2660blog entries

The good thing about the Qatar 2022 date change

By moving the date of the 2022 FIFA World Cup to to the peak of the European season, FIFA may have inadvertently given fans the opportunity to witness the world's best players at the their peak, for the first time in decades.
When cities put forward a bid to stage the Olympics, the date of the Games is an explicit part of the proposal. IOC members know what they are voting for. This, of course, was not the case in the race to stage the 2022 World Cup. An inspec...

Fozz explains how the Socceroos deconstructed Germany

The Socceroos are starting to match their physical qualities with a style of play and a willingness to work hard for each other rarely seen in national teams, and the effects were there for all to admire against Germany.
The Germany test was a very interesting match in which Australia continued the approach from the Asian Cup with considerable success against the world champion. The game should have been won, and it was great to see the buzz around the co...

Socceroos to revisit the scene of the sublime

Australia's Socceroos will turn the clock back to one of their finest moments when they visit Kaiserslautern to face the might of Germany this week.
The Fritz Walter Stadion will forever hold a special place in the chequered history of Australian football. On 12 June 2006 thousands of Australian fans clad in green and gold greeted the Socceroos as they entered the field in brilliant su...

Bothroyd blazing a trail for England in Japan

Jay Bothroyd has always been one to break the mould. The England international has a reputation as an articulate player - not afraid to speak his mind on issues of social justice - while his career is littered with moves that others may have...
A youth career at Arsenal was stunted after a sideline incident with a coach. Bothroyd moved to Italy at the age of 21 where he played in the same team as Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi’s son Al Saadi - and Socceroos goalkeeper Zeljko Kal...

Where are the lock-pickers?

The A-League is a wonderful competition and has done great things for the game of football in Australia but it's lacking something the NSL had in spades - genuine talents that not only won matches but excited crowds and had them on their edge of...
Han Berger, Australia’s former national technical director, called them ‘match-winners’. In terms of trying to develop and nurture the talents of young players, he was referring to those with rare technical and creative gifts who, by one s...
Sunderland's results and performances this season meant it had no choice but to sack Gus Poyet. In the short-term the choice of Dick Advocaat appears a good one, even though it will be the Dutch coach's first English Premier League job.
In most leagues in the world the appointment of Advocaat to steer a struggling side away from the threat of relegation would be met with at least some sense of optimism. While the Dutch coach's recent results have not been overly impressi...

Janko paints the town sky blue

Sydney FC star Marc Janko is poised to become the most influential import in the 10-year history of the A-League.
If the Sky Blues give him the opportunity to do so, that is. It has not taken the Austria striker too long to hit the A-League by storm in his debut season. At the weekend he scored for an A-League record seventh consecutive game when he g...

Forlan case casts interesting light over old rivals

Diego Forlan's time in the Uruguay national team has come to an end, thanks largely to a regeneration process that began as a result of that play-off loss to the Socceroos in 2005. The question is, how does Uruguay's overhauling of its set-up...
Diego Forlan has retired from international football – though it is probably fair to say that he was given a gentle push. Forlan had not represented Uruguay since last year's World Cup. Earlier this year he talked about his desire to play ...

Australia's youngsters need a fair go in the A-League

The time has come for FFA to have a serious look at the A-League’s ‘injury replacement rule’ and how it is hampering the development and progression of young players across the country.
It's probably also a good moment to talk about the ongoing role of the National Youth League in the same process. The arrival of Frenchman Harry Novillo at Melbourne City last week is the latest in a lengthy list of players brought in – o...

Odds shorten for A-League grand final in New Zealand

The extraordinary events of the last few weeks have raised the spectre of an A-League grand final outside Australia.
There is absolutely nothing wrong with that. Wellington Phoenix is a credit to the competition and even those including myself, who might have questioned the logic behind the participation of a New Zealand club in an Australian competition...