Monday, September 14, 2009

The Contrasting Careers Of Robbie Fowler and David Beckham

I came across a Fox Sports Australia article about Robbie Fowler scoring goals again in the A-League. That got me thinking about the contrast in the twilight football career of Fowler and Beckham.

Robert Bernard Joseph Fowler, now aged 34, turned professional in 1992 started his football career in Liverpool. David Robert Joseph Beckham, also aged 34, turned professional in 1992 with Manchester United. Both players won their first England cap in 1996. Both have won the English PFA Young Player of The Year award at the start of their career. These are interesting similarities in the two players' careers which have taken them to different parts of the world. Note that they even have the same middle name. Finally, there is the willingness of both players to become marquee signing of the current leagues that they play in. And that's where it ends.

Robbie Fowler signed to become North Queensland Fury marquee player on 4th February 2009 and was expected to carry the Australian A-League to greater heights. He obviously understood the high aspirations of the A-League as he embraced his new status and has thrilled the fans Down Under. Three goals in his last three matches have earned him rave reviews and he is being labelled as a true footballing genius. He is well-liked, popular among team mates and quite willing to act as mentor and role model to impart valuable football experience. Fowler is letting his football do the work of enhancing the A-League reputation, as can be seen in the video highlight by dinxbeau with this piece of brilliance.

In contrast, Major League Soccer authorities had hoped with the transfer of David Beckham to the LA Galaxy in July 2007, that the profile of MLS would grow in the football world. Though there is a bigger worldwide focus on MLS with Beckham there, it would seem however, that this "experiment" has not worked out as well as hoped. If MLS wanted a Beckham circus, that's exactly what they got. David Beckham has definitely attracted a lot of attention and controversy during his time at MLS. Fans will remember the endless string of injuries in his first year or the desire to play in Europe in his second year or the neverending saga of his return to the Galaxy this year and finally, the recent confrontation with the fans on his first home match back from Milan. Beckham is still thinking about himself rather than the league and it showed clearly in his actions. Certainly not marquee signing type behaviour. He has, through his actions, implied that he do not want to play in MLS. It has truly been a mixed bag, profile-wise, MLS has gained a larger following but by and large, football-wise, David Beckham have failed to produce the goods.

Perhaps Fowler accepted the fact that his career in the top flight was over and chose sunny Queensland as his last hurrah whereas Beckham clearly believes he can still cut it in the top flight and want that last big "go out at the top" farewell. It could also be that Australian fans understand soccer whereas USA fans do not.

But for now, football reports in Australia and America suggest that Robbie Fowler is enhancing the reputation of A-League through his superb goalscoring skills whereas David Beckham is just lending his world-famous brand to MLS, his football drawing mixed reactions.

You can read what the footballing world think about these two footballing icons,
Fowler shows the way
Fowler genius best so far
Beckham speaks on loan, explores MLS ownership
What Beckham must do to be successful in MLS
David Beckham knows how to put on a show
Beckham: MLS Owner?

1 comment:

Jabran Kundi said...

We all know that Beckham has become a brand name, and when MLS signed him, they only wanted his name to be associated with the club...perhaps they knew his footballing skills weren't worth the money they spent on him.

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