Monday, December 28, 2009

Take a positive step - sign Adam Griffiths

He is back from the middle east. Trying to re-sign with Gold Coast. Let's take one of theirs. We need him more than them anyway.

Prove we are contenders.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Sydney 1 v Adelaide 0

Boring, but effective.

Fox attributed the Cove with the goal. That rubs it into the Roar performance yesterday - with a huge Den performance unrewarded - they didn't get near us in the second half.

NQ Fury 1 v Melbourne 0

The heat won it for them. Expect more heat. Pity it came too near the end for them.

Muscat nearly melted.

(The great part of yesterday) Hey Bulldog... some kind of innocence is measured out in years

Up until about the 45th minute of the match, Boxing Day was a great day.

'The atmosphere in the first half was the best I have even experienced at a match.'

I woke up to poring rain and my wife asking me whether I was 'really going down there in this?' Oh yes I was.

We went to catch the train and there were already other Roar fans on the platform. Got on the train. More orange. No seats. Changed trains. More and more orange. Soon it was full. Then chok-a-block. We stopped at stations and we could hear platform announcements 'in the interests of safety please wait for the next train. It will arrive in 5 minutes.'

It was packed and 95% orange. It was families and very passive. No singing or chanting. Just quiet conversation. Even deep into Gold Coast territory there was barely any yellow getting on the train. A young women near me said, 'all this orange, I'm loving it, oh there is a yellow' pointing to a small boy. 'He's English' said his mother. That explained it. His father was all decked out in Leeds United gear with sandals.

Someone was talking about Miller. He'll get a hat-trick today. We all agreed. (We didn't expect to win but we didn't expect surrender either).

We arrived and wound round like a giant orange snake to the stadium. I yelled at a shirt vendor 'You should be selling orange.' Hardly anyone was interested in his yellow. He gave me a foul look. There was a rock band which sounded great. But getting into the stadium was a drag, even though we had bought our tickets at Ticketec. I spoke to the yellow in front. They were Roar fans last year. They couldn't believe the crowd. They said they were going up the home end 'You'll hear us soon'. Yeh right I thought and I was right.

Inside it was clear that there were even less Gold Coast supporters than usual. But a sea of orange. And more vocal than at home. The stadium echoed the sound. There was pogo dancing and lots of singing and chanting.

Skilled is a very good stadium. Even with 10,000 it sounded great. The atmosphere in the first half was the best I have even experienced at a match.

Some yellow turkey let off a flame at the other end (the pebbly beach or whatever they call it).

In the first half it was all orange. When we scored it was incredible. We started to believe. And Miller kept miss-kicking the ball. (He's behind you someone shouted. He blew us a kiss. It was a home game for the Roar. Till Miron's left back did his knee. Then Anderson came on and the game changed. So did the mood. He is an expert diver and the ref was up for it. At half time Miron got Culina running against Zullo and he could keep up. But neither could Moore stay close to Smeltz. Two soft goals and it was all over. Our worst ever loss. As Fox Sports said 'You can loose a derby, but not 5-1.' Miller should have been on our side. We were clearly missing some talent.

On the train home it was, at first, crowded and quite. Except for a women singing to 'He's a jolly good fellow':

'At least we have never lost to the Phoenix,
At least we have never lost to the Phoenix,
At least we have never lost to the Phoenix,
A least we have never lost 6 nil.'

'Come on join in' she cried. 'Come on.' But nobody would.

FFA: it is time to step in

Leaving it till next year is going to be too late.

It you think the World Cup is going to help Brisbane next year - you are dreaming. (crowds for the A-League went down after the 2006 cup).

Gold Coast have no fans

Gold Coast bulletin put this brave face on it:

'And the crowd got value for their money, even the 2000-plus who journeyed down from Brisneyland to see their team given a salutatory lesson in the art of precision football and clinical finishing.'

Rubbish. It was clearly 7,000 plus.

It is becoming pathos. A great team with about 2,000 fans. And a club (Brisbane) that clearly needs an administrative clean out.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Gold Coast 5 v Brisbane 1: Club Killer

Unbearable really.

Skilled Park is a much better place to play A-League than Suncorp. 10,000 there sounded like 30,000 at Suncorp. Brisbane - if it is to survive - needs a new home ground.

Amazingly, there were more than 2 people in orange for every 1 in yellow. Perhaps even 3 to 1. Given the 10,000 crowd this would suggest say 7,000 Roar supporters to 3,000 for the Gold Coast.

It was like a Brisbane home game. And for most of the first half Gold Coast were at sea. Jeered and laughed at (for having no fans) at home.

The Brisbane supporters did their bit. Pity about the performance of the club and some of the players in the second half.

Even Ange gets it: 'Postecoglou said. “We’re very disappointed but I think it just shows were we are as a football club at the moment.' So what is the plan to change it?

'We believe the club is headed for an exciting future and that 2010 will bring very big things on and off the pitch.' Brisbane CEO Peter McLennon. Yeah really? So why is it a secret?

Tiatto came on for a cameo and was the best on the park. Sadly, it has become clear through the season that Craig Moore is well past his best.

When your fans turn out you must perform. Brisbane were embarrassing in the second half.

Gold Coast v Brisbane - Robina Boxing day (Sat 5:00pm) - come on lets go

Could be Shame Smeltz and Craig Moore's last A-League matches.

Something is going on between Moore and Jason Culina. Moore thinks Culina is a diver.


Come on. Let's go.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Go Clive: Have a read of this:

Sydney Morning Herald:

'Never a big fan of Verbeek, Palmer says he has ''had enough'' of what he claims is the Dutchman's continued assault on the domestic league, maintaining the majority of club owners shared the same view but didn't ''have the guts to say it''.' (Mike Cockerill)


'''That's our national team, not his. Pim needs to remember who's paying his wages. It's the mums and dads of Australia, not the mums and dads of Holland. There's a question of duty and responsibility, and the FFA have got to reprimand him. ''The main criterion for any national coach should be to foster the game here in Australia. Football is not just about the World Cup, it's also about making the A-League the best it can possibly be. ''I've had enough of him, it's the last straw. What he's saying is totally over the top, a disgrace. The owners, we all talk about it, but no one else has the guts to say it.

''He's setting the wrong example, and if he was working for me, I'd sack him.''

I can't believe it, I'm with Clive. Who will pick up the pieces if the Socceroos go out in the first round?

By the way, Clive says he isn't selling.

Gold Coast v Brisbane - Robina Boxing day (Sat 5:00pm)

This could turn out to be the game of the season. The papers are speculating on 10,000 (Gold Coast's best crowd since Spurs. When I bought my tickets (away end $40 for 2 adults and 2 children - good value for Boxing Day), I was told 'tickets are selling fast for this one.'

Good crowds add a lot to the A-League.

My personal hope is that there will be more Roar fans than GC. sadly many in the Den wear Roar shirts with 10 Miller on them.

Still, let's try to see it as a bit of fun. A boxing match for boxing day. Underpinned by Millers propensity to punch. (good promo by the way - that worked you have to keep experimenting as a promoter till things work).

Annus horribilis

There is no hiding from it. And thanks to Pim and the World lure and an expected fan favourite exidus, it could get worse.

Currently there is no evidence that the FFA is preparing to ride the 2010 World wave next season.

So far most clubs are in financial trouble and struggling to attract viable fan numbers to games. Clubs, like businesses in trouble, seldom made good decisions without support. So where is the support from big brother FFA?

Sydney 1 v CCM 0

Highlight was a missed penalty that would have made it 1-1.

Hmm. Sydney are not going to let their stars go to follow Pim's world cup instructions. Interesting move. I think it an OK call. AS an A-League fan the World Cup is just another reason fans will stay away. Pim has said he doesn't want A-League players - so they (except for Moore and Culina) could go and not n=go to South Africa anyway.

Got to hand it to Jason Culina he has could out and said he is not leaving till after the season. Who have thought. Just shows he should have been signed by Brisbane rather than Gold Coast (are they interested?).

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Now they are in Pim's squad...

Tommy Oar being in Pim's squad is not necessarily good news for Brisbane fans. Now they are suggesting he leaves in January.

Where else does this happen to players a team wants to keep?

Players who have left mid-season:
- Robbie Kruse
- Charles Miller
- Liam Reddy

Players who may leave before seasons end to get into World Cup squad:
- Craig Moore (has said he is not playing next year)
- Matt McKay (tried China at the end of last year)
- Tommy Oar (being told to go to Europe - thanks guys)

6 out of 23. Oopps.

Players who may leave before next season:
- Sergio Van Dijk (if you are going please leave the A-League)
- Griffin McMaster (off contract and Ange is actively seeking a new keeper - poor reward for hard work)
- Danny Tiatto (will retire)
- Bob Malcolm (goodbye
- Josh McLoughan (much less game time than previous years)

That's 11 out of 23.

Players off contract at seasons end:
- Reinaldo
- Michael Zullo (decided to stay at Roar youth Marquee for one more season. Given he has had limited game time, may stay?)

Gold Coast For Sale?

Monday, December 21, 2009

Roma Street 3:26 gets to Skilled Park 4:40 for 5pm kickoff

Gold Coast v Brisbane - Boxing day (Sat 5:00pm) - that's it I'm going down there

What does Miller think he is doing? Gold Coast were falling apart and now he's gone and rescued them.

So how can we miss the opportunity to get involved in the Boxing Day panto? Boo baddies Miron and Charles? He's behind you, oh sorry he looked that way.

After his performance on Sunday - a flat sounding Miller was asked if there would be a repeat of his Robbie Kruse behaviour. Very sheepish he sounded. Still there is no punch without judy is there?

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Melbourne 0 v Sydney 0: the psychology of booing your own team

A lot happened in this game but a few things stood out.

The match had been promoted as attracting a 32,000 plus crowd. More than all the games last week put together. Melbourne is the strength of the A-League (which it is)... and the glory days are still here. Once again the A-League promoters over-stretched and let themselves down. 27,000 turned up. Great crowd.

Both teams played good technical football. And therefore cancelled each other out. Maybe that isn't as exciting as teams going for it and taking chances.

The assistants did not err on the side of the attacker for offside. And made at least one error - goal scoring opportunity, for each side.

At the end booing was audible on the TV. So why boo? Passionate fans project themselves onto their team when they are winning. And they feel very good about themselves. It was me, I was the 12th man, I got them to play like this. But when the team regularly doesn't perform - in this case Melbourne has rarely won at home this year - some fans - the very passionate ones and some thugs - self defence mechanism kicks in. To distance themselves from the team and/or club they boo. It was them not me.

I thought Melbourne could have done with Ney Fab's hustle and bustle. Something different to the technically good.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Central Coast 2 V Brisbane 3

Justice prevailed but it took a while. The ref was only playing his second game and it showed. I think refing needs to be consistent through the season. If it was Matt Simon would have been lucky to stay on the park. As it was he didn't even concede a yellow card for the foul that had Luke DeVere leave the field early. This meant Brisbane's pace strategy was undone.

Brilliant goals from Oar on 10 minutes and Van Dijk (how are we going to keep him?) on 20 minutes put the game in Brisbane's pocket. CCM were actually poor up past the half hour. Then Craig Moore had a brain snap and passed the ball to a CCM striker for an easy goal. Anti-Roar commentator Andy Harper tried to blame McMaster but it couldn't be escaped. I am not sure that Moore is playing anywhere near well enough to get to the World Cup (of course we want him to).

From about 10 minutes into the second half CCM began to dominate. Simon and others kept whizzing past Franjk on the right (Zullo looks brilliant at left back). The goal was coming. But when it did, suddenly Brisbane had new energy - particularly Franjk who won the free kick (I think it was Oar) that led to a 'goal mouth scramble' then a power drive (poledriver) from Matt McKay's left foot.

Mitch came on late for Henrique. Made some great touches and passes and got into great spaces. But he needs to practice his shooting. Someone compared him to Holman - I think that is right.

Great win for Brisbane against a CCM who overall looked a bit thuggish. They are better when they play football.

W-league Sydney 3 v Brisbane 2 - 12 minutes

In just 12 minutes in the 2nd half, Brisbane allowed Sydney back in the game and away.

Shows the draw of having foreign players in the w-league. radio said they were on working holidays.

Listen up: Super star LaPaglia gets A-League growth

I strongly recommend all A-League club decision makers read this article in today's Sydney Morning Herald by Sebastian Hassett. It is from an interview with Sydney FC shareholder and TV and Hollywood star (former Adelaide City keeper) Anthony LaPaglia.

In summary, teams need:
- community following and respect (keep going and trying new things until you find what works)
- a marquee player that has resonance (now just the best player available and rarely an Australian)

''That takes effort and thought-out programs of how to reach out in a genuine way to the public and to say to them, 'You know what, we value your support and whatever small way we can help make it easier for you, we'd like to do that.' I think they're now finally putting together programs that facilitate that. But they should have had them in year two.''

Brisbane Roar Update

Examples from rugby league and AFL show us that sponsors should not be owners and sponsors should not control boards of sporting teams.

The NRL Newcastle Knights Board is currently responding to Coke withholding a new deal till it sorts club discipline. This will require the Board to be creative and balance the needs of fans, the financial position of the club and the needs of the sponsor. The NRL will also provide advice. Options can be given that may change the sponsor(s) views.

Another example is the AFL team Brisbane Lions. Like Brisbane Roar, they face a challenge to their fan base with the entry of a rival Gold Coast team from the same code. Instead of reacting after the team arrived in the competition and saying 'gee what what are we going to do now 5,000 of our fans have gone to the coast' (or in their case 10,000), they have got in early. The AFL is very pragmatic. It does not have to worry about other vested interests (like the A-League has to worry about FIFA and AFC). So the Brisbane Lions know that the AFL will manipulate things so that the new coast team wins a couple of flags in its opening years (after all this happened for the Lions). To counter this and protect its fan base, the Lions have made some decisions that will not necessarily be popular with sponsors in the short term. Enter Brendan Fevola.

In some ways the people who go to live sporting events, from the ancient Romans on, actually like, perhaps expect, certainly encourage, bad player behaviour - particularly on the field.

Just maybe a Board that represented fans - or at least maximising their numbers - may have made different decisions for Brisbane Roar. Charlie Miller may still be there. For me, different Board decisions and the fan numbers would be much larger. And the results would be better.

Adelaide 1 V Wellington 1

I think Brisbane should have got more from Reddy. They need to be tougher. They just don't think about have their fans see player loyalty.

Gap at the back: Craig Moore ready to go - Brisbane Roar need a realistic plan

At half time on Wednesday Craig Moore looked like he had picked up a knock. This prompted me to say to the people in front 'this could be the last moment we see Craig.' Fortunately, he came out again for the second half. Whether he will have ties with the club by the next home game on 16 January is a real question. The club is desperately saying he will be back. But I think he made his decision as Frank Farina was leaving.

My view is that his plan is to get playing time right up to the Socceroos training camp in quarter two 2010. He says he has an offer from Scotland and interest from Holland and Japan.

After the world cup, he may retire altogether. He has said he is not coming back to the Brisbane Roar.

There is some speculation that Moore wanted to finish his career at the Gold Coast, but could not reach agreement with Miron. Moore is committed the Gold Coast and this week setup a 8 to 13 year olds training academy - Viva Soccer to work in the new FFA guidelines and is developing ties with Gold Coast schools. It is a great pity that this - given that it is the current Brisbane captain - is not happening in Brisbane and that in any case there does not appear to be any tie-up with the A-League nor Gold Coast FC.

Moore's departure is going to put greater pressure on Brisbane Roar as a club. Probably due to lack of funds, the club does not appear to have clear plan to grow its fan base. As a result (and due to giving away its true marquee player - Charlie Miller - what other club in the world would do this mid season?) it is going backwards dramatically. Yet the FFA is negotiating for it to continue at the 52,000 seat Suncorp. The FFA is very keen for there not to be an appearance of a backward step, not the least to support its World Cup bid.

However, it is unlikely that the 2010 World Cup will do anything to boost Roar attendances next year. That will be down to:

- the development of community support (particularly getting out and making real connections with clubs)
- the purchase of new and interesting players including at the very least a $1 million plus marque (never even close at the Roar)
- results (3rd and last in terms of importance in spite what the coach and chair try to tell us)

Please tell us the plan. All we are hearing is the players who are going (Tiatto, Van Dijk etc) and the plan for a new keeper. Young players, exciting as they are, and Aussies coming back from a failed Romanian team are not going to be enough. We can see all that at the local park.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Brisbane v Sydney at Shark Park Sydney 3pm Sydney time

Tickets just $10 for adults, $5 for children and concession, $20 families (2 adults and 2 children) and 3 year olds or under go free. Sydney FC and Brisbane Roar Hyundai A-League members go free upon display of their membership card on match day.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Brisbane 2 v NQ Fury 0: the answer

If Brisbane are to stay at Suncorp, and the FFA are negotiating to do so, they must both have someone of the quality of Robby Fowler and win.

That was the lesson from last night as 11,500 people turned up. This included 3,000 walk ups (without a purchase ticket), catching the stadium manager off guard and leading to queues for tickets.

The first half was great. And the crowd made the difference. It was a great atmosphere. Almost nostalgic. And in stark contrast to the Adelaide game.

NQ Fury were right in it until former Roar Dave Williams came off with an injury - he had been setting up NQF with runs down their left and good crosses. Then the Roar scored almost immediately with Henrique setting up Van Dijk from the far right. Both Van Dijk's goals were from him out running the central defender - wow.

Second half was tamer. Some great runs and crosses from Oar and Zullo. Just to like in the past, Miller could have made in 10. Fowler was well under control - in the second half he had to track back well into his own half. But it was mostly long balls from NQF. Did Moore take out Fowler in the box?

Poor Mitch found himself one-on-one with the keeper in heaps of space and couldn't get it in.

We played 5 under 5 foot - Murdocca, McKay (who is still injured), Oar, Zullo, and Henrique. They were pushed around but showed great skill.

Brisbane totally outclassed NQF. Brisbane need to buy a Robbie Fowler - lots of Liverpool shirts - 6,000 at least extra on a week night.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Appoint Craig Moore Brisbane Roar Coach

He has already demonstrated he knows how to hire a winning team. And he qualifies as a local. Before he leaves.

A-League Fan Manifesto

The fans own the their local team.

Fans lend the FFA the right to franchise teams to owners. The fans give permission (or not) to owners to hire managers, coaches and players. And to sell sponsorship. Play in a certain style. Pick the team on game day.

When the fans disapprove, but the owners do what they want anyway - teams head for trouble.

The FFA must represent the fans and force owners/teams to behave in the fans prescription.

When the FFA got into all this 4-3-3 stipulation - they lost the plot. The Socceroo's coach has already said he doesn't want A-League players.

FFA please start representing us and our wishes, not some ideal of what you think we want.

Monday, December 14, 2009

The Fury. How many? Wednesday 7:30

Bet the club was worried when Fowler limped off last weekend.

Ironically or something, Miller is now a crowd puller for Gold Coast.

Responding to Clayton's question with a little history

'Your posts fill my head with random questions. What was Oudendyke like? Who are the board members still involved? Are Queensland Lions still involved with the Roar?'

There is so much that could be said. My feelings about how poorly the club is being run demonstrate, to me at least, that I still care. The Chair appeared to blame the players today (people aren't coming become the team is losing - yes but why and how did that happen?) Craig Moore said the Roar couldn't score because it didn't have Charlie Miller. Most agreed. Ange gave awkward answered in the post match and had a go at 'former coaches and players'.

Re: Lawrence. He was tall and could appear aloof. The Board tried to blame him for the club's position but that was in the pre-season when things were still OK. He was tough and people like Reddy seemed scared of him. In retrospect, the Roar was happier place with him as Executive Chair. In ousting Lawrence it was reported the Board said you can't have a CEO who is chair. When he was gone, they said now we are going to be more active in operations.

The key Board members seem to be the 2 brothers who own Luxury Paints. They are from the Lions days. And clearly love the club. And others the 2 founders of the coffee club. The coffee club came in season 3 I think, first as sponsor then as shareholders. According to the Courier Mail, the Luxury Paints wanted the FFA in at the start of the year, but the Coffee Club guys only wanted small investors.

The Lions 'sold' out after season 1. The losses were way more than their business plan. And the club was reported to have been totally restructured (it used to own three other Brisbane based soccer clubs).

It seems every year the Roar goes through restructuring to keep going. Is there a point where it would be better for someone else to have a go?

My view is that they missed a massive opportunity in season one. I think this was their biggest year. The Brisbane community got behind them. But it was Miron who claimed that the Board would not even let him spend the salary cap. As a result, they had an exciting, youthful side with limited experience who could not score goals - particularly against the very experienced teams from Adelaide and Central Coast. Then as now, but now the base is much lower, the fans go sick of watching their team dominate possession but not be able to get close enough to score. In that first year, the Roar could have had great players. And then the stage would have been set for a powerhouse club in fortress Suncorp.

Frank Farina changed the experience gap. First bringing the goal scoring - highly experienced - Damien Mori to the team. Then Craig Moore. Craig Moore and Frank Farina gave Brisbane the credibility for a host of great experienced players to come to Brisbane. They missed out - thanks to Adelaide - 2 years in a row on Asia. Then they gaffed in buying Bob Malcolm.

A change in Coach for anything but performance reasons, has reversed all that. And the Roar looks about what it did in season one.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

The ref said this was a dive

Not great news for Brisbane fans

'Gold Coast United CEO, Clive Mensink, thanked Football Federation Australia (FFA) for their due diligence in approving Miller’s registration in time for the clash with the Jets this Sunday. “FFA have been very cooperative and understanding with us throughout this process and we thank them for their guidance,” Mensink said. “We are very happy to have signed Charlie and we’re glad that his considerable talent will still be seen in the Hyundai A-League.”' Gold Coast website

I think is very sad for Brisbane fans. Who would thought a club that wanted to build its fan base would allow this to happen. Seems to me that want they - the club - want is very conflicted. Something about not drinking and being well behaved. Who knows? I would like them to explain.

I went to the Brisbane Roar Christmas party to hear more about what was going on. It is for members that pay a premium on their season tickets and occurred before Miller left. I went because they advertised that the Chair and and the Coach would do presentations to fans. Guess what? They didn't even turn up and there was no explanation.

Looking at the problem from another direction (Please only play teams twice next year)

With 8 teams playing each other 3 times 'Queensland Roar' had 9 or 10 home games per season.

Now there are 10 teams including 3 'Queensland' teams playing 13 or 14 home games per season.

The home Queensland games have gone up by 4 times, from 9 or 10 to 39 or 42 home games.

Did anyone think about whether this might work particularly when:

1. 'The Roar' were already not getting enough people through the gate to even cover the stadium hire.

2. NQ Fury had to pull the same crowd level as the, local and well established, rugby league team to breakeven.

3. The Gold Coast sporting market is over-crowded and getting more so.

Players used to whinge about only having a 21 game season - not getting enough game time to develop form. Now what? They all get injured and can't make it through another 8 games (27). Actually, last year it was clear that fans were already yawning about seeing teams more than once.

FFA - first step - next year each team plays only twice! With 11 teams next year that will mean 20 games. That is the right number for these markets. Particularly as FFA is insisting on continuing to start the season early.

Who is doing their research? hmmm maybe no-one.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Brisbane 0 v Adelaide 1: Crushed

And that was just the impact on the fans. The lowest crowd (5,800) ever for the Roar - the second in succession - reflects that the fans have given the new regime at the club a massive thumbs down.

The game never really rose above park football. It was back to season one for the Roar.

There are only 3 home games left this year. And Moore has said he is going in January which could make Wednesday's game his last - ever - for the Roar.

A new coach has come in with some fairy tail plan that the youngsters would save him and Craig Moore would stay. Well you may be able to convince yourself of that, but you cannot convince a hardened entertainment audience used to winners like the Broncos and Lions. The fans are just plain not thinking about the Roar anymore. This will influence the players and prospective players for next year.

What are you going to do FFA?

Brisbane v Adelaide 8pm tonight

I hope I am surprised about how big the crowd is for this match. I fear that I will not be.

Does anyone else find this funny:
'Brisbane Roar coach Ange Postecoglou has been thrown in the deep end since taking over, but things have begun to settle and glimpses of the consistent team fans know are starting to re-emerge once more.' Fiona Bollen Australian Football Weekly December 12, 2009.
My read is that most fans have no idea who this guy is. And they certainly have no idea why he is getting rid of the most popular players in the team.

The A-League is in the entertainment business. Not the 'play the right way' or 'behave the right way business.'

With Craig Moore already saying publicly he wants to leave the Roar in January - and despite the club's disparate attempts to say otherwise - he doesn't want to play for them next year (unless they give him Ange's job). I think the Roar will have trouble keeping and hiring talent next year.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Charlie Miller update

Miller met with Clive Palmer. Palmer wanted Miller to play against the Roar 26 December on the Coast. The FFA said no. He can't play for another team in the A-League until January (this stops players doing what Miller did - bailing out mid season - who is advising this guy?). To play for Gold Coast - Miron must axe one of his foreign players.

NQ Fury, the most likely home for Miller, apparently said no thanks. I think that is generally the mood among owners and coaches. He is just not worth the risk of trouble.

By the way, FFA taking over Gold Coast ticketing has not been as successful as Miron's own efforts with only around 4,000 turning up in prime time last week. The Roar have been roped into offering 2 supporters bays for 26 December. Before the start of the season Roar fans would have signed up in truckloads. But now there is a lot of ill feeling - particularly about Frank Farina's exit - and it is hard to see it being a big success. The day after Christmas will not help.

A lot of Roar fans have really become former fans. And even the diehards feel ill treated.

Brisbane v Adelaide 8pm Saturday 12 December

Two desperate teams fighting for a top 10 spot.

Vidmar probably has his job on it - now or at season's end. Should have gone to Japan.

World Cup 2nd round progress? The rise of Asia?

Group A

Group B
South Korea

Group C

Group D

Group E

Group F

Group G
North Korea

Group H

So perhaps some giants slain? USA to step up?

Sunday, December 06, 2009

Update for Bob Malcolm fans - hah

Since he last played for the Roar (is that what he was doing?), I think Malcolm has played twice for the youth team. Picked up a yellow in one game and a straight red yesterday in 90+2. What a loser. I think we know why he left Rangers and it had little to do with off-field stuff - which just appears to have been a cover.

Perth 1 v Brisbane 1: Donkey Kong is King

Brisbane dominated large sections of this game. It was played in the afternoon Perth heat. Fox recon they have no say in the draw, yet playing in the sun in summer is just crazy. And dangerous and more than half the players on the pitch succumbed to some level of fatigue.

David Dodd was the stand out player.

Perth disappointed. For such a quality squad it is hard to understand why they are so content to just bang it long.

Brisbane went ahead early in the second half and kept attacking. However, the last 15 minutes were Perth's as Brisbane wilted in the heat.

Great game from the Roar. Brattan got 10 minutes and looks good. Zullo was great on return. Van Dijk have some fantastic touches and forced Tando to punch over the bar from deep in the Roar's half.

Devere scored his first goal. Harnwell forced a mistake from McMaster (went through his hands) to make it level.

Zen and the Art of A-League Maintenance

I have had Robert Pirsig's book on my 'to do list' for some time. Recently, I got time to read it. I had a lot of expectations. To be honest I thought it would be uplifting like Herman Hesse's 'Siddhartha' or Thich Nhat Hanh's 'Fragrant Palm Leaves' (book I recommend to any avid reader feeling the need for new ways of living). But 'Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance' is a very different type of book, it is darker and more demanding of the reader.

In a complex book with many themes, Pirsig offers a very insightful analytical model. He poses that analysts are either classical or romantic. The romantic takes things as they are without attempt to understand why, and appreciates or otherwise the impact of the world as it is. The classical analyst is always seeking to understand how, why, what where things work. The classic attempts to influence their world. Pirsig offers that people can travel from being a romantic to a classic. Initially seeing something and appreciating it for what it is. Then over time seeking to understand why and how this something does what it does.

In season one my son, via my wife, bought me two tickets to the A-League. I had no preconceived ideas about the competition. I knew none of the players or the coaches nor their names, and I had never been to Lang Park. In those early days the crowds were around 15,000 to 20,000, and the atmosphere caught me from the first moments.

The Roar would play a fantastic attacking game, with lots of running and shots. Then lose one nil to a 'grind them out' team throwing everyone behind the ball until the last 10 minutes. There was frustration but there was help for the future. The team got better as the season wore on.

I started reading every book on soccer/football I could (contrary to popular myth many English publications refer to soccer). I turned quickly to football blogs. Particularly insightful were regular analyses of games and tactics by Mike Slater and Tony Tannous, as well as few other that have fallen off. I began by posting comments on blogs. I allowed myself to be wildly free and say what I thought without moderation of my biases. It was liberating.

The game atmosphere allowed me to go with the flow and, for a point in time, not worry about the week's tests and events. It was freeing. I could say the first thing that came into my head, as loud as I wanted. Even, in those early years of the A-League, defeat and frustration with poor referring had its consolations.

I started my own blog and got to meet amazing, clever and innovation people (like Archives bookshop owner Hamish). A vibrant community blogging community grew, with great insights and great writing from fans across the A-League (like half time hero cartoonist Wayne supporting CCM and Cecilia).

My analysis turned from Pirsig's romantic style to classical as I learnt about the subtleties of the gamed and remembered my playing days and days of 'Match of the day'. I my view on the game became less forgiving and expectations for results grew.

Saturday, December 05, 2009

Moore to leave Roar in January

There is a danger in Ange's changes to Brisbane that the team ends up full of players that no one has heard of. And therefore would have the pulling power of a park match.

While it was Frank's team, it was Craig's team. Soon his mates, neighbours and former top flight teammates will be gone - Tiatto, Miller, Malcolm as well as Reddy.

While Ange's technical interest in the game is admirable, it is amazing that someone with such a high media profile seems so unable to carry off decisions that keep players at the club that please fans.

So the remaining question is, if Charlie Miller ends up at NQ Fury, who is going to punch him in the mouth when he isn't looking?

Friday, December 04, 2009

Miller leaves Roar

Just what the Roar is up to is not clear.

Reinaldo's hamstring (at least 2 weeks) makes 4 players from Sunday's not playing this week.

3 players have now left or are in the process of leavings the club: Miller, Reddy and Kruse.

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Perth v Brisbane - Sunday 6pm Brisbane time (away game)

Well its time Brisbane Roar. If we can get a victory in WA anything is again possible for Brisbane.

While Perth has one of the 3 strongest squads (Melbourne and Gold Coast), like Gold Coast this is more than made up for by poor quality coaching that seems entrenched by FFA paradise club membership.

Go Zullo!

Matt McKay (3 weeks) and Danny Tiatto on injured list.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009