Over the past few weeks there have been some good-natured jibes launched in my direction from north of the border.
The sources have been motivated to do so thanks to my usually astute tipping, which has established a comfortable lead over the remainder of The Roar’s A-League expert tips and predictions panel, and my consistent failures when hypothesising on matches involving Brisbane Roar.
Intriguing and endlessly infuriating for fans of the men in orange has been the consistent kiss of death I have been able to apply to Robbie Fowler’s squad. Undefeated in 2020, Brisbane are starting to take shape and win after starting the season with a disturbing inability to score first-half goals.
The Roar managed just two wins from their first ten matches. One was a freakish comeback against Melbourne City, the other was a 2-0 victory against the Mariners in late November.
Aside from those wins, three points were also gained, yet as the sun set on 2019 for the final time, Brisbane had slumped to second from bottom.
Such a situation was anticipated by few, with most seeing improvement in a Brisbane squad now littered with experienced professionals from the lower leagues in the British Isles. Despite agreeing with that line of thinking, Perth did seem the logical winner in their opening round fixture against the Roar.
And thus began the stormy relationship between Brisbane and me, with the eventual 1-1 draw leaving many with egg on their faces. I wrote at the time, “Perth will get the job done, yet expect this new and tougher Roar side to bear its teeth at some stage in the near future”.
I climbed aboard the Roar train in Round 3, expecting them to man-handle the Victory at Suncorp. A lone first half goal to Andrew Nabbout killed that tip and is where the little sonata involving Brisbane Roar and the writer becomes rather interesting.
Torn between believing that a squad of players Fowler had thought would be good enough were not and the view that his team merely needed more time to gel, our tense relationship festered.
The Wanderers would surely prove too tough a nut to crack at Bankwest Stadium in Round 4? Nope, my tip cursed this time by a bland scoreless draw. I climbed back on board the following week predicting a draw at Coopers Stadium, however Riley McGree’s late goal confirmed that Brisbane Roar and I are destined never to see eye to eye.
A hot Melbourne City appeared likely winners at Dolphin Stadium the following weekend before Brisbane found four second half goals in a gale that could have blown a dog off a chain.
It was another failed tip, although the Phoenix did come to the party when they secured a 2-1 win at home in Round 7. Surely I had something of a read on the Roar now?
Round 8 brought Brisbane’s second win of the season against the Mariners. I’ll take the credit again after siding with Alen Stajcic’s men pre-game. Nobody could dare have tipped Brisbane in Round 9, slated against Sydney FC on their own deck. The 5-1 scoreline was embarrassing but predictable.
Not knowing which way to turn after just two wins and a drubbing at Sydney’s hands, I was at a loss heading into Western United’s trip to Brisbane in Round 10. They travelled and won, with my endorsement in the tipping.
Had I finally worked out my mysterious neighbour from up north?
Ah, no. Despite predicting a successful trip to Newcastle to play the nose-diving Jets in their final match of 2019, Fowler’s men fizzled. Perhaps it was time to climb off the conveyance and ditch this mob for good?
I did so the following week and the predictable played out as Western Sydney squandered an early to give Roar their third win of the season. Should I jump back on?
Surely not against City in Round 14. True to form, a Brad Inman brace secured another point against City, and after Dylan Wenzel-Halls’ stunning strike to gain the points against the Phoenix in Round 15, Brisbane Roar had officially become my Lex Luthor.
The curse was confirmed on Saturday when Corey Brown squeezed an effort past Mark Birighitti to secure the points against the unlucky Mariners.
Brisbane have played 14 matches in season 2019-20. I have tipped them twice and on both occasions they have lost. Of the five matches they have won, I have tipped against them each and every time.
It appears I may well be the kiss of death that some north of the border have claimed. Robbie Fowler had best hope I keep away from his charges, with the Roar likely to be entrenched in the top six fairly soon and looking for more wins.