Columnist

Les Murray

Fondly known as 'Mr Football', Les has been directly involved in all the major events covered by SBS Sport, including five World Cup football tournaments. Follow @lesmurraysbs on Twitter.

650blog entries
On the 9th of May Donald Trump sensationally fired his FBI chief, James Comey. A day later FIFA's two leading ethics watchdogs, Hans-Joachim Eckert and Cornel Borbely, were both given their marching orders.
Also suddenly gone was Miguel Maduro, chairman of FIFA's governance committee. So respected was Maduro for his courageous independence that within days two his committee colleagues resigned in protest. Then, in his opening address at the 6...
Sydney FC and Melbourne Victory, with their epic grand final, closed a memorable season 2016-17, the 12th A-League championship.
The finale, hosted by a pulsating crowd of 42,000, was a stirring spectacle. It wasn’t flowing champagne football to be honest, as games of such importance often aren’t. But as a contest it was as riveting and uncertain as any final would ...
Vince Grella, Socceroos hero who is nowadays involved in player scouting, and I had a conversation at a recent A-League game.
We spoke about Panos Armenakas, young Australian starlet at Udinese, mutually admired by both of us. I lamented that at 18 the young man of immense technical talents should surely be promoted out of the Primavera and into the senior team a...
Ange Postecoglou believes in the players he selects. This is as it should be, otherwise why select them. But it has not always been thus.
Over the decades the Socceroos have often been led by men who didn’t believe in them or in their capacity to compete at an elite international level. Jim Shoulder, Rudi Gutendorf, Eddie Thomson, Pim Verbeek and Holger Osieck spring readily...
There was considerable media criticism of the A-League’s football standards following some humiliating Australian losses in the AFC Champions League recently.
This is good. The media commentariat has a responsibility to question and criticise and to try and find a diagnosis when things don’t go well. But sometimes they can get things wrong, way wrong, by pointing a finger at the wrong people. A ...

Why do we sack coaches?

Why was Claudio Ranieri sacked? Let’s ask the broader question, why do we in football sack coaches? And why so often, why so predictably?
The understanding is that we sack them because the results are not good enough, patience has run out and we see no prospects of a turnaround. Then comes the next question: if results are bad is that necessarily the coach’s fault? And would...
For an entire working week the FFA were locked in talks with their stakeholders over constitutional change.
Both FFA chairman Steven Lowy and CEO David Gallop were bunkered down in critical dialogue with the state federations, the A-League chairmen, the players’ union and other interested parties in a series of meetings over last week. You may w...
He's one of the greatest players of all-time, they named the award for the world's best goal after him, and now Ferenc Puskas will be honored in Melbourne where he coached for three years.
On Saturday, 4th of February, a bronze statue dedicated to Ferenc Puskás will be unveiled in Melbourne. There on Gosch’s Paddock, a stone’s throw from the statues of cricketers and Aussie rules players which surround the MCG, will stand th...
Despite the outstanding dominance of Sydney FC in the current season, the A-League suffers from a degree of sameness and technical uniformity not seen since before the glorious era of Brisbane Roar between 2010 and 2014.
In those years, during which the Roar won three championships and once went 36 games without defeat, Brisbane provided a brand of technical leadership which inspired all connected with the A-League, including rival teams. The league lacks ...
Last week in this space I wrote about the expanded, 48-team FIFA World Cup and how the change will impact on the tournament, football in general and on Australia.
Since then two developments have emerged. One is that the notion of Australia seceding from the Asian Football Confederation and re-joining Oceania has entered the conversation. The argument is based on the supposition that Oceania will no...