What the papers say: McClaren wields the axe on Becks

David Beckham's omission from England's friendly against Greece this week left pundits under no illusions as to what it meant for the former captain: ‘Beckham the history man' (The Times, 12 August); ‘Mac the knife ends Beckham era' (The Independent, 12 August); ‘Bye bye Becks' (Sun, 11 August).

England manager Steve McClaren's decision to drop the old guard was seen as sending ‘England's greatest footballing aristocrat to the guillotine' (The Daily Telegraph, 12 August).

Sports writers lamented Beckham's performance in the World Cup and his form on the pitch:  ‘It is a subdued end for a player who has dominated English football for so long. McClaren was only being polite when he said the door was ajar,' said The Times (12 August).

Yet the door seemed to swing wider at the weekend (‘McClaren offers hope to Beckham,' bbc.co.uk, 13 August). Ex-football heavyweights also saw hope: ‘It is not outside the bounds of possibility that Beckham will be recalled by England,' said Gary Lineker (The Sunday Telegraph, 13 August). ‘He won't go quietly. You can be sure of that,' said the Daily Mail (12 August).

It seems too early to blow the whistle on his international career just yet.

Analysis conducted by Echo Research from data supplied to PRWeek from NewsNow.

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