David Beckham yesterday laid the blame for England's dismal World Cup display firmly at the feet of the players and exonerated the coach Fabio Capello, claiming he did all he could to prepare the team for the finals.
The 35-year-old's hopes of participating in a fourth World Cup finals were shattered in March when he sustained an Achilles injury while on loan to Milan from LA Galaxy. However, Beckham was invited to South Africa as part of the England group by Capello, so he saw preparations at first hand and sat on the bench for what turned out to be a wretched campaign, which ended with the 4-1 defeat to Germany in the last 16.
"[Capello] did everything that he could have done," Beckham said. "He prepared us right. He worked the players to the right amount and he set everything up for the players, but obviously the players know it was disappointing.
"We didn't perform and as players you know that – you know when you don't perform, don't play well. The manager can do so much and then it's down to the players. The players go on to the pitch and they know that if they don't perform they don't win games.
"The players are honest about that but it's not about individuals, it's not about how individuals play – it's about how we played as a team. It's a cliche but you win as a team and you lose as a team. You have to take the good days and enjoy those, and the bad days you learn from and the team will do that because we've got a lot of young players."
It has been suggested that Beckham could take charge of the national side in future, but he is not interested in such talk at this stage in his career and cannot foresee that changing down the line. "It's something I've never been interested in," he said.
"It's not a passion of mine to be a manager of a football team. I'm passionate about the game and being there and obviously I was wearing the suit so people have looked and thought I could be going into that.
"But coaching a team, being a manager, at this point in my career I don't want to do that and in the future I don't think that will happen either."Reuse content