OK so there was a lot of action in the first 30 minutes or so. But by the 2nd half the game had flatlined. Everyone was exhausted including the referee.
Someone wrote of one of my blogs, probably in season 1, 'don't read this if your name is Ben Williams.' Now I can see a bit more of what Williams is trying to achieve as a ref. But that will not make it any easier for the 25,000 people that came to watch what they might have thought was to be game of the season. Some years ago Ben Williams sent off a striker in a minor Oceania match, the guy punched Williams on the way off the field. FIFA backed Williams and banned the guy, probably for life.
As for the Foschini tackle on Broich, I think it is about time Thomas got more protection. And if you look at Ben Williams' record, the tackle had more intent - studs up and made contact with Broich's leg - than the send off he gave Chad Gibson in the early years of the A-League - stretching studs down and aiming at the ball - that send off virtually ended Chad's career. Chad was the face of the Roar in the first season and a half, when he stopped playing, a lot of kids stopped asking their parents to take them to the game.
But yeh, if every time someone makes a tackle like Foschini's, cynical and designed to limit Broich later in the game, let's send them off, I would support that. That would change the A-League again.
Just a few more things. Melbourne got 6 cards, 4 yellows (some for tackles on Broich dominate) and two straight reds. So that should be a fine and a warning. Or was that only because the FFA didn't like Frank Farina?
And another. Kevin Muscat attempted to exert undue influence on the Ref at half time. On the pitch, in the tunnel and more, and after the game. He is not Melbourne's coach and he is not their captain. Even captains and coaches have limited rights to question refs. Muscat has none. By the FFA's own precedents he should be fined and banned. His disciplinary track record should be taken into a account as well.
Melbourne's coach spoke out after the game, saying the 2nd red was 'unacceptable'. When the coaches at Fury, assistant McClaren and coach Straka, both said on Fox that they thorough the refing was unacceptable, both were banned. The banning of McClaren and Straka turned many people in North Queensland off the A-League. However, just how much can Muscat get away with.
Perhaps a bigger concern is that Melbourne's brave and forced adoption of a 9-0-0 formation could be adopted by other teams against Brisbane. This could challenge the game as a spectator sport.
Credit to Melbourne's second keeper, Thomas, he saved the game for them.