>David Beckham’s injury is a major loss, not a media scrum

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Last night, a stricken David Beckham was stretched  off the pitch and away from becoming the first England player to feature in four world cups. Inevitably Sky Sports News came to a standstill, and the story featured at the top of BBC news and sports bulletins.But thats not really the point. At least part of the reason the injury is a major story is because there is still nobody in the England team that can do quite what David Beckham can.

If you ever wanted evidence of his value, you only need to watch the 25 minutes he played at Old Trafford last week. From defense eliminating passes, to a blistering volley that was only saved because he hit it so well that the ball didn’t divert in the air, Beckham showed pure quality. England have pace in (the now doubtful) Aaron Lennnon, (the overrated) Ashley Young, and Sean Wright-Phillips. They have obvious passing ability in Lampard, Gerrard, and Barry, who between the lot of them can hit a dead ball too. They have Wayne Rooney. They have though have lost the man that can change a game with a pass, who can spark life into a dead performance (again, see Old Trafford last week) and can lift the atmosphere in a stadium in his teams favor.

What makes it worse is that he had jumped through every one of Capello’s hoops in order to be included in the World Cup. He was only playing last night because he had to keep proving himself. His determination to play just one more tournament for England makes the whole thing even more sickening.

And for those of you smirking about Spice Girls, sarongs and hair cuts,  just wait. I guarantee there will be one moment this summer when you catch yourself thinking ‘I wish Becks was standing over the ball.”

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