Monday, November 13, 2006
So long Miron thanks for all the fish
‘We ground them out… it was a great game to watch’ John Kosmina Or why Miron is the best coach in the A-League
Queensland is the growth market for football. Melbourne and Sydney has dominated football market share (that is viewing audience) in Australia with Adelaide and Perth earning their places through a single team for their segment focus
Roar v Adelaide: John Kosmina said, ‘It was a great game to watch.’ Yeah right. It could have been but if Adelaide had tried to play crowd-pleasing football but then they would have lost 4 or 5 nil. So they are better off sticking to the ‘ground them out’ that suits the hand full of people who will ever watch football in Adelaide rather than die trying to attract the 40,000 plus potential of Brisbane. Last year Ernie Merrick just scrapped home with the germinating seed of entertaining football (thanks Geoff Lord). This year Miron misses out. Well it is hard to buy the exciting players needed attacking football for $1.6m divided by 20. So some teams don’t bother.
Does anyone remember the last few games of last season? When Miron kept believing in the 300 plus shots of Alex Brosque and the developing talents of Michael Baird to get a share of the golden boot and embarrass the $900,000 per year Dwight Yorke and his Sydney champions (2-1)? Then to have both these rising stars decide to leave, and have to start again. And how? 3-0 against Perth and 5-0 against NZ. Could we ask for more? Yes it seems, we could ask for ‘ground out’ football where the action comes from coking your opponent’s stars and missing the plane to defeat in Asia.
Well maybe if you were one of the thirty people at Lang Park supporting Adelaide you would have thought it a great game to watch. Not if you one of the over 14,000 there supporting the Roar. Or the additional 6,000 plus who are not coming any more because they are sick of watching their team dominate matches and then draw or loose one nil. The mood of these people spelt trouble for Australian football and particularly for the possibility of financial success for the A-League.
The A-League is the latest of many iterations of a national football product. The A-League is distinct because of its major sponsorship backing and because of the creation of home crowds of over 10,000. However, given the FFA’s home ground requirements, crowds in the major market segments, Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne must be over 20,000 to provide a commercial return. Three factors have ruled this out for Brisbane this year:
1. Too few teams in the league. Seven teams by three games means that all the teams have learnt the others tactics and players and know how to play ‘ground out’ football football. They all know all the referees and know what they can get away with including fouling their opponents.
2. ‘Grounding out’ football is boring but it suits a win at all costs mentality. And it is very viable if you only have to attract 10,000 home fans per game.
3. Because of the strange way the home-away season has been commissioned Queensland’s home season is almost over this year.
4. Poor reefing. Andy Packer breaks through - and it’s a hand ball - yeah right ref. Dario is through - no he is barged from behind by Travis Dodd and it’s a red - no wait a yellow thanks ref. (at this point the match ref was lecturing Miron who, with the home fans, were in apoplexy. But then again, as John said ‘we ground them out.. it was a great game to watch.’
5. Experienced players taking the ref out. I have sat at Lang park and watched first Lazaridis, then Mori and this time Aloisi walk around the field talking to the ref. At times the refs stop watching the game to continue these conversations. So interesting eh?