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.

612blog entries
After Shane Smeltz smashed in Sydney FC’s winner in the dying seconds of the Sydney derby it was met with a collective groan from the Wanderers’ fans. ‘Lucky bastards,’ or words to that effect.
Follow @TheWorldGame Later Smeltz insisted luck played no part. Rather it was a case of his team sticking impeccably to a strategic game plan. "We were away from home and we have to come here to do a job, that was our game plan and we did ...

The case for Ronaldinho

Without doubt Brazilian icon Ronaldinho is the biggest name player ever to have so much as taken a glance towards the A-League. But it appears he's the big fish that got away, seemingly thrown back into the water.
Follow @TheWorldGame Through the months of November and December the player's Australian agent worked frantically to get him a guest deal for 14 games, from January 22 onwards. He spoke to five clubs. Support was also sought from the FFA a...
Let's declare it game over. The fans have won the PR war and they won it hands down.
Follow @TheWorldGame They won on two battle fronts: against Football Federation Australia, whom they felt had abandoned them, and against the media organ that attempted to defame them. Whether or not it is to be a lasting victory we don't ...
Guess it had to come sooner or later. The A-League’s active fan groups had, over the years, become so admired for the unique atmosphere and match experience they provide, they became a clear and present danger for those few whose obsessed...
Follow @TheWorldGame Some months ago Phil Rothfield, one of News Corp Australia's most dedicated rugby league writers and fans, took a sound level meter to a Western Sydney Wanderers game and wrote glowingly of the deafening decibels and h...
When it comes to discussing broadcast rights for the A-League, let’s begin by cutting the crap. It is not SBS who is losing ratings. Neither is it Fox Sports, whose figures are also down, who is losing ratings. It is the A-League that is losing...
If there is one thing that I learned while spending ten years as SBS head of sport it was that viewers, certainly when it comes to watching sport, don’t choose channels when it comes to deciding what to watch. They choose content. And it m...
Should the Wellington Phoenix be jettisoned as an A-League club? Should a third club from Sydney replace them?
These are two vexed questions which have preoccupied football’s chattering classes recently and which require further analysis and examination. Let us first be blunt and accept that the doubt over the Phoenix’s future is entirely business...
You look at the motley gang of candidates for FIFA’s presidential election in February and you are entitled to ask, has the football world gone completely mad?
As the deadline for nominations passed on Monday 26 October 2015, eight names emerged as having filed their papers with FIFA’s electoral committee - including the necessary names of five supporting member associations. There are three nomi...
Recently the Western Sydney Wanderers issued a CEO statement to confirm that a simmering dispute between the club and the police over the match behavior of active fans has been resolved.
Whew. That was close. Discussions between the club and the police over some of the draconian measures the police were proposing, most of which the club had opposed, had been going on for five months. The matter was threatening to come to a...
Let me say, to begin with, that Michel Platini was one of the greatest players I have ever seen. However, after a long stint among the top brass at UEFA and FIFA, he should not be appointed as Sepp Blatter's successor come February 2016.
Let me say, to begin with, that Platini was one of the greatest players I have ever seen. In my formative years as an SBS commentator, calling games involving Platini, especially of that great Juventus side he marshalled with Rossi, Scirea...
Much has been said and written in the past about a distinctive Australian football style and our need to attain one. Including by me.
In fact I have argued in the past that once that style is finally attained it will be lethal against any international opponent. The simple formula is to marry Australian players’ unique and unmatched will to win with optimum technique and...