The British public is divided on the issue of whether former England Captain David Beckham is too old to play for England, a survey on behalf of the Sun newspaper has found.
The results come after England Manager Fabio Capello said in an interview on Wednesday that he thought Beckham, who is 35, is now too old to be selected to play in the Euro 2012 qualifiers. While 42% of Brits agree with Capello’s decision, a significant 40% disagree – meaning opinion is firmly divided on the matter.
After Capello’s statements were aired on television, David Beckham issued a statement in which he refuted any indication that he himself had decided to retire from international football, saying that ‘there has been no discussion of retirement’, and that ‘he will always be available for his country, when fit’ and ‘if needed he will be there’. Interestingly, a larger proportion of younger people seem to side with Becks, with 51% of 18-29 year olds disagreeing with Capello, compared to just 33% of over 60s.
‘Talented’…or time up?
Capello’s interview, and the subsequent statement by David Beckham, has certainly attracted a lot of media attention over the past few days, and is also proving a popular topic among users, or ‘tyggers’, on the TellYouGov leaderboard.
The volume score for the topic ‘David Beckham’ has increased by 126 points to 150 over the past 24 hours. This puts Beckham at 4th place on the leaderboard, suggesting that tyggers have been clamouring to comment about the former LA Galaxy star.
Given the results of our survey, though, it will come as no surprise that the comments’ content has been mixed. Some seem to agree with Capello, saying ‘your time is up [Beckham], go’, with one dubiously asking of the player ‘he’s still around, is he?’ and another approvingly stating ‘well done, Fabio’. And despite seeing a poor sentiment score on TellYouGov, Capello received some shining comments, with one claiming 'he gets so much stick, but he's amazing and knows what he's doing.'
However, there were also many tygs supporting Beckham – one tygger believes ‘he is very talented and should be kept in the England squad’, calling him a 'national hero', while others criticised Capello, with one calling the manager ‘absolutely out of order to so publically “diss” a great sportsman’, another warning 'Beckham could outlast him if he carries on this way', and one simply saying 'sack him - it was disgraceful what he did to Beckham'.
But while one stated that ‘England will be lost without [Beckham's] leadership’, some just can’t see what all the fuss is about. One exasperatedly wrote ‘[this is] just utter hype over a Capello “fluff judgement”’, while another asked ‘who should care about him retiring other than [Beckham] himself?’
With his volume score continuing to improve alongside a fluctuating sentiment figure, it seems that whatever Beckham decides to do, he’ll be attracting attention from all sides.