Beckham: Players to blame for poor World cup

David Beckham believes England’s players must shoulder the blame for their lamentable World Cup campaign and insists coach Fabio Capello did all he could to ensure the squad was well prepared for the finals.

The 35-year-old’s dreams of participating in a fourth World Cup finals were shattered in March when he sustained the injury while on loan to AC Milan from the Los Angeles Galaxy.

However, Beckham was invited along to South Africa as part of the England group by Capello and sat on the bench for what turned out to be a wretched campaign, which ended with 4-1 defeat to Germany in the last 16.

The former Manchester United and Real Madrid star saw at first hand the work done by Capello to prepare the team for South Africa, and he insists their campaign fell down purely because of the players failing to perform on the pitch.

“[Capello] did everything that he could have done,” said the midfielder. “He prepared us right. He worked the players to the right amount and he set everything up for the players, but obviously the players know it was disappointing.

“We didn’t perform and as players you know that – you know when you don’t perform, you know when you don’t play well.

“The manager can do so much and then it’s down to the players. The players go on to the pitch and they know if they don’t perform they don’t win games.

“The players are honest about that but it’s not about individuals, it’s not about how individuals play – it’s about how we played as a team. It’s a cliche but you win as a team and you lose as a team.

“You have to take the good days and enjoy those, and the bad days you learn from and the team will do that because we’ve got a lot of young players.”

It has been suggested Beckham could take charge of the national side in future, but he is not interested in such talk at this stage in his career and cannot foresee that changing down the line.

“I must admit it’s something I’ve never been interested in,” he added in a webchat with Yahoo. “It’s not a passion of mine to be a manager of a football team.

“I’m passionate about the game and being there and obviously I was wearing the suit so people have looked and thought I could be going into that.

“But coaching a team, being a manager, at this point in my career I don’t want to do that and in the future I don’t think that will happen either.”

As for his personal fitness, Beckham indicated in late April he may not play again until November – sparking fears he may miss the entire Major League Soccer season which is due to end on the 21st of that month.

But he was seen kicking a ball in South Africa – admitting “I was told off for that!” – and is now aiming to be back in action by the start of September.

“When I had the surgery, the surgeon gave me a schedule,” he said.

“I’ve got a week now before it’s four months and then I’m allowed to run, but I’ve been running for the last 10 days.

“I’m ahead of schedule, it’s going well. I should be back in a month and a half.”

He added that there is unlikely to be any repeat of his move to a European club in future MLS close seasons.

Beckham joined Milan on short-term deals both at the start of this year and early in 2009, but concedes he pushed his body too hard in doing so.

“I think it’s something I will have to think about carefully now,” he added to Sky Sports News.

“I don’t think it will happen to be honest, because this injury came [as a result] of me pushing it too hard for the last two years – going to AC Milan when I could have had a few months’ rest.

“But I did it for a reason, I did it to be part of the England team and part of the World Cup.

“I would do it over and over again. But this time around, when the season ends in LA, I’m going to have to take a rest and get myself fit.”

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