Posts tagged ‘Craig Moore’
It is not often that a referee awards three penalties in a game and receives not criticism. Throw in an additional sending off and still not criticism and one would think the man in black/yellow or green, has had a good game. Peter Green the man in the middle for the Perth Glory against Melbourne Victory certainly did have a good game.
He bravely and correctly awarded a penalty against Victory’s Adrian Leijer for holding in the box, after he had just warned the player, when many would have had another word. He was also correct with both of the other spot kick decisions.
Initially many in the crowd felt that Steve Pantelidis may have milked Danny Allsopp’s high challenge that saw the Victory striker sent from the field, especially as following treatment there was absolutely no limp as he left the field to rejoin play after receiving treatment. On the replays again the referee was spot on the challenge was high and studs were raised.
Yet after the game everyone was talking about three decisions he did not give in the game.
In the 16th minute Kewell was late and high with a challenge on Glory’s Evan Berger. He received quite rightly a yellow card, although many wondered if a player such as Jacob Burns or Steve Pantelidis had been guilty of the challenge whether they would have got off so lightly. Reputations rightly or wrongly affecting outcomes.
Then in the second half there were not one, but two occasions where Harry Kewell appeared to dive searching for a penalty. One of these instants it appeared it was either a penalty, or a dive. The referee did not award the penalty; therefore it should have been a dive and a yellow card, which would have meant that the Victory’s star man was having an early bath.
The card never came and Kewell has since admitted that he “technically” dived.
Having had such an outstanding game it was sad that Mr. Green was remembered for the decision he failed to make rather than the good ones he did make.
We have witnessed it with Kevin Muscat, Craig Moore and now Harry Kewell, big name players who bring people through the turnstiles, who appear to get away with challenges that others would not based on their reputations. If the A League is to be taken seriously this must stop now.
Tomorrow morning Pim Verbeek will unveil the Socceroos squad that he will be taking to the World Cup in South Africa. Pim like his predecessor Guus Hiddink plays his cards very close to his chest and there have been no indications of which way he is looking or thinking in terms of players, but one thing is for sure, like Hiddink four years ago, he will look to use a nucleus of 14 or 15 players. Only if players in this group are injured will he dip into the rest of the squad.
We believe that players such as Harry Kewell despite their injury issues will go and he will rely heavily on those with World Cup experience. Our prediction on his squad of 23 is as follows (please note that some players can play as midfielders or defenders or midfielders and attackers. Versatility and adaptability will be crucial in the tournament):
Goalkeepers: Mark Schwarzer, Adam Federici and Eugene Galekovic
Defenders: Lucas Neill, Craig Moore, Matthew Spiranovic, Rhys Williams, Mark Milligan, Jade North.
Midfield: Marco Bresciano, Vince Grella, Jason Culina, Luke Wilkshire, David Carney, Mile Jedinak, Brett Emerton
Strikers: Harry Kewell, Mile Sterjovski, Nikita Rukavysta, Joel Griffiths, Tim Cahill.
It has been suggested that Verbeek will take three youngsters to the World Cup which it is believed the FFA would like him to do, but we believe with so many established Socceroos under injury clouds he will only take two young players and they will be ones that he can use if those under an injury cloud break down, Tommy Oar would be one, Dario Vidosic the other.
But that is what is so great about sport it always comes down to opinions, and at this present time very few will know what Pim Verbeek is thinking or decided, but tomorrow all will be revealed.
There was a story written by one of the Eastern states football writers following the departure of Dwight Yorke that the Hyundai A league needed to allow the clubs two marquee players instead of the current allocation of one. With four years hindsight that may well have been the right option to maintain the momentum of the Hyundai A league, rather than introducing three and soon to be four new teams so quickly.
There is a great deal of fear amongst the football fraternity that the Hyundai A League which looked structurally sound when set up by Matt Carroll is looking decidedly like the NSL revisited, with administrators and coaches from yesteryear being recycled, as well as clubs in financial crisis, and losing money that they cannot afford to lose on a regular basis. It is a grave concern.
The Marquee player issues is one where we believe the FFA can act and assist in stemming the financial haemorrhaging that the clubs owners are suffering.
In the 2009/10 season, looking at the Australian clubs alone, seven out of the nine had marquee players. Of those seven clubs, five employed Australian players as their marquee players. This is regrettably where the problem lies.
First of all with the exception of probably, Kewell who is on the wane now, Schwarzer, Viduka, now as far as we know retired, and Cahill, there are no Australian players that are going to swell your crowd figures, enough to cover the cost of bringing in a Marquee player. Schwarzer would be interesting, as goalkeepers tend not to attract crowds either.
We believe that the FFA should bring a rule that no Hyundai A league club can sign an Australian as a marquee player.
The other plus that a move such as this would have is that it would make sure that the Hyundai A league does not become a retirement club for players returning from Europe wanting one last pay check. Let’s face it; most of these players today do not need the money that they are demanding, if they have invested their European earnings wisely. This is where Paul Okon deserves more credit than was given to him, when he came back and played for the Newcastle Jets he asked for a minimum wage advising that he did not require a large salary.
The North Queensland Fury last season signed former England and Liverpool great Robbie Fowler as their marquee player. This was a move that surprised many, but one that showed ambition, but sadly ambition that did not match reality.
The sad truth about this signing is the Fury did not gain the benefit they would have expected, yet all of the other A league clubs did. The crowds swelled all around Australia when the Fury played away, with Robbie Fowler on the park. So all of the clubs with lesser marquee players reaped the financial rewards of a bigger crowd.
Take Fowler out of the equation, and how many of these players would have brought extra fans through the gate? Brisbane Roar – Craig Moore, Gold Coast United – Jason Culina, Melbourne Victory – Archie Thompson, Newcastle Jets – Fabio Vignaroli, Perth Glory – Mile Sterjovski and Sydney – John Aloisi.
The Marquee player issue needs to be addressed and quickly before they squeeze the life out of the Hyundai A league.
As a cancer survivor I feel that I am in a position where I can make comment on the increase in games being played for breast cancer. Now I have absolutely no problem with this and feel it is a very worthy cause, however…
A great deal of the sports that are getting behind the breast cancer cause are male sports. Why are we not getting behind causes such as testicular cancer – of which I have first-hand knowledge – or prostate cancer? Two forms of cancer that effect men, and see a very high death toll due to men not being checked or going to a doctor when the early symptoms kick in.
Women are far more aware of breast cancer now than they were five years ago, it is time that men caught up, and the only way we will do that is by raising awareness and that can be done by having games for Prostate Cancer or Testicular Cancer.
This weekend the Perth Glory take on Gold Coast United and it is in aid of breast cancer awareness. Why are we not focussing on men’s cancers? After all famous survivors of testicular cancer in football alone include Bobby Moore, England’s World Cup winning captain and our own Craig Moore.
It is a well known fact that these tactics are called “Cause marketing” and the ultimate aim is, in most cases, not to help the cause but to benefit the product being linked to the cause.
It is my belief, as a cancer survivor, that men’s sport has to do more to support their own sex and make sure that less die unnecessarily due to ignorance. I live in hope that the people making the marketing decisions start thinking the same way.
The A league season gets under way this Thursday and we have two new teams taking the league to ten teams in total. The question will be was the league ready for the extra teams or have they simply diluted the talent pool? Whatever the answer, it was important to have more games played in the A league, as the 8 team league meant that the season was over as soon as it started. Having two more teams enter next year is likely to be far more detrimental than the two this year. Especially following the interest that is expected to be generated by the World Cup, the FFA cannot afford a substandard national competition. Perth Glory have shown how having poor marketing and a poor team after the World Cup means you miss out on so much and it takes a couple of years to recover. So how will the teams in the coming season fare. Some have gone for low key pre-season games while others have played plenty, time will tell which has paid dividends.
My predictions are as follows:
Sydney FC have more or less slipped under the radar, they have been unbeaten in pre-season and new coach Vitezslav Lavicka has gone about his business quietly and assuredly. This is probably a great appointment following all the back- stabbing there last year, as the new man comes in with no allegiances to local politics and can stamp his mark on the team. The highest profile signing is Byun Sung-Hwan a defender from Korea, which implies an emphasis on defence. It is worth noting that in 12 pre-season games they only conceded 1 goal and scored 25. If Lavicka can keep his ambitious back room staff under control and avoid the fate of Julius Caesar, I believe Sydney will top the league.
As for who will come second I am torn between two teams, new boys Gold Coast United or Melbourne Victory. I will plump for Gold Coast, although I worry that outspoken coach Miron Bleiberg will be the one to derail their campaign. They have recruited well and have a squad that will be the envy of many, but Bleiberg tends to antagonise opposition players and coaches and this could back fire on the team. They too have been undefeated in pre-season with the best victory being a 2-1 win over EPL side Fulham. Jason Culina is their star signing, and it will be interesting to see how he handles the pressure. His return to the A league could see him miss out on a World Cup berth unless he shows that he is a class above his team mates and stands out on a week by week basis.
Despite being torn between the Victory and the Gold Coast for second, I believe the Perth Glory will come third. Dave Mitchell has recruited well although there are areas of concern. On paper with everyone fit it is a great squad and if he finishes out of the top five it could well be the end of his coaching career in Australia, so he has a lot riding on this season. Mitchell favours a 4-4-2 formation yet the question is does the squad have four definite defenders? Left back is an area of concern, Scott Neville will be the first choice right back, but he will need to be managed well to get the best out of him over a prolonged season. Up front there is promise, but these front men are going to need to be serviced properly. In pre-season this was a concern. Sikora needs to slow his runs to the standard of the players around him to be effective, as they will not be able to think at his speed. A good start essential, but may not come following a very low profile pre-season.
Melbourne Victory are my tip for fourth place. It was good news for the club to sign Costa Rican Carlos Hernandez for three years and also the services of Kevin Muscat for another season, but there are areas of concern. Glen Moss had a great Confederations Cup for New Zealand but he does not command his box the way Michael Theoklitos did, and they will miss the latter’s presence in goal. Up front is another area of concern. Ernie Merrick has blended youth and age in midfield well and the Thompson and Allsopp partnership has been very successful for the Victory, but last year the shine looked to have gone from Archie Thompson. If he does not manage to fire then the Victory will not achieve the standards they have in the past.
Adelaide United are always contenders, and as in the old NSL have every right to claim to be the hotbed of Australian football. The concern will be what is happening off the pitch with the FFA running the club until new owners are found. Credit where it is due the FFA have conceded they made mistakes running the Glory and will not make the same mistakes again, but it will be a distraction. Coach Aurelio Vidmar has signed Ghanaian international Lloyd Owusu from Cheltenham Town, and hopes he will have the impact that Eugene Dadi had at Perth for Adelaide. He was prolific at Brentford, but in 89 games since 2007 with 3 clubs he has scored 24 goals at an average of a goal every 3.7 games, well down on his average before 2007 which was a goal every 2.9 games, which would imply he is on the wane. Hopefully for Adelaide fans this is not the case. The talent to watch is Francesco Monterosso, who was being talked about two years ago as a young talent.
Frank Farina has done a great job with Brisbane Roar – or Queensland Roar as they were prior to last season – who played some wonderful football, but regrettably they have yet to make a grand final or win the league. I fear that this season could be the morning after the lord mayor’s ball for the Brisbane Roar. Is their defence strong enough, can Craig Moore keep them tight at the back? The loss of Massimo Murdocca will hurt them in the engine room of the midfield, having broken his leg in training. This will be a year of transition for the Roar with rebuilding for the next two seasons vital.
The Central Coast Mariners have always been competitive in the A league and in fact are the most consistent team in terms of their league placings. They too were unbeaten in their pre-season, and the Asia Champions league highlighted the need for change. Adam Kwasnik returns from the Phoenix and McKinna hopes to shore up the defence with English recruit Chris Doig. This season will not be their year as they rebuild and the shenanigans in the off season where people were trying to manoeuvre Graham Arnold into the coaching role and Lawrie McKinnna be moved upstairs cannot have been good for the club.
Newcastle Jets, again I fear off field issues will derail the Jets. Con Constantine, the owner, of the Jets is no doubt going to still be at odds with the FFA over their poaching of coach Gary van Egmond, and understandably so. If clubs cannot approach a manager without permission, then the games administrators should not either. The English FA always ask the clubs before appointing the national manager. Sadly this is a legacy of having people from ‘the game we don’t mention’ running football. Branko Culina’s appointment saddened me as it was a case of recycling what we have already seen, and when was he last successful? Surely we need to see A league clubs appointing up and coming talent from the state leagues or the coaching side will never move forward? The Jets have played the least pre-season games, and I fear that personalities will clash as there are some very outspoken personnel on board. In fact I am tipping 8th as I believe the talent they have will see them rise this high.
Wellington Phoenix had six of their team with coach Ricki Herbert at the Confederations Cup and they struggled. Paul Ifill is their most exciting signing a striker from Crystal Palace with good pedigree, but the concern is the supply-line to him. Diego signed from Adelaide along with Daniel may be the answer, but consistency will be the key. Leo Bertos, if he is the option will not be the answer. Chris Greenacre is another English important whose career in the UK looked to be on the wane, at 31 he is going to have to fire early or the pressure will mount. Tim Brown is a key in midfield and Sigmund at the back was the only Phoenix player to shine in South Africa, if he can build on that they will upset many teams but will not challenge for the title.
North Queensland Fury, sadly look like a team of A league cast-offs. Maybe they should have called themselves North Queensland castaways. I fear that this will be a very long and frustrating season for coach Ian Ferguson. The coup of signing Robbie Fowler is one over which the jury is out, and many wonder whether he will last until Christmas, which could cause a new set of problems. Talent is there with the likes of David Williams and Fred Agius who on his day is one of the most exciting players going around, but there are question marks over the players around them having enough experience to support them. Robbie Middleby is coming to the end a of a good career and one feels a lot rests on his aging shoulders along with those of Ufuk Talay. Players being given a chance to play regular first team football include James Robinson, Jason Spagnulo, Jeremy Brockie, Jacob Timpano, Chris Tadrosse and unless they step up it is going to be a very long season for the Fury.
As they say in the Olympics ‘may the games begin’ and may I be proved wrong!