The Roar
The Roar

Vas Venkatramani

Roar Guru

Joined June 2009









There is an ethical issue around using public money to fund development of stadiums used by privately-owned enterprises, who then get to keep the profits generated by the stadiums, with government getting little ROI.

I pose this question – if multiple NRL clubs cannot sell out the stadiums they currently occupy, then what is the economic argument being mounted to redevelop the same stadiums into so-called “boutique” ones? There is no guarantee that this will bring about crowds.

If the NRL wanted to mount a worthwhile argument, it would come as a result of stadiums having to turn people away. That would be an argument for taxpayer-funded redevelopment, not the present scenario.

Until such time, NRL clubs should be subject to the same financial decisions that effect other private business, which is that if they want new infrastructure, they should primarily fund it themselves.

As an aside, I think all Sydney clubs should look to return to their suburban grounds. It will definitely come at less profit, but the big concern for the NRL right now is its cost base. Returning to spiritual homes is a far stronger argument for fans to return than pumping millions into infrastructure white elephants that could send entire economies broke.

The NSW stadium policy is in shambles, but there is hope

David, what is the merit of letting them return? Because the others who got caught didn’t face the same severity?

That’s the same line of thought when someone who smuggles drugs around Australia gets a fine/jail sentence, while if you get caught doing that in SE Asia, then it’s curtains.

Quite simply, CA made a decision to punish them, and they should stick to it. They disgraced the identity of Australian cricket by their low acts. I personally supported a lifetime ban being a firm deterrent for the future, but the decision was made, and nothing they have done suggests they should re-enter earlier.

Time for Cricket Australia to end the Smith, Warner and Bancroft bans

As a Liverpool fan, it’s been a pleasure to witness this unfold.

That aside, the malaise inside United is at the feet of both Mourinho and Woodward, who both have different strategies. Mourinho’s is that he should have a limitless budget to work with until he gets it right, like he previously had at Chelsea. Woodward’s is one of financial prudence, where he doesn’t mind spending money, and also is rightly asking the manager to make the most of the investment already made. Remember, Lindelof and Bailly are Mourinho’s own signings.

Finally, there is a general distaste among the United supporter base for the football being played. It’s not ideal for United base to be gazing towards the other half of Manchester or the red of Merseyside on the football there. The results haven’t been terrible, but the rise of City and Liverpool, plus the ongoing threats of Spurs and Chelsea, and the prospect of a renewed Arsenal should worry United supporters.

Only way this gets resolved is if Mourinho gets the punt and is replaced by someone who will play attractive football and gets some decent results. Right now, there is a cultural mismatch between Mourinho and United. The issue for Mourinho is there is no bigger job available than United – he’s done Spain, Italy and England. No German club will tolerate Mourinho’s persona – PSG is an option if Tuchel doesn’t fit.

Right on time, Mourinho’s third season syndrome is taking shape

Klopp is overrated? He is the only manager that since 2010 has taken the Bundesliga title away from Bayern Munich. Since being at Liverpool, he has been making a profit in the transfer market, despite the team being substantially better than the one he joined. His Liverpool team haven’t won anything, but neither did SAF for his first five seasons at United. In a more contemporary example, Pochettino hasn’t won anything yet for Spurs, but no question as to which manager more attack-minded players want to play for.

I wouldn’t say Mourinho is past it, but I do know that the Man Utd fans only have a limited tolerance for the football his team have shown. Manchester United fans are like Liverpool fans in the sense they are brought up on teams that play attacking and entertaining football.

Much has been made about United being second ahead of Liverpool, Spurs and Chelsea. Well, most United fans would argue there is no difference being second or fourth. But there is a big difference between first and second. Most United fans would rather their team be fourth and be enterprising and motivated, as opposed to a club whose home ground has the atmosphere of a well-attended funeral.

Finally, look at the history of Jose Mourinho. He has only ever left two clubs on a high of CL wins, one being Porto, and the other being Inter. Aside from that, he’s been shunted out of every other club he’s been at, usually during the third or fourth season. Next year will be Mourinho’s third season at United, where he will either win the title, or set the place to flames.

Everyone talks about the hard task of following Ferguson’s winning era. It’s following Mourinho’s narcissistic destruction that’ll be the challenge.

Jose Mourinho: The chosen one is still the only one for Manchester United

Good call Scott.

One thing in our favour is that the second leg of the playoff will be at home, so if Australia can navigate a tricky first leg, you’d hope we could do the job here.

Socceroos vs Syria: World Cup Qualifier highlights, live scores, blog

Now can they defend for 15 minutes? One Syrian goal still takes them through…

Socceroos vs Syria: World Cup Qualifier highlights, live scores, blog

God help Australian football when Tim Cahill is no longer available…

Socceroos vs Syria: World Cup Qualifier highlights, live scores, blog

This has penalties written all over it. Syria down 10, disinclined to not commit too forward. Australia, man up, but know one goal against them, and it’s over.

If Syria go through, good on them. If Australia does, then Panama/Honduras will destroy us.

Socceroos vs Syria: World Cup Qualifier highlights, live scores, blog

Great thing for Syria is that whether they concede or not, all they need right now is one goal. Another goal from Syria I reckon will snuff out the Socceroos.

Socceroos vs Syria: World Cup Qualifier highlights, live scores, blog

Actually Anon, the Socceroos did secure a very impressive 1-0 win in Abu Dhabi in the early qualifiers last year. At the time, I wrote it as Ange’s finest game in management, given the oppressive conditions, the short build-up, and also the UAE at home would always be a challenge. At that time, I thought Australia would qualify easily if that was the template.

What has killed us were those three away draws – Saudis, Iraq and Thailand. If any one was of those were a win, then Australia would be booking tickets to Russia now.

Socceroos vs Thailand highlights: Australia escape with nervy 2-1 win in Melbourne

When I say second-string Matsu, I’m referring to Japan’s overall game intensity. Now that they’ve qualified, I’m expecting them to play it like a friendly, and ensure all their players come out unscathed without injuries or suspensions. That against a Saudi team who will be roared on by a willing crowd to make their first World Cup in 12 years.

Japan won’t be easybeats, but the Saudis have it all to play for.

Socceroos vs Thailand highlights: Australia escape with nervy 2-1 win in Melbourne

The key difference being – tech issues aside, you actually performed to expectation 🙂

Socceroos vs Thailand highlights: Australia escape with nervy 2-1 win in Melbourne

So, it all comes down to Jeddah. With Japan likely to field a second string, I’m expecting the Saudis to win, and force us to the playoffs.

Socceroos vs Thailand highlights: Australia escape with nervy 2-1 win in Melbourne

Actually 3, the qualification rules state that if two teams finish on same points and same goal difference, then the team with the higher goal tally goes through.

On that basis, another goal would still have the Saudis ahead.

Socceroos vs Thailand highlights: Australia escape with nervy 2-1 win in Melbourne

Maybe we’re all being harsh to the Socceroos. If France can draw at home to 136th placed Luxembourg, then should we be so harsh to our boys for struggling against the 130th team?

Socceroos vs Thailand highlights: Australia escape with nervy 2-1 win in Melbourne

Alan, they don’t need anymore. They have enough. They just now need to stack men behind the ball, play a deep defensive line, and if the Thais want to foray forward, then let them.

It may be against Ange’s philosophy, but I’ve never heard of a good football philosophy that is about stagnant principles.

Socceroos vs Thailand highlights: Australia escape with nervy 2-1 win in Melbourne

There you go – abandon your defensive principles in order to mitigate circumstances in another game you have no control over.

If Australia don’t make the World Cup, it’s just rewards. It may also be for our good.

Socceroos vs Thailand highlights: Australia escape with nervy 2-1 win in Melbourne

Surely the pragmatic approach is to concentrate defending the advantage while searching in measured fashion for a second? I’m afraid that in trying to make up the goal difference, Australia may give the game away – think of Crystanbul as Example A.

Socceroos vs Thailand highlights: Australia escape with nervy 2-1 win in Melbourne

Now that we’ve got the goal, not sure how worthy it is to expose our defence in the search for more goals. We still need three more if goal difference is going to matter at all.

Socceroos vs Thailand highlights: Australia escape with nervy 2-1 win in Melbourne

Aaaah, the life of a troll – wait with baited breath to find something to tear down, including people who take the time to write an article, that is clearly opinion (it may help to disclose this from the get-go in the headline), so therefore, it doesn’t need to be completely factual, and can even contain flaws.

Now that I’ve defended Christian, I can critique his analysis. Firstly, if the merit of what is a “small club” is what has happened in the last decade, then I wouldn’t want to be an AC Milan fan. Yes, in 2007, they won the Champions League, but it’s been slim pickings since then.

Everton have been a victim of an austere regime by Bill Kenwright, purposefully to try and keep with its old identity as a club for the locals of Merseyside. Even though success has eluded them, their membership and brand value is not small at all. Living in London, Everton is not a niche market. And before that is disputed, full disclosure that I’m a Liverpool fan. I may not like to admit it, but Everton is a big club. Moshiri’s arrival means some Evertonians will have to let go of their perceived value of their club for their people, and embrace a more global marketplace. But nothing buys loyalty like silverware 🙂

Now with regards to the analysis on Lukaku. £90m (if the reports are to be believed) is a figure beyond ridicule, for any striker at any time. I’m thinking national annual GDPs and what-not. When applied specifically to Lukaku, Everton have done a shrewd bit of business, even moreso with Rooney going back to Finch Farm.

Manchester United is awash in dollars, but not so much in sense. Lukaku could represent the latest bit of business in the post-Ferguson era where the problems at Old Trafford can be solved with money alone. Jury is out on Pogba (who I think will come good), but Martial, Depay, and Di Maria have all been hugely disappointing purchases that have gone nowhere. United would have been far better off bringing up young Rashford, who may be wondering about his level of involvement with Lukaku’s arrival.

At the same time, Christian’s analysis on why Lukaku will fail doesn’t hold weight. While his record against big clubs was meagre, it also exemplifies how poor Everton themselves were against the clubs above them. If the expectation that Lukaku scores from the few shots he has in these games as a lone forward (largely), then it’s a big ask. For that reason alone, £90m is ridiculous.

Yet with a team with a greater intent to attack, he will benefit naturally. Herrera and Mata will be critical in this for me, and if United get Matic, that only increases Mourinho’s inclination to attack.

Jury is out on Lukaku (as it is on all new signings), but the only thing I can say is that on a fee of £90m, he can only ever fulfil expectations, and never exceed them. On that basis alone, it’s going to be tough for him, but that’s not to say he won’t score lots of goals for United.

Why Romelu Lukaku will fail at Manchester United

No need to apologise – nowhere was I trying to examine the relationship between the board and its players, because that’s been done very well by others on this specific issue, and focusing on that digresses from what I intended the subject to be: the fans.

The references to 1997 and then WSC was done to provide a more modern context to the previous times this issue has arisen. Not to say it hasn’t before, as you’ve alluded to, but what Bradman endured in the 30s has little relevance to today’s climate. Even Bradman needed his cricket board more than Steve Smith does right now, thanks to Twenty20 leagues around the world. Whether or not that’s a good thing is subjective.

I can’t comment on the WSC days as it was before my time (beyond the small reference in the piece), so I’ll focus purely on 1997. Recalling newspaper coverage about it then, the offers on the table related to essentially doubling the salary of Australian contracted players, but which was rejected in favour of the revenue sharing model that was in effect until last week. But even in 1997, while the likes of the Waugh brothers, Taylor, Healy, Warne and McGrath could on their salary live off cricket fully, some Shield players aspiring for Australian selection couldn’t afford that life, as the salaries weren’t high enough to the point of making cricket a full-time profession. In 1997, from the fans perspective, there was a just cause on the players’ behalf to pursue that model on a needs basis.

While in 2017 you can say the players are asking to keep that model for the sake of equity, their digging in to the extent in which the short-term future of the game is threatened is not making their case more appealing to supporters. On the same token, Cricket Australia’s lack of wiggle movement does not endear themselves to Australian fans, who can make an active choice on whether to part with their hard-earnt money to an organisation that is increasingly appearing to govern for their own financial ends, not for the betterment of the sport, as per their brief.

While the players have choices, so do the fans – that was the point of this story. While plenty will be on deck to see the team on November 23 if and when this issue is resolved, it has provided ample reason for many people, myself included, to look elsewhere to spend our money.

Australian cricket's pact with its fans is beyond repair

robi, the world rankings throw up some anomalies such as once ranking the USA as high as number four in the world at the same time Italy was 11th.

That should speak volumes about how much to take the world rankings seriously.

Australia should be proud of the Socceroos

Afternoon / evening everyone back home! Looking forward to seeing our boys in this one.

Socceroos vs Germany highlights: Confederations Cup live scores, blog

so you’d be happy for the team to lose so postecoglou was fired?

and who’s your alternative? lets not burn effigies of the current boss without having other names in mind…

Socceroos vs Saudi Arabia highlights: World Cup qualifier live scores, blog

and possibly leave open gaps for the saudis to equalise again? a win keeps them in the hunt, a draw or loss may have just about knocked them out.

australia next off to japan in august – if they win that, i can’t see them missing out. but they’re likely not to, so a draw is minimum

Socceroos vs Saudi Arabia highlights: World Cup qualifier live scores, blog