Arena Brushes Aside Chemistry Worries With Beckham's Return

Galaxy coach Bruce Arena isn't concerned that David Beckham's impending return will damage team unity.
Excerpts from Grant Wahl's book, "The Beckham Experiment," due out July 14, have not phased Los Angeles Galaxy head coach and general manager Bruce Arena.

Some quotes, released through's partner Sports Illustrated, suggest that David Beckham's teammates question the Englishman's commitment to the team. Landon Donovan, captain and emblem of the Galaxy, in particular, had stern words for the 34-year-old.

But any worries about chemistry issues in the dressing room once Beckham returns from his loan with A.C. Milan were brushed aside by Arena.

"I think the addition of David makes us a better team," the former United States national team coach maintained in a press conference following a 1-0 win over the New England Revolution on Saturday. "I don't know anything about the book. I've been around this a long time and I don't believe a lot of stuff I read. I've been buried a number of times. That's all part of it. I don't think that's going to be a problem."

Arena admitted that he hadn't read the excerpts in much detail, making a wry joke about his academics which brought a chuckle out of the journalists assembled for the match on July 4.

"I read parts of it, glanced at it more or less," he said. "If you gave me a quiz on it right now I'd probably fail. That's been the case in most of my educational career anyway. I didn't read it all that seriously to be honest with you."

Many of the Galaxy players and staff have lauded the excellent locker room atmosphere and team camaraderie the squad has this year, especially compared to a splinted and malicious mood last season. Arena thinks Beckham's addition will not poison that chemistry.

"I think so," he said when asked if the players would be as excited to receive Beckham back as he would. "We all know David's a great player. I expect nothing but good things out of him."

Beckham is due back in LA upon the opening of the international transfer window on July 15.

Zac Lee Rigg,

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