The Roar
The Roar


Roar Rookie

Joined May 2017









Now let’s win it.

Women's World Cup hosting win exactly what football in Australia needs

Fox back with A-League for 1 season more:

How much would you pay to watch the A-League on an app?

Imagine what would have happened if this guy had been black…

As America burns, sport reminds us of its social responsibility

It looks more and more like Covid-19 is seasonal, the key factors being temperature and humidity. Hooter and wetter is better.

So, the best way to minimise the risk of the hub shutting down due to a spate of viral infections would be to head for the hottest, most humid location. That would be Queensland, who apparently offer the added bonus of $2 mill gov funding.

Is it any surprise that New South Wales will host the rest of the A-League season?

Waz – good comment. Organic is good.

On that point, do any stats exist that show numbers of registered players by age, gender and suburb or postcode or town?

Where should the A-League expand to next?

Harry Souttar?

Where is Milos Degenek?

Is this Graham Arnold's 2021 Socceroo squad?

Excellent article. Liverpool’s recent success is based on the work of people like Ian Graham applying science to football. He is just a football fan who happens to have academic qualifications that are really useful for analysing football.

If Graham’s work had failed he would have been dismissed as a typical academic with no feel for the game i.e. not a footballing person. As it is, I think a lot of people are still sceptical, but certainly not Jurgen Klopp.

Bitter legends have no right to dictate their codes

Most of us, ex-footballers included, form our opinions by extrapolating from a sample of one – ourselves. So, mostly, any individual’s particular opinions are pretty suspect – it’s the personal history behind the opinion that is really useful.

Some personal experiences have more value and weight than others. So, just using Viduka as an example, his opinions about sporting things like the AIS, skill development etc are far more valuable and weighty than someone without Viduka’s history and achievements in the game.

But even then, Viduka is only a useful guide if others with similar experiences achieved similar results to him. So, just using the AIS as an example, if there were 100 AIS failures for every Viduka the AIS produced, the value of the 100 failures’ experiences (assuming they had talent to get in) would probably outweigh the value of Viduka’s experience.

As an outlier, Viduka’s case is very interesting, but the 100 failures probably tell administrators more about what things they need to improve to get better results. That is, where are we going wrong with all of those failed could-have-beens?

On commercial matters affecting football, Viduka’s personal experience – given he runs a cafe – is probably of very little value at all. As far as I know he has never ran a club, or an association, or a sport, or even a business of any size. Has he even coached a team?

So, for some things, like sporting success, Viduka’s experiences are of interest, but that’s all. And, as for his opinions – well, as far as I can tell, Viduka doesn’t have any educational qualifications that would give us confidence that his opinions are well-formulated. I’m not sure why his opinions are of much interest at all, except as a by-product of his experiences.

The people who run a sport have to pay attention to the aggregate of experiences – both sporting and commercial. It’s a good look for them to pay respect to famous ex-players like Viduka, but when they make decisions affecting the whole sport they need to pay attention to a whole range of experiences, not just the success stories, and certainly not just the success stories’ opinions.

Bitter legends have no right to dictate their codes

If the plague causes a depression then all around the world there will be footballers – millions of them – scrambling for jobs. It’s hard to predict, but the A-League could end up with a glut of high quality footballers willing to come here for smallish amounts.

The whole world is in dire straits, not just the A-League. The A-League’s advantage is that it is in a country with the good fortune of having state premiers and medical experts who have led our Trump wannabe leader to a safe place (for the moment). Australia will quite likely look very inviting to a lot of foreign footballers in the coming year.

Goodbye A-League. It was fun while it lasted

Through good fortune, I’ve been on the Champs-Élysées 3 times for the last day of a Tour.

Personal favourite was being in Paris for the whole of the 91 tour and watching the live coverage on French TV. They took every opportunity to interview ‘Le Skippy’ Phil Anderson, perhaps because he answered in French (tick) with an outrageous Ocker-flavoured accent (tick).

But Indurain was the highlight…a machine on a machine.

What events are on your sporting bucket list?

El Guerrouj! Brilliant athlete…Athens 1500 was great:

But the 5000 was even better:

What events are on your sporting bucket list?

The problem with Qatar is the exploitation is so obvious. They have no shame – it’s so unsophisticated.

On the other hand, we sophisticated self-righteous westerners don’t mind ruthless exploitation as long as:

– individually, we are sufficiently morally distanced from the exploitation to not feel culpable,


– we’re the ones making money from it.

The Qataris mistake is to not adequately hide their exploitative practices behind murky supply chains, corrupt foreign governments, and secretive multinational companies.

Why Qatar shouldn’t host the 2022 World Cup

It’s hard to predict but I reckon you might be right Ben.

This is not how the A-League was supposed to die

Not one mention of Tickled.

My ten greatest sporting documentaries

Micko – it’s capped and every employee who is stood down gets it. Footballers are just employees too…

Feeling sorry for out of work A-League players? Don’t


Your comment about the banks is a bit disingenuous. The big 4 get a multi-billion dollar market advantage because of the government’s bailout guarantee.

The banks earn from that advantage because:

– they can access cheaper money because their lender knows the bank is government guaranteed

– the bank can make riskier, higher return investments because they know the government will bail them out if it all goes pear-shaped.

– it makes the banks more appealing for investors and customers than non-guaranteed financial institutions (including smaller banks).

I’m pretty sure the guarantee also has a negative impact on the government as well by increasing its cost of borrowing money. Taxpayers bear that cost.

Whatever, bank guarantees are another example of how capitalist countries like Australia happily privatise profits and socialise losses (and risks), when it suits them.

Feeling sorry for out of work A-League players? Don’t

More from the Guardian…before reading, just remember the coronavirus is around 7 to 10 times more deadly than a seasonal flu.

“If anyone is still unclear on the numbers risk here, the UK’s Channel 4 has spoken to Hugh Montgomery, who is the director of the UCL Institute for Human Health and Performance at the University College London (and also the guy who discovered an allele of the gene that influences physical fitness, if you need more of his bona fides) about just how contagious Covid-19 is.

If you had the flu, you would give it to about 1.4 people. Then those people would pass it on and so on, so by the tenth time your flu has been passed around, you are responsible for 14 cases.

With coronavirus, everyone infected with it can pass it on to three people (because of how infectious it is), so if those three people pass it on to another three people and so on, until your original infection has been passed on 10 times, you can infect 59,000 people.

That is 59 thousand.

That’s why it is considered so dangerous and that is why the world is shutting down.”

We need to shut down non-essentials right now, A-League included.

Should the A-League still be on tonight?

Not sure if you have seen this Fadida, but it’s one of the best articles I’ve read about our options for dealing with this. It tallies with your comments.

Should the A-League still be on tonight?

Last year, Morrison announced the budget was back in black…next year.

Next year, Morrison will announce policies to halt the coronavirus…last year.

It’s pentecostal Zen at work.

A-League and national codes' stubbornness shows where priority lies in Australian sport

Yes – I read all of that stuff long ago. I have no problems with using stats to work out what usually works. You would be insane not to. But, the stats are not perfect and depend on lots of subjective judgements.

My particular issue with this article is the assumption that a historical view of what worked in the past can reveal a lie about current table positions.

Surely the way the stats are compiled has to be continually revised to reflect changes in tactics. If not, the tactical innovations and resultant successes of people like Cruyff, Bielsa, Guardiola and Klopp would never be reflected by the stats.

Mourinho’s successes too are highly relevant, because his approach was so different to those four. The xG stats for 17/18 had Mourinho’s Manu team 5 positions and 20 points short of their actual results.

And who knows how the stats would have reflected Ferguson’s successes, which owed more to his people management skills than any sophisticated tactical ideas.

This season's A-League shows that the table does lie


I would have thought a good use for these kinds of stats is to help coaches work out what successful teams do that makes them successful.

The problem is ‘success’ is defined by where teams finished on the table in past seasons. So the stats, at best, represent what worked in the past, not what’s working right now.

When the table positions according to the stats don’t align with the actual table positions then it’s the stats that need to be adjusted, not the table position. The table position is the objective fact the stats aspire to predict.

The EPL this season is a great example of how the stats are deficient. Liverpool is 25 points clear of Man City in the real world, but 4 points behind them in xG /xGA world.

With such a disparity in outcomes, the stats obviously need adjustment because Klopp is clearly doing something with Liverpool that the stats are missing.

This season's A-League shows that the table does lie

I don’t think so Shabab – I’ve found no amount of refreshing gets the line breaks back for edits of an already posted comment.

This season's A-League shows that the table does lie

I see what you mean Matthew, but whatever we say it’s hard to argue with the stats sceptics who say “the table doesn’t lie”.

This season's A-League shows that the table does lie

It’s not your fault Matthew – the edit tool messes up the formatting when you edit a comment. A really basic fail for an edit function.

This season's A-League shows that the table does lie

Based on this article, it’s obvious xG doesn’t account properly for the quality of a team’s goal-scorers and goalkeepers. That is, if you have Hoffman on the end of what would normally be an xG then you should multiply the value of that xG by .02 (or thereabouts). If it was Fornaroli you would multiply by 1.5.

If these stats accurately reflected the real world then over time the stats would tend to coincide with end-of-season table positions. If you were training an AI system to predict the winner of a comp then the only real measure of the system’s quality would be how closely it matches the end-of-season table positions.

If you compare this to how you train an AI system to recognise a disease then the end-of-season table is like the diagnosed disease. The known diagnosis is an objective fact and the system is trained to zero in on those things that point to instances of the disease prior to actual diagnosis. Concordance with the actual cases is how you measure the system’s quality. By analogy, the objective measure of a football AI system’s quality would be concordance with the end-of-season table.

The problem with football though is every competition has a range of different factors affecting the eventual outcome. Omitting any of those factors might affect the reliability of any prediction tool when applied to a particular competition. That is perhaps why overseas coaches have such a chequered history in the A-League. Maybe their predictive stats haven’t been calibrated for A-League conditions.

There is a tactical element that I don’t think the stats capture either. For example, as a regular Sydney FC watcher I could also argue that the raw stats don’t account for Sydney’s ability to shift gears during a game. Because they can do that Sydney’s stats are lower than they might be under real pressure and they regularly beat teams without necessarily dominating them for a whole game. You would have to incorporate something like the heart rate readings of each player to capture something like that in predictive stats.

This season's A-League shows that the table does lie