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Arsenal plagued by stubbornness


Boro must capitalise at Stoke

By ESPN Staff

Beckham blogs about being left off England team

LOS ANGELES -- David Beckham said he respects Fabio Capello, even though the new England coach denied him his 100th national team appearance by leaving the former captain off the squad for an exhibition match against Switzerland.

In an entry posted Thursday on his blog, Beckham said it was good to see England defeat the Swiss 2-1 Wednesday night. The 32-year-old midfielder had been left off the roster because he hasn't played a competitive match since November.

"I am sure you will have read a lot of Mr. Capello's call to leave me out of the squad, but in truth I admire him as a manager and respect his decision," Beckham wrote.

"In his explanation, he said that it was purely down to match fitness and that it was unfair to the other players, competing week in and week out for their clubs, to include me in the squad."

Beckham had been training with Arsenal in London to keep fit. Denied the chance of becoming just the fifth player to make his 100th appearance for England, Beckham must now return to club action in the hope of a recall.

"A lot has been made of my trips to Sierra Leone and Brazil, but these were only a total of four days in six weeks," Beckham wrote, adding that he postponed vacation time to train five days a week with Arsenal.

"I did everything possible to make myself available for England. The only thing beyond my control is the opportunity to play matches."

The Galaxy will play Feb. 20 against Japan's Gamba Osaka in the Pan Pacific Championship in Hawaii. The team then plays in Seoul, South Korea, and Shanghai, China, with the regular season starting at the end of March.