2572blog entries

Aussie football riding the Wanderers wave

Western Sydney Wanderers will carry the hopes of a nation on its broad shoulders when it steps onto the pitch to face FC Seoul in the second leg of the AFC Champions League semi-final.
The Wanderers face the Korea Republic club at Parramatta Stadium on Wednesday night with a win - any win - sealing a place in the ACL final. After securing a 0-0 draw in the first leg in Seoul, the Wanderers are favourites to reach the finale tha...

Brazil is having its 'England' moment

There are some worrying parallels between the lethargy that plagued England post 1950 World Cup failure and what we are seeing with Brazil at the moment.
This year was not the first time that England flopped in a World Cup in Brazil. The fall was even harder in 1950, when making its debut in the competition, England also failed to make it out of the group stage, this time going down 1-0 to United...

All eyes on the Socceroos' defence

Australia's revitalised attack has shown encouraging progress under the tutelage of Ange Postecoglou, now all eyes are on the porous defence as key internationals against United Arab Emirates and Qatar loom.
If, like many fans, your eyes head straight to the attackers whenever a Socceroos squad is named, you may well be wondering what's happened to the prodigiously talented, but injury-plagued Tom Rogic - sight unseen since he broke down with a groin...

A necessary step in our evolution

Han Berger made great strides in implementing change to our football culture, now his replacement as National Technical Director, Eric Abrams, is tasked with carrying that work forward as a bright future beckons for our game.
The announcement on Wednesday of a successor to Han Berger in the role of national Technical Director is a welcome one, not only to keep progress on track but provide renewed energy to speed up the pace of change....

The key to successful A-League expansion

Football Federation Australia chief David Gallop is right to an extent in claiming that only cities with a population of more than one million people can sustain an expansion club, but the A-League has also shown that any club wishing to be part...
A-League expansion – it is inevitable and indeed required for football in Australia and the competition to prosper in the future. In Gallop's recent 'State of the Game' speech he reiterated its importance. "We obviously want to be bigger than...

Remembering the dead

In part five of Football Under Fire, I delve into the events in Palestine over the past few months that have resulted in players, supporters and officials losing their lives while enjoying the sport they love. They are not easy stories to tell,...
Football is the most uncomplicated of sports: a patch of land, a ball, a goal, an opponent and away you go. It's also why it is so loved by so many across so many lands and why, even in the midst or aftermath of the greatest of tragedies, this si...

Why Pelé is the king

A phenomenal player of immense talent and beauty, it is Pelé's influence on football's global popularity that sets his legacy apart from football's greatest players.
In November, Pelé, the greatest name of them all in football, will visit Australia for a series of functions meant to mark my stepping down from full time duties at SBS after 34 years of broadcasting football....

Football in Sydney's west bares its soul

For nine days football 'made in western Sydney' will be at the forefront of the domestic and international game.
And so it should be because Sydney's multicultural west is seen by many as the heartland of the Australian game. It also is the pulse and soul of the city's football and all roads will lead to the heavily populated area that has been a breeding g...

FFA Cup is bringing back the love

In its inaugural year, the FFA Cup has undisputedly already achieved its objectives. The multi-tiered club competition has generated plenty of media interest, unearthed some excellent football talent and most importantly, for many like myself, it...
To the days when the small clubs were actually the big clubs and people came from near and far to sit on plastic benches or on the grassy knoll, waving flags, eating hot chips, cheering loudly and passionately for their team. For me and my family...

The malaise that is ruining Newcastle United

In recent times, football clubs with the most money to spend on players are usually those that are most successful but that rule of thumb does not equate at Newcastle United - one of the most consistent and expensive failures in top flight football.
When the authors of Soccernomics Simon Kuper and Stefan Szymanski analysed the correlation between the wage budgets of English Premier clubs and where they finished on the table, the results were on the whole what they expected....