From my years watching David Beckham the footballer, I have neither heard nor read about Beckham associated with traits like non-committed, missed training and lazy.
Landon Donovan's depiction of the former England captain in Grant Wahl's book "The Beckham Experiment" was scathing, to say the least.
No other book has warranted such an excerpt. A sneak preview can be found here.
I do believe though that David Beckham was not prepared for LA Galaxy and the MLS the first time around. In what is effectively his second stint with the Galaxy, my opinion is that Beckham will be a different footballer—the true dedicated professional that he is renowned to be.
Here are my top five improvement areas for David Beckham to be a success in Major League Soccer.
1. Be a leader
Beckham must make his vast footballing experience count. He must start taking charge on and off the field.
While captain, Beckham was disappointing. He must make up for that by setting a significantly better example this time around.
2. Dictate play from central midfield
Beckham has neither the pace nor the dribble to beat defenders any longer. Instead, Bruce Arena should maximise the one strength that Beckham has—his passing ability.
Beckham must be deployed in centre midfield and do the "Andrea Pirlo" work of linking defence-midfield-attack together.
His ability to pick out teammates with long and/or short passes will really be a weapon that no other team in the MLS could contain.
Beckham should be made the "quarterback" of LA Galaxy—think Carlos Valderrama.
3. Concentrate on LA Galaxy's team performance
The glitzy LA life holds many charms and lots of celebrities. Nevertheless, to be successful, Beckham must start caring and playing for the team.
4. Demonstrate desire, passion and motivation
These are three qualities which Beckham has in abundance, and they must shine through in this second time of asking.
5. Rebuild relationship with Landon Donovan
The isolation between Beckham and other Galaxy players, especially Donovan, were seen as a wedge which ended the Galaxy's season.
Through these five changes, David Beckham should become the marquee star that the MLS had hoped for.
The Beckham Experiment will be available in bookstores starting July 14.
This article is featured at The Flat Back Four.