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Last Updated: Friday, 25 May 2007, 12:08 GMT 13:08 UK
McClaren must resist Beckham call

Terry Butcher
By Terry Butcher
Former England captain

David Beckham is being touted for an England recall for the friendly against Brazil and the Euro 2008 qualifier in Estonia - and coach Steve McClaren is currently playing his cards close to his chest.

David Beckham
Beckham's recall would be an unneccessary and backward step

Terry Butcher

My own view on Beckham is the same as it has been for a while, namely that his days have gone on the international stage.

There is also a lot of baggage that comes with Beckham, such as the media spotlight and other peripheral things.

If you judge it purely on a playing point of view, I honestly don't think McClaren will recall Beckham and would be surprised if he did.

Younger players such as Aaron Lennon and Shaun Wright-Phillips have come in, and it will not do their confidence the world of good if Beckham is recalled.

McClaren has been clever in leaving the door open for Beckham, but it would not be a step forward for England to recall him.

The England coach was very strong about the reasons for Beckham's exclusion at the time and I can't see him going back on that now and I don't see any real reason why he should.

In certain circumstances, I could understand why McClaren might consider recalling him.

It may take a bit of pressure of McClaren himself because so much of the spotlight would be on Beckham.

And maybe if it was a one-off game there might be a case for bringing him back, such as a meeting with Croatia or Russia.

Beckham's presence and experience might galvanise the squad and the country and get a very positive media response, but not this time.

England would effectively be recalling him for a friendly and a qualifier in Estonia that they shouldn't need Beckham to win.

McClaren's side have to win in Estonia.

If they don't I fear our campaign is over, but I still don't believe it should make a difference to our chances of winning if Beckham is there - we should win anyway.

The important games come at the start of next season when we play Croatia and Russia - by then Beckham will be playing for LA Galaxy and once he has gone there his England career must be over.

There is no way a player plying his trade in the MLS can be considered for England, so this really would be the briefest of recalls and I just don't see it happening.

Beckham's form for Real Madrid has been given as the reason why he should be included, but he has not played that much recently and the fact that they are top while he is playing is co-incidental.

I believe recalling him for England at this stage would be a backward and unneccessary step.

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