With the transfer deadline closing in Europe tonight we could see Bruce back in the A-League.
Could be just the thing for his confidence if not his pay cheque! Come on home Bruce, the Gold Coast need you.
Tuesday, 31 August 2010
With the transfer deadline closing in Europe tonight we could see Bruce back in the A-League.
Lucy Zelic Paddy Bordier and Eamonn Flanagan talk A-League, Socceroos and all the news and views from your favourite Aussie football show.
Quiz, dedications and who's hot and who's not who dived and who didn't, it's all here and of course with the PFA football awards announced we talking up our Nearpost Numpty award.
Find out who the top three Nearpost Numpties are this year..winner announced in October. It's still not to late to enter.
or play right from your computer....
He was only on the field for a few minutes after years playing in Romania, or not as the case maybe. Now Michael Baird is suspended after doing a Thierry.
"I'm no Thierry," no Baird didn't say that but he did say he wasn't a cheat.
Michael: the Nearpost has announced it's verdict.
Thierry Henry of the Month award goes to you!
Technical Development, kids playing more football, need to grow the game at all levels.
Well the FFA have been talking "bullshit," for many years now when it comes to Canberra and the wider region.
In Canberra no boy can play outside of Canberra in a Canberra team, in a NSW Youth League, NSW Premier League, in an A-League Youth team or A-League team.
So what is the point of Canberra boys playing football and doing all this extra so-called development. Of course the boys are thinking of getting somewhere one day maybe; but aside from a love of the game, what can they aspire to?
So parents of Canberran boys continue to pay your registrations to Capital Football and through them to the FFA but maybe we start to ask the question.
What are the FFA doing for football in this region. What say you FFA, we can't hear you! And we certainly don't see anything.
All your Aussie football news, quiz, dedications and opinions. If we don't know it we make it up....(shades of Robbie S and Mike C so we're in good company).
Tonight it'll be the divers, the Jets, the FFA and the football. 6.30 streamed on 2xxfm.org or get the poddie here from 8.30pm or from www.itunes.com or www.halftimeheroes.com.au tomorrow.
No we're not talking cricket we're talking football.
The FFA has moved quickly to ban the returning Michael Baird for two weeks. Good he deserved it. What a cheat!
And Paddy Perez was also banned for two weeks, and Liam Reddy's suspension overturned. I'm not sure Perez deserved it, and besides I wanted to see him play again to see if he was really any good and able to last a game. The Perez "dive" looked bad but sometimes when tapped, or hit players can fall in ways that considered fanciful to the viewer to protect themselves.
Trial by media? Not sure it is the best way to go; but Baird...out out out I say.
Monday, 30 August 2010
Sunday, 29 August 2010
Melbourne Heart conceded a late late penalty to Perth Glory and Robbie Fowler tucked a crafty penalty past the excellent Clint Bolton.
A good game, with Heart showing once more not only can they play but they have tactical nous to get the job done; but they hadn't counted on the diving Baird. Welcome back Michael!
Gerald Sibon, Simon Colosimo, Clint Bolton, Matt Thompson and Wayne Srhoj were again all impressive in the new teams performance and even when they were defending the lead from the table topping Glory they looked very comfortable. Local lad Nick Kalmar continues to catch the eye and this in a key centre midfield position.
Where has he been, he's now 22?
And did you notice how compact the Heart were in defending? All eleven not just in their own half but 10 metres or so further back. Very tight to play in the spaces for the Glory and although they had a heap of ball, tons of corners they didn't create a chance.
Lots of young players on show including Brendan Hamill at the heart of the defence, just 17 he had a strong game against the Glory.
Robbie Fowler is still ineffective, not because of anything he does, merely that when he drops into some wonderful positions ahead of the midfield he is hardly given the ball. Wouldn't you want to see Fowler on the ball, shades of Dwight Yorke but the Glory can't see to find him
Maybe with antics from the likes of Baird they don't need to. Will the FFA take action?
Okay Arnie if Harry says, via Bernie, you're poisonous I'll ignore it. Because it's unfair almost stupid of "our Bernie," who manages "Our Harry." How did an Agent get to become such a spokesman btw?
Anyway I was disappointed with the 2007 Arnie led Asian Cup. It was crap. The Olyroos qualification was extraordinary under Arnie and Baan but the Beijing Olyroo performances were...crap.
So how would this Two time World Cup Assistant Coach go when he finally gets to take his own club side....again.
I've always hated the Mariners style of play. Andre Gumprecht, Andrew Clarke, (Get them out of the friggin gym Andrew and spend the time with the ball for god sake, they're big already have you seen their chests) Dylan Mcallister, Nigel Boogard, Matt Simon have never got me excited; beyond the Mariners first season when the then minnows of the A-League (now we have the Fury) club did very well and should have won the Grand Final. And when John Hutchison is your very best player, in a creative sense, well what are you going to get?
So Arnie comes and out goes a British hacking centre-back, nice, in comes Aussie Oliver Bozanic a find of the season who gets better every game and then Mr Pat Perez a footballer who may just get me watching week in week out.
A touch to dive for?
Bad planning meant the Mariners were left with a goalie so young so inexperienced it was amazing Sydney didn't test him with a few up and unders; but while that's clearly a Coaching error the rest of the team is up for it.
They even kept the ball for at least 8 passes at one time last night, under pressure. Has a Mariners team ever done that?
Keep it up Arnie. With Perez, Bozanic and Hutchison all looking good, why Matt Simon might start scoring and then who knows what could happen! Although the goalscoring ranks look a little bare to challenge for the top, a new goalie and a reasonable season could be ahead. However you won't be playing Sydney ever week will you?
Unlike most teams when Mariners lose a player they bring a similar non-superstar to replace, well a non-superstar so the team loses nothing much. Sydney and Melbourne Victory and Heart have no such depth!
Shunting Dylan McAllister was also smart as the Phoenix are finding out!
Early days but shades of revolution on the Central Coast. Good on yer Arnie!
Just wondering if it's worth reporting Wellington Phoenix to the Australian Government for breaching the Trades Description Act.
A Goal Scorer/Striker: My definition includes goal scoring and lots of them.
Dylan McAllister never scored for the Mariners (okay hardly) and looks like he'll never score for the Nix.
Sure he runs into the box, holds the ball up and does generally carry himself like he's a striker, but as for actually making the keeper produce a save. Never.
And a goal of three? Won't happen will he.
There are others and we'll be watching for further breaches.
Sydney whinged over a dodgy diving Argentinean penalty decision on Saturday night but are still looking a shadow of their former selves. Or are they?
Last season they rarely won easily, or convincingly preferring to grind results out with a laboured controlled passing game which excited, seemingly, Craig Foster, but did little for crowds or the neutral.
Winning football clearly isn't always exciting football.
This year they are rebuilding missing half a team. Sometime you only miss what you haven't got. Simon Colosimo, Steve Coria, Karel Kisel and John Aloisi, yes even him are all sorely missed. Liam Reddy isn't as safe as Clint Bolton so it seems.
So why would we expect Sydney to fire. A mis-firing Sydney continued to perform much the same as a Championing winning team last year; only this time they have more pace, more exuberance in Ryan Grant and Kofi Danning, but more skill, more nous?
Nicky Carle needs a pacy forward, a la Alex Brosque to work with. Shades of Archie and Carlos. Kofi hasn't been able to link in the striker role it seems.
But also it seems Nicky needs to get the ball, facing the opposition, and when he does he's as dangerous as anyone in the A-League. Last night he did it in patches.
Scott Jamison appears to be missing that left-back role, not really dynamic enough to cause too many problems from left mid; an engine problem perhaps but again this helps the opposition.
And last night the childish Sydney came to the fore once, albeit a dubious penalty. How many got booked? Professional? Hardly! But perhaps a sign the pressure is starting to show on..well almost the whole team.
As for Pat Perez the exciting all diving all touching Mariners debutant. Another welcome addition to the A-League?
On touch alone he should give Carle, Marcos Flores and Carlos a run for their money.
Sydney have problems, compared to last year. Sure with Sebastian Ryall in ahead of Hayden Foxe who should return to his off-the-bench dynamic striker's role, they have sorted the defence for the future but the midfield and attack lacks potency much as it did last season.
The difference being this year Sydney aren't keeping clean sheets and when did Vitislav team ever score more goals than one or maybe two. Rarely it feels.
They look short of cover, more even than other teams and their two Young guns aren't providing much yet. Kofi looks out of position with his back to goal, Ryan Grant may improve his technique once he slows down; but will he ever?
Surely Sydney should have been able to find a couple of more Youth players who are now starting or on the bench in the last five or so years. Seems not!
Thursday, 26 August 2010
Have a listen to the latest FourFourTwo podcast. I'm not a great fan of the review of the weekend games in such detail so late in the week but I do love the stuff they did on Han Berger this week. Good work guys and thanks for the info
Here's a few ideas discussed by the team: Han, the FFA and the A-League Coaches have been discussing ways to get more Aussie Young Guns into the A-League.
A la Robin Van Persie, EreDivisie, 16 years of age. We're lucky to get a few 20 year olds in the A-League.
Do the Dutch grow faster than Aussies?
People always say Aussies are late football developers; mainly I think it's because we don't play enough football as young kids, but hopefully this is changing as the FFA Curriculum takes off across the country.
Idea: A certain Number of Under 23s in every starting line-up. Sounds good to me.
Restrict visa players from 5 to ??? Sounds good to me, guys from Northampton, Motherwell or Welsh Premier League who aren't Australian, what is the point? No benefit having a Geoff Kelloway for example is there! Do they really add anything, a local lad couldn't give us?
Idea: A minimum salary for an overseas players.Could be a problem. Brazilians maybe excluded. Fred, Henrique etc wouldn't probably get a gig if this was enforced.
Idea: Seven Substitutes on the bench. Currently there are 4 due to the cost restrictions to the clubs. This idea came from the A-League Coaches themselves! Presumably not their owners!
Of course more teams has given more opportunities to young players or so it seems, next season should be even better if and it's a big if the Western Sydney team comes good.
FFA Tech Director Han Berger set the "Senior" Aussie Media down today and gave them a good talking to apparently. And boy don't they need it.
Topic? What the FFA and Tech Directors across the country are trying to do with Small Sided Games for 5-9 year olds.
Apparently he's surprised Aussies don't really get it..as the rest of the World do.
I'm surprised the "experiment" was reversed from 7 v 7 for U10 after one year, to 9 v 9.
Not much development focus there for 98% of our Aussie kids.
With the new season opening with a bang the fans around the country seem to be singing from the same page. Season 6 is just better.
So here's ten reasons why the A-League is better this year.
1. The Coaches; Some like Ernie Merrick and Dave Mitchell have been here for awhile and the blow-ins from overseas seem to be so much better than Terry "coach the ball not the player" Butcher and Richard "I was good at Walsall" Money.
2. The Fury - A model for every provincial club; particularly those who don't have a football team yet like Canberra. Young players like Cernak and Payne nicked from other clubs. See the Salary Cap works as it means younger players eventually get picked up...to play by other clubs.
3. Perth Glory - Not always pretty but very experienced and with a good crowd at home well worth watching. A great addition to the season.
4. Friday night football - Adelaide United at home - throw in Flores, Leckie and even Ramsey - football entertainment plus. (Is it because no other codes play on their pitch?)
5. Aami Stadium - And those Melbourne fans. Victory on fire, just can't score and when and if the Victory get on a roll this could be the greatest Australian home venue bar none. Other codes watch out, if last weeks atmosphere with just 13,000 was anything to go by.
6. Melbourne Heart - Bottom, but not for long. If this is the worst team in the league then we have a great entertaining league. Playing good football, they can only improve and are well worth watching.
7. Young Aussie blokes - Ben Kantarovski, James Brown, Billy Celeski, Chris Payne, Isak Cernak, Matthew Leckie, Scott Neville - should I stop now - the list goes on and on. Have Sydney got decent enough decent young blokes????? What better than an Australian league full of quality Aussies. I'm loving it.
8. The playmakers - Carlos Hernandez, Nicky Carle, Robbie Fowler, Jason Culina, Ali Abbas, the list goes on.
9. The wingers/entertainers/forwards - Have we ever had so many? David Williams, Isak Cernak, Kofi Danning, Mate Dugandzic, Todd Howarth, Taj Minniecon, Oliver Bonzanic, Leo Bertos the list goes on.
10. Attacking foorball reaping rewards: The Champions, Sydney FC were "not very exciting" last season for the neutrals and this year they are bottom or nearly. That could be a good thing for the league. Mabye Sydney will have to be more adventurous this season as teams that attack get seem to be getting rewarded.
Wednesday, 25 August 2010
Does it make you mad when you read some of the Aussie media's responses to the latest Socceroos Squad.
Take tired old Mike Cockerill in the SMH today compared to the positive from Sportal and Four Four Two
Did Mike write this article before the squad was announced?
Mike said "Chance wasted as Osieck opts for status quo."
The Socceroos always seem to be chasing their tails when it comes to an ordered, sensible process of regeneration. Once again, it's harder to get dropped from the squad than it is to get picked. And don't for one minute be fooled by the rhetoric that there's no talent coming through. It's there if you want to look.
FACT: Is there anyone better than Harry Kewell, Tim Cahill, Brett Emerton or Mark Schzarwer coming through?
FACT: Have Mark Bresciano, Vinny Grella, Craig Moore and Scott Chipperfield not retired. How many more do you want Mike to leave at the same time; or is it all about Harry? Did you watch the game against Slovenia?
FACT: A twenty man squad reduces player options; if there was three more players we could have seen three more newer players most likely. But do we really need them at this time in club/country debate?
FACT: Against Slovenia a number of other players got a gig, Bruce Djite and Nikita Rukavystya to name two. World beaters? Not yet. This time Spiranovic, MCDonald and Burns come into the squad.
So Mike why not name your own squad and then we'll see the depth you talk of.....and of course who you gonna leave out for the talent pool you talk of.
Matthew Leckie is he ready yet, Big Sas..no spring chicken, Joel Griffith how old will he be in 2014?
He goes on to say:
The paying public wants a fresher, enthusiastic, humble, patriotic team trying its heart out for the nation. What they don't want is more of the spoilt, mercenary attitude they've seen develop in recent years. Exactly the sort of behaviour illustrated by Harry Kewell's tantrums in recent weeks
Tantrums Mike? You started it and you just can't leave it alone can you.
And tell us exactly who you'd leave out Mike because between you and Robbie I reckon the "paying public" are sick of you! Do you even talk to the paying public in your media box?
What we the paying public want is a "fresher, enthusiastic, humble, intelligent, football savvy, less patriotic team" of Commentators with a little deeper insight into the game its tactics and it's players. We don't ask for much!
And don't be emailing me this time. If you are not happy with what I write just pick up the phone and we can have a chat, come on the Nearpost radio show, or come to Canberra and I'll buy you a beer! And bring Jesse Fink with you!
Tuesday, 24 August 2010
Nearpost Aaron Walker, Paddy Bordier and Terry Henry on his birthday drool over the A-League. They've got all the Socceroos news hot off the press and of course have our Quiz, news and views. if you love your football don't miss this one.
or play right from your computer....
Peter Funnell has been interviewing Ron Smith over the past couple of weeks on Nearpost local. Go to www.nearpostlocal.blogspot.com for these classic interviews and sit back and enjoy.
Ron Smith, fmr AIS Coach, Perth Glory, Socceroos Technical Coach and much much more is quite simply an Australian Football Legend.
To share a room with the guy and listen to him talk football is simply a priviledge.
I was walking through Canberra City a couple of years ago. I spotted Ron in a coffee shop taling with two other men. Ned Zelic and Joe Simunic had joined him. Quite a table! And Ned and Joe were still listening and learning.
Socceroos Coach Holger Osieck picked his squad of 20 for the upcoming games against Switzerland and Poland.
Scott McDonald, Nathan Burns (Future left back???) and Matthew Spiranovic are the interesting selections as the squad starts to transition.
Of course it was up yours Robbie Slater as Harry Kewell got the nod. Three A-League boys, how many did we expect?
The usual questions from the Australian media about how many A-League boys has Holger seen and will all these guys make the Asian Cup.
What were we expecting? Guys like Kewell, Lucas Neill and Tim Cahill should move aside? Not until someone better is able to take his place. Aussie media can be a tad dim sometimes.
The team looks way stronger than the one that took on Slovenia.
Sunday, 22 August 2010
This is getting silly! And who better than me to contribute when things are silly!
Robbie keeps writing and talking about the Harry thing. Boring Robbie.
Harry, in between dazzling runs, keeps replying. Boring Harry but keep up the dazzling runs.
Bernie Mandic, what is he on! Does Harry really need a minder to speak for him, he seemed to speak for himself quite well on Fox the other night.
But I had to laugh at Sebastian Hassett.
Writing in the SMH on Friday he told readers ALL about Bernie Mandic's interview on SEN on Thursday.
I listened to the interview and Bernie told us that Robbie only played 18 games for Blackburn in their big EPL Championship winning season, and then he told us Robbie got the boot at the end of the season, he also told us how many goals Robbie scored for the Socceroos. He told us who the "Fuck Off," Socceroo was, Scott Chipperfield and told us who leaked it, Graham Arnold, and which Aussie journalists were pathetic, useless or some other criticism I couldn't recall the exact phrase but he named Robbie Slater and Mike Cockerill. (I'm not a journo so accuracy ain't important)
Bernie criticised Australian journalists Robbie Slater and Mike Cockerill.
But Sebastian forgot to mention the hyper-sensitive Cockerill in his SMH piece.
A lot of silly football writers and talkers around the Socceroos juggernaut at the moment isn't there?
Pox on our football journos. We deserve better.
The NSL was, well the NSL, despite what some will tell you. And the Coaches were of variable quality to say the least. I still enjoyed it but not like the A-League.
This year we have the best Coaches in the top level of Australian football league ever!
And the League style of play and tactical awareness is starting to reflect this.
Vitislav Lavicka may produce boring teams but Fozzie likes him and he can win a Championship.
Franz Straka is the opposite, vibrant like his team; and both are making huge contributions.
Rini Coolen and Jan Van Schip have already produced teams worth watching. they can only improve as time goes by.
Ricky Herbert is a World Cup Coach, Graham Arnold has seen the top in action but still has to earn his Coaching stripes. It'll be great to watch him, finally, coach!
Dave Mitchell has more Coaches on the field than he could ever use; Branko Culina continues to produce a stylish product.
Ange Postecoglou has National team experience and is keen to show us that Brisbane can shine without the "old eads." This week they beat Sydney, who doesn't, but there are signs of change at the Roar.
Ernie Merrick has proven in Australia he can entertain and looks to have produced a good team once more; but can he take the next step in Asia....not yet, not tactically.
Only the Mariners have left me cold this season, Sydney of course, but they left me cold last season. I'll give both more time and Sydney I expect to improve, the Mariners....well still struggling to entertain, but early days hey Graham!
Apart from watching 6 hours of Election Night coverage, I watched three riveting A-League games this week..and the A-League like the Election was exciting for the Independents.
Adelaide always entertain at home and Matthew Leckie had me cheering after just two minutes. Whoops there goes a World Cup centre-half. And the Rutger Worm turned a great cross into an awesome goal.
Great football at times from the Heart, they won't remain bottom, and young Iain Ramsay from United stole the show with two goals, one late on to steal the points.
And then Perth took on Newcastle. Perth again strong and compact but oh this game was so slow. It was good, but just a tad slow.
Robbie Fowler is getting the best out of Mile Sterjovski, Jets entertained but weren't positive enough in attach and the Glory in front of a good crowd took the points and set the pace. But are they too old to carry the season.
And then to Victory - The A-League at it's best. The first two games were excellent, this was something else. A great crowd, a great football pitch and a great stadium. And the Victory are rebuilding, again with pace.
Robbie Kruse and Mate Dugandzic, if they could just score, would help me to forget about Archie Thompson, Danny Allsopp and even Fred. But they must score and soon.
The Fury, God Bless em were all pace and skill and David Williams, Chris Payne, Osim Malik and Isak Cernak are moving with your and verve. Don't you love it. Yes they were pummelled by Victory but if a team can only score penalties you have a chance, even with 9 players.
The Fury may not last the distance, more's the shame. Injuries will probably expose their depth but for now they are fantastic to watch.
What a round for football fans. Great football, not for Fozzie maybe, but for the ones that matter, the fans!
Thursday, 19 August 2010
Adelaide United at home on a Friday night has become a tradition for football fans, and it's usually a great game/occasion. Good crowd, Flores and Leckie to light the flame and the ageing Heart desperate for a performance. Don't miss it.
Perth Glory v Newcastle Jets. Beauty and the Beast, and yes the Glory are the Beast....will the Glory continue to kick teams off the park..shades of Iain Ferguson in his Rangers days. A big test and I expect the Jets to be over-run physically if not through football.
Melbourne Victory simply must score and win at home to everyone's favourite second team the young upstarts from Queensland, the Fury. Robbie Kruse is back so there is hope but Billy Celeski is out leaving Grant Brebner to do what exactly.
The Roar can't lose to Sydney as Sydney have got not one forward. That's what happens when you sell half your team I guess!
And the Central Coast Mariners Coached by Graham Arnold, this week labelled as "your mate Arnie" by Harry Kewell, or "Best Coach in the A-League," by Peter Turnbull the Mariners Director take on Wet Wellys in NZ...so what chance the World Cup Coach Ricky Herbert....with his Wellington team. Can the Mariners win and top the league?
Don't think so but there defence will be tested.
John Aloisi, Mark Bridge, Alex Brosque and Chris Payne all scored important goals for Sydney last season. They were all, yes all four were strikers in the Champions squad.
This year Chris Payne left alongside John Aloisi and now Mark Bridge and Alex Brosque are injured for the Roar game on the weekend.
So what would you do with no recognised striker in the squad?
Bring in a Young guy from the Youth team, a team which hasn't started yet?
Play that extra man in midfield, yes lets make it five midfielders with Nicky only slightly advanced? Guaranteed defeat...again.
Or resort to last years bizarre tactic...put the Foxe on upfront. Well he must have been good he got another contract!
Kofi Danning will surely start, Brendan Gan could play wide right and of course the man for all seasons Terry McFlynn could play as a striker....he's played everywhere else.
Foxe to play upfront with Danning and Nicky just behind! Surely not!
Gold Coast will close three sides of their stadium to save costs, almost $60,000 per game as ticket sales are sluggish ahead of their weekend game against Victory.
Not a great look on TV, not a great move by the Club but blame not Clive Palmer and co, no point your barrels at the FFA.
They let the Gold Coast on the back of what, research, community support, list of sponsors, memberships etc etc, no they gave in to a big $12 million cheque plonked on a table.
No way to build a club in Australia, a club without any history of professional football in the region and no surprise that crowds of 5,000 are the norm...or less.
Of course when the FFA were presented with a coherent bid, in Canberra, where sponsors, members, supporters, Government support, investors, crowd numbers were all working towards building a community based club, they the FFA sent the bid packing.
Worse than that they have completely dismissed the whole region. Sure when Australia gets the Asian Cup in 2015 we'll have 7 games in Canberra. And what people are supposed to just run out and support football. Kuwait v China, or Indonesia v India and then what forget about football again.
Doesn't the FFA have a responsibility to grow the game in Australia, even a strategy which Canberra might just have a part in.
Long time the FFA led from the top.
FFA: What is your plan for football in the Canberra region? Maybe it's time we stopped paying our rego fees until they show us we have some long-term value in the scheme of things.
Because at the moment all the Canberra regions FFA rego fee component goes to who, Brisbane, Adelaide, North Queensland or worse still West Sydney.....aaarrrrggghhh
Wednesday, 18 August 2010
With Mike Cockerill losing in his bitter and petty rant on Harry Kewell during the World Cup last night it was Robbie Slaters turn.
Robbie wrote Harry was involved in a verbal altercation with a fellow Socceroo who told him to "Fuck Off" during the World Cup. And Robbie in his recent Sunday Telegraph article told Harry to step down as he's too old for the team and creates a circus when he plays.
Harry took the right of reply on Fox Sports last night and despite Harry not being the most articulate he clearly stated his case and left Robbie looking as rather silly.
Harry Kewell merely stated that he wasn't allowed to front the World Cup media as Pim wouldn't allow him. And he didn't play against Germany as he wasn't selected. What can a player do...have a tanty?
And of course Harry claims no-one told him to "Fuck Off," but Robbie then refuses to release the source, but of course he never thought about protecting Harry in the original story.
Nice to see a footballer responding to trash talk and nice to see a media man in any code having to face the music.
Cockerill never did, Robbie in fairness took it on the chin.
Maybe the Aussie sports media will take another step forward in professionalism after this.....then again we've still got a few others who could do with a bit of face-to-face realism.
Tuesday, 17 August 2010
Nearpost Aaron Walker, Paddy Bordier and Eamonn Flanagan talk Socceroos' Coach, all the Payneful A-League news from Sydney and Melbourne. Will Perth kick their way to the A-League title, is Gerard Parson ruining the game, why do teams play two centre midfielders when one surely one would do, especially if you want to win a game. Is Matt Simon the best No.10 in the A-League, Quiz, news and views we've got the lot.
or play right from your computer....
Sunday, 15 August 2010
You just knew it. Former Sydney FC striker Chris Payne inspires the Fury to Victory over a centre-forward lacking Sydney and nice set-ups too for the Young Australian.
And with Vitislav Lavicka opting for the ultra-negative approach, Terry McFlynn wide instead of the attacking Kofi Danning and a heap of centre midfielders defending the aging defence. Reap what you sow Mr Vitislav!
And in Melbourne on the back of the most dismal Asian Champions League performances by an Aussie club yet, the so-called A-League's best club off the field have failed to start the season with one experienced forward. 64% of possession and not a sniff of a goal last night.
Have Melbourne Victory run out of money, have they dropped the ball? Danny Allsopp and Ney Fabiano were sold in haste last season, Archie Thompson is out until November so who is left to lead this top team?
With Melbourne Heart moving in, a new stadium to hand, a strong exciting forward would have improved Victory's chances on building on their five year start in this two team town. They seem to have stumbled, first in Asia now at the start of the A-League season.
Young Australians who look to be making an impression early include Scott Neville over Evan Berger, David Williams over Scott Jamieson, add Chris Payne as the find of the season so far. Which shows Young players may be better moving clubs to get game time...and quick. Kofi will you have to move next?
Thursday, 12 August 2010
Wellington to start with a home fixture. 6-0 against the Gold Coast last time can Paul Ifill help the Nix fans take their shirts off in August or will the NZ bubble finally burst.
The Nix haven't really strengthened in my view, pity as they had something to build on from last year.
Adama Traore for the Gold Coast is always worth watching. And how come Jade North gets to play for the Socceroos but Jason and Michael Beauchamp didn't?
Will the Jets start with a win? Where will Kantarovski play and how this season? Can Heart make an impact? Don't miss Ruben's home debut and Ali Abass the Iraqi wizard.
How will the Fury last the season with that YOUNG squad but you can be sure they'll trouble the Champions. Hayden Foxe is the slowest player since his mate formerly Jamie Harnwell now Stephan Kellar, so watch the Fury make it a Chris Payneful day for the Blues...unless Kofi can get back to cover in time. Nicky Carle to exploit the Fury, Kofi to romp it in, or the Young Northern Guns to hold sway?
At the Bubbledome if you like atmosphere big baying crowds this is the game for you. It's Billy Celeski to light up your footy weekend and the Kevin I'm too old now Muscat show. Perth will be up for this and Muscat might just get exposed again this week and next week as well come to think of it and the week after that. Paulo Maldini he ain't, 37 he is! And watch Andrija Juric from Perth if you get chance, although he has to get picked first!
The Mariners have never been my favourite team but with Arnie at the helm it will be interesting to see what he can do with a broadly similar group of players. Not much I expect as despite what Fozzie says systems are great but players need to be able to pass, dribble and do technical stuff. Not sure any of the Mariners can but I'll be watching Oliver Bozanic and Matt Lewis if picked. Two young Aussies.
And of course the exciting Adelaide United. Mr Marcos Flores and Matthew Leckie. Go drool.
Wednesday, 11 August 2010
Holger Osiek is our new Messiah.
Clearly the FFA are broke and have spent too much on the World Cup bid and saving A-League clubs.
However I like his Asian experience.
But will the Star men like Holger?
Will it matter as the next generation will play for anyone.
Maybe he'll value the local game but from memory he doesn't have the personality to sell football in Australia...he's not Dwight or Gus...and don't we need a little more than just a Coach.
A risk, but maybe a cheap risk...and he's 61....with all the travel that's a risk...
Urawa did play attractive football....and they won..but does he have International experience...not really does he!
Holger Osiek clap clap clap.
The Cliches will be watching God, Tricky Nicky for the Socceroos and the Two B's or Carlos and Muscat and so will I but here's ten others I'll be watching with some interest this year...and perhaps not your typical ten, in no particular order.
1. Michael Marrone, Heart, moved from Adelaide where he impressed throughout the season. May shine in the attacking full-back role. Pity Adelaide preferred the non-attacking Daniel Mullen but maybe they are working on Mullen for the centre back role in the future.
2. Iain Ramsey former Sydney youth player of the year now at Adelaide. Can he make the next step.
3. Kofi Danning, Canberran, can he take the next step and fast!
4. Marcos Flores; if you like Nicky you'll love Marcos. And won't he send the A-League into raptures with his vision at Adelaide, can't wait. Don't miss his games.
5. Oliver Bozanic, a young player hyped up returning from overseas and all it's so-called professionalism. Should be ready to fly for the Mariners, or should I stick with Matthew Leckie?
6. Ruben Zadkovich, because he's Ruben and he didn't play in two years for Derby so my BBC East Midlands sports mate said. Has he improved or like AC Milan signing Luther Blissett instead of John Barnes did Derby mistake him for David Carney or....
7. Adam Casey like Kofi he's from Canberra and like Kofi he's shone and then being injured a lot. But he's fast and if he stays fit he could surprise once more up in Townsville.
8. Mirjan Pavlovic, he's big and brutal and could make a nuisance of his youngself. On previous form he could shake a few reputations and a few early goals could help.
9. Liam Reddy: What do you do when you have the best keeper in the league and win it; you sign Never Reddy Liam. First game three goals. Okay he's not that bad but better than Bolton.....enjoy the antics!
10. Billy Celeski because I hate watching Broxham and Brebner in the Victory midfield in Melbourne, the A-League and most of all in Asia. Billy can play and was starting to shine in the centre-midfield role. He can make the ball talk and could really head overseas next year if he continues to progress and dominate.
Having seen him stumble at Perth as a kid, only to return, then to Victory where he's now the man...great to watch his rise...go Billy!
Patrick Smith, The Australian and Ray Gatt...so-called Chief Football Writer at the Australian and Karl De Kroo from the Courier Mail couldn't wait to write the following:
Quality of football and lack of crowds damage A-League.
What a load of rollocks!
Nicky Carle lit up the A-League with his skill and touch, Billy Celeski is back, The Glory are packing em in and Fury look like a team full of Aussie youth, pace pace pace and Aussie Indigenous spirit.
Mate Dugandzic, David Williams, Chris Payne on the rise, Adelaide will entertain with Sergio Van Dijk in the forward line and Maurice Flores will shine; the Jets have Ben Kantarovski who is surely not long for these shores. There is so much to like about this league.
With the Phoenix to come and Heart pulling 11,000 on a Thursday night the League is looking good.
The quality of football is on the up, we have the best array of trained coaches ever, we have more playmakers than ever before and of course just as many Aussie media dickheads ready to write tosh.
Ray Gatt..focus on the football you are supposed to be a football journo who loves the game and understands well it's about time you wrote as though you understand it!
Patrick Smith and co...well would you expect anything less from the Dinosaurs!
Melbourne Victory at home in the new Bubbledome will be great viewing, the Phoenix are back, Fury to run over Sydney FC's ageing defenc?, Arnie to debut his flowing football at home, it's all happening...but you'd have to understand a bit about football, the players, and where we're at to write about the football.
Some of the above clearly can't, that's why I'm back!
Oh and the Socceroos are on the field again and Coach expected to be announced today.
Tuesday, 10 August 2010
Tonight Paddy's in charge, golden microphone and new chair. Arron has returned determined to win the quiz and Lucy is hopping mad over Slater's article about Harry Kewell, ready to "duke it" with Slater. Lucy declared "Slatergate"! That's the end of him. The team were transformed early in defence of Harry Kewell. The yellow cards are flying everywhere in the studio!
Terry was masterful last week behind the microphone, in the staring lineup for this week's show, but fell ill at the last moment and was overheard telling Paddy that it was the last time he would have a chicken satay with him again while watching Sydney FC!
Paddy was forced to complement Sydney FC on their decision to offer free membership to former Socceroos. This is no small concession! Just as quickly Paddy whipped the carpet away and wanted to know why they didn't offer the Matildas the same deal. Arron nodded in agreement. That was all it took, Lucy declared "descrimination" and the program was off and flying. At this point the rest of the team left the studio for a couple of minutes, continuing the program from the hallway. It seemed the safest thing to do at the time. Lucy was tackling everything in site - again!
And where is Eamonn? He was on the match card,again, in fact he was in the starting lineup as well. Paddy sent a hire car for him at the airport. Need we say more? Has Eamonn solved the question of who will be the new Socceroos coach? All will be revealed next week - unless Paddy arranges the transport again.
In the meantime, the team have sorted out who will take over as the Socceross GK for the next World Cup. Now for the rest of the team. No one is safe.
There's trouble in paradise at the Nearpost. The team has once again made some fearless predictions for Round 2 of the A league and so much more.
Listen carefully - Lucy is going to ask questions!!!
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Wednesday, 4 August 2010
The team tonight is back to almost full strength, only Eamonn's positon on the match card is vacant.
Tonight Terry, Paddy and Lucy Zee are the front three for the Nearpost. And they are smokin!
The A League is about to kick off for 2010 / 2011 and there has been more moves in the off season than a Swiss watch. Players moving everywhere, a few retired, a few that shold have retired and a couple of new teams. The NZ team is full of undefeated World Cup players, Melbourne Victory is not looking so flash and no Archie Thompson, Sydney FC has cleverly concealed its real form by being smashed by good international teams, Gold Coast are likely to be as mercurial as last year, where did the overweight and over paid foriegn players go to this year, who's making the best of the local football talent and so much more. Fearless predictions for the winner of the A League by the panel, courageous even. Make a note for the future.
Who will be the new Socceroos Coach. FFA say it will be announced in a week, so it looks like Eamonn's secret mission to the Northern hemisphere will bear fruit. He was seeen in Spain last week and early reports this week have him in Luxemburg. Its a mystery. Get back Eamonn this is driving us nuts!
And there is the Socceroos friendly against Slovenia, that real good team from the World Cup. Is it a game that will introduce young Australian talent to the world stage? Not really. Why is anyone playing for the Socceroos who will not be there (and I don't mean with the aid of friends) at the next World Cup and if so why? And who's the Coach for heaven's sake and why isn't it the new Coach?
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