Galaxy team-mate slams Beckham commitment

David Beckham has come under a blistering attack from Los Angeles Galaxy team-mate Landon Donovan just as he prepares to return for action with the Major League Soccer team.

In a new book due out later this month, Donovan claims Beckham has demonstrated little commitment to the Galaxy cause and been a negative influence on the team since the ousting of former coach Ruud Gullit.

"All that we care about at a minimum is that he committed himself to us," Donovan says in 'The Beckham Experiment', authored by Sports Illustrated writer Grant Wahl.

"As time has gone on, that has not proven to be the case in many ways - on the field, off the field.

"Does the fact that he earns that much more money come into it? Yeah. If someone's paying you more than anybody in the league, more than double anybody in the league, the least we expect is that you show up to every game, whether you are suspended or not. Show up and train hard, show up and play hard."

Donovan, who is the United States captain and wears the Galaxy armband in Beckham's absence, also questioned the former England skipper's leadership abilities, claiming he is too often silent in team meetings.

"Maybe he's not a leader, maybe he's not a captain," he said. "Fair enough. But at a minimum, you should bust your ass every day. That hasn't happened. And I don't think that's too much for us to expect. Especially when he's brought all this on us."

Beckham's first season in MLS was a largely miserable experience as an unbalanced Galaxy team struggled all year and missed out on the play-offs, with Gullit quitting before the end of the campaign.

Gullit's departure, which came a little over a month after Beckham's Galaxy debut, is the moment Donovan believes the light went out for the club's marquee player.

"When David first came, I believed he was committed to what he was doing," Donovan said. "He cared. He wanted to do well. He wanted the team and the league to do well.

"Somewhere along the way - and in my mind it coincides with Ruud being let go - he just flipped a switch and said, 'Uh-huh, I'm not doing it anymore'."

Donovan went on to claim Beckham is a bad team-mate, because of his lack of commitment.

"He's not shown (he's a good team-mate)," he said. "I can't think of another guy where I'd say he wasn't a good team-mate, he didn't give everything through all this, he didn't still care. But with (Beckham), I'd say no, he wasn't committed."

Evidence of Beckham's lack of commitment to the Galaxy cause ultimately came when he aggressively pushed for a loan move to AC Milan in January, and then extended it to the point that he missed half of the 2009 MLS season.

That is evidence that he does not care for the league, according to Donovan, who gave up his chance to play in Europe early in his career in order to stay at home.

"My sense is that David's clearly frustrated, that he's unhappy and, honestly, that he thinks it's a joke," he said.

"I also kind of feel (he has taken the team) for granted. I don't see dedication or commitment to this team, and that's troubling."

Beckham is due to make his return for the Galaxy against the New York Red Bulls on July 16, two days after Wahl's book is due to be published.

He will line up alongside Donovan in that game, but the striker does not want that to be the case for much longer.

"Let's say he does stay here for three more years," Donovan said. "I'm not going to spend the next three years of my life doing it this way. This is f****** miserable. I don't want to have soccer be this way."

News
newsAnother week, another dress controversy on the internet
Life and Style
Marie had fake ID, in the name of Johanna Koch, after she evaded capture by the Nazis in wartime Berlin
historyOne woman's secret life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
News
news... and what your reaction to the creatures above says about you
News
Jihadi John
newsMonikers like 'Jihadi John' make the grim sound glamorous
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn
Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

The shadow Home Secretary on fighting radical Islam, protecting children, and why anyone in Labour who's thinking beyond May must 'sort themselves out'
A bad week for the Greens: Leader Natalie Bennett's 'car crash' radio interview is followed by Brighton council's failure to set a budget due to infighting

It's not easy being Green

After a bad week in which its leader had a public meltdown and its only city council couldn't agree on a budget vote, what next for the alternative party? It's over to Caroline Lucas to find out
Gorillas nearly missed: BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter

Gorillas nearly missed

BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
Downton Abbey effect sees impoverished Italian nobles inspired to open their doors to paying guests for up to €650 a night

The Downton Abbey effect

Impoverished Italian nobles are opening their doors to paying guests, inspired by the TV drama
China's wild panda numbers have increased by 17% since 2003, new census reveals

China's wild panda numbers on the up

New census reveals 17% since 2003