2565blog entries

Football in Sydney's west bares its soul

In the space of 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....

Wanderers dreaming of a fairytale finish

Minutes after Western Sydney had beaten Guangzhou Evergrande in the first leg of the AFC Champions League quarter-finals, coach Tony Popovic may have shown what the Wanderers are all about with a deadpan answer to a simple question.
"Where is this all going to end," he was asked after his Wanderers had beaten the Chinese juggernaut 1-0 in Parramatta. The answer had much to do with Popovic's unflinching belief in his players' extraordinary efforts to leave their mark in Asia ...

The long haul in South America is yet to begin

While the 2016 UEFA European Championship qualifiers commenced this week, the cream of South American football was running around in mickey mouse games that will have little bearing on what will occurs next year when the likes of Brazil and...
In the last three World Cups, Ecuador, Paraguay and Colombia produced their best ever performance in the tournament. Chile also enjoyed its best World Cup, if we discount the one it hosted in 1962, and Uruguay returned as a force after decades in...

Sepp's dangerous toy

Sepp Blatter, it appears, wasn't kidding when he floated the idea of 'video challenges' in mid-game at the FIFA Congress in Sao Paulo in June. He has repeated it more recently and is now even talking about trialling it at the FIFA Under-20 World...
Has the FIFA president taken leave of his senses? This is the man who for decades steadfastly, and properly in my view, refused to budge from opposing any case of video adjudication over refereeing decisions, including goal line technology....

Portugal teetering on the brink

A lack of long term planning has Portugal at risk of being left behind Europe's rapidly evolving top football nations.
A national team transition is a tricky course to navigate for any coach and federation. Do you take it slow bringing in the next generation and risk them not having the required international experience when the time comes? If you decide to go fo...

Brave Socceroos deserve some tender loving care

The new-look Australia team that is still reeling from three defeats at the 2014 FIFA World Cup needs all the support it can get as it shapes up for the 2015 AFC Asian Cup on home soil.
After suffering its sixth defeat in eight matches since coach Ange Postecoglou took over less than a year ago, fans would be entitled to feel nervous about their favourite team. Coaches usually get sacked for that sort of record. After a comprehe...

How the big clubs fared on deadline day

Lost amid the swirl of hype surrounding Manchester United's deadline day capture of Radamel Falcao and the ripple effect that move had on the football world, was another transfer that will have far more significance for the parties involved, one...
Another deadline day has come and gone with the usual mix of excitement, big name transfers and last minute deals. CHECK OUT ALL THE BIGGEST TRANSFER DEALS ACROSS THE GLOBE HERE   Now that the dust has settled, I thought i'd take a look at which ...

Swans boss Monk shedding 'ugly duckling' reputation

Gary Monk talked the talk when he was sensationally picked to replace the sacked Michael Laudrup as Swansea manager late last season. Now his undefeated team is walking the walk.
The day Swansea City made the shock announcement that highly likeable Danish manager Michael Laudrup was sacked and replaced by the inexperienced Garry Monk, many, including myself, feared the Welsh club was abandoning its philosophy....