Wednesday, 16 April 2014
Wednesday, 2 April 2014
Sunday, 30 March 2014
Wednesday, 12 March 2014
Wednesday, 5 March 2014
Wednesday, 26 February 2014
Wednesday, 19 February 2014
Wednesday, 12 February 2014
"Let the baby have his bottle" - Bushy
This week the lads are all over the beer, banners and Bunnings chairs that have dominated the A-League highlights. Oh and if we get around to it, the meaning of life. Operating from a soundless bunker somewhere in our nation's capital, the Scramble have the word!
Posted by Laurence Plant at 2/12/2014 08:42:00 pm
Tuesday, 11 February 2014
The Roar would love to keep him, and the Brisbane fans adore him. The Roar’s Albanian ace Besart Berisha needs no introduction. So what’s the problem?
I can see why Roar fans may feel hard done by. I mean Berisha (who’s currently playing on a much lower salary than he will play for at Victory), was a genuine find, a diamond in the rough.
The counter-argument (there’s always a counter-argument) runs something like this. The salary cap is necessary to guarantee the financial sustainability of the all the A-League clubs; to make sure that every A-League fan follows a club capable of winning the League; and to ensure that clubs are forced to turn to new local talent to round out their squads.
But the truth is that Rugby League – another competition with a massive disparity in the financial capacity of its clubs – is a better for it. The net result is that on any given Sunday, any team can beat the other.
And the A-League is no different. Berisha is probably the biggest example so far of a talented and popular player being forced out of a successful club due to salary cap restrictions. There will be more to come.
City bring the kind of financial muscle and football nous that not even the Roar’s rich owners could match. The result would not only be extremely boring, but would probably result in mass bankruptcy, as the other A-League clubs struggled to bolster their squads.
The reality is that even now, things are not equal in terms of A-League drawing areas – compare Brisbane’s three million residents to Newcastle’s 500,000. If the financial flood gates were opened the Jets would never be able to keep up financially with the Roar, let alone a City global football conglomerate.
To their credit, the Roar fans have taken Berisha’s move with extremely good grace – much the same as Victory did when their country called on Ange. And these fans can claim the moral high-ground if in future, a salary cap fire-sale breaks in their favour.
GMS Podcast | Every Wednesday Night
Posted by Laurence Plant at 2/11/2014 09:09:00 pm
Thursday, 6 February 2014
The dogged resurgence of Heart, Phoenix, and Adelaide, has added an extra layer of spice in the competition for finals spots in 2014. The result, is that we now head into a round 18 where every single game is a vital 6-pointer.
But it hasn’t always been this way. After five or six rounds of the competition, last year’s bottom four (Wellington, Newcastle, Heart, Sydney) were again in lowly position, and some were questioning whether we already knew which teams would miss out.
Given their disappointing results, Sydney, Heart, Newcastle, Phoenix and Adelaide, might have been forgiven for shutting up shop and focussing on a rebuild for 2015. However, to their credit, these teams’ dogged pursuit of improvement has seen them turn their seasons around.
Posted by Laurence Plant at 2/06/2014 06:31:00 pm
Wednesday, 29 January 2014
Wednesday, 15 January 2014
Wednesday, 11 December 2013
Wednesday, 27 November 2013
Wednesday, 20 November 2013
Posted by Laurence Plant at 11/20/2013 10:15:00 pm
Friday, 15 November 2013
What will be giving Aloisi real heart burn will be that in a winnable game for Heart, his team looked disorganised and almost disinterested in what was a key result for manager and Club.
Posted by Laurence Plant at 11/15/2013 11:26:00 pm
Wednesday, 13 November 2013
Tuesday, 12 November 2013
The referees themselves know something needs to change – earlier this year the League’s top referees threatened strike action over demands that the game’s only non-professional parties finally become professional. The FFA quickly negotiated a truce which involved some extra training and development provisions, but for now their most important representatives remain distracted by their day jobs.
A-League fans are being asked to accept that semi-pro referees can continue to keep up with a rapidly professionalising A-League. That this situation is increasingly untenable was fittingly illustrated by the Perth vs Sydney FC offside call in round five – the official simply hadn’t the legs to keep up with the game he was officiating, and subsequently wasn’t in line with the players to make a clear offside call.
A refereeing “crisis” will likely inspire a knee-jerk reaction like the introduction of video refs. Here’s a novel idea: why not pragmatically deal with the refereeing issue now, before the FFA’s hand is forced into a hyperextension by an explosive backlash?
In football defence is attack, and vice-versa. Our coaches drill the players with the skills necessary to work together, and then rely on the team’s cohesion to manufacture chances on goal. Each minute is filled with passages of play that have never been seen before and will never be seen again. Stopping the beautiful game for up to two minutes whilst a faceless official endlessly examines close up pixilation of a hand straying offside will undermine everything that makes football great.
To subject the beautiful game to such conjecture would be to lose not only one of the fundamental values of sport – accepting the call of the umpire – but would rob ourselves of the greatest elation that football has to offer its fans. And it does not even guarantee accuracy – often even when slowed down to 100ths of frames, often a video cannot clearly illustrate definitely when a ball crossed a line, because of the speed with which it moves.
The problem is referees who are not well versed enough in the rules of the game to be able to apply the correct offside ruling from a throw-in. Who are not physically fit enough to keep up with the speed of professional players, and in lagging miss a clear offside. Who are not given the time to mentally and physically prepare to hold one of the most important offices in our game.
It is time for the FFA to give deserved support to its most valuable representatives – the only representatives that most fans see. With five games a week, there are fifteen professional officials required across Australia and New Zealand. Let’s develop them, hire them, and get on with the game.
Posted by Laurence Plant at 11/12/2013 08:13:00 pm
Monday, 11 November 2013
FFA Coaching Conference: NPL clubs should pay all coaches U12 - NPL but not players. Which club will lead?
The recent Coaching Conference in Canberra asked local National Premier League Clubs to refrain from paying players - and pay your coaches instead.
Coaches are undertaking expensive courses and give many hours of their time so kids and adults can play in the NPL.
But how many Coaches are being paid, at your Canberra club?
Already clubs around town are trying to poach players by offering payments or higher payments than their current club. Some have offered to double what a player is getting at his current club.
So where does the money come from for these NPL players? Gate money? Stop laughing!
Well if players were paid based on the crowd they pulled in no-one in Canberra would be paid.
An increasing source of revenue for the NPL clubs is their juniors. Different clubs charge different fees for U12 - U18. I wonder why?
No doubt some is siphoned off to pay their leading male players.
You wonder what amount of money is wasted on player wages across the men's premier league season.
And it is wasted as no sooner does a player bunker down at one club, he heads to a rival club for presumably more money.
Mike Charlesworth, owner of the Central Coast Mariners, has called for junior playing fees to be reduced. Canberra National Premier League Clubs by stopping player payments could show they were really interested in promoting and developing their club.
Imagine if any of our 8 Premier League clubs came out and said we'll pay all coaches but not our players.
What an interesting culture you could develop. And how you could take pressure off these NPL clubs in a financial sense.
Should anyone really be paying players to play in Canberra to play football?
Only Canberra United players should be paid and they regularly train 5 times a week and attract close to 1,000 people per game. Can any men's Premier League club match that?
What is the benefit to any club of paying players in Canberra? And which club(s) has a focus on coach and player development rather than win, by paying players, at all costs?
Posted by Eamonn at 11/11/2013 04:31:00 pm
Wednesday, 6 November 2013
If you have been following the Socceroos since 2006, or just reading the blogs and articles over the last few years you'd know Australia owed a massive debt to our 2006 player group.
It's the bulk of that squad that got us to the 2010 and now 2014 World Cup. We say thank you.
To one and all.
And while we have all looked to the future, it took some of the guys at SBS, and in the media, along time to realise where we needed to head.
Few called for heads before the 2010 World Cup. And it was only at the World Cup itself that the enlightened journos of Aussie football started to sense we needed change. Others pushed their own agenda.
Remember the calls for Richard Porta and Nicky Carle! The targeting of Harry Kewell.
And while Holger Osiek started well with his 2011 Asian Cup performance it was still Harry Kewell, despite his critics, Lucas Neill, Mark Schwarzer, Tim Cahill, Luke Wilkshire and an ageing addition in Sas Ognenovski that got us to the final.
And the bulk of those guys got us over the line for 2014.
Think Archie Thompson v Iraq in that crucial away win. Or Tim Cahill v Iraq or Oman to name but two. Or Lucas Neill and Sas Ognenovski v Japan, Jordan and Iraq most recently.
Michael Thwaite and Rob Cornthwaite replaced them for the Oman debacle and look what happened there.
And of course Mark Schwarzer a legend of Australian sport who has saved us time and time again since he came onto the scene v Canada way back in 1993. Not as skilled as Bosnich some say - rubbish, The guy has played more international games, more World Cups and lasted much longer than Bozza. What more did he have to do?
And to be publicly attacked, if not directly then indirectly, by Zeljko Kalac at the 2010 World Cup. He stood his ground, dignified, and came out well on top.
And he retired because he was lacking motivation? Ange didn't push him or so it's said publicly but I'm sure if Holger was still here so would Mark. Whatever we salute him, and he goes out having got us to 3 World Cups.
Without Schwarzer there was no John Aloisi penalty and how that would have changed football?
And now Ange with his first squad has announced major changes.
Luke Wilkshire, Archie Thompson, Mark Schwarzer, Sas Ognenovski and Brett Holman all gone.
Not even in the squad.
That's 4 out of 5 regular starters but still some same Ange plays safe. Fourfourtwo are just one who have it all wrong. If you wipe four of your certain starters from the team, in this case the squad, that sends a message to them loud and clear. That ain't playing it safe!
At his press conference when discussing Luke Wilkshire's absence Ange talked for the need for speed from full back under his style of play. That's youth!
Think Brisbane Roar or Melbourne Victory. We need to be fast and mobile. We need to be able to pas and move.
Ivan Franjic, Michael Zullo, Lucas Neill and Alex Wilkinson changes the average age of the back four overnight - if Lucas goes as most think then Rhys Williams, Ryan Mcgowan, Jason Davidson are seemingly able to step in.
The change is on.
While Luke Wilkshire and co may come back from the list wiped, realistically only Brett Holman has a chance. The Ange revolution is on.
This isn't just a squad for the World Cup, with one announcement you can see the 2015 Asian Cup squad shaping up.
Posted by Eamonn at 11/06/2013 06:39:00 pm