Saturday, December 17, 2011

Failed game promotion backfires on Roar

A failed 'double header' promotion of the youth team game before the main event backfired badly for Brisbane. Not only was the crowd only 10,006 and only a few hundred at best turned up early, but Theo's goal mouth was drenched before the kick off. This water led to Theo's miss kick which gifted Central Coast the game and the Roar 4th straight loss.

Suncorp was already carrying water before the sprinklers were turned on and large quantities of sand had been laid at the end which was to be Theo's home for the first half. At best the pre-match watering was ill considered, at worst foolhardy. It will be interesting to hear what went into the decision making. Further, after 7 years playing at Suncorp the Roar should know that the pitch cannot take 2 games in 4 hours. And as expected the pitch gave way under foot at critical stages.

As the photo shows, way too much water soaked Theo's goal and goal kicking area.Also note the lack of a crowd for the youth game.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

What next?

Most A-League teams have now demonstrated that they can play the Roar system. If Brisbane wants to grow its fan base it now has to:

1. Take its system to another level.

2. Buy better players that will play the current system better and more consistently.

3. Ensure the squad has a majority of local players (there are about 2 or 3 in there now and sometimes they start with none).

We all hear about 'grassroots' from A-League clubs, well having people involved who are part of the local community is what it means. Letting Matt McKay go, not keeping other locals and former Roar players Dario, Williams (must be injured for Heart?), and not buying John McKain or Josh Rose, has fails to build over 7 years any sense of connection to the Brisbane or Queensland community. Compare that to the Boncos and you will see why Brisbane fans are fair weather friends.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Brisbane 1 v Melbourne Heart 2

To build a football brand in Brisbane, the Roar had to win last night. While the crowd had already halved from 20,000 to 10,000, Roy Morgan found this week that Brisbane is the most watched (TV) soccer team in the A-League. A shock for Melbourne Victory perhaps.

That was one disappointment from last night. Another was how the Roar played, possession without opportunities = boredom. And the third was the fake injuries and time wasting from Heart. I don't understand why the ref decided to talk to players rather than just card them.

It is now obvious that without Broich and Henrique, Brisbane are off the pace. No surprise Matt Smith is out for Wednesday's game against Wellington, his very poor game could be explained by injury.

The Roar's owners have told members they want to buy a marquee. Ange has told the press he isn't getting one. Watch this space for the first signs of 'artistic differences'. Clearly the Roar squad lacks depth and isn't at the same skill level.

Melbourne Heart played the ensemble game better than Roar in the first and were more physical, knocking timid Roar players off the ball.

If the Roar play this way against CCM, expect the score to be 0-4 plus. At least Broich will be back...

Sunday, December 04, 2011

Sydney FC 2 v Brisbane 0

Brisbane were not in this game. The end of their run was emphatic. From the goal in the first 32 seconds, to their defence regularly looking in disarray, to the off night upfront.

Poor games from Jurman, Smith and Franjic. Very poor passing from Paartalu.

I'd like to see a back-line of Steffanutto, Smith, Adnan, and Hingert.

Saturday, December 03, 2011

Muscat machinations

Kevin Muscat wants to be coach of Melbourne Victory.

Just what he is prepared to do to ensure he gets there is unclear. It is also unclear who his powerful backers are. But they are there and as ABC Offsiders sports commentators noted last week, they or Muscat directly are influencing the Melbourne Victory Board.

There is an almost unspoken feeling that Muscat is a crowd draw crowd for Victory, that he adds to the press coverage which is good as long as they spell A-League and sponsors' names right. I disagree. His career includes going to court for violence on the field, foul play that shortened young players careers on the A-League field, cruel mind games and suspensions for gambling 'by his wife.'  Every team in the A-League including Melbourne Victory would be better off without him.

It appears that Muscat is desperate for Mehmet Durakovic to stay as Melbourne coach. That is, until he is ready to take over. So you can almost see him holding up Durakovic by the scruff of his collar - leaning back and straining, blood vessels appearing on Muscat's neck and forehead. The struggle of his life. Hiding his brutality from the public glare but working on the Board, seeding ideas about Kewell and his worth.

Kewell had had the answer in Argentinian international Abel Balbo, and the Board had signed up to that. It would have finished Muscat. But Muscat does not want Durakovic to be too successful. That would finish him too. Durakovic is part of the future of Australian soccer. He is only 46 and played and was coached by Ange.

On the other hand Kevin Muscat is a very old 38. He could pass for much older. As Tiatto said, getting rid of the old farts is a very good thing. If Victory can do that, they can renew and be great again.

Here are some references:

'... a key position for Balbo envisaged the former Serie A striker taking on a number of duties with Victory, and bringing his experience to assist rookie coaches, Durakovic and Kevin Muscat. It was suggested that Balbo could take control of all Victory youth programs and academy development. The Argentinian's overseas network could have helped him identify potential overseas signings, while he could have also assisted in talent identification of local players. In addition, his contacts could have helped Victory ''establish global networks with clubs and players overseas''.' The Age.

'Muscat, along with Queensland Roar captain Craig Moore, was fined on Friday while Victory midfielder Grant Brebner was suspended for two matches by Football Federation Australia after it was discovered all three players had bet on matches involving A-League teams this year.' The Roar.
In 2004, a lawsuit on Muscat brought by former Charlton Athletic player Matty Holmes resulted in a settlement of £250,000 plus costs in favour of Holmes, bringing the estimated settlement to around £750,000. Holmes had to have four operations on his leg following a tackle by Muscat in 1998, and there were initial fears that his leg might have to be amputated. The claim was settled at the High Court without any admission of liability. Wikipedia
'Through his lawyers, Muscat, 30, wished Holmes well for the future, but brushed past him when he entered Court 76 and the pair did not even exchange glances at the end of the 20-minute proceedings.' The Age.