I was among one of the 48,000 people that made their way to BC Place Stadium last night to see Beckham play against the Vancouver Whitecaps.
On the whole the game was as expected a little disappointing, except that the Vancouver Whitecaps dominated nearly every aspect of the game and blew two golden opportunities to win the game outright (that I didn’t see coming). Becks managed to attract at least 43,000 with the other 5,000 the normal Whitecaps crowd. The Whitecaps have a proud and strong history of football in North America, with the greatest ever player to play for the Whitecaps was the one and only Everton and England legend Alan Ball (who passed away this year). Ball was one of the main players in the 1966 England squad that won the only World Cup for old blighty.
Anyway back to last night. I thought I’d be efficent and bought a ticket before the game (a good move?), but when I got to my mate Chris’ house, their mates had pulled out and I had a free ticket if I wanted it!
I planned to flog my ticket off outside the ground, but a homeless guy overheard us and begged me for it, what the hey a stinky smelly mess of a guy can watch the beautiful game as much as the next guy (or he flogged it off for cash and went and got sloshed). BC Place Stadium is the home of the BC Lions the reigning Canadian Football champions (gridiron). The game was played on astroturf.
Beckham was average and took a good 20mins to warm into the game, then kinda came right. He started the game and played about 70mins – not bad. His touches at times were good, but his fitness and other aspects of the game need to be worked on if he wants back in the England squad. His free kicks were still deadly. The sad part about him in the Galaxy team is that he still knows how to put the ball on a dime in the goal mouth from out wide, but the LA players aren’t Premier League players and they don’t know how to get in the right position to get these great balls. Chris and I were even able to hassle and hurl abuse at Beckham (which annoyed the adoring Asian ‘Becks’ fans in front of us). Either that or the constant jabber between Chris and I about the game (finally a mate who is as into football as I am – even if he does support Charlton). OK wide off the mark note here, Chris’ parents live in Melrose (where Janine and I were married), and Chris was back there just two weeks ago – how small is this world.
The most annoying part of last night was all of the swooning boys and girls who screeched nearly every touch of the ball by Mr Posh Spice in the first half. And then there was the grandstander twit who proposed via the big screen. That is so wrong on so many fronts, a) What a twat, b)Not a football fan, C)how embarrassing, d)she should have said not because of all the reasons above.
The best part of the game by far was the streaker who ran the full length of the field twice before Mr Plod got hold of him, it was fantastic and got the crowd all rarked up.
In this view you can see Beckham tries to kick the ball at the guy, he did have a laugh about it after the game.
And this from 24hrs an excellent free daily newspaper.