Australia a melting pot of football cultures

johnhunt92 Roar Guru

By johnhunt92, johnhunt92 is a Roar Guru

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28 Have your say

    Our football culture has been a hot topic over the last week. Whether you are a Spanish passing nut or in favour of the British long ball, your chosen style of football has come under the microscope.

    It all started with a little ditty from Craig Foster, who questioned the coaching credentials of the new Melbourne Victory coach Jim Magilton.

    Foster did have a little scope to question the man, as Magilton has had a rather mundane coaching career without any success after indifferent stints at QPR and Ipswich Town.

    Foster then questioned the supposedly Australian fascination with the British style of football. Foster is well known for being an advocate of the Spanish style of football.

    Fox Sports pundit Robbie Slater blasted Foster on Twitter calling him a “racist” before revealing on Sunday that Foster was a sneaky so-and-so at the 1997 Confederations Cup.

    But the main debate coming out of this feud is the culture of football in Australia. This debate can be a civil one but like the debate on refugees, it is being hijacked by certain people for their own gain.

    Personally, I have no professional respect for either Craig Foster or Robbie Slater.

    Robbie Slater acts like too much of a buffoon to be taken seriously. If you read his newspaper articles and listen carefully past the banter with Mark Bosnich, you can actually see he makes sense at times.

    Craig Foster I believe has a good understanding of the game however, he acts like a crazed zealot who preaches like an evangelical pastor on homosexuality. This is also tinged with a side of bitterness against anyone who dares question him.

    But back to the main topic: What should Australian football culture and game style be? I believe that our football should be like the country itself: a melting pot.

    What I mean by a melting pot is that we accept all cultures and styles and respect and tolerate them while at the same time, making it uniquely Australian.

    Craig Foster has to learn the simple fact: all levels of Australian football are too diverse for everyone to play the Spanish way.

    I love the Spanish passing game as it is the most pleasant style to watch. However, we have so much other great styles of football in Australia that it is too difficult to get everyone playing like Spain.

    Also some teams need to work hard to produce results and the long ball British system works well. I know it isn’t the prettiest but when you can’t produce the great passing game, humping the ball long creates pressure on defenders and can produce results.

    Stoke City play that way and while they are not the best team on the eye, they punch well above their weight. In a league like the A-League, there is never going to be enough depth to live out Craig Foster’s dream of Spanish delight.

    But instead of bemoaning it, let’s celebrate the diversity and the fact that unlike the AFL, everyone plays the game differently creating intrigue.

    Why trash our multiculturalism when we should embrace it? I’ll leave the last words to Adelaide United coach John Kosmina.

    “Maybe we should just embrace the fact that we are in a really unique situation in this country with our cultural mix and access to information.

    “Maybe we should just try to teach our kids the basics and make them really really good at them.

    Then we can educate them about all the different philosophies so they can really understand the game”

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    The Crowd Says (28)

    • January 24th 2012 @ 7:51am
      nordster said | January 24th 2012 @ 7:51am | ! Report

      agree with your point on the Oz melting pot for sure … along those lines, i welcome Foz’s Catalan contribution to the mix. I don’t know that he wants everyone playing that style here, just to see it represented as our development moves through this important phase. He’s just a singular part of a broader whole, balancing out some of the more “agricultural” influences.

    • January 24th 2012 @ 8:50am
      Qantas supports Australian Football said | January 24th 2012 @ 8:50am | ! Report

      Foster is great for the game. Always prepared to stick his neck out and call a spade a spade without fear. Not blinded by his own cultural heritage—he sees what is working in modern day football in terms of beauty, styke and success. Slater on the other hand is blinded by what he feels is loyalty to defend his own cultural heritage and not it’s failings in modern day 21st century football philosophies, which bring results. It really is very simple, one believes in short tika taka triangle football (Fozz), and the other in route one football (Slater). I know which one brings the best results and is better to watch. Long live SBS and Fozz.

    • January 24th 2012 @ 8:57am
      jbinnie said | January 24th 2012 @ 8:57am | ! Report

      The biggest mistake being made by the pundits in our sport is to “lumber” it with national descriptive name ie Spanish,French, German,British.The facts are, because of the “internationality” of football ,it is, as you say, affected by a melting pot of ideas from different cultures from all around the world.
      Anyone with half a brain can follow the tactical development of football from Britain(1920), to Austria and Italy (1930),Russia and Hungary (1940/50),Italy and Brazil (1960),Britain and Holland (1970) France (1980) and Spain (1990). Throughout these decades Germany,in their normal insular way ,have also been part of that development.
      Many have written into these columns proposing how we, in our multicultural society,should play the game,but the truth is probably nearer Kossie’s words when he says teach the basics and allow the game to develop under the “machinations ”
      of manager/coaches who will develop their own ideas based on the type of player they have on their books.I feel this is what is happening in the HAL at the moment with Arnold’s CCM playing a style of football I would describe as effective,entertaining,skilful, but also with a physicality that I feel will always be part of the Australian game. Ange’s Roar is seeking a higher level,a game that requires a very high standard of skills and fitness for it is based on speed and movement of ball and man,but as we have seen can be affected dramatically when key personnel are not available for any reason.
      These 2 samples ,1st and 2nd in the HAL for the last 18 months,have proved successful and there is evidence that others are trying to emulate the ideas.
      Does this need an “international handle” or could it be we are following Hiddink’s “words of wisdom” and developing our own Australian style. Let’s hope so. jb

      • January 24th 2012 @ 9:43am
        Rusty said | January 24th 2012 @ 9:43am | ! Report

        x1 John and Jb

      • January 24th 2012 @ 10:14am
        Qantas supports Australian Football said | January 24th 2012 @ 10:14am | ! Report

        JB—-if we are to develop our own Australian Football style let’s hope our Australian managers train and coach all of our goal-keepers to play out from the back as sweepers—-instead of hoofing it up the guts like half of our keepers now do. I think that the Roar’s keeper (Theo) is starting to look more like an European ball playing sweeper than a typical English goal-keeper hoofing up the guts. Love to see Miron start this now with GCU’s young Jerrad Tyson.

        • Roar Guru

          January 25th 2012 @ 1:20am
          The_Wookie said | January 25th 2012 @ 1:20am | ! Report

          We did develop our own Australian Football style….in 1859. Have a league for it and everything.

          Sorry couldnt resist. Carry on. Mods feel free to delete.

          • January 26th 2012 @ 5:14pm
            Qantas supports Australian Football said | January 26th 2012 @ 5:14pm | ! Report

            Sorry but I cringe when I see on field players playing the ball with their hands that’s not Football but a team game using hands.. You might want to have another go to find a name for it..

    • January 24th 2012 @ 8:58am
      Mick said | January 24th 2012 @ 8:58am | ! Report

      I did not think Foster’s original article had anything we did not already know, the Brits seem to only employ Brits as a last resort & Slater has a cry.

      The Brit coaches I have seen at state league level seem to like a passing game & have been involved in Croat, Italian, Greek etc. backed clubs & have got on ok

      The coaches in oz are better than these imported a-league Brit coaches

    • January 24th 2012 @ 8:59am
      Tigranes said | January 24th 2012 @ 8:59am | ! Report

      Good article

      The fact is Australia is far more multicultural than Spain and this is reflected in the many cultures playing in the Hyundai A-League.

      Foster does sound very much like a preacher, and I hope he never commentates on a World Cup final ever again, he was so against the Dutch in 2010 final it was cringeworthy.

      I would say hes a decent analyst, shock jock journalist but a decidely average commentator.

      • January 24th 2012 @ 10:57am
        Savvas Tzionis said | January 24th 2012 @ 10:57am | ! Report

        And why wouldn’t you be? Their performance in that final was even more disgraceful than Argentina’s in 1990!!!

    • Roar Guru

      January 24th 2012 @ 9:00am
      The Cattery said | January 24th 2012 @ 9:00am | ! Report

      Let us not forget that el Federacio Catalana de Futbol was the first soccer federation to be established in Spain.

      This is their website, and if you happen to have a smattering of Catala, it’s a terrific read, taking you into the very heart of Catalan football.

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