Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Hey Sydneysiders: Who do you sing for? Let me help.

All Sydneysiders should have their team by now.

But of course you wouldn't be Sydneysiders if you all did.

Are you Red or Blue? Now that wasn't hard was it?

 Do you like bumblebees of the red and black kind or bluebottles; these one's don't least not often.

If you're from Sydney and you have played football, watched football, enjoyed football or simply love sport.

Or if you are just from Sydney. It's time.

Who do you sing for?...and you can't change...ever!

Western Sydney Wanderers or Sydney FC.

And to help you here's a few reasons:  

For Western Sydney Wanderers:

You're from the West.
You support the strugglers.
You support all things new.
You love a winner - so you jump ship from Manly, Sydney FC or the Eels early and based on latest reports Sydney Swans won't win this year as we all take turns in AFL apparently.

You love Shinji Ono.
You want to get on the bandwagon and become a supporter of the first Aussie team to win a league in their first season.
You admire Poppa and his style of play - (even if he nearly elbowed Australia out of that World Cup qualifier against Uruquay in 2005...shhh).
You like to sing at football.

You enjoy a good bit of theatre on the sidelines.
You never went to watch Dwight Yorke  

For Sydney FC

I earn so much money.
I have been with them since Dwight scored so just have to stay.
I like mental torture.
Now Butcher has gone it's actually okay.
We haven't lost at home for like....ages.
Alessandro Del Piero is here.

It's so near the City.
It's so near the beach.
It's so near the Cricket.

We can do something else instead so that can be my team. I bought a shirt already...I've got it somewhere...I think.


Aussie football fans should not miss the Sydney Derby on Saturday

Western Sydney Wanderers will take the field against Sydney FC in a front of a sold out crowd on the weekend.

And every football fan around Australia should take a peak.

If you want technique look no further than Alessandro Del  Piero or the young Aussie Terry Antonis or check out former Feyenoord star Shinji Ono or Aussie Aaron Mooy if they take the park.

If you want tactics: Watch Tony Popovics' men perform and wonder no more why the Western Sydney Wanderers have managed to carve out a five point lead over the outstanding Central Coast Mariners, in  this the Wanderers first season.

If you want intrigue: WSW could win the Premiers Plate on Saturday in front of Sydney FC and their large travelling support. 

If you like your football sold out with engaged fans: Don't miss Saturday. Aussie fans of the two teams will sing and carry on like this thing has been going for centuries.

And you know I reckon it has, just not on the football field.

Now we have two teams. The Red and Blue, the Rich and the Poor, the Old and the New.

If you love football do not miss this third and final Derby of the season. You'll love it.

And if you are from Sydney and you play football, watch football, think's time.....who do you sing for?


2013 A-League flying debut winger...the winner is

I love watching Ange throw in the youth down in Melbourne. Particularly his wide boys.
We saw Andrew Nabbout burst onto the scene this year.

Introduced in Brisbane he did a couple of things of note in a 5-0 humiliation before producing a stunning two goal performance against Sydney FC.

If he could stunned Sydney over 20 minutes surely he could do more over 90.

Meanwhile Theo Markelis has seen his rise decline rapidly as Nabbout took the right flank, and then the central position as Ange hunted for the additional forward.

Markelis had a big wrap coming in from Valencia but rarely showed the finesse or dynamism we've come to expect from one of Ange's forwards.

 But in the cut throat world of football wingers, young wingers and pacy forwards come and go and usually before the age of 20!

Nabbout will be back, Markelis I suspect is gone for good.

Step forward Connor Pain.

The short-armed forward appeared from nowhere and of the three mentioned he has been the most consistent and grabbed that third forward spot.

The boy from the terrace is now a man on the pitch.

His pace and direct play is interesting to say the least and if Marcos Rojas leaves at season end Pain is ready to go a full season.

He has goals in him as well and I love his confidence and his desire to make things happen. To take players on and to simply shoot.

All clubs need to develop and critically assess the flying winger, early.

Ben Halloran, Taj Minniecon, Chris Harold, Iain Ramsay, David Carney, Michael Zullo, Tommy Oar, Mate Dugandzic, David Williams, Kofi Danning are just a few to grace the wings of the A-League.

To date, Tommy Oar is probably the pick of the bunch closely followed by Carney and Zullo.

 I wonder how far Pain can go.


A-League Allstars - give the Aussies a go!

1 Matt Ryan 
2. Trent Sainsbury 
3. Connor Chapman 
4. Nikolai Topor-Stanley 
5. Ivan Franjic 

 6. Billy Celeski 
8. Mark Milligan 
10 Alessandro Del Piero 

 7. Connor Pain 
9. Archie Thompson 
11. Thomas Broich

So why not give as much experience to young Aussies as possible, throwing in two of the best overseas stars. Manchester United will attract 80,000 plus fans and rather than giving Shinji Ono, Emile Heskey or even the delightful Kiwi import Marco Rojas the chance to show their stuff...let's give as many Aussies as possible the opportunity.

It's our league so why not reward the Aussies? After all they are better than ever these days.


Wednesday, 13 March 2013

Nearpost Football Podcast March 12th

Nick, Gerald and Clive talk about the future of the Socceroos, ground clashes with other codes and the weekend's A-League fixtures.

or play right from your computer....


Thursday, 7 March 2013

Sydney FC remains a basket case - where is your football vision

The talk is that Sydney FC has spent more than $7 million this year on their playing budget.

 Is it possible for a team to spend so much in the A-League and to return so little. And are there any signs the playing group are heading in the right direction, this year or more worryingly next?

 Frank Farina the latest Coach, has made major changes to the playing group already, but who can see any structure to a team wallowing outside the six, heading, surely, for a third straight loss against the Mighty Mariners this weekend.

 The Mariners have a plan - think Mariners, you think of Bojic and Rose blazing forward.

 Melbourne Victory the same - think twinkle toes and deft touches from the great Archie Thompson, the mercurial Marcos Rojas and the ever improving Billy Celeski. It doesn't always work, but you can see where they are heading. Western Sdyney Wanderers have a plan. It's called solid defence and great forward pressure on the ball by a very fit front six.

Do Sydney have a plan?

Have they ever?

Season 2013 has been a disaster. In fact despite winning the league under the A_Leagues most boring coach Lavicka, Sydney has never really entertained. Not since Stevie Corica and Dwight Yorke were on the park and Alvin Ceccoli and an emerging David Carney were blazing away.

There has been little excitement, little consistency and when there were signs this year, Frank booted Jason Culina, dropped Blake Powell and the outcome, two defeats. What's new!

The owners have poured money in but so far they have got little real return - bar a bunch of very old players, Del Piero aside, doing very little for their money.

The appointment of Ian Crook - didn't they know Tony Popovic was any good - started the latest disaster.

When Brett Emerton went walkabout in the first game against Wellington and Trent McClenahan was floundering you knew it was a disaster in the making. Popovic has been an assistant at Sydney FC and every man and his dog now says he was always going to be a great coach. Go figure.

Were the Sydney owners the only one's who didn't know?

 Seeing Nikolai Topor-Stanley being interviewed recently about his Socceroo aspirations simply shows up the basket case Sydney FC has become. Topor-Stanley could and should have been at Sydney FC for his whole A-League career. He went to Perth for a few more dollars, starred at the Jets and now is part of a rock solid table topping defence in West Sydney.

Couldn't anyone at Sydney FC realise that this guy was worth developing, worth keeping!

Which brings me to Blake Powell. When the pacy Powell scored in the last Sydney FC victory he was promptly dropped for the ageing Joel Griffiths.

Griffiths is fast...for a 33 year old but with Del Piero, Emerton. McFlynn, Reid, A Griffith and Neil also in the team..he doesn't look so fast does he!

Powell is fast and worth developing. Joel he really the guy to lead the line?

So far Sydney have won as many games when he was suspended than with him. Interesting!

 Sydney expect to win and all of the above aged players expect to play.

Frank Farina got the team into some shape, won a couple of games and then resorted to age and names. Strangely he dumped the one guy who seemed to be helping. Out goes Jason Culina, in comes the painfully slow Paul Reid and of course Terry McFlynn is back. What has Tezza got that the goal scoring, two goals already, former Socceroo didn't have? Beats me!

Frank even had the opportunity to bring a whole new central defence since he arrived. And don't they look solid? 35 year old Lucas Neil, and Tiago Calvano rejected by the Jets, are Frank's men.

Interestingly the saviour Calvano was also dropped by Frank for the last game in Perth! Is their not a 16 -19 year old developing centre back in the whole of Sydney?

Jets, Mariners even Victory with Ansell all seem to be able to get developing centre backs. Why not Sydney?

And when they did in Topor-Stanley they let him go. Farina has blown his honeymoon period. In Triantis, Powell, Chianese, Antonis, Grant and Ryall he has some mobility to include for all or parts of games. And these guys can improve.

Unless you get better players, faster players isn't now the time to put some work into these guys. It's amazing what a bit of belief does and young guys will die for you.

Just ask Ange or Gary van Egmond or of course Arnie! When Frank wonders why his teams start so slow in recent away games - wonder no more. Your team is too old, or too many of them are.

Bringing in Lucas Neill, does he really add anything to a team struggling to push forward, at pace. Or does he have to drop back to avoid the risk of being exposed.

 It's Michell Duke this weekend. Have you seen how fast he is? Which means the gap between Joel and co should be massive. He might not even be able to see Lucas with his ageing eyes!

 Frank and Sydney remain a basket case. Frank recently bemoans the players contracted for many years but Sydney could have a current team with the current mob. No problems.

When Ange was faced with the same problem. A dodgy keeper or two. Out went Danny Allsopp, and of course have you seen Isak Cernak, Petar Franjic and other moved on and in come Francesco Stella, and Jaesse Makarounas.

Frank there are ways!

Franks task is to lay down a plan, build confidence and blend a team of pace around Del Piero.

Otherwise the little Italian will never experience finals football in Australia, not this year or next.

Joel Griffiths, Lucas Neil, Brett Emerton, Terry McFlynn, Peter Reid and Adam Griffiths can and never should start in the same team.

Not if you want to entertain, keep the ball and play exciting football.

 Frank, we need a strong Sydney FC. Everyone says it, but your recent signings in Joel Griffith, Calvano, and Neil give little confidence to this viewer!

Will Sydney FC ever stabilise, layout a philosophy, develop young players, keep some local heroes and move on from the McFlynn era.

 Frank needs to lead the whole club, the vision and take Sydney into a new era. Or is he just a coach with little of the extra. Ange has it. Arnie does it in his own way. Mike Mulvey is getting my vote early. Even Ali Edwards is talking a good game early in the West.

 Frank is in the hotseat and it's about to get hotter.

Making the finals has nothing to do with it.

Sydney FC, if they are going to spend $5 - 7milion per year are a massive A_league club but when are they going to excite the country with their football, their culture and their youth?

 Oops news just in:

 Tezza just got another contract. Did you do that Frank?


Tuesday, 5 March 2013

Nearpost Football Show March 5th

Nick, Gerald and Clive talk about the conclusion of the National Youth League and the Mariners' Asian Champions League exploits, as well as dissecting the last round of A-League fixtures.

or play right from your computer....