We’ve got the semi-finals the A-League had to have

Mike Tuckerman Columnist

By Mike Tuckerman, Mike Tuckerman is a Roar Expert

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135 Have your say

    Don’t ever question Besart Berisha. The A-League legend scored an outrageous winner when his team needed him most to set up two classic semi-finals.

    Just when you thought it was all over for Berisha, who has been out of sorts all season and was on the verge of being substituted last night, he goes and pulls you back in.

    Or more specifically, he pulls Melbourne Victory into a mouth-watering semi-final showdown with Sydney FC at Allianz Stadium next Saturday night.

    And his goal was one of the most spectacular in A-League finals history.

    In truth, Berisha has been a shadow of his former self for much of the campaign, and it looked like that streak would continue on another quiet night for the Kosovo international.

    But when Kosta Barbarouses floated a ball towards the six-yard box, it just had to be Berisha to convert with an outrageous bicycle kick.

    Barbarouses Berisha

    And didn’t the Victory fans celebrate it in style?

    They may be unloved by fans of the other nine A-League clubs, but it’s hard to argue that Victory supporters don’t produce the best atmosphere in the competition.

    And they had AAMI Park positively thrumming on Sunday evening – even if high ticket prices kept some fans away.

    Sunday’s clash with Adelaide United was a slow burn to start, but by the time Nikola Mileusnic burst through from a quickly-taken free-kick, Victory knew they were in for a fight.

    It was their most effective player this season in Leroy George who headed them back into the contest, but plenty of credit should also go to Barbarouses – who finished the game with two vital assists.

    And if Victory lose George in the off-season because of salary cap constraints, questions must be asked of what Football Federation Australia plans to do to help keep such exciting attacking talents in the A-League.

    As it stands, Victory march on to a semi-final showdown with their bitter rivals Sydney FC in front of what should be a big crowd at Allianz Stadium.

    And Melbourne City travel to the Hunter to take on the Newcastle Jets at what will be a packed McDonald Jones Stadium.

    City were ruthlessly efficient in dispatching Brisbane Roar 2-0 on Friday night, as individual errors came back to haunt John Aloisi’s team.

    Roar defender Jack Hingert should have simply cleared the ball just before the hour mark, only to attempt to turn out of danger and lose possession to Bruno Fornaroli.

    The Uruguayan them ambled into the box to tee up Stefan Mauk to produce an excellent finish, and in truth it was no less than a dominant City deserved.

    Hingert could have redeemed himself when he scuffed a shot wide soon after, before Nick Fitzgerald’s powerful header ended the game as contest as City booked their third semi-final appearance in four years.

    And what an intriguing clash it will be against a Newcastle side that finished the season with three defeats from its last four games.

    Will that be enough to dampen spirits in the Hunter? Of course not.

    Tickets are flying out the door for Friday night’s semi-final, with the Jets making their first return to the finals series since the 2009-10 season.

    Newcastle Jets fans

    And the clash between one of the A-League’s genuine battlers and the nouveau riche of City makes for a fascinating subplot.

    It’s just a shame there weren’t a few more fans in attendance this weekend – and yet again FFA deserve a spotlight shone on their decision-making.

    When the elimination finals could have been played out against the backdrop of heaving stands, the high cost of many the tickets on offer no doubt saw plenty of fans opt to stay home and watch on TV instead.

    Here’s hoping the ratings on Fox Sports and One were decent.

    And we’re fortunate the football was something to write home about as well.

    These are the semi-finals the A-League had to have, and they can’t come quickly enough.

    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 (135)

    • April 23rd 2018 @ 6:42am
      Buddy said | April 23rd 2018 @ 6:42am | ! Report

      I can’t say I really buy into the Berisha bashing or baiting that has taken place this season. He has scored 14 goals which maybe is not where he would like to be but then MV haven’t exactly shone all season. The team lost over a third of their games and if you compare their results with the league winners that is a difference of seven games in the win/loss ratio. Who is to say that he would not have bagged 5-10 goals more? All speculation I know with the point being it is much harder to be at the top of the tree unless the whole team is with you.
      However, the qualities I have seen in BB lie in what he does when the team does not have the ball. Last night was a case in point. He was right amongst it at succesive Adelaide corners and I lost count of the number of times he was back defending near the right sideline and around the penalty area. When he wasn’t defending he always makes a nuisance of himself as he is such an “in your face” type of player and one that hs made the A League so much more enjoyable during his career, irrespective of team loyalties etc.
      Loved the tension last night; it may not have been pretty at tines, not a classic by any stretch but a hard fought down and dirty fight for territory and contrasting styles with a route 1 to goal really paying dividends and Kosta Barbarouses providing two pinpoint crosses, showing how valuable an asset he is, and then to finish with a real cracker from BB. It certainly satisfied my appetite last night and hopefully there’s more to come.

      • April 23rd 2018 @ 8:11am
        Nemesis said | April 23rd 2018 @ 8:11am | ! Report

        Have to disagree with you about Besart. I watch him every week either in the stadium or on TV. This season & most of last season it’s been obvious his 1st touch, his control, his ability to make quick & smart decisions and his finishing have all diminished due to aging.

        He is MVFC’s number 1 striker. The guy whose job it is to finish of the work done up the field.

        This season MVFC had 5 Draws & 10 losses.

        If I go back & review each one I can quite easily point to Besart costing the team at least 15-20 points from his profligate finishing. Goals he would’ve scored during his trophy-winning seasons at Brisbane & MVFC.

        • April 23rd 2018 @ 8:22am
          Buddy said | April 23rd 2018 @ 8:22am | ! Report

          Nem – maybe I am more forgiving due to his workrate off the ball. I don’t deny that we have witnessed a change this season but he makes a major contribution and his winning goal last night had me jumping out of my armchair and terrifying the cats.
          If he was released by MV, I’d be confident that 7-8 A League clubs would still snap him up.

          • April 23rd 2018 @ 8:50am
            Nemesis said | April 23rd 2018 @ 8:50am | ! Report

            You are 100% correct. Besart’s workrate off the ball is immense. The problem for me is that he’s the No.9. So, whilst he’s wandering all over the park trying to help everyone else do their job, he is unable to get back into position to do his job.

            Also, Besart’s wanderings disrupts the whole team structure.

            When Kenny Athiu comes on the park, the change in the entire team is stark. The whole team functions better as a unit because Kenny follows the coach’s instructions. He plays to the team plan. Kenny also works incredibly hard but he is disciplined & focused. He doesn’t think he can do everything, so he just does the job he is told to do.

            Besart thinks he can do everything. It worked in the past because he was younger & physically able to do it all. Now, he needs to concentrate on being a No.9. If he does that, he will be an extremely valuable contributor to MV next season. If he does not, he’ll end his career as a bench player.

            • April 23rd 2018 @ 8:58am
              fadida said | April 23rd 2018 @ 8:58am | ! Report

              Interesting nemesis. I made the same observations over the second half of last season and many times this season. Each time you disagreed.

              • April 23rd 2018 @ 9:03am
                Nemesis said | April 23rd 2018 @ 9:03am | ! Report

                I don’t recall your ever making any such analysis other than something like: Berisha is too old & he’s useless.

                I’ve outlined why Berisha is not functioning to the level he did in the past & I’ve also outlined how he can continue to be a highly valuable member of the MVFC attack next season.

                Berisha could have contributed a lot more to MVFC this season. His contribution in the final MelbDerby was immense. His goal last night was immense. He could have the same impact every match if he focuses on what he’s good at, rather than trying to do everything.

              • April 23rd 2018 @ 9:23am
                fadida said | April 23rd 2018 @ 9:23am | ! Report

                What a selective memory nemesis. I made all of the same observations about his game that you have just done. A year earlier.

              • April 23rd 2018 @ 9:40am
                fadida said | April 23rd 2018 @ 9:40am | ! Report


                Here was my pre season prediction nemesis, in which I said he is no longer the clinical goal scorer he once was, his pace was well down, and he was in decline.

                While he should make 120 goals (just), he will need another season. That’s assuming MV don’t replace him as starting striker (which they need to). He’s still got value as a back up, and will score a goal here and there but he’s not even close to the player he was.

                It appears you now agree, though it has taken you a season longer to see.

              • April 23rd 2018 @ 9:53am
                Nemesis said | April 23rd 2018 @ 9:53am | ! Report

                According to your coaching intellect, Besart would not have been on the pitch last night to score the winner.

                There are 2 broad aspects to being a top No.9

                1) Getting into the right position
                2) Putting the ball in the net.

                Besart got into enough positions to score goals to win the Golden Boot this year. So, that part of his game has not diminished even 1%.

                And, excluding penalty goals (which are irrelevant to the quality of a striker) only Bobo has scored more goals than Berisha this season in ALeague.

              • April 23rd 2018 @ 10:21am
                fadida said | April 23rd 2018 @ 10:21am | ! Report

                According to you fuss I said Berisha was “old and useless”, but I never said any such thing. Only you have said his decline is due to “aging” and he was once “younger and physically able to do it”.
                To summarise you are saying he is old and in decline. I’ve just said he’s in decline.

                You then go in to say he has cost MV “15-20 points with his profligate finishing”, which suggests you agree with me, that he’s no longer clinical in the way he once was?

                Which is it? (rhetorical question, you have clearly changed your mind but will argue the point, even though it is your own argument you are arguing against!!)

                If he’s cost 15-20 points, which I agree he has, then surely he’s no longer automatic first choice and MV must recruit a better no 9? Which is the crux of my argument all along. Which you have argued above , but will now disagree with because someone else said it!

              • April 23rd 2018 @ 5:50pm
                fadida said | April 23rd 2018 @ 5:50pm | ! Report

                Your silence says it all

        • April 23rd 2018 @ 8:49am
          Kangajets said | April 23rd 2018 @ 8:49am | ! Report

          Great goal by berisha

          • April 23rd 2018 @ 3:32pm
            Betty B said | April 23rd 2018 @ 3:32pm | ! Report

            another former Roar boy doing it for another club. Along with former Roar team mate Kosta Barbarousis, they make a great combo.

            • April 23rd 2018 @ 4:01pm
              Nemesis said | April 23rd 2018 @ 4:01pm | ! Report

              Didn’t Roar sign Kosta from Wellington Pheoenix? How is he a “Roar player”?

              MV certainly has never ever recruited Kosta from Brisbane. He was with a Russian club when we first signed him; then with NIX last season before he transferred back to MV.

              • April 23rd 2018 @ 7:50pm
                pacman said | April 23rd 2018 @ 7:50pm | ! Report

                Played 33 matches for Brisbane Roar from 2010 to 2012.

              • April 24th 2018 @ 9:45am
                Lionheart said | April 24th 2018 @ 9:45am | ! Report

                was an also ran at Phoenix, was made at Roar.
                Besides Nemesis, it’s irrelevant where MV sign their players, they’re still former Roar boys.

        • April 23rd 2018 @ 10:02am
          chris said | April 23rd 2018 @ 10:02am | ! Report

          Nem, BB has set himself a really high standard and maybe that’s why you are being critical. Has he not scored 14 goals this season? Look at the strikers other clubs have and compare them to BB. I would have BB over most other teams number 9.
          In fact apart from Bobo and Fornaroli I can’t think of any other striker in the A-League who you’d want leading the line in your team.

          • April 23rd 2018 @ 10:25am
            Nemesis said | April 23rd 2018 @ 10:25am | ! Report

            Absolutely correct, chris.

            The big mismatch for me in the past 18 months is simply the difference between “number of times Berisha gets into position to score a goal” and “goals scored”.

            In the past (at least at MV, but probably also at Brisbane), I would estimate Berisha would score 80% of the goals when he gets into a clear goal scoring position in the box.

            The past 18 months, Berisha still gets into position in the box with clear goal socring position as often as he has in the past. However, I would estimate his percentage in scoring from those clear positions has dropped to around 33%.

            So, he hasn’t lost his ability to read the play. He’s lost his edge in finishing the job.

            • April 23rd 2018 @ 10:36am
              fadida said | April 23rd 2018 @ 10:36am | ! Report

              Agree totally nemesis. Those stats seem about right. He used to be the one player you feared on the end of a chance. He was ruthless. Now he’s as likely to miskick it or slice the ball. The keepers aren’t making great saves. He’s not hitting the target, and it’s terminal

              • April 23rd 2018 @ 10:52am
                chris said | April 23rd 2018 @ 10:52am | ! Report

                Fad that’s usually what happens when you start hitting the wrong side of 30.
                And yet, he comes up with that gem last night. The problem with BB is that he doesn’t come across as someone who would sit on the bench and play 20 odd minutes etc.
                He seems like an all or nothing guy.

              • April 23rd 2018 @ 12:34pm
                fadida said | April 23rd 2018 @ 12:34pm | ! Report

                I’ve never said he won’t still find a goal here and here. His sheer force of will has got him a decent goal return, but he’s not good enough for a club hoping to win a title.

                And yes, I don’t see him happy as a back up

              • April 23rd 2018 @ 12:51pm
                punter said | April 23rd 2018 @ 12:51pm | ! Report

                Bobo is 33 years old & has scored 42 goals for SFC in the last 2 years.

              • April 23rd 2018 @ 3:09pm
                fadida said | April 23rd 2018 @ 3:09pm | ! Report

                Wayne Rooney was shot by age 30. Players age differently.

              • April 23rd 2018 @ 12:54pm
                punter said | April 23rd 2018 @ 12:54pm | ! Report

                Ronaldo is 33 years old & scorer of 42 goals in 39 appearances this season, this with a terrible start when all were saying he was in decline.

              • April 23rd 2018 @ 1:47pm
                Kangajets said | April 23rd 2018 @ 1:47pm | ! Report


                We can’t give too much credit to the bad guys in the script si you need to remember that Sydney are the villains in this movie .
                Bobo has assumed the role of the dastardly joker

                While Dimi Petratos is Batman the dark knight , the avenger of injustice coming to save the A league

              • April 23rd 2018 @ 3:25pm
                punter said | April 23rd 2018 @ 3:25pm | ! Report

                It does depend on what those players main attributes are.
                In Rooney’s case was his skill mixed with his physical presence, he was a big boy at 16 years old & 14 later that Physical presence had taken it’s toll.

    • April 23rd 2018 @ 6:46am
      Onside said | April 23rd 2018 @ 6:46am | ! Report

      ‘even if high ticket prices kept some fans away.’ What were they Mike ?

      As an ex Roar player who gave so much to the club, I was happy for Berisha .

      • Columnist

        April 23rd 2018 @ 7:44am
        Mike Tuckerman said | April 23rd 2018 @ 7:44am | ! Report

        For the Victory game, a single adult Category A ticket was $69 + booking fee, Cat B was $55 + booking fee and Cat C was $35 + booking fee. And it was similar story for the City game.

        • Roar Guru

          April 23rd 2018 @ 8:13am
          Rick Disnick said | April 23rd 2018 @ 8:13am | ! Report

          So in other words, reasonable.

          • Roar Rookie

            April 23rd 2018 @ 8:20am
            Waz said | April 23rd 2018 @ 8:20am | ! Report

            Those prices aren’t considered reasonable, not by many and the attendances would suggest fans agree.

            City drew one of their lowest crowds of the season, even with a reasonable away support of several hundred, to a finals game.

            • Roar Guru

              April 23rd 2018 @ 8:23am
              Grobbelaar said | April 23rd 2018 @ 8:23am | ! Report

              Melbourne people would be used to paying much more than that to watch finals football.

              • Roar Rookie

                April 23rd 2018 @ 8:31am
                Waz said | April 23rd 2018 @ 8:31am | ! Report

                “Melbourne people” might be. But there were plenty of complaints from City, Victory and Roar fans over the high ticket prices.

                Ive no doubt some people will consider those prices “reasonable” as its all relative to income right, but the feedback from football fans was they are expensive and the attendance, both on the low side, supports that view.

                The FFA get this feedback every year and the next year they ignore it. It’s time to consider ending the finals – they’re just a rip off.

              • Roar Guru

                April 23rd 2018 @ 8:37am
                Rick Disnick said | April 23rd 2018 @ 8:37am | ! Report

                I think Grob was referring to ‘Melbourne’ people in general. It’s a more affluent city than Brisbane.

              • April 23rd 2018 @ 8:38am
                Nemesis said | April 23rd 2018 @ 8:38am | ! Report

                “Melbourne people would be used to paying much more than that to watch finals football.”

                This is ALeague. 13 years of ALeague indicate finals are not valued highly by ALeague fans.

                They might be valued highly by the FFA.

                They might be valued highly by mainstream media.

                But, neither the FFA, nor mainstream media, ever have to put their hands in their pockets to buy Tickets.

                The ALeague Grand Final is the only Final that consistently attracts the attention of all ALeague fans. Elimination Finals & even Semi Finals do not attract the interest of all Aleague fans.

              • Roar Guru

                April 23rd 2018 @ 8:38am
                Grobbelaar said | April 23rd 2018 @ 8:38am | ! Report

                fair enough points, obviously a balance needs to struck, not sure where that balance would be, but equally, stadium costs would need to be met, and the new Melbourne rectangular stadium would not be cheap to hire.

                Also, Cat C ticks at $35 strikes me as more than reasonable for a football final (and it’s such a good stadium for football, the view of the game would still be pretty good).

              • April 23rd 2018 @ 8:48am
                Kangajets said | April 23rd 2018 @ 8:48am | ! Report

                35 for one ticket is fine

                It’s when the parent has to buy 4 tickets for a family

                Sure some people might be on orthopaedic suregeons wages and can afford that … but most of us parents have just forked out for kids rego and new soccer boots etc …. the costs of sport are endless as we know .. so setting the prices for finals tickets too high ( remembering transport to the game is another 50 dollars). is another slap in the face to the blue collar people .

                Grobelaar.. your logo says your a Melb heart fan … did you go the game on Friday?

              • April 23rd 2018 @ 11:07am
                Mark said | April 23rd 2018 @ 11:07am | ! Report

                My recollection is that family tickets were available for $60 or $65 (can’t remember exactly). That is very reasonable.

              • April 23rd 2018 @ 8:44am
                Nemesis said | April 23rd 2018 @ 8:44am | ! Report

                The Seating Map for the Elimination Final MVFC vs AUFC seating allocation was approximately:

                Cat C & Cat D = 12,000
                Cat A & Cat B = 18,000

                The crowd was around 15.5k.

                Cat C & Cat D seats were were fully booked.

            • Roar Guru

              April 23rd 2018 @ 8:34am
              Rick Disnick said | April 23rd 2018 @ 8:34am | ! Report

              Bargain tickets will lead to the perception of a cheap and nasty competition.

              We all know the competition is of below average standard, but let’s not portray this to the outside world too.

              • April 23rd 2018 @ 8:41am
                Kangajets said | April 23rd 2018 @ 8:41am | ! Report

                Giants give out free tickets for the final v West Coast last year ..

              • April 23rd 2018 @ 8:49am
                Onside said | April 23rd 2018 @ 8:49am | ! Report

                A mischievous boxing glove behind the illusion of a bunch of roses

              • Roar Guru

                April 23rd 2018 @ 9:05am
                Rick Disnick said | April 23rd 2018 @ 9:05am | ! Report

                Yes, but the Giants are rubbish. Everyone knows that.

              • April 23rd 2018 @ 9:14am
                Ian said | April 23rd 2018 @ 9:14am | ! Report

                I didn’t know it was below average……….because it isn’t.

                I do know that the English Premier League is not the best quality competition in the world.

                And many more millions of people agree with me on that than you.

                Please reply if you are upset about my comments.

              • April 23rd 2018 @ 9:17am
                Ian said | April 23rd 2018 @ 9:17am | ! Report

                Good point kanga. The womens’ AFL is free to attend and AFLXYZ should be free to attend based on its standard and reason for being created.

            • April 23rd 2018 @ 3:25pm
              reuster75 said | April 23rd 2018 @ 3:25pm | ! Report

              An indication as to what people think is reasonable pricing is to look at what sections of the ground had the most people, watching on TV last night it seemed that the Cat C areas were reasonably full, Cat B sections had some people but huge swatches of empty seats in what would be the Cat A area spoke volumes. Make it a flat $35 to attend, make the kick-off time 3pm instead of 6pm and you probably get a decent crowd.

        • April 23rd 2018 @ 8:27am
          Buddy said | April 23rd 2018 @ 8:27am | ! Report

          For all the barbed comments about FFA loving MC, the campaign to “find a team” whatever it was called, I imagine they would much prefer that they didn’t make the finals, purely on the basis that they cannot pull a crowd and that means less revenue.

          • April 23rd 2018 @ 12:51pm
            Sam said | April 23rd 2018 @ 12:51pm | ! Report

            If the FFA had their way,they would want both Sydney teams,MV,and Newcastle Jets make playoffs and hosting at least 1 playoff game every season,simply for their greedy revenue.U know what,lets just have these 4 teams in the A League play each other every week and forget about the other teams.

            • April 23rd 2018 @ 1:52pm
              Kangajets said | April 23rd 2018 @ 1:52pm | ! Report

              The jets have made it to the so called big 4

              I thought on overall record Brisbane Roar would be a big 4 team

            • April 23rd 2018 @ 4:08pm
              Lionheart said | April 23rd 2018 @ 4:08pm | ! Report

              Roar home finals crowds compare favourably with any/all of those clubs –
              2017 semi 17, 530
              2016 ef 20,157
              2014 semi 28, 550; 2014 Grand final 51,153
              2012 GF 50,334l
              2011 GF 50,168

    • Roar Guru

      April 23rd 2018 @ 8:35am
      Grobbelaar said | April 23rd 2018 @ 8:35am | ! Report

      Many will not want me to touch on this, but it needs to be done because the metrics are so stark.

      Melbourne and Adelaide have a long rivalry in football, indeed their matches are often referred to as the “original derby”.

      We all remember that great grand final win by Melbourne in the 2nd season of the A-League, with Archie snagging 5 goals in the one game, Fred with 4, 5 or even 6 assists (there were so many it’s hard to keep track).

      That grand final was also played in front of an attendance of over 50,000. Many may have forgotten that two weeks earlier, Melbourne hosted Adelaide in a semi final at docklands in front of over 47,000. Nearly 100,000 to two Victory v AU games in the space of a fortnight. That was season 2, over 10 years ago.

      On the weekend, the semi-final between these two teams had an attendance of 15,500, even lower than what the Victory normally get for a regular season game.

      Two days earlier, Melb City got less than 8,000 to a semi-final.

      So a total of 23,500 for two finals in Melbourne, the world sporting capital. Those two finals games couldn’t even get to half of what that semi got back in 2007.

      The drop in interest is so stark. Action is needed immediately. It may not be an exaggeration to suggest that all concerned may even have to go back to the drawing board and start over.

      • April 23rd 2018 @ 8:41am
        Nemesis said | April 23rd 2018 @ 8:41am | ! Report

        ALeague is dead.

        I’ve been told it’s highly likely the entire sport of sokkah will cease to exist by as early as 1 May 2018. In fact, it’s highly likely no one will ever play any sport in Australia that involves not using hands to control a round ball.

        Dark times for SOKKAH. The sport is dead in Australia and, according to Breakfast TV in AUS, it’s only a matter of months before Sokkah ceases to exist in other countries & AFLX take over the world.

        • April 23rd 2018 @ 9:22am
          realfootball said | April 23rd 2018 @ 9:22am | ! Report

          Try responding reasonably for once.

          These are real and grave concerns. Why do you feel it necessary behave like a badly behaved 12 year old?

          • April 23rd 2018 @ 9:55am
            chris said | April 23rd 2018 @ 9:55am | ! Report

            Maybe its because the impostor who he is responding to knows nothing about football and couldnt care less. He’s here to disrupt and be a pest.

          • April 23rd 2018 @ 10:02am
            Nemesis said | April 23rd 2018 @ 10:02am | ! Report

            Because that poser has been repeating the same stuff every day on this forum for the past 10 years. Why would I bother responding to him respectfully when he has zero interest in posting respectful insights on ALeague?

            • Roar Guru

              April 23rd 2018 @ 11:53am
              Grobbelaar said | April 23rd 2018 @ 11:53am | ! Report

              Were you keeping tabs while you were in Eastern Europe?

              • April 23rd 2018 @ 12:10pm
                Nemesis said | April 23rd 2018 @ 12:10pm | ! Report

                Absolutely. I rarely miss an MVFC match whenever I travel. Most European countries have far better internet infrastructure than Straya. But, people who don’t travel outside Straya always think Straya is the Best.

              • April 23rd 2018 @ 3:38pm
                punter said | April 23rd 2018 @ 3:38pm | ! Report

                Weren’t you Mister Football when he was in Eastern Europe.

              • Roar Guru

                April 23rd 2018 @ 4:24pm
                Grobbelaar said | April 23rd 2018 @ 4:24pm | ! Report

                Well, if he actually lived in Eastern Europe for nine years, I must be….

              • April 23rd 2018 @ 8:41pm
                AR said | April 23rd 2018 @ 8:41pm | ! Report

                I loved the re-entry onto the Roar:

                “oh hello, I’m new to this site, having been living in Eastern Europe for many years. I must say, I like this ALeague, and these Aussie Rulers seem like total dimwits…”


                Before that he had a host of creative pseudonyms he’d use.

                And yet…he still he has desperate little defenders like and chris et al. Wonderful stuff.

              • April 23rd 2018 @ 4:36pm
                BigAl said | April 23rd 2018 @ 4:36pm | ! Report

                Now what has Straya done here to warrant this venomous tirade ?

      • April 23rd 2018 @ 8:44am
        Buddy said | April 23rd 2018 @ 8:44am | ! Report

        Could be something to do with “same old same old” after all, they have already met three times this season and A League is a decade further down the track so the early excitement of first few seasons has worn off and WSW have been around for more than a few seasons now, so that novelty has worn off. League is badly in need of invigorating with expansion and/or promotion relegation.

        • April 23rd 2018 @ 8:52am
          Onside said | April 23rd 2018 @ 8:52am | ! Report

          makes sense.

        • Roar Guru

          April 23rd 2018 @ 9:28am
          Grobbelaar said | April 23rd 2018 @ 9:28am | ! Report

          Buddy, good points, that’s probably at the heart of it.

        • April 23rd 2018 @ 9:32am
          josh said | April 23rd 2018 @ 9:32am | ! Report

          WSW get a new stadium soon, the hype around that will lift the A League.

      • April 23rd 2018 @ 9:34am
        Kangajets said | April 23rd 2018 @ 9:34am | ! Report

        You are mistaken about the hype that Melbourne is the sport. capital of the world

        Newcastle would be the sporting capital of Australia per head of population for attendance figures and considering it’s not an overly rich population .

        Tamworth metrics for the nrl gsme on Saturday put Melbourne to shame also … grobelaar

        Also I think greater Manchester / Liverp area easily out does Melbourne on metrics any day

        • April 23rd 2018 @ 1:03pm
          punter said | April 23rd 2018 @ 1:03pm | ! Report

          Kanga, you can’t say that, Melbourne is the sporting, cultural, prettiest, most livable (they will tell you tis everyday) & most importantly the most insecure city in the world.

          • April 23rd 2018 @ 1:53pm
            Kangajets said | April 23rd 2018 @ 1:53pm | ! Report

            It’s more Gotham city then a cultural city

      • April 23rd 2018 @ 9:47am
        mattq said | April 23rd 2018 @ 9:47am | ! Report

        sporting capital of the world. gawd I h8 Melbournians.

        • April 23rd 2018 @ 9:56am
          chris said | April 23rd 2018 @ 9:56am | ! Report

          They do love to talk themselves up.

      • Roar Rookie

        April 23rd 2018 @ 9:59am
        Waz said | April 23rd 2018 @ 9:59am | ! Report


        Many football supporters feel alienated and ignored by the FFA – what they want has been replaced by the ffa’s desire to attract non-football supporters to the HAL and it’s fair to say football supporters are fed up, they’re going to games less, and watching games less; Gallips metrics are as bad as Nix’s – fair to say Gallop is squatting on the CEO’s role??

      • April 23rd 2018 @ 7:59pm
        Sam said | April 23rd 2018 @ 7:59pm | ! Report

        That was when only the top 4 made it to the playoffs,unlike current system.

    • April 23rd 2018 @ 8:44am
      Franko said | April 23rd 2018 @ 8:44am | ! Report

      United just never got it together this year.

      It was the VISA’s that let us down this year, Absolonsen and Diawara injured and Cavusevic did almost nothing. As is often the way at AU, the youth did their part, hopefully new owners can top up the side next year with some foreigners that will actually play.

    • April 23rd 2018 @ 8:59am
      Lee said | April 23rd 2018 @ 8:59am | ! Report

      The crowds were utterly shameful especially for the Friday night final. Less than 8000!! This clearly indicates that support for expansion in this sunburnt land is utterly laughable and gallop is utterly delusional in pushing expansion. There should be a reduction to 7 a league teams in this sunburnt land with one across the ditch.

      • April 23rd 2018 @ 9:08am
        AR said | April 23rd 2018 @ 9:08am | ! Report

        Lee, reducing teams would exacerbate the problem. The current 10 team comp is not enough for the existing fans let alone new ones.

        On Friday night, Melb v Bris drew 54k on Fox, and 51k on ONE.
        These figures are a small bump on regular games, but dismal for a final and a big dip from last year.

        If the Nix flog their licence to Southern Sydney, would this give the competiton a sugar hit?

        • Roar Guru

          April 23rd 2018 @ 9:31am
          Grobbelaar said | April 23rd 2018 @ 9:31am | ! Report

          news reports floating around that the Nux are trying to sell their license to one of the prospective bidders; that would need FFA approval, which is unlikely as their preferred modus operandi is to sell the license for $5+ million to the next sucker

          It does raise the question though: would replacing the Nux with Southern Expansion meet the FFA’s commitment to expansion? While the overall number of clubs would remain 10, there’d be one more Australian club, and that would cause a bump in metrics of itself.

          • Roar Rookie

            April 23rd 2018 @ 10:38am
            Waz said | April 23rd 2018 @ 10:38am | ! Report

            As the ffa have said the competition needs to expand to 12 I think it’s clear just relocating Nix wouldn’t do it ..

      • April 23rd 2018 @ 9:31am
        Onside said | April 23rd 2018 @ 9:31am | ! Report

        Hi Lee, as I cannot get to games, I watch the A-League on television.

        Regardless of television ratings,there are heaps of supporters like me.

        More teams are required ,that create interest and competition, not less.

        The HAL will grow, because TV channels are hungry for content.,and
        local geographic communities want representation.

      • April 23rd 2018 @ 9:52am
        Nick Symonds said | April 23rd 2018 @ 9:52am | ! Report

        The league needs to expand to increase interest.

        But you can expand regionally without negatively impacting on the teams in the major cities by adding Wollongong, Tasmania and Canberra. Give the current teams a chance to recover.

        Consolidation with expansion.

    • April 23rd 2018 @ 9:13am
      Pauly said | April 23rd 2018 @ 9:13am | ! Report

      No mention of the kick-off time? 6pm on a Sunday night. Had the match kicked off at 2pm or 3pm, the crowd would have been much better. The Sunday game was necessitated by ACL commitments but kick-off did not need to be so late.

      • Roar Guru

        April 23rd 2018 @ 9:37am
        Grobbelaar said | April 23rd 2018 @ 9:37am | ! Report

        The season 2 grand final I mention above was played on a Sunday evening, 6pm start (drew an attendance of 55,000, which might actually be a record for any sporting event at docklands).

        In fact, the semi final against the same club was played on a Sunday 2 weeks earlier, 6pm start, drawing over 47,000 (102,000 inside a fornight on a Sunday night).

        I think we have reached a point where we have to stop blaming kick-off times. No matter whether the kick-off time is 6pm, 4pm or 2pm, someone is going to have a reason for not liking it (too close to Sunday lunch, to close to the afternoon passeggiata, etc.)

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