Becks hails Gullit impact in turning Galaxy around
EAST RUTHERFORD, July 20 (MLS) - David Beckham believes his Los Angeles Galaxy boss Ruud Gullit has transformed the Major League Soccer side both on and off the field.
The former Holland international, who has also managed Chelsea, Newcastle and Feyenoord, took over as Galaxy head coach last November following the sacking of Frank Yallop at the end of last season.
And he has turned the squad from league championship also-rans to title contenders in a matter of months.
The Galaxy maintained course for the play-offs in October by snatching a 2-2 draw at the New York Red Bulls on Saturday night thanks to an injury-time minute equaliser from Landon Donovan.
Speaking at Giants Stadium after the game, Beckham paid tribute to Gullit's galvanising effect on the Galaxy.
'Well, it wasn't my decision to bring Ruud here but obviously I was asked about it and to have an experienced coach like Ruud here can only be good for the club and good for the players,' Beckham said.
'Everybody knows how amazing he was as a player and I know how good he was as a manager as well, from speaking to a lot of players that he managed.
'So to have someone with the coach's experience here is very important for our team and for the club as well because it's not just on the field that he's changed things. He's changed things off the field as well through his experience of managing big clubs.
'I think it's going pretty well. Things are changing round in our club, gradually, and it's step by step but it's about getting consistency and I've spoken about it all season.
'It's also about getting a togetherness within the team and that's one thing the coach has also done. He's brought that togetherness which maybe wasn't there last year as much as it was this year.'
Beckham also claimed Galaxy striker and MLS leading goalscorer Edson Buddle deserved a call-up to the USA national team.
Buddle, 27, has scored 11 times this season to sit joint top of the goalscoring charts with Donovan heading into next week's All-Star Game break.
Beckham said: 'It would be great if he did get to play for the national team because everybody knows how important it is to play for your country and how much it means to players.
'But at the moment Edson's just concentrating on playing for the Galaxy and scoring goals and working hard.
'He's a young player as well, so he's listening to me, to Landon, he listens to the coach and as long as he carries on listening and working hard he's going to go places because at the moment he's proving what a great player he can be.
'At the start of the season, we turned round to him and said 'you're a big guy, throw your weight around and you'll get your goals' and he's done that this season.
'He's got a great touch as well and his confidence is growing and when you're scoring goals that can only get better.
'It's not just the goals that he gives us, he works hard for the team and he's a good guy as well so let's hope he does get a chance in the national team because he's doing so well for us at the moment.'