Brisbane Roar’s achievements this season in the A-League have not received the recognition they deserve. Brisbane has passed every challenge thrown up them this year, and with style.
First of all, hats off to Ange Postecoglou for achieving one of the greatest feats of football coaching in the modern era.
Postecoglou has taken a team from second last to first in one season. With figures of 30 games played, 18 won, 11 drawn and one lost, with points totalling 65. This includes a 25-game unbeaten streak and a goal difference of plus 32.
These figures are the type often seen in Europe from teams such as Barcelona, Manchester United or Inter Milan. But the difference is that Postecoglou has achieved this on a shoestring budget, with no particularly high profile players.
While great coaches in Europe have great players to begin with, Postecoglou has taken decent, eager, professional players and transformed them into a great side.
Many believe his name is already engraved on the coach of the year award.
The Roar have also being strong in times when many other teams had faltered. Countless coaches and players from other clubs blamed scheduling for their poor performances during the year. Brisbane Roar certainly had their fair share of tough scheduling but came out trumps in almost all situations.
This was particularly evident in week 12 and 13 of the season. Brisbane played Sydney away and drew 1-1.
Then they were off to Wellington, winning 4-1.
Then, returning to Suncorp, they smashed Adelaide 4-0 in the battle of the top two. That week proved the team’s ability and professionalism. To claim seven from a possible nine points, in a week with 5000km of travel, is a pretty special achievement.
There have been countless other moments in the season which proved the worth quality of Brisbane, here are just a few:
1. Thumping Adelaide 4-0, week 13. As previously mentioned Brisbane came into this match off a hectic week of travel and matches. In the opening stages it looked like a very tight match with Adelaide defending very well. Then Reinaldo got the breakthrough four minutes before half-time.
But in the second half Brisbane went a man down as Reinaldo was sent off. Would Brisbane hold on for 40 minutes? How about those tired legs? The answer: Ange asked for an all out assault on the Adelaide goal, scoring three goals in 12 minutes. Simply stunning.
2. Roar vs Melbourne 3-3. A thoroughly entertaining match at AAMI Park on Friday 3rd of December. Brisbane leading 2-0, were looking very comfortable away from home.
Then Melbourne Victory stormed back into the contest with a sensational goal from Robbie Kruse, followed by a strike by Thompson and another from Kruse. The match was flipped on its head.
Most teams after leading so comfortably and letting it slip would have collapsed in a heap after going behind, but not Brisbane.
With seconds to go Michael Theoklitos claimed a ball near the edge of the box. Many claimed it was out of the box, no replays could offer a conclusive angle.
Theoklitos thumped the ball upfield, finding the noggin of Reinaldo, before McKay streaked away to net a dramatic equaliser.
It was Reinaldo’s final touch in Roar colours. Further proof of a relentless, mentally tough football side.
3. The floods. Brisbane lost their home ground right at the end of the season. This led many to question if the Roar would hang onto the lead at the top of the ladder, without their home fortress.
The Roar responded in style, with two wins at Skilled Park and another after a Fury match had to be rescheduled.
Upon their return to Suncorp, Brisbane were eager to put on a show for their adoring fans at Suncorp which included 5000 flood workers and victims.
Once again, they delivered when they needed to. With two goals showcasing their skilled shooting, and two displaying what they are famous for – delightful passing.
Sadly, despite this season of mind-blowing achievements, these actions weren’t considered good enough for The Courier Mail in Brisbane.
The morning after dismantling the Gold Coast 4-0 and holding the Premiership Plate aloft, it was a rugby league friendly match which dominated the sports news, with the Roar found several pages into the sports section.
It is a great shame that the media in Brisbane refuses to get behind a truly great sporting team.
Throughout the floods disaster there has often being talk about the Queensland spirit. The Courier Mail, however, is far from capturing such spirit. They need to have a long hard look at themselves if they are going to continue to ignore this fine bunch of Queensland heroes.
Well done to Brisbane Roar – the greatest team in Australian sporting history.