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Donovan slams Beckham as bad teammate at L.A. Galaxy

DAVID Beckham has become a bad teammate on the Los Angeles Galaxy, according to Landon Donovan.

"All that we care about at a minimum is that he committed himself to us," Donovan was quoted as saying in an excerpt of Grant Wahl's book "The Beckham Experiment," scheduled for publication on July 14.

"As time has gone on, that has not proven to be the case in many ways -- on the field, off the field.

"Does the fact that he earns that much money come into it? Yeah. If someone's paying you more than anybody in the league, more than double anybody in the league, the least we expect is that you show up to every game, whether you're suspended or not. Show up and train hard. Show up and play hard."

Beckham joined the Galaxy in July 2007 from Real Madrid and has a US$6.5 million average annual income from the team, twice the US$2.94 million Cuauhtemoc Blanco earns from the Chicago Fire. Donovan was fifth at US$900,000 at the start of the season.

Beckham was loaned to AC Milan and the 34-year-old midfielder is to rejoin Los Angeles for its July 16 MLS match at the New York Red Bulls.


Donovan was angry that when Beckham was suspended for a game at Houston last year, he didn't attend the match.

"I can't think of another guy where I'd say he wasn't a good teammate, he didn't give everything through all this, he didn't still care," Donovan said. "But with (Beckham) I'd say no, he wasn't committed."

An excerpt of the book was published in this week's Sports Illustrated. It portrays Beckham as stingy, saying he wouldn't pick up meal checks for teammates who earn as little as US$12,900 annually. It states Terry Byrne, Beckham's best friend and personal manager, pressed for the Galaxy to strip Donovan of the captain's armband and give it to Beckham. Donovan went along with the move.

It says that at a dinner at Morton's steak house in Arlington, Virginia, Beckham initially wasn't served wine because he didn't have ID, and needed the intervention of the maitre d'.

Byrne, according to the excerpt, was hired as a Galaxy consultant and conducted the search that led to the hiring of Ruud Gullit to replace Frank Yallop as coach -- even though general manager Alexi Lalas advised against hiring the 1987 European player of the year.

"My sense is that David's clearly frustrated, that he's unhappy and, honestly, that he thinks it's a joke," Donovan said last August.


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