The derision poured on the decision to give the Man of the Match award to David Beckham for his cameo substitute’s appearance for England may yet lead to a return to a time-honoured system of picking the outstanding performer in international matches at Wembley: getting the football writers to do it.
Sunderland manager and former England centre half Steve Bruce’s choice of Beckham for the award after the World Cup qualifier against Belarus last week – in a match in which Tottenham’s Peter Crouch scored twice – has prompted sponsors Nationwide to consider a different system.
Bruce, working as a pundit for ITV, made no secret that Crouch had “ruined” his summer by turning down a transfer offer from Sunderland.
But Bruce’s choice turned what is supposed to be a prestigious highlight for the sponsors into a near-laughing stock. England manager Fabio Capello described it as being like Barack Obama getting the Nobel Peace Prize.
At the old Wembley Stadium, the 100-strong football press corps was asked for its choice of man of the match, leading to a poll that tended to be less subjective than a TV pundits’ version of the old pals’ act, and certainly never led to such ridicule of the honour.
â–¡ The Football Writers’ Association, meanwhile, has re-designed and re-launched its website.
The website has booking details of the FWA’s three upcoming events, its north-west regional dinner at the Radisson Edwardian Hotel in Manchester on November 1, the north-east’s function will be held at Ramside Hall, County Durham on November 29, and the 2010 FWA Tribute Night at the Royal Lancaster Hotel, London on Sunday January 17, when the guest of honour will be Frank Lampard.