Posts tagged ‘Brisbane Roar’
Congratulations to all the award winners at the A-League and W-League awards on Monday night.
Is it just us or do others feel that this event should come on the Monday after the Grand Final and not the week before? Yes, other codes of football have their awards in the week leading up to the Grand Final, but does Football always have to follow the other codes? Why can’t it break with tradition at times and lead?
It was great to see Marco Rojas take out the main award. The 21 year old won the Johnny Warren medal by more than double the votes of his nearest rival Alessandro del Piero. This was good news for the A-League.
The Football Media Association – of which this writer is a member – voted for the ageing Italian as their player of the year. Which makes one wonder if they were influenced by the impact del Piero had on the league off the pitch rather than just by his efforts on it; which is the only place that should count with this award. The fact that Rojas defeated del Piero by so much may confirm what many players and coaches, and even some members of the media believe in Australia, that many covering the game actually do not understand it as well as they may like to think.
Here is a radical thought. Del Piero came to Australia having won virtually everything there is to win in football, a reward for having been one of the game’s true greats, but was he seriously the best and most consistent player in the A- League in 2013/14? Was he even the best import? So that people are are not blinded and in awe of the pedigree, the name, and the resumes of the imports that grace the Hyundai A League, should the FFA look at having an award for the best Import?
The sad thing is not even this would work, very few have praised the work of Shinji Ono, who has quietly gone about his business this year. He has performed consistently week in week out and his influence on the Wanderers has been huge, yet few seem to recognise that. Yousouff Hersi was another to shine at Wanderers but who failed to garner much attention; could that be because they were the best team and did not rely heavily on individuals? The other problem in creating such an award is that the attacking players tend to steal the attention. It is very rare that a defender, despite their reliability and efficiency will pick up votes or recognition.
There is no ideal solution, but it was refreshing to see the young and talented Rojas take out the big award.
Western Sydney Wanderers coach Tony Popovic deservedly took out the coach of the year award, while the Wanderers goalkeeper Ante Covic won keeper of the year; Which with hindsight makes Melbourne Victory’s decision to release him at the end of last season look foolish. Central Coast Mariners’ veteran Daniel McBreen claimed the golden boot, which in its self was a remarkable achievement when you consider when Graham Arnold took over at the Mariners he did not want McBreen. It was only following his loan spell at Perth Glory where he kept finding the back of the net that Arnold was convinced to re-evaluate the striker.
Brisbane Roar’s Clare Polkinghorne won the W-League player of the year award, while now Brisbane Roar coach Mike Mulvey claimed the W-League coach of the year award for laying the foundations at Melbourne Victory at the start of the season that saw them progress to the Grand Final. Victory’s Steph Catley won W-League young player of the year, while Perth Glory’s Katie Gill was the golden boot winner.
Perth Glory once again were the victims of a poor refereeing decision irrespective of whether they should have sealed the game prior to the last minute penalty being awarded to Melbourne Victory. The question is what is going to be done about it?
It is refreshing to hear coach Alistair Edwards who has only recently come out of the FFA’s employ quoted in The Australian newspaper as saying “I don’t want to come across as a grump but I can fully understand the rage that Perth Glory fans are feeling because it is happening far too often. The crucial decisions are going against the club. The fans are coming up to me and asking ‘why is it Perth Glory? Why isn’t it happening to Western Sydney, Sydney FC, Melbourne Victory?” A similar question that was asked on several occasions by former Glory coaches Ron Smith, David Mitchell and Ian Ferguson, but who were all told to stop whinging.
This writer is not a parochial supporter of all things Western Australian, but the FFA now have a serious problem. The perception has been for a long time that they are Sydney and Melbourne-centric, and that they would prefer to see finals played between teams from these two cities as it ensures a bigger crowd and is cheaper to stage in terms of flying staff, sponsors and other hangers on to the final. That perception is beginning to look like a reality.
They say that lightening does not strike twice in the same place, but in the A League it would appear to do so. Referee Jarrod Gillett who awarded a controversial penalty in the final minute of last years Grand Final to allow Brisbane Roar to take the title, – a penalty where we blamed the Glory defender for going to ground and giving Berisha the chance to dive – this year awarded one to give Melbourne Victory a last minute penalty to equalise. This one was never even close to being a penalty. Let us also not forget the controversial W-League semi final, where bizarrely after having walked back to the halfway line having had her penalty saved Melbourne Victory’s Jessica McDonald was told to re-take her penalty because the Glory ‘keeper, Kaitlyn Savage was deemed to have moved off her line. Replays proved the decision questionable. McDonald scored and Melbourne were in the Grand Final. A win to the Glory would have seen them host the Grand Final.
Club Captain Jacob Burns who has been a victim at times of reputation has spoken out, and is likely to be fined for his comments. A fine that hopefully the club will pay. “I don’t understand how a referee like Jarred Gillett gets our game again and how he can make such poor judgment once again.It’s ended our finals campaign and I don’t want to sound like sour grapes, but he’s got to hold up his hand and be accountable for some very, very poor decisions out there today for both teams.” Burns said and went on with “It can happen once, shame on us, but it’s happened twice,two years in a row in finals football. If this league wants to get better they’re going to have to start with the refereeing.It’s going the other way for me. That’s my personal opinion. It’s left a lot to be desired.”
It is time the club made a stand. This writer played in a cricket final many years ago in which the umpire made a decision that lost his team the final. The umpire admitted after the game that he had made a mistake – something it appears Mr Gillett is yet to do – and then admitted that he struggled to concentrate at times. Two years later we were in the final again, and the same umpire was appointed. A protest was lodged and the threat of not taking the field if he was umpiring was made. The said umpire being a decent man admitted what he had said two years before and stepped down. Perth Glory need to take a similar stance. Not only for the team and the fans but also for Gillett’s safety.
The frustrating thing is that there are solutions to avoid such things happening, including the one put forward on this site in 2009. See Blowing the Whistle.
The FFA can no longer bury their heads in the sand, the issue of refereeing standards needs to be addressed. The FFA also need to give serious thought as to how they can break down the belief held, not just in Perth, that the A-League, the FFA and Fox Sports are Sydney and Melbourne focussed. That will take a bit more work, but it needs to happen if the growing number of fans are to feel part of the game nationally.
There are many in Australian football who are quick on the draw to gun down Socceroos boss Holger Osciek. His tactics were wrong, he picked the wrong team, he played the wrong formation, he played so-and-so out of position. Osciek like many coaches is bound to make mistakes, but we must never forget what he has to work with. Guus Hiddink was lucky that when he took over as Coach of the Socceroos he had a golden generation of players to choose from, who were all at or close to the peak of their game. Fifteen of the squad were playing regularly for their clubs in the top leagues in Europe while the support players apart from Mark Milligan, Archie Thompson and Michael Beauchamp, were all playing for second tier sides in Europe. These same players were on the wane when Pim Verbeek took over, and many have underplayed his achievement in having the team qualify for the World Cup finals without losing a game. Sadly he is remembered for saying that the A League was not of a suitable standard from which to pick international players, and Australia’s defeat against Germany. People are quick to forget that Germany also knocked four goals past England and Argentina.
Osciek, has not been blessed with such an array of talent, and has not had the benefit of a similar crop of talented players coming through at top clubs in the top leagues in the world when he needs them. He has also had to suffer the fact that many in Australia believed once the qualifying path was through Asia the country had a right to attend every World Cup. That is why the World Cup is such a big event, not just any country qualifies, you have to earn that right.
There is already a push for Australia to appoint a coach from within and it would appear, and one East Coast journalist picked up on this at the weekend, that Ange Postecoglou has certain media outlets already in his corner lobbying for him.
Many will forget that when Frank Farina was appointed Socceroos coach in 1998, Postecoglou was on the short list along with Eddie Krncevic and Dave Mitchell. He withdrew from the race saying that he lacked the relevant experience, despite his success with South Melbourne in the old NSL.
He has shown that he has matured as a coach since then but has continued to be successful as shown by his success in no time at Brisbane Roar and the ability to win them back to back Championships. What he has achieved at Melbourne Victory this season is also nothing short of remarkable. Last year they were a club in turmoil, now they are playing in the finals and it would be a brave man to bet against them.
His achievements this season have not attracted the attention that they warranted as up in Sydney, Tony Popovic has returned from an assistant role at Crystal Palace to take on his first senior coaching job at Western Sydney Wanderers and has taken the League Premiership at the first time of asking with a squad assembled in three months. A truly amazing achievement, and one that now has some people saying that Popovic is a challenger for the national job. He may not have key media outlets on his side as was pointed out at the weekend, but he is employed by the FFA who will ultimately make the decision.
There are however several questions that need to be asked before such an appointment. The first is would both give up the day to day running of a club side, with whom they have day to day contact and can influence their style of play and replace that for the sporadic coming together of players from many different clubs and styles of play for a fortnight, and try and mould them into the side they want? It is no easy task, and that is why some of the great club managers have shied away from International positions.
Popovic and Postecoglou are beacons when it comes to coaching the A League and would Australia not be best served to have them remain where they are at the moment and work towards easing them into a national role, having them involved with the national set up whenever possible. Graham Arnold has shown how much being around Hiddink and Verbeek has assisted in his development as a coach. At this point in time the last thing Australia needs to do is promote either of these talented coaches too early. Australia will no doubt one day again be coached by an Australian, but the timing must be right for the coach and the national team for it to be a success. Let us not be too quick to push for such a move, and should we fail to qualify for Brazil let us not take such an option for financial reasons. Let us make an Australian coach of the national team because the time is right, the coach is ready, and he is the best man for the job.
Finals are a part of Australian sport, and they are here to stay. They also serve a very good purpose; in keeping the season interesting for teams whose season may well have already been over with no chance of winning anything.
There are many who have questioned the FFA opting to reward six out of the ten teams in the Hyundai A League with a finals berth, and the opportunity to be named the Champions of Australia. Something that even the confederation to which Australia belongs to, the AFC, fails to acknowledge, with the Asian Champions League place being given to the team that tops the League ladder.
The FFA have changed the finals format this season giving the top two teams very little benefit for their consistency all season, they lose one game and they are out. Gone is their second chance, a reward for their consistency.
Many believe that the changes have not gone far enough. With the sixth placed team, Perth Glory, being 25 points behind the ‘League Premiers’ Western Sydney Wanderers, maybe they have a point. The Premiers were even 22 points ahead of the fifth placed team, Brisbane Roar. This equates to winning eight and seven games more respectively, which is a huge amount.
In fact both of these two sides lost more games than they won all season, and therefore it seems a little strange that they should warrant a place in the finals and a chance to be crowned the Champions of Australia. Perth Glory won nine of their 27 games and lost 13, while Brisbane Roar won ten and lost 12. For the record all of the top four teams won more games than they lost.
There are many who believe the finals should be played between the top four, and played on a home and away basis with the aggregate score deciding the two finalists, the standings this year lend weight to that argument.
If the FFA wish to stick with six teams in the finals series maybe they should make it a requirement that to qualify the sides must have won more or at least as many games as they have lost to qualify. The big plus should such a rule be adopted is teams will have to play attacking football towards the end of the season to ensure they have the required number of victories.
Then again a top four in a ten team league seems a much simpler and fairer solution. As they say the League ladder seldom lies.
It seems incredible to hear that after five rounds of the Hyundai A League not one goalkeeper has picked up a vote in the Alex Tobin Medal for the best player after each round. Or does it?
The voting often reveals that the ‘expert’ who may have been a good player in his time actually has little appreciation for the game and is blinded by reputation rather than actually seeing who has influenced the result of a game. At every level of football you see the goalscorers picking up votes, yet often the amount of chances that they have squandered has been forgotten as long as they net the all-important winner.
The forgotten players are the goalkeepers, of that there can be no doubt. It is no coincidence that Adelaide City sit top of the Hyundai A League, because currently they have the best keeper in the league, Eugene Galekovic. It was no coincidence that Brisbane Roar won back to back Championships with Michael Theoklitos – or Michael Theo as he is officially now known – between the sticks. Let us not forget that he was also in goal during Melbourne Victory’s wins in 2006/07 and 2008/09.
If we look at the State League her in WA, the performance of Frazer Siddall in goal for the Western Knights saw them win back to back Premierships. Last season Lewis Italiano was the rock at the back for Balcatta and this year without a shadow of doubt Curtis Aspden was the best ‘keeper in the league as Sorrento won the League and cup double.
It is no coincidence that Perth Glory’s form has improved dramatically since they signed Danny Vukovic, as they finally -with all due respect to those who played before him in the A League a solid quality ‘keeper; Jason Petkovic sadly never regained his form following his horrific broken leg.
It is time that these men received the recognition that they deserve. Sure you need the playmakers in front of them, and the goalscorers to be successful, but it is no coincidence that the teams with the best goalkeepers usually end up winning more than their counterparts.
The Westfield W-League gets under way this weekend and it would be great to see Perth fans come out and make a statement, as Perth Glory Women take on Melbourne Victory at Intiga Stadium, the home of Inglewood United.
At the end of last season Perth Glory owner Tony Sage stated that he was no longer going to give the women’s team financial support. Their future looked to be on very shaky ground, and many of the players wondered if they would have to head East to fulfil their ambitions.
Football West CEO Peter Hugg however managed to save the day and found funding to keep the Perth Glory Women’s team alive. Not only that but QBE came to the party sponsoring the team on the front of their shirts and making a significant contribution to keeping the team alive.
The team has several current Matildas, Kate Gill back froma knee injury, Aivi Luik who has joined from Brisbane Roar, and the returning Collette McCallum who will captain the side after taking a year off last year. In addition Not The Footy Show hears that Lisa de Vanna will be added to the squad after the third round.
As well as these current Matildas there are Ella Mastrantonio and Marianna Tabain who are looking to re-establish themselves in the Matildas set up. The club has also managed to attract three imports from overseas, England and Chelsea Goalkeeper Carly Telford, Canada defender Sasha Andrews and New Zealand international Liz Milne who can play anywhere in defence.
The team looks to be the best yet for Perth Glory and one that could challenge come finals time, but a good start to the season is vital. It would be great if the public turned out in numbers on Sunday to not only show their support for the team, but to acknowledge those who have worked so hard to keep a W-League team in Perth
First of all congratulations to Floreat Athena and Sorrento who have both progressed to the Grand Final of the All Flags State Premier League competition; Sorrento beating League Premiers Bayswater City in a feisty match after extra time 2-1.
Next week the two teams will do battle for the title of Champions for 2012. Also next weekend the Hyundai A league gets under way with Perth Glory hoping for a big crowd at a venue far from conducive to watching football Subiaco Oval a.k.a. Paterson’s Stadium.
Perth Glory have gone all out to try and pull in the fans by having a “Legends Game” as the curtain raiser, regrettably with the FFA having worked so hard to push NSL history into a darkened cupboard where no one will find it, the game is likely to have limited appeal. Which is sad for the players of the past and the club.
One can’t help feeling that this game would have been better being held back until later in the season rather than the being played at the opening game. What may have been a better option, especially as we are repeatedly told the relationship between Football West and the Perth Glory is the best it has ever been, is if the local State League Grand Final had been the curtain raiser for the opening game against Brisbane Roar.
One thing is for sure it would have pulled in fans to the Perth Glory who normally do not come, and the state league would have benefitted from Glory fans who rarely watch the local league seeing its showcase game. One can’t help feeling that an opportunity has been lost by both Perth Glory and Football West.
With the “Legends Game” being played prior to the main game, one thing is for sure no one can say it came down to cost!
Whatever the case we wish all three teams the best of luck next weekend.
News that Perth Glory may well move away from its traditional home of NIB Stadium could well be the straw that breaks the camel’s back.
Ever since taking over the reins of Perth Glory Tony Sage has butted heads with the Allia, the management company that holds the lease for NIB Stadium. He has constantly griped at the costs for the A League team to play at the venue and has claimed that every home game loses him up to $75,000.
One of the main problems would appear to be that each season Perth Glory fail to obtain the projected crowd numbers that they base their budgets on. In business such a miscalculation would see heads roll, but year on year they claim they will average the 12,500 needed to break even, yet fail to do so. One of the reasons for this is the disconnection that the club has with the football public but the main reason is a complete lack of marketing. This season the same picture was run in the paper prior to every game with the copy changed to suit the game. That is not marketing!
News that the opening game of next season of the Hyundai A league will be played at Patersons Stadium – formerly Subiaco Oval – has been met with a mixed response from those “Not The Footy Show” spoke to. This venue is dreadful for watching sports played on rectangular pitches, because you are too far away from the action. Rugby Union fans tolerated it for two years and then in the third stayed away in their droves and watched the Emirates Western Force on television, what is to say the Perth Glory Fans won’t do the same.
The club believes according to Mr Sage on radio station 6PR this morning that they will get over 20,000 for that opening game against Grand Final opponents Brisbane Roar, and will average 14,000 a home game because the are now ‘title contenders.’ That is not enough, to be ‘title contenders,’ as was reflected in the fact that they were unable to draw that number for either of their home finals games last season. The club has to lift its profile and its place in the psyche of the Perth public. Perth Glory tickets used to be the hottest in town but regrettably that is no longer the case.
As for getting over 20,000 at Subiaco Oval unless a massive marketing campaign is embarked on to pull the public in the club could once again be left with egg on its face.
Then there is the news that the club may move to the soon to be demolished Perth Arena and play on a synthetic pitch indoors. A novel idea, and one that will no doubt intrigue many for the first game but it is again a risky move. The much talked about move to the Perth Hockey Stadium will have to be discounted as in December the Super 9‘s tournament is locked in already, so a change of pitch there would not be possible in the short term.
One has to feel for the club that it is faced with finding a new home, as Football fans like certainty and routine, having one game at one venue another somewhere else will break that routine. One hopes that something can be sorted out before the start of the season and Perth Glory do take the field at NIB Stadium next season, and maybe a well planned and executed marketing strategy will see more fans come through the gates.
At “Not The Footy Show” we have claimed on many occasions that the standard of football in the Hyundai A league this season was below that of previous seasons, with the exception of a few games mainly involving Brisbane Roar and Perth Glory; something for which we have been criticised, but everyone is entitled to an opinion.
The news that four A league clubs have awarded their goalkeepers with their Player of the year awards would tend to back up the statement. It is very rare for a goalkeeper to win a player of the year award, and usually it is those teams who are struggling at the bottom of the table who may see their number one take out such an award.
However, that is not taking anything away from those ‘keepers who picked up awards, as a member of the goalkeepers union we are very happy to see such an acknowledgment.
Ivan Necevski was a surprise winner at Sydney FC as he only played 9 games for the club and spent most of the season as understudy to Liam Reddy, but as goalkeeping coach Zeljko Kalac stated ‘how many of those were quality?’ One would assume all of them to poll enough votes to take out the award.
Clint Bolton picked up the award at Melbourne Heart, who made the finals , Eugene Galekovic at Adelaide United and Ante Covic at Melbourne Victory, where he was constantly exposed by a very pours defence.
With Perth Glory not believed to be having their awards night until a very late June 13, who knows Danny Vukovic who kept ten clean sheets during the season could well also be a contender to take the total to five goalkeepers winning the top awards at their clubs. We will just have to wait and see…
The standard of football on the park may have been patchy, but once again Australia has proved to be a great breeding ground for quality goalkeepers, and all of these men deserve to take a bow for giving the A league a helping hand with their quality and class.
No doubt there is still pain from Perth Glory’s loss to Brisbane Roar and the nature in which they lost such an important game, but hopefully as the dust starts to settle fans will begin to look at it in a more balanced light.
Yes, the one thing it most definitely proves is that FIFA need to move into the modern era with a video referral system. Referee Jarred Gillet had to make a decision on what he saw in a split second, not by pouring over television replays, and sometimes that is forgotten. He made what he thought was the right decision in that moment. As he has done all season, hence why he was awarded the honour of refereeing the Grand Final.
What did not help him making that decision was the way in which Brisbane striker Besart Berisha went to ground. In football parlance, he milked the decision.
One thing that has not been raised during this issue is the experienced Liam Miller’s role. All season we have had rammed down our throat what a seasoned professional he is – and he proved a great signing once they worked out where to play him – having played with Celtic and Manchester United. That being the case what is an experienced player doing going to ground in the penalty box at such a crucial time? He gave Berisha the opportunity to showcase his theatrics by doing so. In fact it also looked as if he did make very gentle contact with the striker.
Who can forget Lucas Neill at the 2006 FIFA World Cup going to ground in the Australian penalty area in the final minute and Fabio Grosso falling over dramatically and winning a penalty that ultimately gifted Italy the game, and they too went on to win the World Cup. Australia Coach Guus Hiddink, told the players not to go to ground in the box, as this was likely to happen.
Sadly as long as players go to ground in the penalty area, experienced strikers will always look for ways to convince referees that they have been impeded by the prostrate player. Just as Lucas Neill should have known better, so too should Liam Miller; but that is easy for us spectators to say, we have not played 90 minutes of high tension football, but it is their profession.
It does not make it right, we agree. Our suggestion would be that if we do not have video referral then the game’s administrators should be able to view replays of the game and any clear incident of diving would see the diving player issued and automatic three game suspension. That may sound harsh, but it needs a strong penalty so that coaches start telling players not to dive, as they will be without them for three games, which could prove crucial. It would also help referees a great deal, who often unfairly cop criticism for a player’s blatant cheating.
Sadly nothing will change the situation, and to be honest if every player in the Perth Glory squad this season, or any squad in the A league for that matter could put their hand up and say that none of their players had milked the odd decision over the season then they have the right to complain. All teams do it. It was just a shame that in a showcase game, with so much at stake, the game was decided in such a way.