Where have all The Roar’s old readers gone?

Mike Tuckerman Columnist

By Mike Tuckerman, Mike Tuckerman is a Roar Expert


262 Have your say

    Where have all the commenters gone? With Aaron Mooy scoring the winner for Huddersfield in the EPL overnight, it’s time to put the call out to the football fans who have gone silent on The Roar.

    The past week wasn’t a bad one for Australian football, in as much as Football Federation Australia didn’t implode and FIFA wasn’t lingering amidst our boardrooms trying to lecture us about good governance.

    Sure, the Centre of Excellence in Canberra quietly closed down and some old comments of Sepp Blatter calling the Socceroos fat resurfaced, but on the whole we can be satisfied the game managed to slink through another week largely unscathed.

    Truth be told, there’s not a whole lot going on at the moment, unless you happen to be a Brisbane Roar fan looking to blow off steam over the club’s dismal pre-season form, or better yet, your team happened to win a National Premier Leagues premiership over the weekend – as both Brisbane Strikers and Heidelberg United did.

    The A-League’s interminably long off-season is one of the worst aspects of our football culture, and the FFA Cup only serves to whet the appetite for the season ahead.

    There once was a time when the idea of a nationwide cup competition existed solely on the keyboards and computer screens of fans online, and it could be argued that the introduction of the FFA Cup was a small victory for people power.

    Increasingly, though, there seem to be fewer fans interacting online. Why is that?

    Long gone are the days of the anarchic World Game forum – probably for the best – but lately, we’ve seen some other popular forums disappear too.

    The long-running melbournevictory.net recently shut up shop for the foreseeable future, while the unofficial forums of plenty of other A-League clubs are practically on life support.

    Forums with a nationwide focus like FourFourTwo seem to tick over at a snail’s pace, while a handful of Facebook pages have plenty of followers but only the occasional in-depth discussion among fans.

    Social media is, of course, one of the main reasons the humble online forum has fallen by the wayside, but the immediacy of both Twitter, and to a certain extent Facebook, doesn’t always make for an illuminating online experience.

    Aaron Mooy Huddersfield Town Premier League EPL Football 2017 tall

    (Photo by Robbie Jay Barratt – AMA/Getty Images)

    Twitter, in particular, seems to be little more than an echo chamber of inanity, where nonsense goes viral and the few nuggets of insight are buried amid an avalanche of pointless re-tweets.

    Worst of all is the manufactured banter, with the social media departments of some of the world’s biggest clubs going into cliché overdrive any time an important fixture is near.

    In a world of instant gratification, are we less likely to seek out informed opinion and analysis online – or are we simply not commenting on it?

    Having noticed a drop-off in the number of readers commenting on The Roar of late, I decided to start submitting my columns to Reddit – and the results have been somewhat surprising.

    Although my user name on there is MikeTuckerman – a bit of a giveaway – no one has yet commented on the fact that the user submitting the pieces is also the same person writing them.

    More surprising, though, was the fact that not one person commented on last week’s column suggesting it was time for fans to take back football.

    Are football fans in Australia too timid to engage in an online debate, or do they simply not care?

    I’m well aware that being opinionated online is not exactly a surefire way to make friends – the list of folks who have blocked me on Twitter is both long and confusing – but I’m genuinely interested as to why fewer fans seem to be commenting on football stories online?

    So if you used to comment on The Roar but haven’t done so for a while, why did you leave?

    And if you’re a long-time regular, why have you stayed? And where do you think some of the old readers have gone?

    Mike Tuckerman
    Mike Tuckerman

    Mike Tuckerman is a Sydney-born journalist and lifelong football fan. After lengthy stints watching the beautiful game in Germany and Japan, he settled in Brisbane, and has been a leading Roar football columnist since December 2008.

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    The Crowd Says (262)

    • August 21st 2017 @ 7:00am
      Craig Joubert said | August 21st 2017 @ 7:00am | ! Report

      That’s easy to answer:

      Too many people show disrespect to others opinions in online forums.

      I’m happy for people to have a different opinion than me but there is no need to be rude or derogatory.

      • August 21st 2017 @ 9:21am
        R King said | August 21st 2017 @ 9:21am | ! Report

        Touché, exactly my thoughts. If I want to get abused because I think outside the square all I have to do is offer an opinion on line.

        • August 21st 2017 @ 9:34am
          Bob said | August 21st 2017 @ 9:34am | ! Report

          ++++++++ 111111111111

          • Columnist

            August 21st 2017 @ 2:56pm
            Mike Tuckerman said | August 21st 2017 @ 2:56pm | ! Report

            I feel the same way as you guys. Although it’s probably worth pointing out that some folks take it very personally when someone disagrees with their opinion.

            • August 22nd 2017 @ 9:11am
              spruce moose said | August 22nd 2017 @ 9:11am | ! Report

              You are one of them Mike.

              Your inability to use facts to present a coherent argument leads to you make cheap shots at others instead of answering the questions.

              • Columnist

                August 22nd 2017 @ 9:55am
                Mike Tuckerman said | August 22nd 2017 @ 9:55am | ! Report

                I see it differently, spruce moose. I think a lot of the time people don’t like it when someone doesn’t agree with their point of view, and tend to take it as a personal insult.

                Let’s use yesterday’s discussion around NRL crowds as an example. In several instances last season, the A-League drew bigger crowds than a commensurate NRL game. Melbourne Victory, Sydney FC and on occasion Western Sydney Wanderers all tend to attract bigger crowds than similarly positioned NRL clubs. And while it’s true that clubs like Central Coast Mariners and Wellington Phoenix typically don’t, it’s worth pointing out that the NRL is not present in these cities.

                But then, as is fairly typical in this type of discussion, you suggested to take out finals attendances. Okay then. Then you said we should remove derbies from the figures as well. Thin ice now. Then it was suggested to look only at average attendances across the season, despite the fact clubs like Victory playing in Geelong or Sydney FC playing at Homebush distorts these figures.

                So the crux of your argument is that once you exclude all of the A-League’s highest-attended fixtures, the NRL gets bigger crowds. Well, yes…

                But because I’m not particularly interested in excluding those attendances for the sake of your argument, you accused me of taking “cheap shots” and said it was a reason I don’t “write articles in mainstream papers”. Why? Because I didn’t agree with you.

                At the end of the day, we don’t all have to agree with one another. It doesn’t change the fact the A-League often outdraws the NRL, it just means we interpret the situation differently.

                I don’t take it personally. Whether you choose to or not is up to you.

              • August 22nd 2017 @ 12:02pm
                chris said | August 22nd 2017 @ 12:02pm | ! Report

                Come on Mike. You know better than most that daring to suggest that A-League may get good crowds will get shouted down at all costs by posters like Spruce. In fact any positive news about the A-League will attract those negative comments and then you get accused of “being one of them”.

            • August 23rd 2017 @ 11:33am
              clipper said | August 23rd 2017 @ 11:33am | ! Report

              Totally agree with you Mike – the abuse and targeted remarks when you disagree with someone’s opinion is quite funny. As you quite rightly refer to the thread you were involved in re the death of league in 50 years. Your comments were quite valid, based in reality, but weren’t pro league and therefore had to been shot down with a bit of abuse added.
              I’ve never encountered this on the Football tab, although I haven’t really gone that strongly against many opinions, although sometimes I do support the AFL side of the discussion which often gets quite heated.

      • August 21st 2017 @ 3:29pm
        steve said | August 21st 2017 @ 3:29pm | ! Report

        Agreed, when your opinion gets shot down because you are deemed not a real football supporter and a casual sports fan, who would you continue to offer an opinion and respond to new articles. Like any online forum, the conversation is dominated by the few and if you don’t agree, your own thoughts are often deemed worthless.

        • August 21st 2017 @ 3:42pm
          Nemesis said | August 21st 2017 @ 3:42pm | ! Report

          Mike Tuckerman is specifically asking where have The Roar’s old readers gone.

          So, he’s clearly not asking about casual disruptors & football illiterates.

          He’s asking where have the Football True Believers gone.

          The posters who created a vibrant forum for the past 7 years. E.g. I recall a prolific football poster: Fussball ist unser leben. He said he got fed up with the constant disruptors.

          I wonder what would it take to bring him back to this Forum?

          • August 21st 2017 @ 3:47pm
            Fadida said | August 21st 2017 @ 3:47pm | ! Report

            Perhaps you called him a “football illiterate”?

            Hang on, you are Fuss!

          • August 21st 2017 @ 3:50pm
            steve said | August 21st 2017 @ 3:50pm | ! Report

            Thanks for proving my point mate.

            • August 21st 2017 @ 4:37pm
              Craig Joubert said | August 21st 2017 @ 4:37pm | ! Report


              Some people can’t help themselves

              Are you getting the point Mike?

              I’ve also stopped commenting on league and union Roar forums and surf forums on another site due to the same issue

              Internet forums are becoming too hostile and have had their day…

          • August 21st 2017 @ 3:52pm
            Realfootball said | August 21st 2017 @ 3:52pm | ! Report

            comment in wrong place

          • Roar Rookie

            August 22nd 2017 @ 10:07am
            c said | August 22nd 2017 @ 10:07am | ! Report

            still luv ya

        • August 21st 2017 @ 3:45pm
          Fadida said | August 21st 2017 @ 3:45pm | ! Report

          Exactly Steve

      • Roar Guru

        August 22nd 2017 @ 10:45pm
        Ben of Phnom Penh said | August 22nd 2017 @ 10:45pm | ! Report

        I rather suspect some are rude as they lack confidence in the immediate subject matter to engage in constructive debate.

        It is a little sad as by doing so they deprive themselves of an education and embrace ignorance.

        That said a healthy disagreement is also good, as long as both sides are respectful. Waz and I have polar positions on the Nix however that doesn’t mean I don’ t respect him or his position, I just don’t agree.

      • August 23rd 2017 @ 12:17am
        Phantom said | August 23rd 2017 @ 12:17am | ! Report

        Plus the moderators are too quick to delete postings.. arbitrarily.

    • August 21st 2017 @ 7:20am
      Partyhat said | August 21st 2017 @ 7:20am | ! Report

      I rarely comment as I simply can’t be bothered to argue/interact/discuss online …often discussions go round in circles…and soon descend , however keep it up Mike, I still enjoy reading everyone else’s INCORRECT opinions. I considered not even writing this comment as I thought it would be amusing if this column actually garnered NO comments..!

      • Columnist

        August 21st 2017 @ 2:58pm
        Mike Tuckerman said | August 21st 2017 @ 2:58pm | ! Report

        It’s a bit like this upcoming postal vote. You can abstain as a form of protest, but then how does anyone know how you feel?

    • August 21st 2017 @ 8:22am
      Nick Symonds said | August 21st 2017 @ 8:22am | ! Report

      Is this issue “football specific” or has there been a decline across all sports?

    • August 21st 2017 @ 8:36am
      Fadida said | August 21st 2017 @ 8:36am | ! Report

      There is simply a lack of articles that appeal. The A-League is in hibernation, we are between internationals. Like many I’m not interested in EPL articles. The articles we are seeing are increasingly by a couple of writers who need more practice, shall we say.

      Once the A-League is up I expect traffic to improve substantially, and I look forward to original topics like;

      – Brisbane Roar fans encouraging other fans not to renew season memberships due to the club’s lack of “engagement”
      – expansion
      – how FFA are ruining football
      – hooliganism
      – CCM relocating
      – how football can usurp AFL

      • August 21st 2017 @ 8:40pm
        Footoverhand said | August 21st 2017 @ 8:40pm | ! Report

        Football around the world has started.
        Follow Leckie, 2 assists and 2 goals in his two games so far.
        Mooy, an assist (corner that wasn’t attributed to him as well) and the cracking goal last night.
        Rogic I think has a goal and 2 assists.
        One of the Williams brothers scored a brace over the weekend in Scotland.
        Samantha Kerr scored 4 goals for the first time in the NWSL in America, they stream their games for free and usually there is a YouTube.
        Goodwin and Kenny Dougal in the Eredivise.
        So on and so on, that’s what gets me through the off season, watching overseas Aussies.
        It also gives you a good perspective of different leagues, the HAL isn’t too bad. But most of all, it’s fun to follow our socceroos or future socceroos in action.

        • August 22nd 2017 @ 7:32am
          Fadida said | August 22nd 2017 @ 7:32am | ! Report

          I love reading about “Aussies abroad”

    • August 21st 2017 @ 8:50am
      melbourneterrace said | August 21st 2017 @ 8:50am | ! Report

      This place became a safe space for negative concern trolls from other codes and regular posters have far to often got moderated for daring to snap back. It’s all too common for someone to dare to say Football here should move against an Australian norm and the comments section becomes inundated with the same old garbage.

      Football fans want to discuss Football issues with solutions that actually work for our game without having to deal with this nonsense. The Roar has become a terrible place to do that and it’s no surprise that the regulars have gone to other places

      • Editor

        August 21st 2017 @ 9:27am
        Benjamin Conkey said | August 21st 2017 @ 9:27am | ! Report

        Thanks for the feedback melbourneterrace. We’re keen to eliminate the trolls but we need The Roar’s community to help us. We have thousands of comments to moderate. Instead of replying to troll-like behaviour report them. It will help keep the discussion about football.

        • August 21st 2017 @ 9:35am
          Bob said | August 21st 2017 @ 9:35am | ! Report

          MT highlights the biggest single issue with the football tab. it doesnt seem to occur in other tabs so please keep an eye on it or this area will die a slow death. it sounds like its already dying

        • August 21st 2017 @ 9:39am
          Nemesis said | August 21st 2017 @ 9:39am | ! Report

          I fully endorse melbourneterrace’s views.

          I’ve Reported many posts that are purely intended to disrupt & annoy. Very often these annoying posts are TimeStamped in the early hours of the morning – the 1st post in the discussion to maximise the disruption. But, nothing is done. The disruptive post remains & the poser is emboldened to repeat the disruptive behaviour.

          Additionally, very often the “Report” function doesn’t even work.

          • Columnist

            August 21st 2017 @ 3:05pm
            Mike Tuckerman said | August 21st 2017 @ 3:05pm | ! Report

            For what it’s worth, I think the editors here do a pretty good job with a finite amount of resources. There are often dozens of new articles posted on The Roar each day, not to mention the high volume of comments. Add to that the fact they’ve got to be across breaking news and react to situations as they happen, and I think they make a pretty good fist of it.

            Plus they sometimes improve my headlines… although this one was all me.

      • August 21st 2017 @ 10:19am
        Midfielder said | August 21st 2017 @ 10:19am | ! Report



      • August 21st 2017 @ 12:32pm
        Matt dustby said | August 21st 2017 @ 12:32pm | ! Report

        You don’t think some of the football hard cores are just as bad?

        • August 21st 2017 @ 3:33pm
          steve said | August 21st 2017 @ 3:33pm | ! Report

          They are, but to them the differing opinions are deemed as trolling. Therefore not worthy of being listed to. Its a vicious circle.

          • August 21st 2017 @ 3:49pm
            Fadida said | August 21st 2017 @ 3:49pm | ! Report

            Precisely Steve. “Football illiterates” is the term I believe

      • August 21st 2017 @ 5:00pm
        jamesb said | August 21st 2017 @ 5:00pm | ! Report

        Agree 100% MelbourneTerrace.

    • August 21st 2017 @ 9:09am
      Caltex TEN & SBS support Australian Football said | August 21st 2017 @ 9:09am | ! Report

      Three outstanding performances this week from three prominent Socceroos, Rogic, Leckie and Mooy getting on the score sheet. Yet Mike, you chose to write such a poor article about Roar pundits not commenting on your articles? There’s your answer. Why not write about these three boys and the coming international against Japan, hitting form at the right time? And how Ange will fit them in the starting XI, who performed magnificently against Chile in the recent match of the Confederation Cup. I sure would like to know what Ange intends to do… What a wonderful headache he has to workout.

      • August 21st 2017 @ 9:17am
        Bob said | August 21st 2017 @ 9:17am | ! Report

        your attack post sums up perfectly why fewer and fewer people post, your response post immediately attacks someone over their opinion and its obvious you haven’t even read teh article. Mike is not talking about comments on HIS articles he is talking about comments on ALL Roar articles and broadens teh debate outside of this website to why comments are occurring less on other websites and blogs. But instead of reading the article, and thinking about it before commenting you exhibit the same traits as Fuss and immediately attack, attack, attack and add no value you to teh conversation. If you actually support football why dont you start showing you support football instead of just attacking all the time? You are the type of poster that gets people to post LESS, you are part of teh problem

        • August 21st 2017 @ 9:26am
          R King said | August 21st 2017 @ 9:26am | ! Report

          Well said Bob, whoever he/she is seems to be caught up with being a voice of dissent without offering any level headed carefully thought out opinions.

          • August 21st 2017 @ 10:05am
            Caltex TEN & SBS support Australian Football said | August 21st 2017 @ 10:05am | ! Report

            “Three outstanding performances this week from three prominent Socceroos, Rogic, Leckie and Mooy getting on the score sheet.”

            So, R. King, you have no interest in what these three Socceross have achieved in their last games, and how important it is, heading towards the match against Japan?

            • August 21st 2017 @ 12:13pm
              j,binnie said | August 21st 2017 @ 12:13pm | ! Report

              Caltex – I for one watched Leckie;s goals and noted that one was created from what could be termed a forward attacking right wing position and the other from what could be termed the “old” inside left position. Funny thing is he has recently scored similar goals when playing with the Socceroos.
              Now correct me if I am wrong but am I correct in thinking AP might be trying to use Leckie as a “wing back” in his “new” system????. Cheers jb.

              • August 21st 2017 @ 12:23pm
                Caltex TEN & SBS support Australian Football said | August 21st 2017 @ 12:23pm | ! Report

                JB – Ange, is playing him out wide, so he still has the opportunity to get forward to score old fashion winger’s goals (?). But, that first goal he scored of his brace was a special goal—-most probably the best he has achieved in his career to date. Cheers

              • August 21st 2017 @ 12:48pm
                j,binnie said | August 21st 2017 @ 12:48pm | ! Report

                Caltex – The “wing back” position as practised in a modern system is actually a mid-field role and it is in this “role” I find Leckie ,not suited to the defensive aspects of that role.putting it in the vernacular, he couldn’t tackle a fish supper.
                However in the recent games we speak of he has scored goals from out wide on the right and also from the inside left position,so why do we see him used in a position where his electric pace is nullified by simply giving him a much longer run at the defence.
                I agree,use him as an out and out old fashioned right winger with a certain latitude to get into the box, but lets not have him wasting time chasing natural wingers attacking our right defensive flank, where the lad becomes a liability.. cheers jb.

              • August 21st 2017 @ 1:13pm
                Caltex TEN & SBS support Australian Football said | August 21st 2017 @ 1:13pm | ! Report

                JB – Ange, has a plan for him to be out wide and that’s still a good spot for an old fashion winger to get forward when the opportunity arises to attack (forward enough of the three CBs to get in a very good attacking position with the ball). Yes, he is deeper than you and I would like perhaps, but Ange, is the coach, it’s his call, he really now has a lot to consider now Rogic, can also cause a lot of damage out wide like he did in his last outing. A wonderful headache, as they say, for a coach to have. Cheers

              • August 25th 2017 @ 7:54am
                Caltex TEN & SBS support Australian Football said | August 25th 2017 @ 7:54am | ! Report

                “Leckie as a wing back”

                JB – now that’s an interesting label you put on Leckie, playing for Ange. However, I would see it a bit differently. I see Leckie playing for Ange as a “deep lying winger” who can attack from deep. Cheers.

      • August 21st 2017 @ 9:38am
        Caltex TEN & SBS support Australian Football said | August 21st 2017 @ 9:38am | ! Report

        Bob – Bob – I don’t want to read why the likes of you and Mike don’t understand why people like me don’t want to read such tripe like this. I want Mike to get off his big “A” and go out and get us an interview with Ange, getting his insights of the coming qualifying internationals for the world cup. This article is pure laziness and he is suppose to be an informed football journalist searching for good stuff for us to comment on. We have just had three great performances from Rogic, Leckie and Mooy, yet he is more intent on writing this apathetic rubbish, you might like reading this drivel, but I sure don’t, I want him to go out and interview Ange or someone connected to the WC campaign to talk about our chances qualifying for the WC.

        • August 21st 2017 @ 9:54am
          chris said | August 21st 2017 @ 9:54am | ! Report

          Yes it would be great if we could get some inside news on how preparation for the vital WC qualifier v Japan is going. With main stream media doing their usual ignoring of the game (until the day of the match) I come here to get some decent articles on things we can’t read on MSM.
          It’s also surprising that the usual suspects who only come here to disrupt and annoy are nowhere to be seen today.

          • August 21st 2017 @ 10:06am
            Caltex TEN & SBS support Australian Football said | August 21st 2017 @ 10:06am | ! Report

            Agreed Chris.

          • August 21st 2017 @ 10:32am
            Caltex TEN & SBS support Australian Football said | August 21st 2017 @ 10:32am | ! Report

            Just to add Chris, the FFA have a promotional football media arm (Kyle Patterson) that our football journalist can contact to get information on the preparation for the coming international against Japan—yet we have football journalists, who never seem to exercise this avenue—getting a fluff story to report. I feel these stories are important to hype up the interest for Australian football. Alas, it seems we have too many lazy professional football journalists here who are not prepared to do the hard yards. Mind you, this all could be the fault of the FFA, not cooperating with the journalists, getting these stories out there in the sports sites.

            • August 21st 2017 @ 12:27pm
              j,binnie said | August 21st 2017 @ 12:27pm | ! Report

              Caltex – I suppose the football journalists you speak of, have to get past an editor to get space on the printer.
              Take Roar for instance ,they have played 2 full games in recent days scoring once (in the last minute) and conceding 9 goals and yet the articles published in the CM simply tell us, the coach is “not perturbed”.
              In 3 discussion points published ,not one reply has been posted in the daily press so are we to believe that, like JA says, everything is OK and 12,000 Roar regulars are quite happy to accept this “status quo”.
              There is a multitude of questions that could, and should, have been put to these 2 performances but the opportunity has apparently passed without a whimper. Such is life in the Brisbane media. Cheers jb.

            • August 21st 2017 @ 2:45pm
              Freddie said | August 21st 2017 @ 2:45pm | ! Report

              Kyle Patterson left FFA a year ago. Not just lazy journalists it seems.

        • August 21st 2017 @ 10:42am
          Bob said | August 21st 2017 @ 10:42am | ! Report

          but even when articles like the one’s you’ve described are written you still attack people that don’t agree with your view of the world.

          • August 21st 2017 @ 12:15pm
            Caltex TEN & SBS support Australian Football said | August 21st 2017 @ 12:15pm | ! Report

            Don’t be so precious Bob. (lol)

          • August 21st 2017 @ 12:35pm
            Matt dustby said | August 21st 2017 @ 12:35pm | ! Report

            He doesn’t get it Bob, he is up there with the worst

            • August 21st 2017 @ 12:56pm
              Caltex TEN & SBS support Australian Football said | August 21st 2017 @ 12:56pm | ! Report

              No, I don’t get AFLers who come here…

              “Three outstanding performances this week from three prominent Socceroos, Rogic, Leckie and Mooy getting on the score sheet.”

              Matt dustby – so I suppose the above quote is not worthy news?