Could Melbourne City be the A-League’s saviour?

Mike Tuckerman Columnist

By Mike Tuckerman, Mike Tuckerman is a Roar Expert

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182 Have your say

    Melbourne City scored the sort of goal you see more commonly in Europe on Sunday, and the club could hold the keys to unlocking the A-League’s full potential.

    Ross McCormack finally got the monkey off his back by scoring a goal from open play in City’s 1-0 win over the Central Coast Mariners, as he finished off a superb team move started by goalkeeper Dean Bouzanis and laid to him on a plate by a slide-rule pass from Luke Brattan.

    It was an instinctive run by McCormack, and it will be interesting to see if the experienced striker sticks around beyond January when Bruno Fornaroli makes his return.

    The burly Glaswegian – is that the right way to describe him? – has already seen off one star teammate in the form of Tim Cahill, and coach Warren Joyce showed his hand by brooking no tolerance for dissent after Cahill spoke out about his dissatisfaction over a lack of game time.

    Could Joyce be a shrewder operative than many in the Australian media originally gave him credit for? The one-time Wigan Athletic coach has already seen off both Cahill and former assistant Michael Valkanis.

    Joyce evidently didn’t want to talk about Cahill’s departure in the build-up to City’s clash with the Mariners, but the taciturn Englishman seems to have been given a clear vote of confidence by his discerning employers.

    And with Melbourne City vice-chairman Simon Pearce said to be flexing his considerable muscle behind the scenes, it’s entirely possible the City Football Group could soon be calling plenty more shots should the ten A-League clubs get their way and take ownership of the league.

    Of all the mistakes Football Federation Australia has made over the past couple of seasons, failing to expand the A-League is by far the most glaring.

    It was a point rammed home by 18-year-old Nathaniel Atkinson’s debut for City, with the Tasmanian turning in an assured performance in his first senior game for the club.

    Far too few youngsters are getting an opportunity in the A-League, and that’s not a situation that’s going to change until whomever is in charge finally admits some more clubs.

    Yet by the time it happens a huge swathe of the supporter base will have already been alienated – and marketing gimmicks like the inconceivably lame Star Wars round certainly won’t fix the problem.

    FFA has already managed to alienate the national team coach, and if you believe the rumours, Ange Postecoglou could end up at a club with another strong City Football Group influence in the form of Yokohama F. Marinos.

    Ange Postecoglou oversees a Melbourne Victory training session.

    (AAP Image/Julian Smith)

    The group may own less than a 20 per cent share in the J. League heavyweights, but crucially they’re said to be lending back-room support in a country where traditional Japanese management techniques still play a significant role in the running of football clubs.

    Postecoglou knows his J. League – take it from me – and he wouldn’t look out of place in charge of one of Japan’s most popular clubs.

    Could the City Football Group be behind his next move? If Postecoglou ends up in Yokohama – and it’s not the first time he’s been courted by a major Japanese club – we’ll know for sure.

    Yet it’s their increasing influence over the A-League that could be the most telling.

    Melbourne City may still be failing to draw big crowds – surely an Andrea Pirlo-level marquee has got to be the next move – but there’s no denying the fact the City Football Group are getting a lot of things right from their Abu Dhabi base.

    Their A-League team may be one of several to fall under their auspices, and there are legitimate concerns around the ethics of one company owning numerous different clubs.

    But the City Football Group has learned a thing or two about running football clubs over the past few years. Maybe it’s not the worst idea to press them on their thoughts about how to run a league.

    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 from December 2008.

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    The Crowd Says (182)

    • December 11th 2017 @ 8:06am
      Pauly said | December 11th 2017 @ 8:06am | ! Report

      Something needs to be done. I’m not concerned about how the A-League will stack up against the other summer sports anymore, I’m concerned about whether there’ll be a league in a year’s time. The Sydney derby’s attendance and ratings figures are indeed concerning given this is supposed to be the league’s marquee fixture. Someone has to be accountable. We can’t just sleep and wake up when the new Parramatta Stadium is completed.

      For what it’s worth, I will be going to Sunday’s visit by my Victory to Brisbane in the hope they can get something out of the game. I’ll do so rain, hail or superstorm.

      • December 11th 2017 @ 8:33am
        striker said | December 11th 2017 @ 8:33am | ! Report

        haha Pauly 36k for a derby game is a disaster oh please, 10 years ago we couldn’t dream that would happen, relax the game won’t fall apart, we have problems but i am sure in time things will turn for the better.

        • December 11th 2017 @ 9:38am
          Kangajets said | December 11th 2017 @ 9:38am | ! Report

          36 k. Is a very decent crowd for sport in Sydney.

          • December 11th 2017 @ 1:39pm
            Frank said | December 11th 2017 @ 1:39pm | ! Report

            Only 3 Sydney NRL games in 2017 were bigger, Grand Final, Parra’s Semi and ANZAC day. Only 3 AFL games in 2017 were bigger, Swans last 2 home games as they pushed for a finals spot and their Elimination Final.

            For regular season games in Sydney in 2017 the Derby is #1, #2, #5 and #7. Yes there is a bit of saturation, so it’s likely to settle 35-40K rather than the 60k of the first ANZ derby, but it’s still in a very healthy spot. Focus for the Sydney clubs needs to be on increasing their floor, rather than pumping up the derby. Swans lowest crowd was 20k on a Thursday. If SFC/WSW can raise their floor from the ~8k they have now to ~12k or so then the derby will grow naturally. Dropping to 2 regular season derbies a season would also help.

            • December 11th 2017 @ 1:49pm
              Sydneysider said | December 11th 2017 @ 1:49pm | ! Report

              Good analysis Frank.

              Agree with everything you’ve said. It’s the other regular season matches that require a lift in crowd numbers.

              Anyway, when the Wanderers head back to Parra, the derby will have crowds of between 28k to 30k in the much smaller stadium there compared to Homebush.

            • December 11th 2017 @ 4:23pm
              Nemesis said | December 11th 2017 @ 4:23pm | ! Report

              Thanks for that data, Frank.

              As soon as I heard the crowd was 36.4k on Saturday night I thought: here we go again, people will use this to suggest the ALeague is dying.

              Then I looked at the data to see how many NRL & AFL matches in Sydney had crowd bigger than 36.4k

              NRL: 1

              2 competitions that are pulling in 6x the TV revenue that ALeague pulls, yet their biggest H&A matches don’t have any greater pulling power than ALeague.

              And, remember, ALeague is (allegedly) a low quality, rubbish competition & AFL/NRL are (allegedly) the world’s best teams playing each other every week.

              Can you imagine the crowds in Australia every week if the 18 best football teams in the world played each weekend?

              • December 11th 2017 @ 7:58pm
                AR said | December 11th 2017 @ 7:58pm | ! Report

                This is strange.

                Fuss keeps telling us that the ALeague can/will never cater to eventgoing casuals.

                So how to explain the abnormally large Sydney derby crowds?

                It surely can’t just be Star Wars Round, the Derby always dwarfs other fixtures of both Sydney clubs.

        • December 11th 2017 @ 1:51pm
          j,binnie said | December 11th 2017 @ 1:51pm | ! Report

          Striker – Last season , on opening day of the season ,that fixture attracted nearly 62,000 to the same ground.
          Do you have any thoughts on why the attendance has nearly halved in a just 9 week date differential. Cheers jb.j

          • December 11th 2017 @ 2:10pm
            striker said | December 11th 2017 @ 2:10pm | ! Report

            That was the first derby at ANZ between the two teams, alot of people came as a novelty thing, once they saw the atmosphere was nothing special which it its not at ANZ people have dropped off, don’t forget WSW have struggled since and most of the 62k there that day were WSW fans, if both teams were 1-2 on the table i am sure there would be at least 50k on Saturday night.

          • December 11th 2017 @ 4:06pm
            Kangajets said | December 11th 2017 @ 4:06pm | ! Report

            J b

            I suggest the 36 k is reflected in that wsw are really struggling and probably no one gave them a chance of beating Sydney. I think that’s a good crowd in Sydney .

      • December 11th 2017 @ 9:43am
        pete4 said | December 11th 2017 @ 9:43am | ! Report

        Football wise this season has been very good probably better than previous years I think with some great goals in the first 10 rounds and excellent FFA Cup final.

        What’s different this season:

        1. The biggest 2 clubs MV and WSW have had relatively poor starts;

        2. FFA seems to be the primary focus each round;

        3. VAR experiment hasn’t gone down well.

        Other than that the World Cup is 6 months away and I believe we’ll finish the season strongly

      • Roar Guru

        December 11th 2017 @ 12:12pm
        Cousin Claudio said | December 11th 2017 @ 12:12pm | ! Report

        There was a 100% increase in average attendances for the A-League in just one week to 14,727 per game.

        That’s phenomenal growth in anyone’s language.

        The A-League is on the rise again!!

        • December 11th 2017 @ 2:00pm
          j,binnie said | December 11th 2017 @ 2:00pm | ! Report

          Cousin Claudio – You have your jokers hat on again ,no doubt
          Could you please supply the dates you are talking about, for an average attendance to HAL games can only be arrived at when dates are provided.
          Your example could only be in the first w eek of the season,(a 100% increase on the previous week) and that figure was 13,363. Cheers jb.

        • Roar Guru

          December 11th 2017 @ 10:37pm
          Cousin Claudio said | December 11th 2017 @ 10:37pm | ! Report

          Spot on jb, great comment as usual.

          The A-League will be broke by Christmas and we’ll all be laughing in our beers, even Santa.

      • December 11th 2017 @ 9:59pm
        ac said | December 11th 2017 @ 9:59pm | ! Report

        The real issue is the continuing poor tv audience/ratings. 36K is decent but not much many more watched on TV. That’s the concern. The Swans get 30,000 but few watch on tv. Melbiurne storm average 17,000 at their ground but get a good tv audience on top of that. The tv audience is important.

    • December 11th 2017 @ 8:10am
      chris said | December 11th 2017 @ 8:10am | ! Report

      Another week and another crisis story…

      • December 11th 2017 @ 10:13am
        Waz said | December 11th 2017 @ 10:13am | ! Report

        err, that’s because the code is in crisis lol

        • December 11th 2017 @ 10:42am
          chris said | December 11th 2017 @ 10:42am | ! Report

          every code/sport has its “crisis” in one form or another.

          • December 11th 2017 @ 10:50am
            Waz said | December 11th 2017 @ 10:50am | ! Report

            True. And journalists will write about them when they happen – that’s football right now.

            • December 11th 2017 @ 12:40pm
              chris said | December 11th 2017 @ 12:40pm | ! Report

              True Waz. But they did the same throughout the season in NRL. Poor crowds, predictable results blah blah blah. In some ways, all the negativity becomes self-fulfilling.

              • December 11th 2017 @ 3:20pm
                Fadida said | December 11th 2017 @ 3:20pm | ! Report

                Agree Chris. You can see just on this tab how many “fans” are threatening to jump ship because there is a “crisis”. Somehow they are feeling personally offended

              • December 11th 2017 @ 3:25pm
                Waz said | December 11th 2017 @ 3:25pm | ! Report

                Crowds have been stagnant for 5 seasons, tv viewing has been down, the warning signs have been there for a few years. Now this season both crowds and viewing is collapsing in free fall and it’s the fault of journalists writing negative stories?? It’s laughable – why can’t we just accept the people at the top of our game have mismanaged it badly?

              • December 11th 2017 @ 4:07pm
                Kangajets said | December 11th 2017 @ 4:07pm | ! Report


                No jumping ship at the jets this year

                Good weather on Saturday we should get 12000 for the Adelaide game

          • December 11th 2017 @ 12:34pm
            Tommo said | December 11th 2017 @ 12:34pm | ! Report

            But the A-League has a continual crisis with match attendences. Earlier in season was competing with the horses. Then test cricket. What next? No major sport last weekend

            • December 11th 2017 @ 12:53pm
              Nemesis said | December 11th 2017 @ 12:53pm | ! Report

              When will people get it through their thick skulls:

              ALeague is not, and never will, be competing for the casual fan.

              I’m a big fan of ALeague and I can categorically tell casual sports fans:

              There is NOTHING – absolutely nothing – to interest you by watching ALeague. You will be disappointed because ALeague does not have celebrities & sokkah does not have scoring every couple of minutes & sokkah has players who dive & cheat & sokkah doesn’t have players who coward punch opponents like real Aussie men do on the sports field.

              The reason ALeague crowds are down this season is because committed ALeague fans are not turning up to watch their teams so the average crowd is down by 1,400 per game.

              • December 11th 2017 @ 1:00pm
                Tommo said | December 11th 2017 @ 1:00pm | ! Report

                Why are the so call committed fans not turning up?
                A League is not in a position to pick and choose who comes therogh the turnstilles. Get people in and that will bring more in and create media interest. As you would know from your retail training of the saying “stock sells stock” Same with sports. A good crowd will bring in more.

              • December 11th 2017 @ 4:09pm
                Kangajets said | December 11th 2017 @ 4:09pm | ! Report


                The crowds are a reflection of how much money does a family , do they have free time , do they have kids or Xmas spending , or watch it on tv

                The A league has put football on a better path then 12 years ago

              • December 11th 2017 @ 1:13pm
                Nemesis said | December 11th 2017 @ 1:13pm | ! Report

                You’ll have to ask committed fans who don’t turn up why they’ve stopped. I’ve no idea.

                What are you talking about “pick & choose”? No one is suggesting that.

                I’m stating an opinion based on 12 years data & observation:

                ALeague is not, has not & never will, appeal to casual sports fans. No point trying to market to them if the product will never interest them.

                It’s like marketing Lamb to a vegetarian. No matter how slick the marketing, how much you spend on producing the best cuts of meat, a vegetarian is never going to be interested in your product.

                Same way, casual fans will never be interested in Aleague.

                Aleague is a sporting competition that has nothing for the casual fan.

                And, Sokkah is a sport that has nothing for fans who don’t like sokkah.

              • December 11th 2017 @ 1:22pm
                Tommo said | December 11th 2017 @ 1:22pm | ! Report

                Nemmsis. You must be new here. It’s called football, not sokkah

              • December 11th 2017 @ 2:13pm
                chris said | December 11th 2017 @ 2:13pm | ! Report

                One thing I do know that is keeping people away atm is the basic “saturation” we have had of football. I know of a few people that are missing games because of the WCQ’s.
                Its almost like football fatigue.

              • December 11th 2017 @ 5:51pm
                steve said | December 11th 2017 @ 5:51pm | ! Report

                Gee Nemesis, you have no idea why the committed A League fans aren’t turning up? I thought you had the answers for all the A League’s ills. I cant tell you why the committed fans aren’t turning up. Its because the product isn’t as good as you and others make it out to be. There is a definite problem with the game when the biggest club derby in Australia is out rated 4 to 1 on TV by womens cricket.

                Secondly, the constant attacks by you and others towards the casual fan really isn’t a help either.

              • December 11th 2017 @ 9:24pm
                Nemesis said | December 11th 2017 @ 9:24pm | ! Report


                The ALeague product is better today than it was in Season 3 when crowds were at record highs. You won’t know this unless you watched ALeague in 2007/08.

                So, if you think the product is crap now, no problem. It was even worse in 2007/08, so that invalidates your hypothesis that committed fans are not turning up due to the quality of the product.

                Second, the fact that so many Aussies tune in to watch semi-professional women’s cricket indicates Aussies do not care about the quality of the product. They watch low quality semi-pro sport on TV.

                Casual fans are not now, nor will they ever be, committed ALeague fans. ALeague will always be crap, low quality football so you and your casual sports mates are not part of the potential audience for ALeague.

                You should stick to watching semi-professional women play cricket & AFL during the school holidays.

    • December 11th 2017 @ 8:13am
      j,binnie said | December 11th 2017 @ 8:13am | ! Report

      Mike – This is a strange article that appears to jump from one inherent HAL problem to another, putting up discussion points as to why things are as they are, and what they might be ,with a heavy emphasis on the word “might”.
      I found it strange that nowhere in your analysis did you mention the best team in Australia for the last 18 months,Sydney FC, and how it would appear they have achieved the level of football entertainment that they have, compared to the other 9 identities in the league.
      You appear to put the importation of players from overseas as a sort of restriction on the improvement paths for young Aussies and yet surely if we were to be stripped of the skills inherent in that group,we would in fact directly be lowering the standard of our present day football as provided by Sydney FC, a team in fact made up 4 or 5 imports,and,more importantly, the pick of local talent sourced and matured locally, and perhaps overseas, Wilkinson,and Zullo being examples..
      You digress into reasons as to why AP may well join a Japanese club and what that has to do with the City Football Group is a moot point which may or may not have some substance.
      You also use the lovely goal scored by City last night as a discussion point when,with the two commentators waxing lyrical about a “planned move”, in fact a 60 to 70 metre goalkeeper clearance, a backward header into space and a nice through ball played by Bratten all have a high element of chance in their content ,and could hardly be said to have been “planned” on the training ground.
      In closing I would say the football we saw from Sydney FC at the weekend puts them at another level from the other 9 HAL teams ,and in the short term it may be in the interests of those 9 identities to try and find out what is making Sydney FC tick, rather than wait for a “world wide organisation” based in far off Abu Dhabi to come up with solutions to our perceived problems. Cheers jb.

      • December 11th 2017 @ 8:35am
        AR said | December 11th 2017 @ 8:35am | ! Report

        That’s a very good comment jb.

        • Roar Guru

          December 11th 2017 @ 12:13pm
          Cousin Claudio said | December 11th 2017 @ 12:13pm | ! Report

          That’s a very good pat on the back for jb there AR.

          • December 11th 2017 @ 12:55pm
            AR said | December 11th 2017 @ 12:55pm | ! Report

            And a nice pat on the back from you to me.

            Thanks Claudio, it’s all working seamlessly.

      • December 11th 2017 @ 8:38am
        RBBAnonymous said | December 11th 2017 @ 8:38am | ! Report

        I thought the goal by city was very well constructed, no luck about it. Nice, simple and direct.

        • December 11th 2017 @ 9:37am
          Kangajets said | December 11th 2017 @ 9:37am | ! Report

          Agreed it was a decent goal

          I thought the kid from Perth Glory goal was a great finish against the jets as was Koutroumbis goal .

          • December 11th 2017 @ 10:17am
            Waz said | December 11th 2017 @ 10:17am | ! Report

            It was an excellent goal, excellent.

            But as jb says there was plenty of luck about it – the pinpoint accuracy of a 70m pass was luck, as was the fact no defender challenged Brattan, back heel was luck – half a meter either way would have killed the move, and Brattan’s pinpoint pass should have been intercepted and at the very least the attacker tracked and blocked.

            But they got lucky and scored an excellent goal. No shame in that.

            • December 11th 2017 @ 3:28pm
              Fadida said | December 11th 2017 @ 3:28pm | ! Report

              Classic negativity comment Waz. You say it was all luck, others would argue that it was due to 4 players having excellent quality in their play.

              Using your rationale you could argue every single goal ever scored is “lucky”, because every final ball or shot could have missed it’s target. Yes Golec made a mistake positionally but most goals involve defensive incompetence. Did you see the goals from the Manc derby? 3 mistakes.

              • December 11th 2017 @ 11:42pm
                Waz said | December 11th 2017 @ 11:42pm | ! Report

                I stand by the comment even though it wasn’t meant to be negative; I’ve coached football long enough to know some luck, and that 70m clearance by the keeper was not “pinpoint accurate” it was luck as we’re several aspects of the move.

                And yes, most goals occur because the opponents make a mistake or the attacking team gets lucky. So what? It doesn’t detract from the game …

        • December 11th 2017 @ 1:13pm
          j,binnie said | December 11th 2017 @ 1:13pm | ! Report

          RBB – I would appeal to your obvious common sense and ask again,is there no luck when a goalkeeper finds a team-mate with a 70 metre punt up the field, an unmarked winger who then sends a header back into a space which again, luckily, finds an unmarked midfielder just waiting to pounce and who cleverly passes 2 defenders and sends a pinpoint pass through to an excellently ,advancing from deep,central striker who finishes very well indeed.?????
          There was nothing “lucky” about the finishing or Brattan’s set-up ,but I’ll bet you a quid to a penny you won’t see the same move duplicated in all it’s form this week. Cheers jb

      • December 11th 2017 @ 2:50pm
        LuckyEddie said | December 11th 2017 @ 2:50pm | ! Report

        We will have to see how SFC go in the Asian Champions League to gauge if they are anything special. At the moment there are a lot of pretty ordinary teams in HAL, with WSW one of the worst. I would think the Kashima Antlers will give them a nice touch up.

    • December 11th 2017 @ 8:29am
      AR said | December 11th 2017 @ 8:29am | ! Report

      Careful what you wish for.

      As Mike suggests, the CFG, as the most powerful ownership group, may have significant influence over key decisions and make up of the competion once the FFA has been turfed out.

      Maybe, as Bozza hopes, the salary cap will go.

      This may bring more Pirlos, as Mike suggests – though I thought the long lasting effects of marquees has been proven.
      The real impact would be on the smaller clubs. CCM, Jets, Nix, Glory – would all be minnowed, even more so. Maybe that’s a good thing. I’m not sure.
      Interesting times ahead – maybe Harry Potter Round could provide a bump?

      • December 11th 2017 @ 9:32am
        Waz said | December 11th 2017 @ 9:32am | ! Report


        This is not a topic without complexity, and where you say without a cap “The real impact would be on the smaller clubs. CCM, Jets, Nix, Glory – would all be minnowed” ….

        …. Whereas with the cap Victory, Wanderers, SFC (and now Jets and possibly even Brisbane both of whom have wealthy owners) are minnowed – so in once sense we are expected to believe no cap is bad because it will minnow certain clubs but accept having a cap minnows others?

        Now the conventional wisdom is that the smaller clubs being minnowed would make them uncompetitive. This is a line straight out of the NRL and AFL playbook where it is true primarily because there is a limited talent supply.

        Football does not suffer the same talent supply limitations and even the smaller clubs could access foreign talent exceeding even Broich and Nincovic – if they had more money.

        The debate then shifts to “could they afford it” which is easily answered – if the bulk of the $50m A league funds retained by the FFA were returned to the clubs the combined profitability of the competition would be $30m. Then with better talent, better marketing, better commercialisation of the league the evidence suggests they could afford it. And this is before any transfer fee windfall is factored in.

        The model we have today is wrong – it’s designed by NRL stooges and Lowy who wanted command and control. There are better ways.

    • December 11th 2017 @ 8:55am
      Nick Symonds said | December 11th 2017 @ 8:55am | ! Report

      “Could Melbourne City be the A-League’s saviour?”

      No. The “A-League’s saviour” will be the fans if they show up. This is especially difficult in Australia when it is hard for traveling fans to attend because of the tyranny of distance. The recent bid by Campbelltown in addition to that of Southern Expansion does make me wonder if they could both be added as the next expansion teams because of this and perhaps also Canberra and Wollongong later. Getting fans to show up and tune in is what will save the A-League.

      The question then is how do you get football fans to engage with the A-League?

      • December 11th 2017 @ 9:35am
        Kangajets said | December 11th 2017 @ 9:35am | ! Report

        I’m all for expanding those areas u mention into the A league as soon as possible. Also teams from Geelong tassie . A 14or 16 team league asap . And of course if financially viable and second division by 2019 .

        • December 11th 2017 @ 10:11am
          Nick Symonds said | December 11th 2017 @ 10:11am | ! Report

          “if financially viable”

          Which brings me back to my point about fans showing up and tuning in. Revenue is the biggest problem facing football in Australia and revenue is driven by the number of fans.

          No fans = no revenue. No revenue = no A-League.

          I don’t think that Melbourne City or any other club for that matter can be expected to become some kind of a silver bullet and “save” the competition. It’s really all down to the fans and what they do.

          • December 11th 2017 @ 10:20am
            Waz said | December 11th 2017 @ 10:20am | ! Report

            I didn’t take the article as being about Melb City saving the A League, the title would have been better if it had said CFG save the A Keague.

            Mike says “it’s entirely possible the City Football Group could soon be calling plenty more shots should the ten A-League clubs get their way and take ownership of the league“ … that’s where Melb City/CFG could save the A league.

            • December 11th 2017 @ 2:52pm
              LuckyEddie said | December 11th 2017 @ 2:52pm | ! Report

              City Group will be calling shots to suit City Group.

              • December 11th 2017 @ 3:28pm
                Waz said | December 11th 2017 @ 3:28pm | ! Report

                They will. And what’s wrong with that?

                At the moment the FFA are calling the shots to suit the FFA and we can all see what’s wrong with that. The national competition is in free fall.

            • December 11th 2017 @ 3:43pm
              Fadida said | December 11th 2017 @ 3:43pm | ! Report

              Agree Waz

    • December 11th 2017 @ 9:32am
      Kangajets said | December 11th 2017 @ 9:32am | ! Report

      Well it’s all the football for on the field for me .

      Sydney FC finally put the cleaners through someone , they are looking unbelievable at the moment, if Arnold was to get the Socceroos job and leave Sydney FC would they still be unbeatable, we wait and see.

      Perth Glory were unlucky, but as jets fan I think the jets have a real inner belief that can win any game. O Donovan returns was impressive.

      Adelaide are a good team and there match against Newcastle this week will be terrific.

      Melbourne City didn’t take their chances but with Fornaroli back soon , they may be real contenders.

      Mrlbourne victory fans ,, what is happening at your club , does Muscat need a clenout of stale players or are they just about to click into action soon .

      • December 11th 2017 @ 9:51am
        chris said | December 11th 2017 @ 9:51am | ! Report

        I’m really looking forward to seeing how Sydney FC do in the Asian CL.
        They are currently a step above everyone else here and at times they don’t even seem to be greatly extended.

        • December 11th 2017 @ 10:11am
          AGO74 said | December 11th 2017 @ 10:11am | ! Report

          So am I re the ACL – just purchased my 3 x game match pass. They did ok a couple of years ago and are far superior now to what we were two years ago.

          • December 11th 2017 @ 10:59am
            Sydneysider said | December 11th 2017 @ 10:59am | ! Report

            SFC also has a visa spot up their sleeve come January, and the rumours are that Arnold has an AFC +1 player lined up.

            That would allow SFC to play 4 foreigners in the ACL and allow one of Buijs, Ninko, Adrian or Bobo to be left out of the ACL squad to concentrate on the A-League.

            SFC and Arnold want to win the ACL.

            • December 11th 2017 @ 11:48am
              chris said | December 11th 2017 @ 11:48am | ! Report

              Im not sure if Arnold would risk upsetting the balance of the squad by doing that.

              • December 11th 2017 @ 1:07pm
                Waz said | December 11th 2017 @ 1:07pm | ! Report

                Arnie’s got to leave one out anyway. You can only have 3 foreign players plus one AFC player.

        • December 11th 2017 @ 10:58am
          Nemesis said | December 11th 2017 @ 10:58am | ! Report

          “They are currently a step above everyone else here and at times they don’t even seem to be greatly extended.”

          Are you just using the SydDerby as your reference, or the whole season?

          Yes, SydFC were extremely good on Saturday night.

          Let’s look at their other 9 matches
          R1. Were not at all impressive & required an own goal to win

          R2. Were in control of the match early, then WEL pushed them all the way to 90′ and everyone (I mean everyone) knows that WEL were denied a 1-on-1 & likely equaliser by a clearly wrong off-side call

          R3. WSW smashed Syd in the 1st half of the Derby

          R6. LOST to CCM. Syd were never in the game

          R9. AU had enough chances to win or draw. Even the Syd coach admitted they did not dominate

          So, that’s 50% of the 10 rounds Syd has not been a step above. 17 matches to play.

          • December 11th 2017 @ 11:55am
            chris said | December 11th 2017 @ 11:55am | ! Report

            I am not just looking at the derby where WSW were a shambles. When they play at their best, at this stage, no other team can go with them.
            That doesn’t mean they will be at their best every single game and as you pointed out, teams have pushed them.
            From what I’ve seen so far they will take some catching and I don’t think we’ve seen them at their best.
            I’m sure other teams will also improve but not enough to catch SFC.

            • December 11th 2017 @ 12:12pm
              Nemesis said | December 11th 2017 @ 12:12pm | ! Report

              I look at it differently.

              For me, what separates SydFC from the rest of the comp is that, when SydFC don’t perform at their best, they’re far superior to other teams who don’t perform at their best.

              The old adage of “winning the games when you aren’t at your best” is the mark of a team that wins the League. And, definitely SydFC are much better at getting results consistently – whether they play well, or poorly.

              Knock out comps are different.

              • December 11th 2017 @ 12:43pm
                chris said | December 11th 2017 @ 12:43pm | ! Report

                Well yes knock-out comps are different.
                ACL is home and away in the group stage so I’m expecting SFC to do well. Or at least get a yardstick as to where they actually are in the scheme of things.

              • December 11th 2017 @ 1:16pm
                Nemesis said | December 11th 2017 @ 1:16pm | ! Report

                Agree, ACL will be interesting.

                If Sydney do not play at their best against the best teams in Asia, will they still be able to get results like they do in ALeague when they’re not at their best?

                Will Asian opponents be more clinical & take half chances the way most ALeague team fail to capitalise on half chances?

                That’s the key to Group success in ACL.

      • December 11th 2017 @ 12:44pm
        Lionheart said | December 11th 2017 @ 12:44pm | ! Report

        Arnie doesn’t have any youth players in his starting lineup at SFC. A quick look at their squad has Josh Brillante as their youngest starter, and he’s nearly 25. There are youth signings in the squad of course, but very rarely do they get game time let alone a start. Where are SFCs young twenty something stars of tomorrow?

        • December 11th 2017 @ 1:01pm
          j,binnie said | December 11th 2017 @ 1:01pm | ! Report

          Lionheart – That is a good observation and when you consider the goalkeeper, right back,2 centre halves, left back, two defensive attacking midfielder/ play-maker and the two front men have all done their apprenticeships elsewhere, in fact it is a team where most of the “improvement work” has been done elsewhere.
          That in no way reflects on the procurement strategy of Graham Arnold,just means that he is very good at team building. Cheers jb.

          • December 11th 2017 @ 1:08pm
            Waz said | December 11th 2017 @ 1:08pm | ! Report

            One might even argue a certain Mr. Aloisi looked at Arnies model and said “I can do that” lol.

            • December 11th 2017 @ 1:20pm
              j,binnie said | December 11th 2017 @ 1:20pm | ! Report

              Waz – You are kidding are you not? jb.

              • December 11th 2017 @ 1:37pm
                Waz said | December 11th 2017 @ 1:37pm | ! Report

                Not in terms of recruitment no I’m not – JA angered fans over the weekend where in an article he said “I’m building for the future” when there’s no evidence of that.

                Instead it appears he’s looked at Arnies SFC model and gone:

                Older players ✔️
                Players developed elsewhere ✔️

                Hence a rather older look to his squad and signings;

              • December 11th 2017 @ 2:26pm
                j,binnie said | December 11th 2017 @ 2:26pm | ! Report

                Waz – You are kidding are you not? jb.

              • December 11th 2017 @ 2:34pm
                Waz said | December 11th 2017 @ 2:34pm | ! Report

                You keep saying that jb but I’m not going any further with this until you provide some clarity on what you’re asking lol

              • December 11th 2017 @ 3:45pm
                Fadida said | December 11th 2017 @ 3:45pm | ! Report

                I took your “lol” to mean you were kidding Waz.


              • December 11th 2017 @ 4:33pm
                Waz said | December 11th 2017 @ 4:33pm | ! Report


                My inappropriate use of “lol” then lol ?

                But no, I recon that was JAs thought process looking at SFC – also when they lost 5-4 to WSW he commented they had no players U25 in the outfield whereas Roar had 6.

                Solution? Sign older players (lol)

              • December 11th 2017 @ 2:57pm
                j,binnie said | December 11th 2017 @ 2:57pm | ! Report

                Waz – Any comparison between the players that GA has procured for Sydney and who JA has procured for Roar is purely co-incidental.
                I would go as far as suggesting only the Greek and Dutch center backs are comparable.
                When one considers the “building for the future” being done at Roar, the players being “selected for the future” are hardly comparable with the likes of Wiltshire, Wilkinson,Zullo, Brillante, Adrian,O’Neill,Redmayne,Nincovic and Bobo who have all played internationally for their countries.
                Might I suggest that this latest “building for the future ” statement has come due to the others ,hopefully based on “things will get better”, have no longer any credibility to the long suffering fans.Cheers jb.

              • December 11th 2017 @ 3:39pm
                Waz said | December 11th 2017 @ 3:39pm | ! Report

                I agree entirely with the “building for the future” comment – after the FFA Cup thumping Aloisi said “we’ll be ready for R1” and when we weren’t it was “we’ll get better” and now we haven’t it’s “building for the future”. Every time he opens his mouth he alienates another few supporters.

                As for the starting point of our little thread, I said Aloisi has probably looked at Sydney’s model which consisted of older players developed at other clubs and thought “I can do that” and based his recruitment on that.

                Of course he hasn’t got the same quality of players as Arnie, nor does he know what Arnie looks for (it’s more than age) so he’s just got older players and wondering what’s going wrong??

                He could have tried to sign Izzo but instead resigned Theo.

                He could have tried to sign De Silva but instead signed FBK.

                And the most damning action of all, dropping O’Toole who has not put a foot wrong and playing Brown on Saturday. Don’t change a winning team unless you need to, JA did and it sends the wrong message.

            • December 11th 2017 @ 1:24pm
              Lionheart said | December 11th 2017 @ 1:24pm | ! Report

              it’s an argument for transfer fees. Remember the years of justifying to fellow fans why we had to persist with Borrello and Brattan and all the others. All the effort we put into so many players who move on at no fee. Watching the weekend games, Nichols, Brattan and Petratos all are solid and central for their new clubs.

              • December 11th 2017 @ 2:18pm
                Kangajets said | December 11th 2017 @ 2:18pm | ! Report

                Didn’t Brisbane get petratos from Sydney FC

                And then got a transfer fee for petratos when he went to China

              • December 11th 2017 @ 2:57pm
                Lionheart said | December 11th 2017 @ 2:57pm | ! Report

                Yes, via Malaysia. But he did require much work. Roar persisted with him, on a youth contract and switching between NYL and HAL, and now you have today’s product.
                He wanted to move to Jets to link with family at the end of his Roar contract, but was picked up by Ulsan Hyundai (Thailand) mid-season 2015/16 for last year’s ACL (same group as Roar) and both Roar/Jets shared the transfer fee. Ulsan released him early, where he apparently got little game time. Many Roar fans argued he should’ve been released way back (after initial year), but credit to Mike Mulvey for sticking with him.

              • December 11th 2017 @ 3:14pm
                j,binnie said | December 11th 2017 @ 3:14pm | ! Report

                Lionheart -The argument over the “no transfer fee” ruling is another debate all together. It is hard to visualise that ruling being changed in a ten team league which has a salary cap clause.
                One would have to hope that sometime in the future that teams in the HAL will be able to source more and more talent from the proposed “second tier” where “nursery clubs” could be encouraged to supply such players, their work being recognised with some monetary recognition.
                It always surprises me when viewing the games in the FFA Cup the number of players playing who are reported as having had HAL experience.
                It is in this area our football has to come of age.If a player has been tried and found wanting in the HAL can any good argument be put up to justify why that player should be filling a position in what I will call a “stepladder team” for young players or should we have a limit on such players in these teams just like the limit on foreign players in the HAL.
                Thinking outside the box. Sure it is but is that what is needed. Cheers jb.

              • December 11th 2017 @ 3:35pm
                Lionheart said | December 11th 2017 @ 3:35pm | ! Report

                That’s a very good points JB – not hard to imagine a bunch of ‘could’ve beens’ in the second division. But still, I’d like to see clubs rewarded for effort they put in developing players, for no other reason than to provide incentives to develop players. It could, for example, come into salary cap determinations (maybe with a half discount for locals). I’d also like fees for overseas transfers at least, understanding the limitations on internal A League clubs. This will be more so when the club academies are running properly, where they will definitely want a return on investment.

              • December 11th 2017 @ 5:30pm
                Lionheart said | December 11th 2017 @ 5:30pm | ! Report

                kangajets – you also have Joe Champness, Lachy Jackson, Devante Clut and one more ex Roar youth players now at various stages of development.

              • December 11th 2017 @ 6:34pm
                Kangajets said | December 11th 2017 @ 6:34pm | ! Report


                Not sure Jackson and clut are up to it

                But why wasn’t Champness enticed to stay at the roar ??

                Couldn’t Aloisi see Champness ability?

              • December 12th 2017 @ 10:46am
                Lionheart said | December 12th 2017 @ 10:46am | ! Report

                It’s obviously a tough decision for a coach. He’s gone for the likes of Oxborrow and Skapetis instead, who are yet to prove themselves this year. The promising youngsters at Roar who impress me are Connor O’Toole and Rahmat Akbari, but they’re not getting much game time. Good on Jets for picking giving these guys a go. Clut is high maintenance but he does have ability.

          • December 11th 2017 @ 1:09pm
            Lionheart said | December 11th 2017 @ 1:09pm | ! Report

            it’s a bit of a worry JB, the powerhouse of our game (with many times more registered players than anywhere else) relying on others to build their stars.
            I read a short analysis recently by those Uni kids who run the Football Sack, showing that Adelaide, Mariners and Roar have produced more Socceroos than the others.

            • December 11th 2017 @ 1:37pm
              Post_hoc said | December 11th 2017 @ 1:37pm | ! Report

              Well spotted

              Westerns Sydney had 7 players selected for the 23 man U19 Australia Squad in October
              Melbourne City had 9 (Victory and FC had 1 each) The Foxsports podcats last Monday commented that it looked like Melbourne City was hording young players

              • December 11th 2017 @ 1:51pm
                Lionheart said | December 11th 2017 @ 1:51pm | ! Report

                I read somewhere that Victory still don’t have an academy. Sydney’s website says they do but it’s pretty fluffy on detail.

            • December 11th 2017 @ 1:42pm
              j,binnie said | December 11th 2017 @ 1:42pm | ! Report

              Lionheart – As the HAL progresses we will see more and more of this type of activity expanding.
              The top clubs,(it may finally be ten) will actively try to build their numbers by using players who have done their apprenticeships elsewhere and are showing the potential to be ,if you like, Socceroos.
              However that state of afffairs may still be a fair way down the track , at the moment our HAL identities don’t appear to have the finance, (or know how), to keep the promising young talent here in Australia. There are a few exceptions on show. Brillante,& ONeill are 2 such players,playing in a very good side but yet to make automatic selection to the national side.
              That leads us to another discussion point..
              Are the young local players,playing regularly in the HAL , good enough to warrant straight out selection into the Socceroos run on team.?.
              Pim Verbeek raised all of our hackles some years ago when he said the players playing (at that time) in the HAL were not good enough to play international football.
              Along came AP, and despite heaps of words written about ,and spoken, his , AP’s run on teams, were usually noted to be playing their football overseas.
              So what does that tell us?, how far does our HAL standard have to rise for the national coach to feel comfortable about picking locally based players.
              Just remember, most of the Socceroos who have played at the clubs you mention have spent time at other places before becoming regular Socceroos.
              Oh for that day to be here. Cheers jb.

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