The Story of James Beattie, The Talented England Forward Who Was Never Appreciated

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“His goals will always be remembered”

1NEWS – He may not be as famous as Wayne Rooney or Alan Shearer, but for fans of Southampton, Everton, Sheffield United or Stoke City, James Beattie is a talent that cannot be underestimated.

James Beattie wanted to be a brain surgeon. Either that or a professional swimmer. He went to elementary school and would swim 50 miles a week in the pool to pursue his dream.

At the age of 14, Beattie finished second in the 100m freestyle. But cartilage problems in his shoulder and talk of early arthritis propelled him towards his third preferred career path: football.

Of course Southampton, Everton, Sheffield United and Stoke City fans are grateful for all the goals and beautiful moments he has given for the club.

However, despite being the 35th most prolific goalscorer in the Premier League with 91 goals, Beattie remains a somewhat underrated figure. He has won just five caps for England, with Emile Heskey and Darius Vassell preferred by Sven Goren Eriksen for the Euro 2004 squad.

“I don’t think I’ve really been given a fair chance,” Beattie told the BBC in 2013.

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Quality-wise, Beattie is good in the air, has a strong right foot and is very lethal at set pieces. He is also hardworking, intelligent and a fast player. At Southampton he was Rickie Lambert’s shadow prototype.

A graduate of Blackburn’s academy and an idol of Alan Shearer, Beattie was brought to Saints by Dave Jones, who was impressed after seeing him play alongside his son in his formative years.

Be a part of The Saints

Beattie immediately began making her name at St Mary’s.

Although at the start of the season, Beattie looked difficult to adapt – she only managed to score five goals in her debut season. But two goals in the last three games of the 1998/1999 season, one of which was very similar to Marco van Basten’s style at Euro 1988, saw the Saints move out of the relegation zone for the first time that season.

And since then, Beattie started her illustrious career on the south coast, scoring 76 goals in 233 appearances. Injuries held him back a bit – spoiling the following season, but after turning down a move to Crystal Palace, he started scoring goals again.

The peak of his 17-year professional career came in the 2002/2003 season when only Thierry Henry and Ruud van Nistelrooy surpassed him in the top flight.

Despite playing in Gordon Strachan’s fairly modest side, Beattie left the likes of Michael Owen, Alan Shearer and Nicolas Anelka behind him to score 23 times in nine months.

As well as helping the club finish eighth in the Premier League, Southampton’s highest finish in the competition, and reach the FA Cup final, where they narrowly lost to Arsenal, still qualifying for Europe, Beattie also colored the season with fine goals.

Playing with Everton

While his best moments – and international acclaim – came at Southampton, there were moments that stood out, both good and bad, afterward as well.

After his career rose with Southampton, Beattie then moved to Everton for a fee of 6 million Pounds Sterling, scoring the most goals for the Toffees in the 2005/2006 season. His impressive form that season, including a fine chip from the edge of the box against Fulham, once again brought him into the England squad.

However, he fell out of favor at Everton and eventually dropped into the Championship with Sheffield United, who paid a club record £4 million for his services in the summer of 2007. There he revived his best form, scoring 22 league goals and winning the Player of the Year award. from Blades.

His signature way of taking penalties – walking casually then making a sharp 180-degree turn and shooting off – and his countless headers made him a fan favorite at Bramall Lane.

He then moved to Stoke City for £3.5 million in January 2009. He was the player Tony Pulis needed and sure enough, he scored seven goals in his first 16 Premier League appearances to keep the Potters from relegation in their first season. back to the top.

Eternal legacy

With his age and injury improving, he spent the last years of his career playing for Rangers, Sheffield United and Accrington, where he has now finally moved into management.

While Beattie is primarily remembered for her footballing exploits, her sometimes fiery temperament cannot be ignored. During his time he headbutted William Gallas and fell out with his Everton boss, David Moyes.

But of course the most famous incident was how Tony Pulis headbutted Beattie in the bathroom after the striker objected to the Welshman’s decision after being beaten by Arsenal – an incident defender Ryan Shawcross later described as “a spectacle”.

Beattie ranks between Kevin Davies, Ole Gunnar Solksjaer, Mark Viduka and Kevin Phillips on the list of the Premier League’s all-time top goalscorers. But it offers more than just goals. His legacy is far greater and deserves recognition.

(muflih miftahul kamal/muf)

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