David Beckham returned to face his Galaxy teammates in training on Monday for the first time since his much-publicized loan spell with AC Milan. However, his return has been over-shadowed after excerpts of Grant Wahl’s, ‘The Beckham Experiment’, became public. These excerpts largely focus on comments Landon Donovan made which heavily criticize the former England captain. I’m sure you’ve all read his comments, but in case you haven’t, you can find them here. And as a side-note, I’d advise against reading this book since it is completely one-sided and is clearly a ploy to stir controversy and make some money.
First, I would just like to address the fact that Donovan’s behavior is completely unprofessional. If you have a problem with a teammate, don’t go out and criticize him in a book without speaking to him face-to-face first. This is exactly how not to handle a problem in the dressing room. It doesn’t matter what sport you play, this is both a cowardly, and unprofessional way to do things. What does it resolve? Nothing. In fact, it creates even more problems. He should have been man enough to address Beckham in person instead of going behind his back, even if he was completely right in all of his points (which I disagree with).
Readers know that I’m a David Beckham fan, but I don’t think I’m being biased when I say that he handled this situation perfectly. Upon his return, Beckham told reporters he thought Donovan was “unprofessional” in the method of his criticism (is he wrong?), and that they would have a “private conversation” to clear things up. They have since had this ‘talk’ and now Donovan looks dumb, as he wishes he could retrace his steps:
“There’s a lot of things I regret. I regret the way that I went about this process and I also regret some of the things I said.”
I’m sure Beckham can now put this distraction behind him. He has once-again displayed what a consummate professional he is and this incident registers as a mere blip on the radar of a player who has faced far worse in his storied career. However, a lot of people will jump on the chance to heap further criticism on the former Manchester Untied, Real Madrid AC Milan and current England star. But as he has done time and time again, he will prove his doubters wrong and come out on top. He always has.