In the match against Wales he body checked a defender and broke his own ribs in the process. Not only that but he got himself sent off.
Now all he can do is lay on his back and send dodgy sms?s to whoever. I?m not saying he?s loose you understand. He later admitted that he tried to get himself sent off and then apologised!
What struck a chord was that as he limped away clutching his self-inflicted injury, the England fans gave him a standing ovation.
As if they don?t have enough reason to be cheesed off, their captain throws a hissy fit on the pitch in an effort to get sent back to the change room. And they love him?
Sociologists have been trying for years to explain the English football fan, and Beckham?s now set them back a decade or so.
Don?t worry, I?m not vying for the sports editor?s job and believe it or not there is a movie link here.
The football hooligan has been the subject of surprisingly few films; movies like the grim ?ID? and the upcoming ?The Yank? with Elijah Wood spring to mind. But perhaps one of the most memorable is Alan Clarke?s ?The Firm? starring Gary Oldman.
It was Oldman?s first feature film and what an entrance!
He plays (oddly enough) Becks, a north London estate agent and part time yob.
We?re introduced to Becks as he fast talks a middle-aged couple into buying a house (?I?m not saying it?s damp, but in a few years you?ll have a houseboat on your hands?). He shuts them inside and gets down to his real purpose, Sunday pub league football with his mates. He belongs to a gang called the ICC who take on rival gangs to see who?ll lead a merged force for an England match in Europe.
The logic of the yob dictates that you have to beat the crap out of each other to form an alliance.
The match at which they want to cause bother is in Amsterdam and the gangs refer to it as ?tulip picking?.
What follows is a litany of scrums and running battles between the gangs as they struggle for supremacy. Unlike ?ID? which is grim and heavy going ?The Firm? is surprisingly camp. Swap the stanley knives for mopeds and you?ve got a mods versus rockers battle on your hands.
Except there?s no soundtrack to this fight, unless you count the wet crunch of knuckles on mashed lips, or the hiss of a flailing blade as musical.
The acting is cleverly handled, with just the right amount of overacting to balance the overall tone of the film.
The dialogue is well written, although the characters flit between bouts of London brawl-talk to lines like ?that?s transgressed the written rule?.
Distinguishing itself from the mire of similar films is Oldman?s acting and the focus on the savage beneath the surface. All of the gang members are professional men, dressed in suits. It could be that they?re trying to stay under the police radar, or simply that they take themselves too seriously.
What emerges though is the picture of ordinary, decent(ish) blokes with a penchant for blood letting.
One of my favourite scenes shows Becks and his boys watching a washed out intellectual on TV, trying to explain away the phenomenon of football hooliganism. His face flickers blue on a tiny set and his voice drones in meaningless lip service.
For all the research done though, the thugs have it summed up. One of them says if they can?t ruck at the football, they?ll go to cricket matches, rugby matches or even darts. Football hooligans see themselves very plainly and honestly: their need for violence has more to do with boredom and impending middle age than it does with football.
Football doesn?t create the violence ? it?s simply a stage, cover and backdrop for their own ?matches?.
But hang on?I sound like the sociologist now.
The answer to last week?s Cult de Sac meaningless trivia question: If you could ban anyone from entering your country who would it be and why?
Pretty colourful answers on the whole, but George Bush seems to have been your most popular choice.
This week?s Cult de Sac meaningless trivia question: Gary Oldman?s played a few deviant characters in his films ? send me your list of your favourites, or those you were disappointed by.
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