2588blog entries

Wanderers rise is Asia's gain Down Under

One of the broader benefits of Western Sydney Wanderers' participation in the final of the AFC Champions League is the exposure it has given some Asian football clubs we would not normally hear anything about.
One of the great things about Western Sydney Wanderers's run to the ACL final has been the opportunity it has afforded not just the football community here but the wider sporting fraternity, to witness some of Asia's finest club sides first-hand...

The genius of Ancelotti knows no bounds

Carlo Ancelotti may not be as audacious as some of his contemporaries but the man did deliver a master stroke that sent the football world into a spin more than a decade ago - and he continues to set the standard today.
In mid September, only a few rounds into the new season, some Real Madrid fans may have wondered if the club was heading for a repeat of the post 2002 UEFA Champions League triumph slump that engulfed the club.A UEFA Supercup loss followed defeat...

Juric the man to lift goal-shy Socceroos

Western Sydney Wanderers super sub Tomi Juric is the logical remedy to the finishing woes that are afflicting the Australian national team.
There can be no doubt anymore now ... this guy is something special.Juric, 23, burst onto the domestic scene as a raw striker with Adelaide United less than two years ago and his rise has been nothing less than meteoric.His impact with the Reds...
Football is not immune to the side effects of globalization, as a handful of big clubs get bigger and the rest are left dwindling on the periphery.
I received an interesting present as I made my way to Rio's legendary Maracana stadium on Wednesday evening.Flamengo, the club with the biggest support base in the land, was playing Internacional, a big club in its own right with ambitions of...

The Asian force that is Al Hilal

It’s been fascinating – if not a little absurd – to watch the Australian public and media scrambling about to ‘'discover' one of Asia's grandest clubs this week.
We've had it all; players declaring they don't 'have a clue' as to who Al Hilal is, a local club complaining because of a supposed 'unpaid bill', virtually every report and social media mention featuring a player (Yasser Al Qahtani) who is...

Arsenal must take risks to keep up with the best

Sound economic strategy has earned Arsenal stability and admirers the world over, but for the club to maximise its potential value, it must take some greater risks in the increasingly over-inflated player market.
In a recent interview with The Guardian, the man who made sabermetrics and economic efficiency famous in baseball, Billy Beane, revealed his love for football and in particular Arsenal. The Oakland Athletics general manager who is a master...

For whom the ref's whistle tolls

On days like today I wish we were talking about a stirring comeback and Bruce's almighty double, and not the dodgy decision that came beforehand.
Forget for a minute that I played for Sydney FC and am still good mates with a lot of the coaching staff and players there.That red card issued to Nikola Petkovic by Ben Williams during the FFA Cup quarter-final between Sydney FC and Adelaide...

Time to put heat on Saudis

Set aside for the moment whether or not the FIFA vote to grant Qatar the hosting rights to the 2022 World Cup was corrupt or not. Here is something more immediate for FIFA and its ethics prosecutor, Michael Garcia, to maybe consider.
According to a Fairfax Media report, if you are a woman unaccompanied by a male, a Jew or a homosexual, there is no guarantee you will be able to gain a visa to enter Saudi Arabia to attend the second leg of the AFC Champions League final between...

India's super league making global waves

Derided as a flight of fancy when its concept was first mooted, the Indian Super League has launched to record crowds and unprecedented global attention, enhancing its potential as a serious player in football's burgeoning market.
As the A-League, rightly, continues to pat itself on the back after a fortnight of record crowds and hype, it's well-worth noting that another Asian league just a fortnight into its very existence is the one stealing the international limelight...

Sydney and Melbourne share the limelight

Australian club football will be the centre of attention on the country's sporting landscape when Sydney and Melbourne stage two massive matches on Saturday.
Western Sydney Wanderers faces Saudi Arabia's Al Hilal in the first leg of the AFC Champions League final at Parramatta Stadium.City rivals Melbourne Victory and Melbourne City will cross swords in a keenly awaited derby at Etihad Stadium...