Tuesday, March 15, 2011

A is for Ange

Ange must be tasting the irony in all this like someone putting 'big red' source on the meal his mum slow cooked for hours.

He spent 5 plus years ignored by the A-League. Now just about every club sees him as 'the answer'. Like they just read he won 2 national titles as a player and now 3 as a coach.

He is a smart, articulate man. He matches it with the toughest journalists, leads them to the answer. Fixes miss-perceptions deftly.

He can also live in the world where he discreetly lays down the law. But in public on game day he is in the background. He knows how to handle young men, do as he says or they will miss out on being part of his team. And yes you want to be part of his team.

Ange is a planner and strategist. Seeing the big picture, not trying to solve all the problems at once.

Having said that, the cornerstone of his plan is the 'known' way to get results in modern football. Play out from the back, but not always. Play and run off the ball into continuously forming triangles. Pass short and forward. Go wide and straight down the middle. Follow the curriculum. Play the right way and mistakes are forgiven.

And yet for all his success in doing it 'his way', this role at Brisbane Roar has added something for him. A new charisma in which he sweeps all before. Jumping ship even for family could jeopardise what he dreams of... being the ACL champion. He moves - and that is another 2 years of risk. But without more resources he knows he will struggle against Urawa and the rest. You can do so much with unproven or low cost players. The top flight needs some higher cost magic.

And then there is the FFA. Melbourne Victory was its cash cow, yet it is now fading in quality and finances. And Heart's investors have lost heart. Even though they have done as well as could be expected. Both teams think the answer is Ange. More than just it can't be both teams' answer, it must be neither team. They must find their own Ange. Otherwise the magic is at risk for them, as the weight of expectation catches up with the charisma (you can't buy it, sorry).

And worse Queensland, the state of opportunity and untapped wealth, is at risk for FFA. Without Ange, the players would loose their mojo, anybody else would be a compromise - someone Victory and Heart did not want. The fans would again be cynical after being let down again. With Fury gone, Gold Coast seemingly on the edge, Brisbane would be next. Then who? No, FFA must do what Ange wants, money, 2 marquee players and no empty spots in the squad. Then probably a guest too - then we may see Brisbane rock - 30,000 every game, then 40,000.

Then the ACL.

That would be best for Ange.

Victory and Heart get creative. The Answer isn't as simple as A is for Ange.

1 comment:

Hamish said...

Nicely written piece, John.

It would be a lot to bare if we lost Ange.