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When are we going to start talking about the football again?

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Expert
28th March, 2019
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1158 Reads

Do you ever get the feeling football administrators would love the sport a whole lot more if only they didn’t have to put up with so many football games?

It feels like forever since we’ve talked about some actual football.

That’s partly because it was international week and the Socceroos weren’t in action, and partly because administrative issues continue to dog the A-League.

Newly installed Football Federation Australia chairman Chris Nikou said he wanted to hear less talk about administration and get back to football when he was elected, only to create several headlines himself around his administration.

Chris Nikou and Dave Gallop

FFA CEO David Gallop (left) and FFA Chairman Chris Nikou address media in Sydney (AAP Image/Dan Himbrechts)

To be fair to Nikou, he wasn’t elected on his willingness to watch every second of the A-League and Australia’s various national teams.

But there have been plenty of mixed messages coming from headquarters around administration issues, including a couple that have resulted in FFA board members using social media to contradict their own chairman.

Forget staying on brand, at the moment it’s hard to work out what the brand even is.

Thank heavens for the distraction of a full A-League round, including what should be one of the most anticipated games of the season.

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Are Perth Glory fans simply itching for their team to put Kevin Muscat and his visiting Melbourne Victory in their place?

No idea. If Glory fans feel like they don’t get a fair go in the Perth media, they’re practically non-existent on the east coast.

However, Glory themselves have launched a campaign on social media called #FillThePark and if football fans in Perth know what’s good for them, they’ll get 20,000 to HBF Park on Saturday night.

Perth Glory fans

Perth Glory fans. (Photo by Paul Kane/Getty Images)

There’s an important game at Suncorp Stadium tonight too, albeit it for contrasting reasons, as Brisbane Roar take on Sydney FC.

If you believe the rumours it looks like Robbie Fowler will be in charge in Brisbane next season, on the back of one of the worst ever Roar campaigns.

Good signing or bad? Personally I haven’t got a problem with it.

He may be somewhat of a coaching novice, but so too is Steve Corica, and his Sydney FC side head to Brisbane tonight lying second in the standings.

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What Fowler should be able to do, where an Australian coach might have failed, is attract a decent calibre of foreign signings to the club.

He also knows the competition well, and while it may seem like an eternity ago, the fact he scored nine A-League goals apiece for the North Queensland Fury and Perth Glory is testament to his professionalism.

Remember when Fowler first arrived down under? And players like Paul Ifill and Carlos Hernandez were terrorising A-League defences?

Remember when there was a buzz around the competition?

We need to get back to that.

Because as much as the rusted-on fan base enjoys the exploits of Keisuke Honda and Diego Castro, every conceivable metric has trended downwards this season.

Keisuke Honda

Keisuke Honda of the Victory celebrates scoring a goal during the Round 6 A-League match between Melbourne Victory and the Western Sydney Wanderers at Marvel Stadium on December 01, 2018 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)

Newcomers Western United should be applauded for signing Greek crowd-pleaser Panagiotis Kone and for launching a bold bid to land Brazilian striker Alexandre Pato, and their entry into the competition can’t come soon enough.

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Frankly it still seems mind-boggling that we’ll have to wait an additional year to see the Macarthur South-West expansion club take to the field.

But in the meantime it wouldn’t hurt some of us to stop complaining about what the A-League isn’t and start enjoying the competition for what it is.

That includes me, of course, but it also includes some of the online critics whose only contribution to this column have been to tell me to stop writing it, or who spend all day bagging the A-League without doing a single thing to support it.

I’ll be at Suncorp Stadium tonight, sinking a few beers with my mates and making snippy remarks to my wife.

And I’ll be wanting to talk about the A-League on Monday. Hopefully a few of you folks will too.