Leading article: Off the ball

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The Independent Online

And so a tumultuous era of leadership comes to an end. His stewardship of a nation has ended in less than glorious - some would say humiliating - circumstances. It was not supposed to be this way, of course. In the early years he enjoyed immense popularity, but the national love affair soured. Many thought he should have gone some time ago. And a question mark now hangs over his legacy.

What will he do now? Many expect that he will spend more time with his corporate sponsors. The glamorous holidays will continue. And no doubt his wife's eccentric activities will ensure that both remain in the headlines for many years to come.

Yes, it has finally happened: David Beckham has been left out of the England football squad. What? Who did you think we were talking about? Is anyone else hovering around the exit door?