Wenger: Becks still had it in training

February 1, 2008

Arsene Wenger admitted he was 'amazed by how good' David Beckham was during his recent month-long training stint with Arsenal.

The Los Angeles Galaxy midfielder spent four weeks with the Gunners in a bid to retain his fitness following the conclusion of the Major League Soccer season.

The 32-year-old has not played a competitive game since England's defeat against Croatia in November but was determined to prove his fitness to Fabio Capello as he prepared to name his first squad as national team manager for next week's game with Switzerland.

However, Beckham was the headline omission from the England squad with Capello citing the former national team skipper's lack of match fitness as he sought to win his 100th cap.

Wenger, though, admitted he had been very impressed by the former Real Madrid and Manchester United player.

He told Arsenal TV Online: 'He worked with us for four weeks.

'We gave him the first two weeks exclusively on fitness work with (fitness coach) Tony Colbert.

'After (that) he was with us in and out but in the third week he was a lot with us

'And we were all amazed how good he was.'

The Arsenal manager also believes that because Beckham is so important for England that he will return to win his century of caps.

'I believe the English national team still needs Beckham because he can still make decisions and his experience will be needed in the big games and that is why I am sure he will get his 100th cap.'

Wenger also paid tribute to the fight and resilience Beckham has shown throughout his career and which convinces the Gunners chief he will return to the England team.

He continued: 'First of all Capello picks on the performances - that is what I rate and what I pick is right.

'I believe that what is in Beckham's mind is that I would like to get the 100th cap on performance and on merit not on sentiment.

'Having worked with Beckham here I must say one thing. He has worked extremely hard, that this guy will not give up and will continue to fight.

'The second thing I believe as well is that it would be unfair to Beckham to give Beckham the 100th cap just because you have done well, let's give you one.

'This guy deserves a lot of credit, every day he was first out, last in and give him competitive games with LA Galaxy and he will fight for his 100th cap.'