Throughout football we have a celebrity culture, with David Beckham’s global brand leading the way, similar to the Keegan brand in the 1970’s. However during Keegan’s era the commercialism was not a global entity.
Keegan and Beckham were driven to succeed at the highest level.
Technically they were both aware of their weaknesses and worked on these, while focusing on their strengths. Looking closely at Beckham, his qualities were great vision, the ability to pass long range, a very high work rate and free kick specialist. Beckham’s ability to strike the perfect free kick comes from being an excellent passer. Beckham perfected these techniques throughout his game, alongside a great work ethic, which enabled David to become a great player.
In comparison, Kevin Keegan was not physically big, but he developed his upper body, a strength he was aware he needed in order to play in a forward position. Kevin Keegan’s dedication to training including running and gym work paid off. Keegan’s great body strength provided a shield from defenders, allowing him to impose his game on the opposition. Kevin also had great heading ability, he could leap like a gazelle and would frequently out jump the 6ft tall defenders, earning him the nickname of the ‘pocket dynamo’.
Keegan’s dedication and hard work paid dividends. He later developed greater speed, both in running and in thought inside the penalty area, resulting in him being a great goal scorer. At Liverpool it appeared that Keegan had developed a telepathic understanding with his forward partner John Toshack, which assisted in Keegan’s progression. In Beckham’s case, David’s telescopic vision contributed to turning his passing skills into a finite art form. Both these English footballing icons are to be admired for their passion and professionalism for the game which brought them great success. They are a credit to English football and football worldwide.