As the three big name players, Ono, del Piero and Heskey, withdraw from the Foxtel A-League All Stars to meet Manchester United one has to now ask questions as to whether this exercise although appearing a good one is something that should be binned in the future.
The All Stars were voted on by the fans and then based on the votes a panel of wise heads in football selected the final team. It was good to see who the public thought were the best players in the A-League and as the votes came in debate raged as it always does with any team selection; Some selections coming as a surprise to many supposed experts.
The problem with the modern day internet voting is it can so easily be influenced by a few to give a desired result. For example a fan forum could get behind one particular player at an A-League club and push all its members to vote for that player. He may well then poll well enough to be in the team, even if he was not the best player in the League.
The person one has to feel sorry for is the coach who has to try and mould these players into a team at short notice, as well as have them play good attractive football. No easy task in such a small time frame.
There is no doubt that this game will have a great deal of appeal to many fans who have not had the chance to see Manchester United play in England and support from afar. It is fantastic to see them back in Australia, but one can’t help feeling that a game against the Olyroos or the A-League Champions and/or Premiers would have had more appeal. Fans support a team, not individual players. However saying that, most fans are always pleased to see players from their club receive selection in such teams and for national honours.
With players selected having retired, been transferred and injured it has made the selection process a bit of a farce. Now that the three biggest names in the team have all withdrawn from the team and the game, its credibility is coming under even closer scrutiny.
The All Star team was a great idea that had plenty of merit, it is a shame that circumstances have meant it has not panned out the way everyone would have hoped. Will that mean the idea will or should be shelved? Time will tell.