Ange’s visit to Suncorp spoiled by fan insults
A-League's most successful coach, Ange Postecoglou. (AAP Image/Julian Smith)
While one swallow doesn’t make a summer, the recent 5 – 0 win by Brisbane Roar over the Melbourne Victory looks a lot like the Roar are picking up where they left off last year.
All power to Roar coach Rado Vidocic for bringing some new elements to the Roar’s game.
However, as a fan of the Roar, I was left pretty cold by the way Ange Postecoglou was treated in the lead up to, and during the game last Saturday.
The Brisbane media’s portrayal of interviews with players started the ball rolling, with stories which seemed to have a unsavoury motive behind them – painting Ange’s contribution during time as coach as irrelevant and already forgotten, as some sort of revenge against him having the gall to leave Queensland and coach elsewhere.
This situation was then compounded at the game by a few vitriolic fans who unfurled a banner directly insulting Ange. It was good to see security guards remove it, but not before more damage was done.
I for one don’t suffer from the apparent short memory of the media or some of the fans in this city. It’s no secret that before Ange came along, the Roar were a basket case – the easy beats of the A league, languishing at the foot of the table.
Ange’s efforts, assisted by current coach Vidosic, turned the club around completely and created a team that play exciting football and delivered a premiership, two grand final wins, a record unbeaten streak, two qualifications for the Asian Champions league and, importantly, more fans.
The Roar’s success also had the effect of raising the bar across the rest of the A-League and, as a result, made a huge contribution to improving the quality of football across the country.
I also believe Brisbane’s success outside of the Sydney and Melbourne centres contributed to further cementing the A-League in the Australian sporting landscape.
I contrast these achievements with the real possibility that if Ange hadn’t arrived when he did, the club may well have lost its major sponsor and folded, leaving Brisbane – and indeed Queensland – without an A-League team.
I still don’t understand why the media took the angles they did on their stories – perhaps they felt the return match against Victory was a State of Origin style affair and they figured generating some hate towards the ‘southerners’ might get a few more clicks on their websites.
Similarly, I don’t understand why some fans felt the need to insult Ange in the way that they did.
I for one don’t begrudge Ange leaving to further his coaching career – and I don’t recall the same treatment being dished out to Wayne Bennett by the media or the league fans when he left the Broncos to coach St George.
What I do know is Ange has done more for football in Brisbane and the A-League than anyone could have thought possible when he took over at the club.
I’m all for healthy rivalry but am disappointed at the rapid public degeneration of the relationship between Ange and the club, the Brisbane media and some of the fans and I hope it doesn’t last.
But the handshake at the end of the game between Rado and Ange said it all and I’d like to think if everyone had their time over again, it would all be done very differently.
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