The Third Leader: Going west

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Good old Becks. In the world of commerce, your product can gain a precious edge if it's attractive, fresh and instantly appealing; but, above all, it has to be reliable. And, in terms of producing publicity, no one can live with this player: once again, just when it seemed he might be flickering and faltering, the boy done good.

Will he stay; will he go: the slightly tired format, particularly involving a 31-year-old postgalactico, has been revived by the scale of Becks' ambition. Not for him the comfortably rewarded but increasingly undignified waning in the down-table company of envious also-rans with the derision echoing over the touchline on a cold winter afternoon.

No, this boy thinks multinational, franchise and endorsement cushioning a more dignified waning in the what-table company of envious also-rans with polite apathy echoing over the touchline on a warm Californian afternoon.

Unless he surprises us again and signs for Luton. Personally, I hope not: the more Celebrity can be simplified by having them all in the same place doing roughly the same thing, the better. I can see Becks in the movies, too: moody, action, limited dialogue, naturally. And what a producer Posh could be!

To those who persist in sneering at our hero, I would reverse the old saw: "If he's dumb, how come he's so rich?" Besides, he has a fine example to follow of another foreigner with a good body whose trouble articulating didn't stop him making Governor. Who knows: President Beckham? Stranger things have happened. Look at the current guy. And Becks is clearly better at negotiating and bending, if not dribbling.