Thursday, December 30, 2010
Central Coast v:
Gold Coast v:
Saturday, December 25, 2010
It provided insight into the behind the scenes around the Courier Mail stories at the time of Frank Farina's dismissal. But it also presented, extremely well, an argument that Marco has developed a number of times, that unless there is some conflict, there is no story. It echoes his writing ahead of the Adelaide game in which he claims to have baited the Roar about Sergio Van Dijk, and no one responded, perhaps leaving readers disinterested.
Marco has something here. Being a team rivaling the Broncos and the Lions will require fans to be corralled behind a cause. Dispassionate fans will do something else, not bother. The trouble is that the events of last year, combined to simply turn fans off. The whole package of events, quality of football, journalism, the fans own reaction, the press, combined to lead to a string of individual decisions not to follow the Roar anymore. I maintain that the Roar has had more fans than any other team, including Victory. Gets them, loses them.
Winning back a customer you have had can be easier than winning a new customer (seven times?). But winning back ALeague fans and, in particular, Roar fans will be hard.
Marco thinks spice is the answer. And he may be right. But a range of other, expensive things are also needed. Ange, a very accomplished journalist, who more than matches it on the ABC Offsiders with Australia's best sports journalists, believes the football, attitude and behaviour comes first. That has truth too. But does the Roar, and the ALeague more generally, have that time?
Frank Farina also published one of his best articles yesterday. I think it is time Frank was given another coaching job. And Sydney FC needs him and his own ability to turn a failing team. Frank was amazing at getting something from an under-funding Roar squad in season 2. This Sydney team, perhaps not yet under funded (see their club's comments about cutting player pay), has some hallmarks of the Roar in season 2.
Tuesday, December 21, 2010
BTW, it seems Slory was kicked out of Feyenoord for fighting with team mates at training and arguing with them during games.
Sunday, December 19, 2010
|Roar vs Gold Coast United||6.15pm||Sun 26 Dec, 210|
|Roar vs Perth Glory||7.30pm||Fri 7 Jan, 2011|
|Roar vs Wellington Phoenix||6pm||Sun 16 Jan, 2011|
|Roar vs Melbourne Heart||7.30pm||Fri 28 Jan, 2011|
|Roar vs Gold Coast United||8pm||Sat 12 Feb, 2011|
Monday, December 13, 2010
Sunday, December 12, 2010
Saturday, December 11, 2010
Sunday, December 05, 2010
Saturday, December 04, 2010
As shocking as the kangaroo cartoon was for the serious world of international sport, it may have some legs for the local market. FFA must now focus on the sustainability of the local league. This means maximising viewers ahead of TV rights deals - in competition with rugby league and AFL.
FFA must re-address the family market it targeted in season one and then ignored. Redo the kangaroo and get into schools and shopping centres. Otherwise we will have been canon fodder in a massive auction.
Some questions remain. Why did Korea and Japan submit bids? They cannot really have imagined that they would have been given another shot. Perhaps they were merely ad campaigns for their corporates. A shame given how badly they burned Australia.
Sunday, November 28, 2010
Saturday, November 27, 2010
'Gold Coast United coach Miron Bleiberg said his side ``deserved to lose''. "We are not that good that we can beat Adelaide with 10 men,'' he said. "It was one of those games where if things don't go for you, it doesn't go for you.'' Courier Mail
Wednesday, November 24, 2010
And Solorzano was a step above what we have seen from him before.
Great night from the Roar players as they totally dominated Glory.
5-0 would have been a more accurate score for this game.
I wonder what Glory will look like by season's end? Who will be their coach?
- Broich pulled down from behind (for the second game in a row) - this time he was on goal and it was the last man
- Broich fouled in the box - play on
- Ball hits Devere's shoulder - penalty
- Nichols has his leg kicked out from under him in front of an open goal
FFA is trying to give amateur refs experience - but we are mid season.
Or maybe there is a bit of trying to stop Glory totally collapsing.
Glory's back line was out-classed and they deservedly went down to 9 men. But it probably should have been 8 or 7. Josh Mitchell was up to the tricks he learnt in Romania.
On paper they have a good team. But the rely on biff and long balls. Last year's team looked better with a lower quality team.
Poor A-League fans - Robbie Fowler only on for 25 minutes and - apart from the penalty, hardly gets a touch.
So FFA, does Glory get a fine for 5 cards and get a please explain for their behaviour? Or did that only apply to Brisbane?
Sunday, November 21, 2010
Instead, he'll be here and gone and hardly noticed.
Even the school holiday opportunity has been missed by just one week.
Is it irony that two teams so close geographically would have so different an impact if either won the title.
A home grand final is unlikely for GC, as it was for newcastle and CCM.
GC in Asia would be a none event in Australia, but commercially well used by Clive Palmer.
Even FFA could see the commercial opportunity in the Roar having a home Grand Final. And Asia could bring Brisbane alight.
Brisbane have players on long term injury and players taking long international flights intra-week.
Once again Brisbane stop or escape the great moves but concede the soft goals. the Williams / Edds goal on 9 minutes was soft as you like.
Fury played Jason Spagnuolo centre forward, with Payne on the bench. They were here to defend and they did it very well.
I haven't heard of Western Australian referee Josh Mihevc before. I understand he refs youth league matches. He and his assistants, missed 2 penalties for the Roar and adjudged Solorzano offside when he was onside at a key moment. FFA seem to be giving Fury the inexperienced refs and often they have been on the wrong side of poor decisions.
Saturday, November 20, 2010
On this page it also says Central Coast are playing Newcastle on Wednesday 24 November. Round 16
On this page it says the Roar are playing Perth on Wednesday 24 November. And the Roar play Victory on 3 December. Round 17
And yet the Roar have already played 16 games. Do the rounds mean anything? Does the position on the ladder mean anything?
Would designed this? Do they think about how it it read?
I read something that made me think the Roar were playing Central Coast at Gosford this Wednesday. But I must have been wrong or the schedule changed or something.
Wednesday, November 17, 2010
Newcastle will and are complaining about the 80 minute equaliser. But it was clearly onside. Newcastle had a few gos at copying the Roar's play book. Go wide, push the ball through a hole and have someone run onto it - splitting the defence and crossing or shooting. So it was for the Roar goal, Nichols and Barbarouses going their job and Solorzano his - JC S's job is being there to tap in.
The only real disappointment from this game was the standoff referring which left Nichols with badly bruised legs and Newcastle tackles came pounding in. Roar still have to have legs for another 2 games in 7 days before a week off. So much for programming to support Socceroo duty!
The crowd was a fantastic 8,000 - about the same as the Saturday before.
Sunday, November 14, 2010
Then at half time, Franjic comes on for Stef and it was all Roar - 86% possession. And shot after shot. Their basic game of punching balls through the defence for wide players to run onto. Mitch Nichols came on in the 65th for Paartalu, and the possession became domination. Within a minute Mitch had set-up Barbarouses, the culmination of a one-touch festival, Barbarouses had missed about 5 of these - this time it squeeked into the left post.
More domination. Solorzano comes alive. Heart seem to be constantly fouling to stay in the game. One too many tackles from behind, this time on Solorzano with the goal virtually open. Penalty (72 minutes) - Franjic has a long wait as Shoj is booked for something (wasting time?) - kicks it into Bolton's feet.
Mitch works more wonder. And Broich starts to get into the game for the first time. Roar have 10 shots on goal in the second half. Mitch hits the keeper. Heart scramble down the Roar end, their fans want a penalty, no. Then again in the late 80s, ball in the penalty area for a long time, but eventually shot into the side netting. Roar rebound Broich, Nicols, Franjic shoots hits the post (2nd or 3rd time for the game with Barbarouses) but Solorzano, who was behind the defence for a long time, stands still has the game moves past him, then runs in as the ball hits the post...
Solorano comes off - I thought it should be Broich - Heart pushing hard now, and Roar look tired. Viscounte gets a one-on-one with Bolton, Bolton gets a hand on the shot and Rocky cant take the second chance.
The Roar win. This is how you can win premierships. They missed Reinaldo's power up front. And he'll be back Wednesday night. Roar need to put all the pressure on Central Coast that they can. Not to mention Adelaide.
Time to pick him for Socceroos. If we want to win the big boys Asian Cup, of course.
'SOCCEROO Sasa Ognenovski capped off a great week by scoring the opening goal to help Seongnam Ilhwa lift the Asian Champions League title after 3-1 win over Zobahan in the final in Tokyo'
Saturday, November 13, 2010
Newcastle 3 v Adelaide 0
This is either Central Coast making their run, or Brisbane getting a game ahead.
Central Coast have only played 12 games. So if they win their next 3 they would be top by at least 1 point - as at round 15 (whatever round 15 is, as some others will be way beyond that). And Brisbane would be ruing that it could have won all 5 of its draws - particularly the Sydney and Gold Coast games.
But if the Roar can beat Heart and Central Coast don't win its next 3, then Brisbane will be the clear leader. Pity - or maybe it is a plus - that the draw is creating such confusion. Look at Newcastle, if it wins its next 3 games having played only 12 it will be top 6. And what looked like a crisis will have been a none event.
The A-League's numbers are from last season. But it shows it is up there with Pay TV penetration - AFL Pay TV = 2.3m, NRL Pay TV = 1.3m.
If and when Australia wins the 2022 World Cup, AFL free-to-air of 6.6m viewers will be under threat.
For $950 you can get A-League viewer demographics. Let's hope the clubs and FFA are accessing this data. I assume they are. It would be good to see more of this data reflected in promotion activities and long term planning.
'What shape that future takes is the interesting part. Neither Tinkler nor Gerard are football men, and it seems they want their A-League teams to become part of something bigger. Tinkler wants to buy the Newcastle Knights, while Gerard already bankrolls SANFL club North Adelaide. Both men believe that pooling resources across two codes to create a ''super club'' is the right way to go, and the FFA remains open to the idea.
Before anyone jumps in too quickly, it might be worth remembering that this has happened before, with Carlton, Collingwood Warriors and Parramatta Power. The old NSL wasn't as strong structurally as the A-League, but it's still worth making sure the same mistakes aren't repeated. And that means guaranteeing an equal relationship in any partnership between the codes, not one that automatically relegates football to secondary status.'
Geoff Lord's company was looking for something like this for the Victory. They looked at the Victorian union franchise but the FFA wouldn't let them use the 'Victory' brand.
Maybe allowing more of this would:
1. facilitate better interaction with local fans (summer and winter)
2. encourage an effective antidote to the AFL
Thursday, November 11, 2010
Fury should have won this game 2-0 or better. But the grace of Heart's front line allowed them to get away with first an offside goal, and then a hand ball controlled goal. From there Fury were chasing the game.
So much for Perth's new broom in their 2-0 loss in Adelaide. Do teams still get fined for 5 yellow cards? There were a couple this week.
Sunday, November 07, 2010
Imagine what 20,000 will sound like?
Coming with us?
Saturday, November 06, 2010
Broich was the star for the Roar. But the standout, despite Kosta's 2 goals, was Mundy who - particularly in the second half - ran and ran.
Why was Reinaldo sent off? Clearly he was the victim of a last man foul and it should have been an Adelaide defender with the long walk. But that is idiosyncratic Matthew Breeze for you, his refing is capable of any result. Including not giving Adelaide a penalty in the first half. I am assuming Reinaldo got one yellow when he took his shirt off after scoring a great goal and another for back chat? And it took Breeze a few minutes to realise he had already booked him.
We are top of the league. And Adelaide have Central Coast breathing down their neck.
Friday, November 05, 2010
Unfortunately, FFA seem to be throwing inexperienced refs and assistants at Fury.
Also it would be far better to take the heat out of the situation by allowing the very popular Straka and connected MacLaren to speak out. Muzzled, it just looks like FFA are happy to squeeze the life out NQ.
An undeserved 3 points to the Mariners.
Come on. Time to get with the program.
Wednesday, November 03, 2010
Kosta was great. And again rubbed Herbert the Herbert's nose in the fact he doesn't seem to be interested in young New Zealand players. Again it was Reinaldo that held the ball up and set-up the goal on 4 minutes with a cross field pass - left to right before it came back right to centre for Kosta to stoke in.
Wellington countered for most of the rest of the half, equalising on 36 minutes with a great lob from Brown. Before Broich got his revenge on a kicking he was getting from North by using North's arm on route to goal. Like Victory on Adelaide's Leckie, Wellington targeted violence on Broich. But Thomas was outstanding, setting up goals and near goals.
Mitch finished off the night with a ball from Broich that found him unmarked at the top of the right side of the box.
Now Brisbane is top. And Ange looks like a future Socceroos coach. Will Brisbane come out to watch their team against Adelaide on Saturday?
(Note Brisbane needed to win this match as they have now played 3 more games than 3rd placed Central Coast.)
Tuesday, November 02, 2010
It is just disappointing.
Are the FFA and the players really living a dream about re-creating a European scenario of mid week games? Apart from anything else the clubs that do that well have squads of 60 players.
Saturday, October 30, 2010
Oh for an out and out goal scorer - but then what would we loose?
Missed open goals to Murdocca and McKay - wow Murdocca is geting high (on the park).
Will Reinaldo, Nichols and Solorzance all get a go together?
Sydney look a lot safer without Reddy.
Roar's defence can look like glass.
“Jordan Farina is another player that David Large and I have known from our time with the QAS and he is a player I have a lot of time for. He is very powerful and very quick and can play a number of positions. He can go past people, score goals and do a defensive job too, and I am excited to have him in our squad."
He has the X factor. May be hard for the Roar to get him. Maybe Sydney or Fury.
However, anyone else think that Miron has been really quiet this year - only real quote was that FFA may have to think about the future of Gold coast next season.
And Fury can not take a trick with FFA. I thought the Bosnich 'mic'ed' idea was a good. At least it would have showed something was happening for the fans. And I also think given that it it appears to have been... well it wasn't their fault they went to Newcastle - 2 plane trips there and back - for no game, Stuart Mac coaching this week at home would have been reasonable - for the fans.
How should the Roar re-build their reputation with Brisbane? It is not just about great football and winning. There is something intangible. A real demonstration that they know about and care about their fans.
And then there is Australia's Sporting Industrial Complex, including the media with its vested interests in NRL and AFL.
Friday, October 29, 2010
The second 'takeout' on 20 minutes works a treat as Adelaide management left arguing on the sideline with Leckie off while Kruse scores.
Adelaide have a right back problem.
Muscat gets only his 2nd yellow of the season - wow.
Thursday, October 28, 2010
- FFA cup - want it? who and when?
- season length and when (uses jargon - 'window') - too long? too short? after NRL/AFL?
- marquee players - effective? good enough?
- club customer service to fans and reaching out
And a range of other things.
But they don't allow you to click multiple boxes - like I go to matches with my son and my friends - but it only allowed me to say one or the other. And it didn't allow me to say the 'fan-made' ads are good but a shot in the foot because key stadiums will not allow fans to do some of the things that the ads say you can do.
Saturday, October 23, 2010
The only negative for Melbourne is that their new no 9 has been found out as a diver. if he is not careful, sooner or later he will get a 2 week ban.
Brisbane had very few opportunities and rarely got into position where a shot was on. But the standout for was - Luke Devere 'playmaker'. Early in the second half he ran rings around about 4 Victory players. Then later he cut through the middle and an inch perfect tackle stopped his shot, providing Solorzance the opportunity to slam home.
If Victory had drawn this match or even won it (both outcomes could have been justified by the way they played), it would have been down to Muscat. He was brilliant. It was amazing how he could pull the shirt of a player (usually Reinaldo) or slam into their back in such a way that the ref saw no problem. It is a real skill.
There were about 30 travelling Victory fans who were very vocal at first and then when Kruse equalised out of nowhere (soft goal Roar) early in the second half. However, security and then the police made sure they were very quiet as the game rolled on.
Only about 9,000 tonight. It shows 2 things, how damaged the Roar brand was last year by tipping the club upside down, and how poor the game scheduling is this year. 7:45pm is too late. And the next home game is the 'top of the table' clash with Adelaide. Guess what time - 8:15pm. Rubbish. How are you going to get maximum kids to that? Most will not get home till well after 11pm. And in Adelaide the game will be on between 8:45 and 10:45 and elsewhere 9:15 and 11:15.
This is rubbish viewing time. Get the games back in prime time FFA.
Still who is going to investigate whether the Van Dijk and Flores deals led to breaches of the salary cap?
Maybe the plan was for Adelaide to do well in 2009-10 Asian Cup, giving the A-League a better profile.
Thursday, October 21, 2010
Use the US MLS system and have all players contracted centrally - one in all in.
And no trading of players unless both clubs and FFA agree.
Cernak process makes it look like FFA is writing off Fury. Poor decision making again.
Compare this to the way Adelaide has been pump-primed in a desperate attempt to find a buyer. Meanwhile the other owners suffer the consequence of an artificially strong Adelaide.
Ange has proved his point. Now the Brisbane press need to get behind the team.
ABC 612 did this morning.
A team this good needs local support.
Come on let's go.
What about the cleverness of Broich? The screamer from Ivan Franjic?
But mid week your competing against Paul Weller - well well well, things are really hotting up now.
Sunday, October 17, 2010
Newcastle wanted a point - so they defended for the rest of the game. If they had kept pressing there may have been an upset.
Having said that, Brisbane did play brilliantly in the middle third and most of the final third with the exception of actually scoring.
Fans throughout the Roar's history will be familiar with the stats from the game of 72% possession and 22 shots to 4 and then not winning. At least in this game they drew. But there was something different. One more piece of magic and this was going to be 4-1.
Pity about Wednesday games. And pity it will be Central Coast. You want teams like this to fully recover and go again.
Plus the A-League needs teams like this watched in prime time, not hidden on a Wednesday.
Vítězslav Lavička has a fear of heights and committed to climbing the Sydney Harbour Bridge if Sydney beat Melbourne for its first win of the season. This psychology was all wrong. He should have committed to climbing the bridge if they lost. That would have got his motivation and blood pressure going... Maybe he really didn't want to make that climb?
Saturday, October 16, 2010
I think Fred should only play in Australia for the Victory. There are plenty of foreign players out there Perth should go find one.
Australian players team hoping is one thing. Foreign players team hoping is unacceptable to fans. Stamp it out FFA.
Fred's Wellington stint showed how poor value his move back to the A-League was.
Glory - give your fans their own heroes.
"My point back then was don't judge my decisions on that time and place - the judgment in those decisions would come further down the track," Postecoglou said. "I wanted players who wanted to win things and wanted to progress their careers, not just a player who was looking for another payday or an increase in their salary as a motivation to move."
Friday, October 15, 2010
If Perth were getting rid of Mitchell, why didn't they go the whole way and exit Ferguson too? Clearly Glory need new thinking, the A-League has moved way on from their kick the ball, kick the opponent style. Why is Jacob Burns see as Socceroo potential?
The linesman didn't know what he was doing with offside. A fairer score, just on correct offside calls would have been 4-0 to Fury.
And if Straka is going to be banned for touching a ref, why wouldn't Michael Baird be? Baird can be seen making the same level of contact on the ref when he got his yellow card.
Fury is a team we need in the A-League. It would be very unfair if Glory got to buy Hughes and others from Fury cheap to try and patch up what is a poor history of bad coaching for Perth.
Thursday, October 14, 2010
FFA Cup with State Leagues - great move.
Late finish and maintaining 3 match-ups - very poor move.
Reducing foreign players from 5 to 4 - not sure about this one. Could signal reduction in teams to 10 and therefore increased local players. If 11 or 12 teams go forward, better to limit Wellington to 5 foreign players and free up Australian players that way. Unfortunately, foreign players are among fan favourites. And there is less likely to be what Fox is looking for in Asian players - and what about Asian Cup qualifiers looking to boost their teams...
Sydney Morning Herald:
The FFA has also heeded the advice of technical director Han Berger by reducing the number of A-League import spots from five to four for next season. Berger has been an outspoken critic of the number of sub-par foreigners in the competition, arguing their selection is hindering opportunities for local youngsters.'
The reality is that more foreign players will get Australian citizenship. These football people just see the A-League as a feedlot for possible Socceroos. They seem to care little for fans. And that is the problem.
FFA, please start making decisions based on thorough market analysis by segment.
Wednesday, October 13, 2010
Saturday, October 09, 2010
He has done a great job creating interest for the Fury. He is the only member of any of the Queensland teams' coaching staff that I have heard on Brisbane radio.
The Fury, owned and run by the FFA, have banned him speaking to the media for 2010-11. This is incredibly short sighted and is shooting the team in the foot. Poor move.
Read it here.
Perhaps it is an attempt to protect Coach Straka?
At this level, McLaren's actions were to protect the reputation of Fury in the NQ market. Let's hope that the Fury's actions don't damage fans' interest in the team. But perhaps the bigger picture is sacrificing McLaren ('here punish this guy but let the popular coach go') to protect new local hero Straka.
Friday, October 08, 2010
Where has this form been - particularly Worm.
How did Muscat stay on the pitch. Only one yellow for him - fits, elbows, in box hand balls - ignored.
Heart were down to 10 with a two card red, then 9 when Worm got cramp.
Great goal from Aloisi.
Heart did everything in first half but Muscat/Kruse pulled one back for 1-1 at half time.
Great entertainment, 26,000 crowd - should have been 40,000.
Wednesday, October 06, 2010
Sunday, October 03, 2010
For a match in which Perth's strategy was 'kick it long' or 'kick them' - the card count is all wrong (Perth 18 fouls to Brisbane 10). Ref Ben Williams only gave out 3 cards - the 2 to Brisbane were clearly wrong - the goal to Mitch and for a 'dive' to Paartalu and yet the replay showed he was fouled.
If 2 weeks ago Brisbane were too predictably short passing, here Perth's myopic 'biff' strategy was found out. So much talent - just wasted. Including the speedy, youth team contractor, Ryan Pearson. Fowler couldn't get near the ball.
Crowd - 9,700.
And it looks like Fury - a team that must survive if the A-League is to in its current format and to help the Socceroos in Asia - are going to pay the price. Read here.
The Fury have as strong a fan base as any team bar the Victory and possibly Perth. They bring something different that adds to other teams performances. Look at CCM, the Fury really forced them to lift and entertain a crowd that had turned out in the cold and wet.
The A-League is about entertainment - not some complex idea about development of players and refs.
Time is running out for the FFA to get this.
Friday, October 01, 2010
Neither the overall model, nor the stadiums are viable at the moment. we need to find a way to get costs down or get more fans in. That last person who says 'I'll go' decides.
No we don't. We need more teams so we can 1. more back to playings teams twice instead (of what fans see as boring) three times, and 2. create some interest by having more differentiation in the league.
What we don't want is all teams playing the same way.
Wednesday, September 29, 2010
From there Ange coached the Socceroo under 20s from 2000 to 2007. Coaching the U20s is difficult, some countries put a lot of resources behind their teams, e.g. in Asia South and North Korea. Australia doesn't have that type of resources. Therefore, Australian U20s coach mandate is participating in as many tournaments as possible, and finding and developing potential Socceroos. And Ange's win-loss record looks good compared to more recent Dutch coaches. However, there were critics, SBS and Craig Foster most notably (you can probably find the youtube video).
In 2008, he spend around 9 months as coach of Greek team Panachaiki. Again he may have felt he wasn't judged fairly.
On his return to Australia, Ange would have been keep to return to the top of Australian coaching and an A-League contract. Melbourne Heart was the opportunity. However, there was a feeling that Heart was to be distanced from South Melbourne (and old Soccer). It is understood that the appointed coach, Johannes van't Schip, was offered Ange as his assistant. Schip hesitated. Schip wanted to link up with a former team mate (they played together in the early 1980s) from Ajax - Jesper Olsen. Olsen was already living in Victoria and had some involvement in the local soccer community. Offered an additional Australian assistant (to do their part training the next generation of coaches?), Schip now chose legendary Australian player Ante Milicic who had recently become coach of Sydney United in the NSW Premier league.
Ange had to wait. And the Roar provided, albeit with a move away from family to a region where his feats where not known. And to replace a local hero.
So, Brisbane's domination of Heart must have provided special satisfaction for Ange. But he didn't say so. He wouldn't. And didn't need to.
Saturday, September 25, 2010
Brisbane added long balls to their game. In the first 30 minutes, lots of them, lots and lots. It wasn't quite what I had in mind but it did the job. Especially when they mixed it in with a fast short passing game.
So what is happening at the Heart? They seemed OK for the first 10 minutes then seemed to fall apart or give up. Colosimo came off injured (51 mins) in the second half. But in the first it was Matt Thompson that looked injured - at least could not or would not run. The Roar made mince meat of Heart's defence - a fairer indication of the difference between the teams would have been 8-0. Next week Heart play Victory and the AFL reply will be the last of their worries.
Clearly the Heart have problems on the pitch. Hopefully they are not reflecting something else off the pitch.
The other note is on Skoko. This guy was lucky to only get one yellow card. He could have picked up 2 in the first half. And Alex Terra is a diver but after missing one in the first half Chris Boyle saw what he was up to in the second.
And c'est bon, Sibon - hardly in the game. Was Rutger Worm even playing?
The Roar's only bleak spot was Reinaldo's performance. I am a big fan and I want him to do well. But his form this year has been below expectations. And tonight it was just plain poor. Poor touches, poor shots. And yet now and again he found space, or put colleagues into space. But he should be an out and out goal scorer and he just has not been. His striking form was underlined by a straight forward one-on-one with the keeper that he kicked straight too him. Contrast Reinaldo to Mitch Nichols who was everywhere playing a real number 10 role and scoring a brilliantly composed goal.
Ange responded to calls to mix up the single focus short passing, well done for that.
Friday, September 24, 2010
So much for the World Cup influence on Wellington. Only 3 New Zealand players are in the Wellington starting 11, Tim Brown, Leo Bertos and Ben Sigmund. And Mark Paston is the only Kiwi on the bench. Little wonder that young up-and-comers like Kosta Barbarouses have to leave. Still it is expected that Kosta will be playing in Holland after the end of the season.
Thursday, September 23, 2010
Wednesday, September 22, 2010
Newcastle found it too easy to sit back and defend for all but around 15 minutes in the middle of the second half.
Poor Bruce Dijte, he isn't a replacement for Smeltz, and too easily hustled out of the game.
The crowd of 2092 was a few people bigger than the weekend but hardly great for a school holiday crowd. Surely there are coast kids on leave and tourists from all over Australia? They aren't at the beach at night.
Gold Coast need a Charlie Miller to back up Jason Culina - who once again had to do just about everything. Miron was very aware that without the goal, he'd be under real pressure - not as coach but leader of the club.
'The A-League was an outcome of the lead up and performance by the socceroos at the 2006 world cup. Crowds did growth for 3 seasons, then the rubber band started to snap back. Like the EPL, few clubs have broken-even including all revenues. Until stadiums stop being the major expense and until clubs break even, the contraction will continue. Unless, there is either cost reform - ie play somewhere cheaper or pay less for players, or there is another major event to catch the public's attention for 3 years...' growth will be limited.
Here are the average crowd number for the 5 and a bit years of the A-League (I have used Wikipedia for the raw data):
Average crowds peaked in season 3, 2007-8. I recall in season 3 a growing feeling that 3 games against each team was just too much. Plus in Brisbane, Frank Farina was the new hope for a title and Asia - which he very nearly made.
Last year Adelaide moved ahead of the A-League season average for the first time - despite its last position. There is a real lesson there about whether it is winning or entertaining or just having on the park the players that fans want to see (can you see that Roar?).
Brisbane's fan base collapsed after it lost its first game to the new Gold Coast team (whose management boycotted the game and told their fans to stay away - well done lads got everyone's sympathy there). Some Brisbane fans went to Gold Coast where they lost interest. Then Frank was fired and the fan base fell away further and has not recovered.
It is interesting that Wellington, despite their world cup interest, have not - so far - managed to maintain their average crowd and are well down on their entry in 2007-8.
Melbourne Victory still has the largest average crowd but it is down from 21,000 last year to just under 15,000 this year. And while they have moved many games to the smaller AAMI stadium, it is concerning how empty their stadium is looking. I feel that empty stadiums have a real impact on atmosphere and discourage people.
Perth is the success story so far this season. Robbie Fowler and winning at home has made a real difference. In Perth bigger crowds are creating more atmosphere in their small stadium. Plus there is a sense of a return to the NSL 'Glory' days.
Tuesday, September 21, 2010
Perhaps the point had been missed here that the Brisbane crowd is down because Van Dijk left - another foreign player opportunistically pitching from one club to the next for better money and a show case opportunity for an Asian transfer. Roll on central control of player contracts - like the US MLS and stop this anti-fan nonsense.
And this from Mike Colman on the power of controversy in sport:
'When he loaded up his mouth and fired off his bombs newspaper sales would go through the roof, television cameras would follow him through hotel foyers, and the man in the street would be frothing at the mouth with moral indignation. ...The real question is do these comments get people to games, and for that matter do the articles?
God love 'em all actually. I mean where would we be without them? If not for the Arthurs, Akers, Mundines and Campos of this world, we sportswriters would be forced to write about . . . well, sport. And let's face it, how boring would that be?'
Sunday, September 19, 2010
Melbourne Victory 0 v Wellington 0 (11,513 - how long ago since Victory played to only 11,000?)
North Queensland 0 v Melbourne 0 (4,922 - Fury dominated but couldn't score)
Brisbane 1 v Adelaide 1 (7,080)
Gold Coast 0 v Central Coast 0 (2,037 check this out FFA are promoting this as a record! - lowest ever crowd for A-League)
Newcastle Jets 2 v Perth 0 (6,977 - Perth as we have said before need a new coach)
Heart 2 v Wellington 1 (5,698)
Adelaide played an attacking, short passing game, as if they were the home team.
German Broich got his first goal from a free kick that Galekovic stood and watched bounce in.
The crowd was 7,000.
Friday, September 17, 2010
Thursday, September 16, 2010
I'd say he was hoping to be picked up in Asia - as he had already indicated. But had a poor Asian Cup.
'Since his arrival in Adelaide, Dutchman Rini Coolen has replaced Aurelio Vidmar as coach, with van Dijk admitting he prefers Coolen's "easy-going" nature to Postecoglou's "police officer" attitude.' ....
"Rini first lets us try to work things out. Then if they are still wrong he'll say something afterwards, but he won't try to be a police officer."
Monday, September 13, 2010
'The first goal we conceded, while it came from Luke's pass, I'll defend that till the day I die. That was a mistake out of player trying to play out from the back which is what we want to. I've got no issue with Luke playing that kind of pass.'
This is U15 stuff. In fact since the FFA edict on 4-3-3, just about every team from U11 up. But few A-League teams play that way. Why? Because their first job is to make sure they have a fan base. Not some slavish following of the 'experts' view on how the game should be played.
But what does 'playing out from the back' achieve? Well if your team has more skills than your opposition - a lot. Possession turns into goals. But if you are on a par or below the standard of your opposition, expect to loose. After 2 or 3 years you may be good enough at this approach to win a league. After 6 years without success are there any Brisbane fans prepared to wait?
A quality team may use playing out of the back together with a range of tactics including the occasional long ball. They want to mix things up and keep the opposition guessing what could happen next.
Rather than signal their punches with repetitive passing moves.
Mid way through the first half of the Melbourne v Brisbane game Carlos Hernandes could be seen gesturing to his team mates to push up with him and hem Brisbane in. Once they did so, and pressed Brisbane across the pitch, Brisbane began to wilt. The blunt truth is that Brisbane's team does not have the skills to ensure that every pass finds its mark - particularly when the pressure is on. And the more pressure Melbourne applied, the more of the critical passes were spilled.
Up front the Brisbane picture was worse. They dominated possession outside Melbourne's box. Yet none shot from distance.
Brisbane's game, and its key passes spilled, looked about the quality of the U14, U15 and U16 games we see around Brisbane.
Slavishly following 'play out from the back' and then defending it, underlines how unsophisticated Brisbane's game was.
Expect every team to copy Melbourne's approach and press Brisbane in their defensive 3rd. How will Brisbane respond? The next two home games could determine Brisbane fans' decision about whether to come back to the team. It is a bad time of year to be found out.
Have a read of this article in The Age:
''We would like a shorter season to make the competition stronger and more viable,'' he said. ''We would like to play a mid-year cup knockout competition, we could have State League clubs in it to make it more interesting and give them something to aim at.
''The clubs have basically had enough. The main thing is that we want a commission which would meet regularly, with representation from all clubs, to help run and strengthen the league. We want to have our own budgets, so money is not just lost in some central pool.
''The FFA don't have too many ideas, don't come up with any innovations or plans.''
For me the A-League's trouble's have been brewing for some years. Schwab is correct in pointing back to the Crawford report. However, it should also be noted that Crawford recommended the commitment to quality playing surfaces - which has proved costly.
I agree Western Sydney should have been a priority. And I don't understand why Sydney Rovers were not to be based at Parramatta or Penrith. How did they win the bid? Other reports indicate that they will not make the funding deadlines.
Sunday, September 12, 2010
Very embarrassing mistakes at the back were punished by a clinical Melbourne.
Brisbane had 2 shots all game. They are looking like one trick ponies as time after time their right flank was exposed every time they tried to play out from the back.
Very poor game from the Roar.
Sunday, September 05, 2010
Maybe it is too late, but maybe FFA is learning that you create interest by coaches, players, commentators (Fox Sports were asked a few seasons ago to stop critising refs) and fans all speaking out about things they think need changing:
'I have always believed that for the A-League to succeed in this country it needs to be strong enough to encourage discussion and sometimes accept criticism so that the average supporter believes they have a say in the sport.'
'... the threat of a strike looms large. The strain has spilled over to the training field, with former Brisbane Strikers star Kasey Wehrman and defender Adam D'Apuzzo almost coming to blows and having to be separated by teammates on Thursday. Skipper Michael Bridges and fellow attacker Sean Rooney were also involved in a heated exchange... '
Saturday, September 04, 2010
While I think Branco Culina could be the best coach in Australia, it may be that he will struggle with the current odds. The Roar beat Newcastle once before 0-5 (pity it wasn't at home). The same could be on again tomorrow. However, such a result could be pretty ominous for the future of the A-League. Can the FFA afford to own another team?
Does FFA have the strategy and resources to address the chronic problems with the ownership of clubs - FFA to own all? or centralised marketing/ticket sales and or fan based ownership, plus strategies to lower club costs - new fields and changes to the salary cap arrangements?
A lot hangs on the FIFA world cup decision in December.
Sydney - 7,558
Melbourne Heart - 4,200
The Newcastle crowd tomorrow will be a real challenge.
It was not a great idea to maintain the approach of playing each team 3 times. One home and one away would have been plenty and created some form of scarcity.
Perth may come to the rescue tomorrow. But the damage seems to have been done. Heart crowd in prime time and the Sydney crowd (although there was rain) is not setting the scene well for Sydney Rovers (are Rovers still go for next year?). Sydney Rovers should be based in Paramatta or even Penrith and call Western or Nepean Rovers.
Sunday, August 29, 2010
Simon Colosimo was spitting chips after the game.
In Baird's case, he was on his own in the box. The debut ref was completely fooled.
Saturday, August 28, 2010
Wellington, on the other hand, had very little. I was surprised to read some reviews today suggesting they were slightly the better team. In reality they had few answers. Coach Herbert had to resort to his old tactic of complaining to the 4th official. But it was his team that showed poor discipline and nasty tackling in place of skill. No wonder Herbert was so cheesed off at questions about Kosta. Surely he would wish for Kosta over the hapless McAlister.
With the Fevola experiment failing for the AFL at the Lions and the Broncos tanking, the Roar now have a real chance to draw back fans to the game.
Monday, August 23, 2010
Sunday, August 22, 2010
The ref had no idea what he was doing.
Fury were down to 9.
This the ref lets Cernak get pulled down in the box.
Then Kruze dives in the box and wins Grossman a red card and a penalty. Why?
Mid second half Melbourne's new Welsh player is brought down outside the box. And penalty! Why?
Then there is some pushing a shoving in the Melbourne box. Yellow card penalty. Eric Akoto is unset about something. Tells the ref something has been taken from him. Pushes Muscat over - oh Muscat had been standing on it. The ref sends Akoto off. Why?
In all that both Kruse and Dugandzic are yellow card for diving in the box.
Fury played 45 minutes with only 10 and a further 15 with only 9.
Seb Ryall - nearly there
Stephan Keller - make Captain best player on team
Hayden Foxe - too old too slow to play at the back (can he play striker?)
Stuart Musialik - keep
Nick Carle - hmmm maybe this is why he didn't get many games in England? Returning players should reward their fans and return to their original clubs - Newcastle
Kofi Danning - great prospect but he was very isolated, can see why they tried to buy Sergio Van Dijk (who is wasted at Adelaide) - why did you let Chris Payne go he was your best last year (Brosque is done)
Terry McFlynn - we have seen all he has to offer - should have tried harder to keep other players and free up a foreign spot
Scott Jamieson - one of Australia's best prospects, needs to keep his temper under control, perhaps should have gone for overseas experience rather than turning on fans
Sung Hwan Byun - good prospect, not there yet
Rhyan Grant - missing at key times?
Shannon Cole - needs to be starting (last 9 minutes)
Brendan Gan - needs to start (last 20 minutes)
Hiro Moriyasu - sorry didn't notice his 13 minutes
Saturday, August 21, 2010
Paartalu and Broich look great. Barbarousus has potential. Mitch is back to his original best. Henrique did a good job. Great goal - heaps of lead up work - from McKay.
Roar play well.
Pity crowd was only 10,333. Is a low for the first home game and for games v Sydney. Grass roots work with clubs does not produce fans. Maybe winning at home will?
Friday, August 20, 2010
But Heart where awkward. Better but still they seem to play to fancy for their skills. And their defence, which on paper sounds like one of the best in the league - Beauchamp, Colossimo - is brittle.
Van Dijk got injured in the warm up. But Leckie and Iain Ramsay (2 goals) could keep him out for good. It is almost as if Van Dijk is missing Brisbane. he started badly here and turned it around but I can't see that happening twice.
On the upside for Heart, this was their best game. Skoko is out for 6 weeks. But that may be a positive. Worm and Sibone started to look good.
Gee the A-League squads are thin now.
Both sides were not quite good enough to play the way they tried to.
Thursday, August 19, 2010
I haven't heard of the authors but that is OK. You aren't reading the same old story which many in the soccer journalism game have fallen into - from Ray Gatt down (what can you write once you have written the league off?).
Goal covers every A-League game just played. Predictions for the next weekend. Some history of the game in Australia. Then the focus is Victorian state leagues and junior scores.
Some great ads.
Goals is refreshing. 5 stars.
Wednesday, August 18, 2010
Sunday, August 15, 2010
Saturday, August 14, 2010
Sunday, August 08, 2010
Unfortunately, Brisbane were without a centre forward and it looked like it. Eric Paartalu was the best player on the field. Thomas Broich looks very good but had got very tired by 70 minutes - so was and so did Henrique. Massimo came off with a thigh strain early and Mitch came on to play very well. A nice late cameo for Luke Brattan.
Shane Steffenuto was less convincing at left back, but we will see.
The crowd was very disappointing. And showed the wisdom in playing the opener at Suncorp last year. Only 6,000 and most were Brisbane fans. Oh dear. Brisbane needed a win here to ensure a crowd against Sydney in 2 weeks (bye next week). The Sydney game is being billed as an opener. Will be interesting to see if Brisbane has made up ground.
Team of the first round of version 6? North Queensland Fury!
Saturday, August 07, 2010
How about at least equal column space for the home team?
Dave Mitchell lived up to his reputation as a nice guy but not much chop as a coach. Long balls every time. Yet North Queensland, Chris Payne (yep from Sydney FC), Dave Williams and Chris Grossman 90 + 2 (from left back) all got goals.
But the game changer has Fury's new centre back - who survived the bus shooting in the Africa Cup of Nations - Eric Akoto. You will hear more of this guy. He plays hard particularly up front for set pieces (including a deliberate kick that only got a yellow. He was great.
The refs this year are going to let more go - it is about please the fans. The Adelaide v Newcastle game showed that all ins are OK. Boring 0-0 in that game.
Thursday, August 05, 2010
Tuesday, August 03, 2010
Sunday, August 01, 2010
The World Cup hasn't led to interest this time round. That needs free to air games.
Also Slater seems to be writing off Brisbane:
'No excuses for coach Ange Postecoglou after his big cleanout. Still it's going to be a big test, both on and off the field, for the club. Tommy Oar and striker Sergio van Dijk are significant losses for the Roar.'Actually, Oar helped with the fans but Zullo had many more fans and the club used both van Dijk and Craig Moore in its promotion (to little impact). The big problem on the field last year was Craig Moore's poor form. Sorry he wasn't very good. And he was exposed by signing the dud Bob Malcolm.
Brisbane is Australia's untapped summer market. Unfortunately there are vested interested in the established codes. And when those codes don't perform for the fans...
Why is Brendan Fevola still in the press? The AFL know that while that have made sure Gold Coast is a success, the fans live in Brisbane. I recon Fevola has been featured in the Brisbane press more prominently that any other human being. More than Prime Ministers and even successful sports people. Why?
Saturday, July 31, 2010
Thursday, July 29, 2010
No. 1 Keeper Michael Theoklitos (5 star?)
Coaches must bring players with them. Michael is Ange's coup. A-League teams are built on defence and defences are built on goalkeepers. Michael has already been a great A-League keeper, but went overseas and lost a lot. After letting in 7 in his only game for Norwich, he now has a lot to prove. And if he does, he could take the Roar to the finals, if not the ACL. At the critical time, Reddy was a dud. Michael could have what it takes.
No. 2 Keeper Andrew Redmayne (2 star?)
If the Roar have to find out if Andrew is any good - or they start playing silly billies and giving no 1 and 2 turns, Brisbane are probably in trouble, particularly Ange.
The Roar have never looked so good in defence - except with Moore at his best - 2008-9.
Luke DeVere (4 star?)
Won great praise against Everton. Has learnt from Moore. A lot expected this year.
Ivan Franjic (3.5 star?)
Has looked fantastic as an overlapping right back. If the Roar click, Ivan could be setting up goals this year.
Matt Mundy (2 star?)
Start his career with great promise 2 years ago but faded last year. Needs to prove himself this year.
Matthew Smith (3 star?)
Looked OK playing for NQ Fury for 2 months. Lots of lower league English experience in the middle of defence.At 28 could be still young enough to learn and excel in the A-League. Brisbane need him to be still learning and improving. A real test for Ange's opportunistic buying from Fury.
Shane Stefanutto (4 star? or injury prone?)
Left back, 30 year Shane was born in Cairns and last year was in the top 10 highest paid in the A-League. No doubt his pay will have come down with a thud. However, it was long term injury that really hurt him and Fury last season. Lots of experience in Norway. Could be the difference for Brisbane in defence. Not worked too hard in the pre-season as he was eased back into it.
Milan Susak (3.5 star?)
Another central defender, Milan has great experience for a 26 year old at this level - 5 years in Serbia, 10 games with Adelaide United and 2 years in Germany. Not sure about him. I suspect the thinking is that if he can standout he will get a great sales margin at the end of the season.
Perhaps, on paper the midfield looks a little weaker than last year. But this year they will be more trainable and disciplined. And..
Matt McKay (4 stars? or 5?)
.. has turned down China and got the captaincy he was promised before Craig Moore turned up. he and Massimo will provide the fans names they recognise and respect. if this is Matt's year, it will be Ange's and Brisbane's.
Thomas Broich (5 stars?)
Could Broich be Brisbane's well behaved playmaker - at long last? Big shoes from Miller - but the rap from the pre-season including assessments from other teams is very good. Good to see that he seems to be able to play 90 minutes. Looking forward to seeing him. Against Gold Coast we could know.
Luke Brattan (2 to 3 stars)
If Luke had emerged last year as hoped things could have been different. Classic middle of the park passer. Interesting to see how much game time he gets. My guess is only a lot if things do not go well.
Massimo Murdocca (3 stars)
Fans love him or hate him. Gets lots of credit for holding up the midfield, pace and stamina. Can he keep going?
James Meyer (2 stars?)
Seems to have had a lot of promise early but hasn't been able to convert it - returned from overseas to play lessor leagues here. Huge incentive to show he has career ahead of him. Not sure.
Erik Paartalu (2 Stars)
Again had enough to get overseas early but didn't kick on (see a theme here? good sign in some ways for Australians overseas that they will get a second chance to get attention, get game time and learn). 2nd division Scotland isn't what it used to be. very gald to be surprised here.
Mitch Nichols (I would like to think a 4 Star?)
last year was a nightmare for Mitch. So many one-on-one's with keepers didn't go his way (or they did). This is his chance. Mitch must now show he is a trainable.
Brisbane's forward line has new faces. With van Dijk gone, someone has to stand up or Ange is in trouble.
Reinaldo (2 Star)
The goal again Sydney in 2007-8 won him over for many fans. Then he went to Korea and was broken by the training schedule. We got him back for free. But he hasn't been the same. Now he has done his hamstring and will not play till game 3 or 4. Oh dear.
Jean Carlo Solorzano (needs to be 5 Star for Brisbane to make the ACL)
There is a lot riding on Costa Rican Solorzano. On paper he seems to have potential and his loan deal seems to indicate he is here to get exposure for a European sale. Ange needs him to be a star. But with no pre-season (he arrived today to play 8 August) - he may take half the season to get going.
Henrique (3 stars)
Injury robbed Roar fans of Henrique last year. he needs to back to his best.
Kosta Barbarouses (4 Stars?)
Could keep some other forwards out. Has surprised in the pre-season. What were Wellington doing not playing this guy. Probably to be sold at the end of the year. But could be a real answer for Brisbane. May add to the midfield pace with some gas upfront. Watch this space.
Rocky Viconte (2 to 3.5 stars)
Already out with injury. I wish him well. Apparently looked good in what pre-season he had. game time?
Unfortunely Brisbane would be better off playing Gold Coast later in the season. As it is they need to do well to convince fans to stay with them. The Gold Coast are unlikely to have any fans anyway.