Wednesday, November 28, 2007
Last night's game was a phenomenal success in almost every way, and the gate takings will hopefully go some way towards easing the FFA's undoubted financial difficulties. The costs associated with bringing the LA Galaxy team over, not to mention the Beckham appearance fee, would have been considerable, but 80,000 spectators, at relatively hefty prices, bring in a fair whack of revenue.
The game itself had all the hallmarks of a team-in-season-vs.-team-out-of-season clash, with the Galaxy players looking ponderous throughout. Some first-time spectators can rest assured that they will rarely ever see a more inept defensive performance from a professional football side.
There was plenty to like about Sydney FC's play (extraordinary how well our much-maligned A-League troops are capable of playing when not being harried to within an inch of their lives in midfield, as has generally been the case this season). Alex Brosque confirmed his substantial improvement this season with a textbook performance in the "off-the-shoulder" role, while Juninho, with no Jedinak or Salley to restrain him for once, had a marvellously influential first half.
The star of the show deserves great credit for playing on after his first-half collision with Brendan Santalab, which obviously left him in considerable pain. Even Beckham's equanimity was shattered in the second half, however, when Robbie Middleby attempted to do to him what Adrian Leijer had done to Middleby last season; Beckham's awful foul on Middleby later was the only scar on an otherwise immaculate PR effort from LA Galaxy's marquee man (very considerate of Ufuk Talay to concede that foul on the edge of the area, too).
Will the newbie fans come back? Probably not, but any repeat business would have been only a fringe benefit. The night was not really about raising the profile of the sport, showcasing the A-League, or honouring a great (if somewhat over-rated) player. It was about bringing in revenue without embarrassment, and in that respect it succeeded handsomely.
And David Beckham, still a good ambassador for the sport, played his part well.
Beckham was covered on ever TV channel up here.
Great for our sport.
Plus the Roar now have a major sponsor - The Coffee Club - so happy days.
Before the game I was pretty "meh" about Becks but his long range passing, his desire to stay on the pitch despite being in fairly significant pain and his overall charm pretty much won me over.
Well done Beckham and Sydney FC for such a good show.
Channel 10's coverage was as appallingly bad as I had expected.
Sure was. From long experience, I've come to the conclusion that SBS is the only FTA channel to be trusted with football, shall we say.
Even Basheer (who I normally have plenty of respect for) seemed to be making a conscious attempt to go downmarket.