Beckham to be “impact shoulder to cry on with special responsibilities for 2018 World Cup lobbying”

I suppose it was inevitable that England couldn’t do without him at World Cup 2010. So it comes as no surprise to hear the news about David Beckham’s injury induced transformation from “impact substitute” to “impact shoulder to cry on with special responsibilities for 2018 World Cup lobbying”.

This is obviously (I hope) an entirely fictitious role I invented this morning over cornflakes and lukewarm tea. I genuinely don’t know what Beckham will do if he makes it to South Africa.

However, I do think there is something a little despairing about the idea that a convalescing player could still have a part to play in South Africa. Nobody appears to have a more convincing explanation other than the “high esteem” in which Beckham is held and the supposed power of his lobbying skills, which is really shorthand for “global PR machine which can be exploited to the FA’s benefit.”

If both are these are true, we should have dispensed with the idea of Beckham playing at the World Cup and simply took him on as a consultant to the 2018 bid. He wasn’t going to play much, if at all, anyway.

The only benefit I can see is how much Beckham’s global PR machine will take attention away from the people who go to South Africa to do a real job – the manager, players and coaching staff. In fact that’s the solution: put Beckham on top of Table Mountain, shine a few high-powered varilites in his general direction to maintain interest, and then let the press know. Why hasn’t anyone thought of this before?

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