Columnist

Philip Micallef

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

454blog entries
Charismatic Zlatan Ibrahimovic has been making his critics eat their words for as long as he can remember. And he's loving it.
This extrovert striker is still banging them in at 35 and is showing no signs of resting on his considerable laurels. Like a good wine, he seems to be getting better with age and there will be many who will wish him a fond farewell when he...
Australian clubs need to get out of their comfort zone and come to terms with the fact that playing in the A-League and in Asia at the same time is all part of the modern game.
Playing twice a week for a short time is not the end of the world as some would have us believe. Coaches should acknowledge this and stop panicking whenever they are forced to play three games between one weekend and another. The three A-L...
ANALYSIS: It just had to be the Wanderers who inflicted the first defeat of the season on runaway A-League leaders and bitter rivals Sydney FC.
Western Sydney did what no other team had managed to do in 20 rounds and in so doing gave the premiership a new twist. Tony Popovic's men actually saved the race for the Premiers' Plate from becoming so one-sided that it risked being decid...
Brisbane Roar flier Tommy Oar is on fire and should be rushed into the Australia side that is chasing a spot in next year's FIFA World Cup in Russia.
With Tom Rogic unavailable for next month's two Socceroos qualifiers due to ankle surgery, Oar should be picked in Ange Postecoglou's team to face Iraq and the United Arab Emirates ... and given a licence to thrill. He could be just the ma...
Goalkeeper Dean Bouzanis was big enough to apologise profusely for his offensive verbal attack on striker Besart Berisha during the Melbourne derby between City and Victory. But where is the Albanian's apology?
Make no mistake, the attack was highly derogatory. City's Bouzanis was handed a five-match ban for calling Victory's Berisha a "f***ing gypsy" in the final stages of a heated confrontation which Victory won 2-1 with two late, late goals. "...
Great footballers who have the ability to thrill the fans and keep them on the edge of their seats are the bread and butter of the game.
Whether it's in Australia or abroad, the special players who can win matches on their own, with a moment of improvisation or pure genius, are worth their weight in gold. They are among the main reasons thousands of fans part wth their hard...
ANALYSIS: Roger Federer was not the only one in Melbourne turning back the clock on an emotion-charged Australia Day.
While the Swiss master was storming into his sixth Australian Open final in his quest for a first major since 2012, Sydney FC took a massive step towards their first silverware in seven years by coming out on top in the Big Blue. The Sky B...
"Ask any player and they will all say the refereeing this season is the worst it has ever been." This was the disturbing text I got from a high-profile player who like many others is exasperated by poor decisions and lack of consistency from...
There is no question the A-League's progress is being jeopardised by the unsatisfactory quality of refereeing. The refereeing standard has hit a new low this season in terms of the players' and the public's perception despite the A-League'...
A-League-winning coach Graham Arnold expressed fears of a mid-season slump when his Sydney FC team were sweeping aside all opposition in the first rounds of the competition.
Arnold was referring to the drop in form and consequent lack of results in the middle nine rounds of 2015-2016 that changed the Sky Blues' season and eventually would rob them of a place in the finals. Arnold's concerns may be materialisin...
Johnny Warren would be turning in his grave in the aftermath of FIFA's outlandish and money-driven decision to expand the World Cup to 48 teams from 2026.
The World Cup with 32 teams was perfect: eight groups of four and then a knockout phase. Why on earth would anyone want to change that if not for the chance to make more money from the world's greatest sporting event? Football's governing ...