss of control all too reminiscent of his infamous World Cup sending off against Argentina.

He may be one of the best players of the age, the "finest crosser of the ball in the world" according to some, but is that eclipsed by the undercurrent of petulance that continues to haunt him?

Is he good for Manchester United? Does the game need flawed genius? Tell us what you think.

Your Reaction

He needs to act like the very well-paid professional he is supposed to be.
Reg Evans, USA
Does the best crosser of the ball in the world mean that much at the world level. World class players have many more talents to draw on than be able to put in a good cross. I have always considered him to be over-rated. He needs to act like the very well-paid professional he is supposed to be.
Reg Evans, USA

Why do we use the term "genius" for an ordinary footballer? Anyone can look good if they stand in 10 yards of space and punt the ball around. The trouble with Beckham is that he cannot take on an opponent and beat him, he has to get rid of the ball quickly. His childish reactions therefore occur when he is pressurised. That is why, like Yorke and Cole, he looks good against the Bradfords and Watfords of this world but look ordinary in European and World competitions.
Mick, England

He is a victim of his own success and will be blighted by it until he retires. As an icon of the last years of the 20th century he will be dug out from the mothballs every so often to be spoken of as "what might have been". He is a footballer, who plays well, but for a national side which will never win anything. How they can be blamed on him when there are countless other factors to consider? He is not the cause nor symptom of the decline of England, he is simply a result of it.
Chunkyei, Mongolia

Personally, I didn't think the challenge looked that bad. Ever since his send-off in the World Cup, I feel that teams are targeting him on purpose because they know they will always get the call. It's this past history that will always colour the ref's decision against him.
Camille, US/England

Maybe Beckham's undies were too tight - causing the rash behaviour.
John Howard, Australia

Everyone who has pointed out that David Beckham has only been sent off twice in his career should perhaps be wondering why he's never been sent off in England. The simple answer is not that he doesn't deserve to be sent off but that the only team pressuring referees into reaching the wrong decisions is Man Utd. Beckham is a disgrace and much of the blame must lie with Sir Alex Ferguson. There can never have been anyone so ungracious in victory and so ready to blame anyone except his own team when they lose (remember the pasting they received from Southampton, when Ferguson blamed the colour of the shirts they were wearing?). I don't like Man Utd but I would admit that Beckham is an extremely talented player... as well as an animal, a petulant kid and now, apparently, a cross-dresser. The revelation that he wears Victoria's underwear was nothing but a cheap publicity stunt that does nothing other than increase the media pressure on him. He's made his bed and he can lie in it.
Martin, USA

Football is a contact sport and tempers undoubtedly rise. Should Beckham have been sent off? Yes. Is he a national disgrace? We've all seen far more dangerous tackles and ridiculous sending's off than that in the past.
Steven, Scotland

How can this footballer be so naively accused of having a suspect temper when he put up with the anger and temper of 50,000 football fans each time he played after the world cup, which incidentally Glen Hoddle destroyed, not Beckham. Leave the guy alone and stop being so British and destroying all that's good about this country.
J Charlesworth, UK

Do we here the same said about; Leboeuf, Wise, Viera, Petit, Berkamp, Owen, Batty, Ince, shall I go on! Leave the guy alone, yes he made a bad decision, and he and the team got punished for it, no more needs to be said, he's got sent off two whole times in his England and Man Utd career, how many other footballers in our Premiership can say that!
C Harrison, England

Beckham is the latest in a long line of very talented English midfielders who, unfortunately, were just too aggressive to become truly great players - Gascoigne, Ince, Batty and McMahon are typical examples. Having said that, the media should get off Beckham's case. Players are sent off for bad tackles, it's part of the game. Incidentally, Sue, Ron Harris was known as "Chopper". "Bomber" Harris presented the Old Grey Whistle Test!
Derry, Ireland

David Beckham is undoubtedly the most talented midfielder of this generation. No other player possesses the vision and passing/crossing ability he has combined with a relentless work ethic. He has to live his life both on and off the field under tremendous pressure and I think he copes remarkably well considering.
Paul, England

Doesn't all this hoopla about a gormless but, by all accounts, talented young man and his equally vacuous wife say something about the population at large?
Sarah, Hong Kong

All over the world, foreigners are looking at us as if we are scum, hardly surprising. Once is bad enough, twice is to much. He should never represent his country again.
Peter de Rosney, UK

You have to feel a certain amount of sympathy for Beckham, regardless of the fact that he brings a lot of problems on himself. As a nation, unfortunately we are the first to jump on the back of someone we will soon be cheering - Shearer suffers the same abuse. I think that Beckham is overrated. I would like to see him play for a team other than Man Utd - a team that makes people look good. The fact that he looks very ordinary for England backs this claim.
Paul Venn, United Arab Emirates

I don't how the guy copes with the pressure. He has been criticised for England's exit in the World Cup ever since he lashed out, when it had more to do with Hoddle's management. He's been hounded by the Brazilian press ever since the plane touched down. His wife has been quoted as saying that he enjoys wearing her thongs on national TV and now this...he's a great footballer and maybe he'd be a bit more laid back if the press just commented on his football, rather than every aspect of his private life.
Michael Amherst, Britain

I just think because it's David Beckham the media and press are out to crucify him. In all honesty I don't know how the guy copes with the pressure, at the end of the day he's only human. I saw the tackle last night and I sincerely believe it wasn't intentional.
Sharon, Belgium

David Beckham has been sent off only twice in his career- not bad given the consistent abuse directed at him since France 98.
Richard, UK
Although Beckham does have this tendency to lose it on the more high profile occasions, one should not forget that cheating, fouling and general bad behaviour are now apart of this "sport". David Beckham has been sent off only twice in his career- not bad given the consistent abuse directed at him since France 98. Also why are the press so inconsistent? The other day I heard the case of Ben Thatcher being used to condemn the use of video evidence with some reporters even going so far as to say he had been "unlucky"- the guy elbowed his opponent in the face for goodness sake! Beckham was rightly sent off on this occasion but the vilification heaped upon him by the press really smacks of double standards.
Richard, UK

Stupid question he is the best player of his type in the country.... More discussion should be focused on the cheating and diving tactics used by Necaxa to get the scoring free kick and the saved penalty.
Dave Cooper, UK

In regards to Beckham, while we cannot deny his dead-ball skill, why is he considered so good. What has he ever done at international level? Precisely nothing, apart from make a fool of him in front of millions. He does however fit into the Ferguson mould - aggressive, petulant, no respect for any other teams or referees and completely self-indulgent and without blame. Hindrance for England - perfect for United.
Nick, England

He is a typical modern footballer - ignorant and irresponsible but with a spiteful streak that is all his own. Like so many footballers and so-called celebrities, he obviously considers himself to be 'above' the laws and morals that the rest of us lesser mortals have to worry about. He is both the basis and product of the stupefying arrogance and contempt for others that can be found throughout the sporting world, but particularly at Manchester United where they even believe that the rules of the road don't apply to them.
David, UK

Since this is now Beckham's second in his playing life - it's not the end of the world. Yes he has a slight problem, though this is made worse by the media not leaving him alone, but compared to say Dennis Wise - the man is an angel. We won't see talking points about Dennis Wise every time he's sent off and people don't question his future in Chelsea.
Anton McCoy, UK

The only reason that he has been so publicly 'shamed' is due to his high media profile. It just gets to the point where you don't really care what Victoria and David Beckham do - just let them get on with it.
Philip Jackson, UK
This just gets ridiculous. He made a tackle as any other footballer and was sent off like many other footballers. The only reason that he has been so publicly 'shamed' is due to his high media profile. It just gets to the point where you don't really care what Victoria and David Beckham do - just let them get on with it. They may be answerable to the public but to scrutinise them to this level seems unfair.
Philip Jackson, UK

I am a Liverpool supporter and would like defend the Man United mid-field genius. People like Paul Ince, Roy Keane, David Batty are called tough and competitive, but Beckham is always singled out as the bad guy, yet he does exactly the same things as his glorified counter-parts. I wish Africa had enough money so Becks can escape the mad British press. Soccer is not a sport for the faint hearted, it is a tough game.
Paul Rumema Chimhosva, South Africa

What a ridiculous statement. Beckham is undoubtedly one of the few world class English footballers in the game. The level of commitment and work during 90 minutes is second to none. Any Man Utd fan would have to consider where they would actually score from if Beckham didn't play, at least a third are set up by a run or cross from his cultured boot.
Chris Jones, UK

He'd be a disgrace if what he was doing was dangerous. It's not. He didn't deserve to be sent of against Argentina, nor did he deserve to be sent of last night. Don't get me wrong, I don't actually like him, nor do I like Manchester United, but he's not a disgrace. Maybe all he lacks is a little bit of common sense. Keown and Adams regularly kick people up and down the pitch for Arsenal, but they know how to get away with it. Are they a disgrace? Maybe when Brooklyn's old enough to talk he could sit his old man down and give him a good talking to.
Andy, England

No wonder British sports teams are in such a sorry state. When will the press start supporting our talent?
Greg Heywood, England
Yet again David is being victimised because he is a good and successful player. David Batty and Paul Ince (amongst others) have both been sent off much more than David Beckham, but they do not get hammered by the press for it! David is a good player and it is typical of the UK press to point out every mistake that he makes and make him out to be a villain. No wonder British sports teams are in such a sorry state. When will the press start supporting our talent?
Greg Heywood, England

Professional footballers are not noted for their academic abilities. Most think that tactics are small mint sweets that come in plastic boxes. Mind you who is thicker the likes of Beckham who earns 25,000+ a week or the fans who pay hundreds of pounds just to wear replica shirts? Dumb & dumber would seem to sum up modern football these days.
Mac, Dundee

I'm ashamed to see David Beckham is still representing England. He's a good player that isn't in doubt but if he hasn't the respect to realise that his immature attitude reflects on England and English football as a whole then he shouldn't be playing. He's a footballer not God - it's about time he woke up and realised it. He's had too much too young, and thinks he's invincible. Get him off the pitch until he grows up!
Amanda, England

How many other footballers in the Premiership have aggressive tendencies and are not so harshly dealt with or branded so badly in the papers?
Aislinn Dunne, UK
Although I agree that Beckham needs to tone down his aggressiveness on the pitch, it should not be publicised so seriously and he should be given a break. How many other footballers in the Premiership have aggressive tendencies and are not so harshly dealt with or branded so badly in the papers? There are numerous footballers with anger problems on the pitch but it doesn't make front-page headlines. Both Beckham and his wife have become very successful in their careers and are clearly happy together and should be left alone.
Aislinn Dunne, UK

Beckham is a national disgrace who is fast becoming pre-eminent in the art of appalling unsportsmanship-like behaviour. I wonder how low he can sink next time?
Janice McLean, UK

At the end of the day, a tackle is a tackle irrelevant of what the intent was. If you go in with you legs and studs high, you have to accept the result. Don't blame the media for making the Beckham's the focus of attention - they encourage it by continually selling themselves to the highest bidder e.g. Hello! Magazine's wedding spread. They push themselves to the forefront of the media and then complain!
Natalie Redfern, UK

Beckham was simply sent off because of who he is. Anyone watching on TV could see that there was no intent, and anyway both players went in high for the ball. Beckham's momentum carried him through to make contact and the Mexican made the most of it. Referees are on the look out for Beckham and more inclined to over-react with him, so he was sent off.
Simon, UK

Midfielders get sent-off all the time, why the fuss? The lad has been sent-off only twice in his career, far less than equivalent players and has shown excellent temperament in the face of extraordinary and unprecedented provocation. This boy is the finest English footballer for decades and decades and decades and I'm afraid us Reds are not going to accept this childish agenda which seeks to bring our player down.
Chris, UK

It seems that the media in this country are determined to orchestrate the downfall of yet another talented individual. They believe they have the right to build up and knock down anyone they choose. David Beckham is a supreme football talent so why can't they leave him and his family alone to get on with their lives. The blanket media attention that follows he and his family is almost laughable, are there not far more important events going on in the world.
Yasmin, England

He should have been sent off twice! That tackle was disgusting. The only way this over-paid idiot will learn is by being taught lessons. However after several lessons he still does not seem to have learned much.

Yes it was a bad tackle and yes he should have received a red card - but as he is a Man Utd player he will always get a lot of publicity. The main problem is the media love to make an issue over anything to do with Man Utd. Players get sent off all the time its nothing new and its happened and is now finished with. This cup was always going to get maximum negative publicity and this has helped.
Brenda Ashton, England

I think Beckham is a great player and people should leave him alone. Why don't people rattle on when it is other players that are in the wrong. I agree it was not a great challenge but I think it was done on purpose. And further more these Mexican or whatever do like to dramatise things.
Jenie Sinon, UK

Extremely talented player with a destructive streak - does that remind anyone else of a certain Frenchman?
Ashley, UK

Historians - time to relegate Beckham to the dustbin of history.
Raju, UK
Beckham must be made to aware that aggressive attacks are not part of the game and as such can not make a footballer any better. He always thinks he is a little kid and therefore he must be offline, like the way he tried to fight his driving ban case. I wonder what is happening with the justice system.
Naje Watfa, United Kingdom

Some of the comments about Beckham are ridiculous. He is the most talented midfield player in the country, and his disciplinary record is saintly in comparison to some other world stars. As for his "spoilt child" attitude on the pitch, it is unrealistic to expect that the constant booing and taunts over his wife and child will not effect him in some way. We should not expect all of our sportsmen to be perfect. Not to put them down, but a sport filled with characters like Lineker or Brooking would be so dull. The likes of Beckham and Ian Wright give the game some added interest.
Steve, UK

Beckham is a world class player but he really needs to control his temper. Ok he got sent off and left his team mates with a mountain to climb, but lets not forget about those 10 men that did finish the game. They never gave up and showed the world just how much they DID want to be there. Its a shame the Beckham incident shadowed a great second half performance.
D Cole, England

It is possible that David Beckham may one day be a decent footballer but at this time I believe that he is a total liability to Man Utd. Beckham acts in a petulant fashion on the pitch and seems to feel that the game is for and about him. He rarely puts in the type of effort that is required of a top class footballer. David still behaves as if he is a 5-year old, that didn't get the candy. Totally self-centred and selfish.
Chris Lynch, Canada

Is Beckham just Gazza on a diet? Didn't Gazza commit an identical foul at Wembley a couple of years ago within the first few minutes of a game?
Steve Morton, UK
A quality footballer that should stay at Man Utd. He may have a problem with a temper that he can't control, but there is no doubting his passion and desire to play and win matches. I personally don't think that last nights tackle was a reaction to an earlier incident. I think he tried to win the ball but obviously failed in his attempt! There is no doubt that it was a red card offence and any player would have received a red card be it Becks or not.
Matt, England

Beckham should be fined heavily and banned for what was a terrible challenge that could have caused serious injury. Alex Ferguson should also stop sticking up for his "star". If that was a challenge made on one of his players, I am sure he would have a very different outlook. Beckham should concentrate on his football, and not what item of his wife's clothing he is going to wear.
Martin Harry, Wales

Football is being ruined by players who deliberately set out to have their fellow professionals sent off. Yes Beckham was 'ragged' in the tackle, but the opposition's response was far worse. I would prefer to see the Ref send off the cheats!
Jon Yeomans, England

Yes, Beckham deserved to be sent off. So what? Others do with little comment. Well, football is the national soap, and sports hacks are the script writers. Poor old Becks has got the part of Mr. Petulant, and here we have his villain scene. ''Gasp, how shocking!'' Could get a little tedious next time, though.
Bob, Japan

Why is it that all players playing for Man Utd are the victims of so-called over-reacting referees when being sent off yet all opposing players are justifiably sent from the field in Mr Ferguson's eyes? Perhaps if Sir Alex was to act a little more like the truly great managers such as Shankly & Clough and acknowledge when his players had done wrong then his team - including the petulant Beckham would learn from their misdemeanours rather than repeat them time and again.
Martin Gunn, England

Beckham, scrape your floppy hairdo out of your eyes and watch what you are doing.
Jules, USA
Hmmmm, missed the ball by a bus ride and stuck his studs into the "inner thigh" of the opponent. Call me a pedant, but that's a bad foul isn't it? Beckham, scrape your floppy hairdo out of your eyes and watch what you are doing. No, on second thoughts, don't. It's a disgrace...
Jules, USA

Some things never change. I remember Le Tournoi, the mini tournament in France in summer 1997. England won the whole thing. Whilst being interviewed after the final game Hoddle expressed his concern about Beckham's temperament, saying it was something they had to work on. Well we all know what happened the following summer...I'm not sure that it is possible these days to have a genius without flaws.
Paul Dunne, England

I think FIFA are the biggest hindrance in football with their ludicrous views of what a tackle should be. I can't be the only person who remembers the glory days of Norman "Bites yer legs" Hunter and Ron "Bomber" Harris. Footballers used to stay on both feet and get on with the game. Now they all limp around and pretend to be injured. It's a pity that Beckham has been sent off twice in two high profile matches but he's always going to be a target for the nannyish referees employed currently. Leave the poor bloke alone. He knows two thongs don't make a right (sorry, I couldn't resist it).
Sue, England

You cannot judge character so harshly in this way, at such a high pressure physical game.
Mark Oldham, USA
I am astonished at the severe criticism Beckham has come in for from some readers. Comments like brainless, stupid, petulant, spoilt. Anyone would suppose that these readers actually know Beckham personally! You cannot judge character so harshly in this way, at such a high pressure physical game. The bottom line is when Beckham's sending off record is certainly no worse than average, and people would do better to appreciate the talent and genius rather than wallow in judgmental and small-minded complaint.
Mark Oldham, USA

You have to blame the media. Leave them both alone (David & Victoria) and get off their backs. The best thing David could do is leave Man U and come back to London
Lisa Crane, England

David Beckham is a victim of his own genius. When he comes up against a defender who won't allow him the time and space to play HIS game, his only resort is foul play or to let the game pass him by.
I also think that some players seem to feel they are above the laws of the game because they are over protected by premiership referees.
Tony Smiles, England

If David Beckham wasn't married to a Spice Girl would he get as much attention as he did in St Etienne and Brazil? I really don't think so.
Lawrie Homan, UK

Really, what is all the fuss about, he has been sent off a few times, doesn't anybody remember the Leeds and England teams of the late 60's and 70's they were much more violent. The Italian league in general is much more physical than the English, while I agree David Beckham can act like a spoilt brat at times, he is also the best player in the world at what he does.
Other athletes in the world get away with much more, just look at the NFL here in America, where drug taking and recently robbery and murder have been added to the list of crimes committed by so called Professional Athletes. Give the guy a break, he plays for England and Man U with a passion that is sometimes lost in today's game.
James Jeffrey, USA, but English

Whilst the amount of attention this excellent football player receives has a lot to do with his marital status, his treatment on the pitch should equal that of other players...if he commits a foul he should receive the corresponding punishment, by the same token he should not be the scape goat he has evidently become.
Chris Russell, England

He knows full well that he is an idol to a great many people all over the world, surely it's not that hard to play a 'clean' game.
Terry Hillier, UK
The amount of money Beckham earns, you would think he would act responsible enough to actually warrant that kind of cash. He knows full well that he is an idol to a great many people all over the world, surely its not that hard to play a 'clean' game. In the end you have to ask yourself, if I was being paid what Beckham does, would I act like a spoilt little brat?
Terry Hillier, UK

Many viewers are too extreme in criticising Beckham. I do not think he deliberately behaved like that. Now, he and MU needs spiritual support from fans so that they will be able to win the following two matches and reach the final.
Huy Duong, Vietnam

I find it sad that no one is supporting David Beckham at this low point for him. There is no doubt that what he did was wrong, but when he plays well we all love him. David Beckham is probably the most talented English midfielder at present and WE have to support him so that he can play his game for his country. He like the rest of us is only human at the end of the day and I find the reaction to his latest indiscretion typical of the British media and public.
Bill, England

David Beckham is a great player who was vital in Manchester United's treble last year. He just has to learn how to control his temper like he did last year. I think the media have contributed to his sending off by constantly following him and recording everything he does. He is after all a normal bloke who is bound to get wound up by it all.
Two sending offs in 2 years should not be over exaggerated just because it is David Beckham.
Rachel Hagen, Wales

The pressure from the media this week (because of Victoria's stupid comments about her underwear) has probably upset and frustrated Beckham. He has played at a world class level for the past 18 months. It's a shame that such a skilled player has to resort to a new low!
Paul Cairns, USA

You can tell from Beckham's reaction that it was a mistake as he immediately turned to help the flawed player.
Adam Fineberg, England
I am a Spurs fan. I am also a fan of David Beckham. In the world cup against Argentina he was stupid and made a mistake. however last night it was simply a late challenge and there was no malicious intent and the ref was too far away to really see what happened. You can tell from Beckham's reaction that it was a mistake as he immediately turned to help the flawed player. People are too quick to jump on Beckham when he makes a mistake. This should stop as he is one of England's best players and if it continues it will be the England fans who lose out.
Adam Fineberg, England

Very little has been said of the Mexicans behaviour in last night's match. I thought diving and feigning injury was "cheating" under FIFA guidelines. So much for the FIFA fair play flag shown at the start of the match. As for Beckham: for heavens sake - leave him alone!
Chas Myers, UK

Could this affect the World Cup Bid? FIFA and the Government pressurised the English FA to send Manchester United to the tournament to represent all that was good with the English game. What happens? The first game by the English Representatives starts and the idiot Beckham gets himself sent off for a clearly intended attempt to injure another player. Well done David, That's really helped our Bid.
Chris Hewitt, UK

Beckham did wrong and he got sent off for it. Doesn't he get enough aggro from the opposition crowd every game for the media to leave him alone. If I received the same provocation he does I think I would lose my temper once in a while. He may not be the cleanest player, but at least he shows some heart, missing from certain England players I could mention. So we should give him some support for the sake of the England football team.
Mike, England

Give the kid a break. (no not literally!). Anybody who has played football at a competitive level knows that when tackling you need to be committed because half hearted attempts are more likely to cause injury to either party. The guy is a genius footballer but is ultimately human. How many people can say they are perfect and always keep their cool? Come on Brits, get behind our talent but be realistic about our expectations and stop this endless and sickening hypocrisy.
Richard, UK

Last night was the first time Becks has been sent off in a Man U jersey. I wonder if we would have all this furore about a 'flawed genius' if the player concerned was someone like say, Michael Owen, who has been sent off at least twice for Liverpool, incidentally. I'm sure all the press would be right behind the player then!!
Rob Carter, England

He is paid a vast amount of money each week to play football, not to kick opposing players when things aren't going his way.
Lynn Braben, UK
Beckham should be ashamed of himself. He flaunts himself in front of the media, as if he is some sort of God (especially if he is being paid a few hundred thousand). Then he whinges how hard his life is, and thinks we should all feel sorry for him. He is paid a vast amount of money each week to play football, not to kick opposing players when things aren't going his way. What sort of example did he show his young son last night? Lash out when you can't get your way that's what. He should be banned from the game until he grows up, after all, he is supposed to be an adult!
Lynn Braben, UK

I have been on crutches for 4 months for a similar tackle, and have been told I will never be able to play football again. Alex Ferguson has had time to see the slow motion replays so why doesn't he acknowledge that it was a sending off offence or simply say nothing at all.
Steve, UK

Beckham is a young man totally ill-equipped to deal with the position in which he finds himself. His club/manager is at fault for encouraging arrogance and petulance in their players (how many times have you seen a Man U player smile?). The fault is not Beckham's - he is clearly not mature or wise enough to deal with his situation. Man U have sacrificed his happiness on the altar of their success.
Cy Saunders, England

How can anyone who sells his wedding to magazines, then complain about pressure from the media. You reap what you sow.
Kevin, England

The media built him and they won't rest until they have destroyed him.
David Haxton, England
Fair enough send the guy off, but get a grip. The papers today are acting as if he had slit the throat of the Mexican. Yes it was a high tackle, but he is a footballer, and it was no more cynical that when the Mexicans kicked the 2nd football into play while United were attacking. The media built him and they won't rest until they have destroyed him.
David Haxton, England

This petulant idiot deserves everything he gets. He always looks miserable and subsequently allows that to spill over onto the pitch. He should take a leaf out of Jamie Redknapp's book, he is also in a high profile marriage but conducts himself in a professional manner and is also a genuinely nice bloke.
S Kelly, UK

The replays showed it all; he went for the ball but clearly during the tackle he made the aggressive decision to follow through and inflict his emotions on the other player. It was written all over his face as he did it. He deserved to be sent off and deserves any other punishment that may be deemed necessary. He is paid a great deal of money to be a professional footballer. He should act like one and show a bit more consideration in front of the spectators that ultimately pay his wages.
Simon, UK

Many of the comments allude to the fact that the Beckhams are 'always in the media'. Perhaps I am naive, but surely this is a carefully orchestrated campaign on their part. It is often rumoured that Mr. Beckham wishes to play abroad in the future, I'd suggest he needs to curb his temper before he tries that. The media loudly proclaimed the 'treble', yet one final was against a team fighting relegation this season and the other hinged on two lucky goals in the closing minutes. Perhaps if the team had not been built up so much, the public would not be expecting so much!
John Harris, UK

Beckham is an outrageously gifted footballer, and often along with these gifts comes a firey temperament. You don't have to think hard to find more examples: Cantona, Maradona, Stoitckov, even Bergkamp and Zidane have had their flashpoints. The fact that Beckham isn't perfect makes him a player that everyone either loves or hates. Whatever you think, it doesn't stop you watching him on telly, buying the newspaper, or writing to this debate! It is players like Beckham that make football so damn entertaining!
David, Scotland

I think it's time someone sits him down and has a serious talk to him.
Steve, Sweden
Well I am a Man Utd supporter and unfortunately I didn't get to see the match live, but I did see some highlights on a sports channel. I must say I think David should be ashamed of himself for the sending off, you would have thought he would have learnt now from the World Cup. I think it's time someone sits him down and has a serious talk to him, either he plays football and stops these stupid outbursts or look for another club to go to, because at the moment he is more a hindrance than a help to Man Utd
Steve, Sweden

While I feel that Beckham deserved his marching orders last night, far more malicious and potentially career-threatening tackles often go unpunished and widelely unnoticed. Beckham skill may be hard to equal, but the foul was certainly not.
Dave, UK

David Beckham is an absolute disgrace. All too often we make excuses for his behaviour. This particular tackle was career threatening and therefore should be severely punished. If the Mexican had been left crippled chances are he wouldn't he wouldn't have a financially secure future unlike Beckham. He's let his club and country down. This might have an impact on England's future chance of securing the world cup tournament.
Damien Halligan, UK

Beckham is a liability in my opinion. He allows his opponents to wind him up and he just can't walk away. England can do without him. Surely we must have a right winger who can cross a ball with his left foot?
Kevin Jones, England

David Beckham's strengths as a player are completely overshadowed by his moments of immature petulance. Such behaviour from someone who is so handsomely rewarded to do a job that most would give their right arm to do is an insult to every football supporter.
Nick Gray, England

We all lose our cool at one time or another, he's only human after all.
K Harding, UK
I agree with most people the tackle was out of order and maybe the referee was right to send him off, but I am sure of one thing we all lose our cool at one time or another, he's only human after all. The poor guy can't do or say anything without the press getting on his back, he's a young guy with a great career in front of him, if the press don't ruin him first.
K Harding, UK

I am disgusted with the media and the management and players of Man United who think that their golden boy did nothing wrong. It was clear to see that there was intent in the tackle - if you can call it a tackle. It is about time people stop wrapping this guy up in cotton wool and treat him like the animal he is. Anyone in any sport who has the intention to harm and maybe ruin another players career should be taken out of that sport for good.
P. Johnson, Netherlands

Yes, Beckham may have acted foolishly on these occasions, but in general, he's not a reckless player. His problem is that media tends to focus on him so strongly, that every time something like this happens, it's blown all out of proportion.
Janne Pettersson, Sweden

Having watched the match last night I believe he did not mean to do a "dirty tackle" as such. His heart was in the right place to change the course of the match but his enthusiasm got in the way. If the media/public eye eased pressure on the "Beckhams" a little and everything they say/do/eat/wear would not be scrutinised so much, they could relax into their jobs and lives a little easier.
Bea Reynolds, UK

David Beckham needs to be taught a lesson. He cannot keep on with this kind of conduct. But how is he to learn when all he gets is a measly fine and a few match bans, this would not matter to me if I were a millionaire.
Dave, UK

A professional footballer in the public eye should be an example and not 'fly off the handle' like a small spoilt child.
Simon Jones, UK
It is all very well being the 'genius' that Beckham is portrayed as, but when it comes down to it, a professional footballer in the public eye, should be an example, and not 'fly off the handle' like a small spoilt child, when things are not going his way. Imagine what it would be like if politicians started acting like that. Countries would be at war every five minutes. Thank God for sanity.
Simon Jones, U.K.

Beckham has been sent off twice in his career. At least once, the sending off was unjustified (remember someone's comment that he "tricked" the referee in the Argentina match?). Nicky Butt has been sent off a handful of times in the last two years; Frank Leboeuf a couple times already this year; Dennis Wise several times in the last few years; Roy Keane likewise... So why does the BBC follow the appallingly biased London tabloid press in screaming about Beckham's humiliation? Two sendings-off is not a big deal, however much the media might seek to destroy a great player because of it.
Derek, UK

He may be a great player but he shows himself up both on and off the pitch far too often. He should spend more time at anger management lessons rather than shopping at Gucci. He is petulant, violent and above all plain stupid.
Sue Cope, UK

Perhaps if his wife stopped embarrassing him in public, he will have a little less tension - unless, of course, his thong is too tight.
SImon, UK

David Beckham is one of the best players in football today and it is because of this alone that so much attention is focused on his mistakes. I can't even believe the BBC have to have a debate on this. Aren't there more pressing issues in the world?
Vic, Denmark

Skillful, brainless child who only attracts so much attention because he married talentless, brainless child. So long as he gets punished for his footballing indiscretions the same as any other footballer, then so what?
Jez Jester, UK

David is currently the greatest player in English football and should be supported as such. All players in the game today will get sent off but they don't get a barrage of criticism thrown at them. It was a clumsy challenge last night and he deserved to be sent off but that is the end of it. Most people's initial reactions to the incident were that it was accidental and were surprised when the card was produced. With the "benefit" of slow motion it looked a bad challenge but I am not convinced it was malicious and was by no means the worst challenge anyone has ever seen. It is David's own fault he gets all the publicity but with respect to these ridiculous calls for him to be dropped by England and so on leave him alone.
Andrew Leonard, UK

Beckham is a rare talent but I think he would be better off playing for Real Madrid or Barcelona, where he can play good fluent football and stay away from the press attention a bit. He'll grow into a really quality player in a couple of years.
David Rogers, UK

Although this was a bad tackle anyone else would have received a yellow card. The first thing a ref. sees when Beckham is involved is red. And the English media is always ready to to condemn instead of being supportive when abroad.
B Broadfield, England

People should get off his back and let him play his best football. They should stop harassing Victoria, Brooklyn and Becks. What ever he does is his business and not of the world.
Alex Smit, Netherlands

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See also:
06 Jan 00 |  World Club Championship
Beckham off in Man Utd epic
07 Jan 00 |  World Club Championship
Ferguson defends Beckham
07 Jan 00 |  Football
Man Utd's flawed genius?

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