2603blog entries

Mulvey's Roar departure leaves a sour taste

The demise of Mike Mulvey, as I saw it.
On 4 May 2014, Brisbane Roar coach Mike Mulvey was taking a bow in front of elated fans shortly after his team had defeated Western Sydney Wanderers 2-1 in the Hyundai A-League Grand Final.There were tears of joy and emphatic embraces as the...

Socceroos will gain from their growing pain

Australia's Socceroos are reeling from the worst year in their long history, yet there is not much use in pointing fingers or pressing the panic button.
We all have to be strong about this and look at the bigger picture because these are indeed tough times for the Socceroos.We all knew that there would be pain before gain when the game's leaders decided that the stagnant Socceroos needed a...

How the game changes in the rare air of a World Cup

The plight of Colombia in 1994 and Brazil in 2014 are indicative of the heightened environment during a World Cup and the unique pressure it brings which can either bring a team together or tear it apart in spectacular fashion.
One of my favourite national teams is Colombia of the late 80s and early 90s, side which exuberantly tip-tapped the ball around as if in thrall to a hypnotic salsa rhythm.Their story, of course, ends in tragedy – and not just in sporting terms....

Patience running out for the grounded Jets

Patience. It's what beleaguered Newcastle Jets coach Phil Stubbins has asked for this week in the aftermath of the 4-0 drubbing to Brisbane Roar last Friday night at home.
The club's winless streak in 2014-2015 extended to six in front of more than 10,000 outraged fans, which prompted punters and viewers alike to label the performance as the worst they had ever witnessed from the 2007-2008 A-League champion.The...

Unfinished dirty business stains World Cup integrity

While FIFA may want the probe into the awarding of the 2018 and 2022 World Cups to Russia and Qatar buried, there seems no end in sight as the truth continues to be hidden behind smoke and mirrors.
With regard to the release by FIFA’s ethics judge of the findings by his committee on the World Cup host-bidding process, one of three things is possible:The investigation by prosecutor Michael Garcia was woefully inept and blind.Or, key suspects...

Socceroos paying for a lack of forward planning

A glance at the history of the world's most winning football nations reveals a startling amount of astute forward planning, not to mention a fair dose of risk, is required to achieve success at the top level.
Achieving success at national team level is an immensely difficult task for any federation.Vying against scores of other nations for a continental or world title every few years means only a select few can reach the zenith of winning a major...

Muscat reaps the rewards for positive thinking

Melbourne Victory coach Kevin Muscat had every reason in the world to complain and feel sorry for himself about the key players he had to do without for the weekend clash with arch-rival Sydney FC.
It is a measure of his evolution as a coach that he didn't.The man who can polarise opinion like no other has antagonised many players, coaches and referees over the years by his uncompromising approach to the game as a tough defender and fierce...

A-League no longer sweating on marquees

The nature of David Villa's cameo appearance Down Under has shown that the A-League no longer lives or dies by which marquee players are here.
On the back of Melbourne City's performance against Brisbane Roar last week, coach John van't Schip made a comment that "tonight wasn't about the football, it was about the result". Chasing its first win of the season, the three points proved...

A-League presented with a window of opportunity

No sooner does the Australia national team 'pinch' a number of A-League players in its never-ending bid to establish itself on the international front than the clubs and media start jumping up and down in howls of protest at the absurdity of it all.
The 18 November international between the Socceroos and Japan in Osaka will deprive the weekend Big Blue between Sydney FC and Melbourne Victory of several key players and possibly diminish the spectacle as a result.WATCH SYDNEY FC v MELBOURNE...

The significance of Turkey v Brazil this week

Turkey hosts Brazil in a match-up of the two teams that contested the 2002 World Cup semi-final, but will the occasion be a celebration of the heights they scaled in Japan and Korea? Or tinged with melancholy at the dwindling football fortunes of...
Brazil travels to Turkey to play an international which also serves as reminder of the World Cup semi final between these sides in 2002, decided in Brazil's favour by an inspired to poke finish from Ronaldo.The perspective of time makes it...