David Beckham's debut for Paris Saint-Germain on Sunday was a huge media event and he could make his first start against Marseille, again, on Wednesday in the cup. However, I can't help but feel his arrival at the club could be an unnecessary diversion at a crucial point in the season.
Joey Barton said Marseille's players were happy to hear Beckham had signed for PSG as it could prove to be a deal that distracts the leaders from the task at hand, and you certainly can't rule that out as a possibility. Look at Newcastle when they signed Faustino Asprilla halfway through the 1995-96 season. It changed the dynamic of the team and dressing room.
You get certain players who bring a circus with them and Beckham is certainly one of those. His move to Paris is a PR event more than anything significant from a football perspective. It will give a few of his team-mates the hump as well, because they are doing all the hard work in an attempt to win the title and Beckham is the one with all the publicity. They suffer all the pressure and don't get the reward. I bet they won't be happy.
He isn't really a football asset for PSG - it's a marketing move. I don't think he will bring much to the team, not one challenging for the title and the Champions League. It should be all about the football and as much as he says he wants to just settle in and play, it can't happen because the main reason Beckham is there is for publicity.
Carlo Ancelotti is trying to do things as quietly as possible, without trying to attract undue fuss, but the signing of Beckham made a lot of noise. Now every team PSG play until the end of the season will be trying to raise their game. Things would have been tough in any case, but they will be tougher now.
Ancelotti is a humble man and this whole thing isn't his style at all. He didn't sign up to be a lion-tamer but now he has a circus to run, and at the most important stage of the season too.
I think little cameos are what we can expect from Beckham at PSG. On Sunday, fatigue was setting in in a competitive contest, minds were getting tired, and that allowed him to have space. He needs space to play as he doesn't have quick feet - that's why he was pushed wide by Sir Alex Ferguson, because there was more space on the right. Space gives him time to control and pass and do what he wants to do.
Beckham was also used as a substitute by Fabio Capello at Real Madrid towards the end of his stay there and I think that's the approach Ancelotti will take. He might be the same age as Ryan Giggs or Paul Scholes but he hasn't played proper competitive football for over six years. It is a completely different level of fitness.
The French league is very high intensity and I would be surprised if Ancelotti is tempted to start him in the league or Champions League. The most important thing for Ancelotti is not marketing revenue but getting the best players on the pitch and winning matches.
If Beckham thinks he can just walk into the French league and pick up where he left off from MLS he is very much mistaken, but he might be able to play a role off the bench.