Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Venables Supports Beckham Caution

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Venables Supports Beckham Caution

Article excerpt

Steve McClaren is right not to guarantee David Beckham a place in the England squad next season, according to his assistant, Terry Venables.

Los Angles Galaxy-bound Beckham made a sensational return to the international set-up this month by setting up three of England's four goals in their matches against Brazil and Estonia.

The 32-year-old's scintillating form has prompted criticism of McClaren's original decision to axe the former captain.

But Venables wrote in his Sunday newspaper column: "Some people were surprised Steve did not instantly guarantee David's place next season, but I thought that was wise.

"The next few months represents a step into the unknown for the manager and player and we have to assess what impact the travelling and the different demands of Major League Soccer will have on David.

"If he can maintain his physical condition, his desire and his capability to influence matches, I do not see a problem."

Venables last week insisted it was immaterial whether or not he agreed with manager Steve McClaren's decision to recall Beckham after suggestions that he was against the midfielder's return.

Venables has also revealed that he had doubts over whether Michael Owen would be able to cope with the demands of international football following his lengthy injury lay-off.

Owen scored his first goal for more than a year in Wednesday's European Championship qualifier in Estonia.

Venables said: "I began to wonder whether he would have the right energy to get in the right position when it mattered.

"I need not have worried. He took his goal well and, after a full close season, he will be back to his best next term."

Meanwhile Beckham says he has "no intention" of staying with Real Madrid, despite reports in Spain that the club was planning to launch an attempt to keep the player. …

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