The former international footballers are now plying their trade in the fourth tier of English football with Barnet and Accrington Stanley respectively. The two certainly got reacquainted from their Tottenham and Everton Premier League days so what happened?
At that time he was playing for Southampton and was scoring goals for fun on the South Coast. During that time he never faced one of the world’s leading footballing nations so did not get the opportunity to face off with teams such as Germany, Italy, Brazil or indeed Holland.
That doesn’t mean he never faced off against some of those countries more established stars including Dutch stalwart Edgar Davids. In the 2004-05 season Beattie was with his new team Everton and Edgar Davids was enjoying his first stint in the English capital with Tottenham Hotspur.
I say first stint of course because he later went on to play for Crystal Palace before seemingly retiring from football. But as the former Barcelona and Juventus maestro so eloquently but it himself he is ‘Edgar f@!$&?g Davids’ and decided to have another crack at football; combining his playing duties with a share of the coaching at Underhill with League Two’s perennial underachievers Barnet.
Considering the great facilities available at the club and their continued development of young talent the infrastructure is certainly at the club to see them move up the football ladder but in recent years it has, more often or not, been a tale of final day survival for The Bees.
As for James Beattie his career has gone in a similar tangent to his more illustrious Dutch counterpart as he has started a player/coach role at League Two side Accrington Stanley. This weekend the two faced off as possibly the biggest clash of international players in this most recent incarnation of England’s fourth division.
Beattie was excited about the meeting:
"We played a couple of times, when I was at Everton and he was at Spurs, in the 05/06 season, hopefully we can renew those acquaintances and get it on on Friday night."
Get it on they did but not quite in the friendly way Beattie may have imagined. Davids found himself sent off for a foul on the former England international when he received a second booking and he was not best pleased with the way in which the 79th minute substitute might have helped him toward his early bath:
“He was dropping like a hot potato, I don’t care if he is an ex-England international. I didn’t want to give him a welcome. There is no individual vendetta or targeting a person because that’s nonsense.”
It is good to see that even in both their respective deteriorating ages that the competitive edge that once made them internationals has not disappeared in the lower leagues of English football.
image: © bradstevens