Philip Micallef

Philip Micallef is a football writer with almost 40 years of experience. He has worked for News Limited and now SBS. He is a long-time follower of AC Milan.

343blog entries

Sydney and Melbourne share the limelight

Australian club football will be the centre of attention on the country's sporting landscape when Sydney and Melbourne stage two massive matches on Saturday.
Western Sydney Wanderers faces Saudi Arabia's Al Hilal in the first leg of the AFC Champions League final at Parramatta Stadium.City rivals Melbourne Victory and Melbourne City will cross swords in a keenly awaited derby at Etihad Stadium...

Socceroos and Wanderers are worlds apart

Australia's Socceroos and Western Sydney's Wanderers have made headlines for wildly disparate reasons in the last year or so.
While the national team has undergone a tactical transformation and embarked on a bold journey of open, attacking football with all the risks that come with it, the Wanderers have crafted a safety-first way of closing down a game to suit their...

The clubs chasing that elusive A-League championship

The A-League kick-off cannot come soon enough for two clubs that have largely under-achieved in the nine-year history of the competition.
Season 10 of the competition that starts on Friday night will go into a partial recess in January for the AFC Asian Cup and will end up with the grand final in May.As usual, it is keenly anticipated.WATCH THE HYUNDAI A-LEAGUE LIVE ON SBS ONE FROM...

Aussie football riding the Wanderers wave

Western Sydney Wanderers will carry the hopes of a nation on its broad shoulders when it steps onto the pitch to face FC Seoul in the second leg of the AFC Champions League semi-final.
The Wanderers face the Korea Republic club at Parramatta Stadium on Wednesday night with a win - any win - sealing a place in the ACL final.After securing a 0-0 draw in the first leg in Seoul, the Wanderers are favourites to reach the finale that...

Football in Sydney's west bares its soul

For 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...

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...

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...

Chequebook coaches take the easy option

Coaches making excuses for their failures is one of the most enduring features of the world game and you learn to treat some of their complaints with a pinch of salt.
Many coaches come up with the most banal of explanations for their defeats and very few are prepared to admit their mistakes or acknowledge that their teams are simply not good enough.Why is it so hard to do this?What really amuses me is the...

Give the FFA Cup winner a ticket to Asia

It is still early days but the football fraternity's enthusiastic acceptance of the FFA Cup should persuade the powers-that-be to reward the winning team with a spot in the AFC Champions League.
The inaugural competition has captured the imagination of the sporting public.It already has been an unmitigated success and proven to be a knockout with clubs, players, fans and media.The cup is backed by Westfield but it is only a matter of...

Wanderers out to conquer Asia's highest peak

Western Sydney Wanderers will attempt to capture its biggest scalp when it faces Chinese giant Guangzhou Evergrande in the AFC Champions League quarter-finals.
Tony Popovic's Wanderers take on Marcello Lippi's Evergrande in the first leg at Pirtek Stadium on Wednesday night before the two teams meet again at Tianhe Stadium a week later.This is all new territory for the intrepid Wanderers and their band...