Sunday, August 29, 2010

Sydney 1 v Central Coast 1

Liam Reddy sent off. What will the match review panel do? Reverse the suspension. Clear dive.

Gold Coast 0 v Victory 1

Without Smeltz, Gold Coast just don't have it. I don't think Bruce Djite is the answer.

Why not put the crowd in front of the camera?

I think moral issues are starting to bite.

NQ Fury 2 v Adelaide 3

Keep going Fury.

Heart 2 v Glory 2 - ex Roar Baird dives back into the A-League

Baird's dive, together with Central Coast Mariners version last night to steal a draw against Sydney, will test the match review panel. Will they get 2 weeks? They should. Pity the results can't be changed.

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

Brisbane 1 v Wellington 0

Brisbane have proved that their new possession based approach is real.

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

Victory v Fury was the A-League's most entertaining game

... yet only 13,000 were there. Interesting to watch what happens to the Victory crowd. Have they been split by Heart?

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Melbourne V 2 v NQ Fury 2 - Justice.

Well what a great game.

The ref had no idea what he was doing.

Fury score.

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.

Beelzebubs letters to Lavicka on the squad for last night

Liam Reddy - drop to bench - hire Danny V former CCM

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

Brisbane 1 v Sydney 0

Brisbane played like the defending champions and Sydney like they came 2nd last. Brisbane should have had 4 and indeed did get an early goal that Reddy pretended didn't cross the line.

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

Adelaide 3 v Melbourne Heart 2

Hindmarsh was a skating rink.

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

Goal Weekly: Still $4

Wow. Last year we saw the printed media on the A-League dry up. Even 442 Australia kept their A-League content in print to a minimum and pushed to the web and fan based blogs. But this is an old fashioned, grass roots publication. It has some dollars in production, it is paper and tabloid but great. Weekly - Monday in most locations.

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

Up to your old tricks in chapters 4,5 and 6

Gold Coast reintroduce cap. Hard to see them surviving this. AFL moving into town.

Feel for Jason Culina - and a range of quality players that play for GC. SEQ Roar?

Sunday, August 08, 2010

Gold Coast 0 v Brisbane 0 Miron: "It was like a dream"

Brisbane played fast and well. Gold Coast played like their stars have lost interest in playing.Very doubtful that they will win anything this year. Smeltz needs to climb on a plane to somewhere else. Even Jason Culina doesn't seem that enthused.

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!

Sydney 3 v Melbourne 3 - I must admit we had a laugh but that is all it was and nothing more

watch Mr Melbourne - Kevin Muscat - great laugh (tried some fancy footwork in the 6 yard box and gave the ball away for Sydney's first goal - made up for it later with what he does best - nutting players).

Mate Dugandzic is the A-League's new star with a goal and an assist.

Luck gives no change. Sydney did not ride their luck. Easy goals to Sydney - really skilful ones to Melbourne.

Most disappointing of the crowd, only 12,000 in a city of 5 million when the 2 dominant teams in the A-League play the opening game in prime time. Not good. Whatever offseason promotion there was has not paid off for Sydney. This is the best fans can expect from them.

Sorry, just reminds me of the business opportunity that Brisbane was. If only they had spent all that money on players... taken a calculated business risk... but 'baby that was years ago... '

Saturday, August 07, 2010

How many going tomorrow?

If you looked hard...

Courier mail buried their 'vote' today, 58% believe Brisbane will beat Gold Coast. Probably represents the readership. Pity ALL of the positive stories seem to be a about Gold Coast. Plus the big colour pictures.

How about at least equal column space for the home team?

Perth need Frank Farina

They have the talent, and the fans. Their system and long ball game is working against them. Frank could sought this out. He would take them to the title. Mitchell is, sadly, lacking.

Perth 3 v Fury 3 - Fury shine

In front of Perth's biggest ever A-League crowd - they had turned up to see Fowler (that is way you need a marquee) - Fury outplayed Perth.

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

Heart v CCM - CCM take lead

17 mins gone.

A soft goal from a corner - alex wilkinson header.

reasonable crowd. Heart had possession till then - but not much in final 3rd.

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Playing the teams twice would have been enough...

Three times is once too many.

Ange is tight lipped, but an upset is on

I think the Gold Coast's preparation is patching. And there is trouble in their camp. It appears owner Clive Palmer may sell, skipper Jason Culina is having second thoughts about the A-League and goal scorer Smeltz wants to go to Europe (before he is too old or has a bad season).

Brisbane coach Ange put in a good performance on ABC Offsiders on Sunday. But he has too. When asked if the Roar would be 'surprise' improvers or 'celler dwellers', he merely said he was happy with the pre-season. He will now stand or fall on the team's onfield performance. He has done his job.

I recon an upset is possible. I think Gold Coast's pre-season has been limited. I think they are hiding some cracks. A real upset Sunday.

This was the game I wanted to see. mainly for vengeance for Boxing day. But I am coaching.... Still I will get home to watch most of the first half on TV.

Sunday, August 01, 2010

Slater Slater balmes FFA, unfortunately soccer fans don't have payTV

The Story is here.

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?