Thursday, February 26, 2009

A Story of Revenge and Redemption

Well everyone learnt what calling your home city and loyal hardworking fans a pissant does. It pisses them off stupid! That’s what it does. And so it should!

If Australians are anything they are isolated from the old world. This isolation has turned Australia’s into the world’s zoo. It’s not just our animals that the world finds cute and cuddly.

Look what the Americans did to Steve Irwin and Hugh Jackman. One died trying to entertain them the other got stung by a sting ray.

This isolation renders us a nation of insecure folk. And insecure folk have one thing going for them; and that is the desire to constantly prove people wrong.

The 8000 crowd was a sign to the Adelaide club and coach that it was the wrong thing to call us pissants. This gives the upcoming grand finale on Saturday night a weird taste.

A whole city abandoning their team during the most important game of the season.

I liked Damien Lovelock’s comment that TV is not made for Truth but to sell fridges.

Implying that the edited version of the pissant comment is what most folks saw on the news and in the paper.

So the Adelaide public got the “truth” about the clubs politics; so was it a case of the truth hurting that caused the punters to stay at home?

Was it some genius mind games from Aurelio used to fire his players up, and get the opposition thinking; or is it simply that the coach of Adelaide has a mentalist streak borne out from all the pressure.

So I ask the question:

Can you blame the fans from having a sook and staying home?
Is it really better to be thought a pissant, rather than to open your mouth and reveal all doubt?

As a Sydney FC fan I will be an interested neutral watching the grand final between Melbourne and Adelaide; hoping that Adelaide will be able to give Melbourne some sort of test.

Carlos Hernandez in any other league would have been made fun of for his wide girth. However this is the A-league and we are used to having rolly polly imports.

It will be a great day in the A-League where we have a well known imported player who is under 30 and doesn’t look like you or me.

Sydney FC, remember them?
It’s been so quiet on the Sydney FC front lately. The sitting duck CEO Stephan Kamazs was on the 2KY’s Football fever on Sunday (The best 2hour radio show on football, 9-11pm, Sundays) not really giving away much.

He expects 3 imports from Africa, South America or Asia, he suggests more community involvement. As the Buddhist Master says: let’s wait and see........

John Aloisi has blown off a Chinese loan deal and is staying so he can give his all for Sydney FC next season.

A word to the wise:
Don’t do any commercials, if you remember Aloisi got an injury while filming a commercial for the A-league last season. The ad shows Aloisi actually beating a player. And not forgetting the dandruff shampoo ads, both showed movement and desire. Something all Sydney fans want to see.

So next season John Aloisi is after redemption I expect the fans will support him. Adelaide United will also be after redemption this Saturday night and as a Sydney fan I hope they get some.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Make the training like Europe then!

While some see Pim’s comments here as damaging to the A-league. I like it, I applaud it and I want more of it.

What a bitch fight! And you can thank Pim Verbeek because he started it!

The Australian football community seems to have taken the comments personally; it reflects Australia’s insecurity about their place in the football world.

Pim Verbeek is perhaps playing the character of the hard and uncompromising father who uses the parenting technique of criticism and never showing approval.

This is what Pim’s messages are:
Australian training standards compared globally are so low that

a) Training in Europe is actually better than playing a full A-league game

b) Any player whether they are a returning or potential Socceroo will not be able to maintain a fitness level that is required for International football.

The first comment is what a lot football people got upset about and if you dig a little those same people disagreed with Pim Verbeek’s initial appointment as national coach.

The second statement has caught the wrath of some A-league coaches. The clubs in question Perth Glory, and Nth Queensland Fury are trying to lure current Socceroos Mile Sterjovski, Chris Coyne and Scott Chipperfield to come home.

And in their eyes comments made at the FFA annual coach’s conference like this one by Pim Verbeek are turning players off coming home:
“If you play as open as some games I've seen here, you do it against a European or South American team, you would get slaughtered,"

So the 64 thousand dollar question is:
Why can’t you just make the training like Europe then?

The reasons why it isn’t at the moment:
· The A-League can never match the intensity of a European League. The scrutiny by fans and media does not place the pressure on player’s shoulders the same way it does overseas. We are still infants in world football terms.
· At this moment in time players have to go to Europe to learn the tactical side of the game as well as learning how to be a true professional.

How we can make training like Europe:
· Lifting the intensity is the most obvious. The A-league is getting there; eventually we should see 14 teams, with a regular home and away season of 39 games
· Your team will play13 teams x 3 times in the regular season. Add cup games and Asian Champion leagues games and you may have some teams playing 50-60 games a year, just like your Man United’s etc.
· After the TV deal is up some in 2013. Football could get 100 million a year. That means a higher salary cap, and clubs if they are smart will invest in better coaches more physios’ and more support staff.

Perhaps we have to find out ourselves and teach ourselves these training methods with the help of the best coaches at the beginning then use what we have learned.

Like the dutch master Cryff said: “If I wanted you to understand it, I would have explained it better.”

Friday, February 20, 2009

If you not living in Sydney, your camping out! 20/2/09

Thank you Aurelio Vidmar for doing the A-league a favour and showing your mentalist side! Calling your hometown a “pissant” after only receiving the keys to the city a week earlier showed what “balls” you had.

Aurelio out Kossied Kossie and brought the A-League, Adelaide United and the term pissant kicking and screaming into the consciousness of Australia’s mainstream society.

Paul Keating famously said that “If you not living in Sydney, your camping out!” sure the rest at the country took offense to that comment but it doesn’t mean it wasn’t funny.

Same for the “pissant” comment. The folks from Adelaide I’m sure would take offence at the comment, but the rest of the country were and still are pissing themselves.

Thanks also to Aurelio for adding pissant to the list of nicknames for Adelaide United, from the “barreler’s” to the “communist’s” pissant is in fine company.

The Daily Terror took aim at Football today with their customary faux outrage.

“FFA goes soft on Vidmar” was the headline.

Comparing this:
“FFA's decision comes a week after the AFL handed down a four-week suspension to Carlton star Setanta O'hAilpin after he punched then kicked his teammate (Cameron Cloke) while lying unconscious on the ground.

AFL boss Andrew Demetriou received widespread condemnation over the tribunal's soft penalty for one of the lowest acts in Australian sport”.

To this:
Vidmar insulted a whole city by referring to Adelaide as a "pissant town'' yet, while the FFA found him guilty of a breach of the code of conduct, he was given a $2000 suspended fine.
I love how the Terror’s moral compass can compare a kick in the face to a team mate while lying unconscious on the ground to insulting a whole city!!!

The Terror had claimed that the FFA had gone soft; perhaps people in the FFA have been to Adelaide before and felt sympathy for Vidmar.

Vidmar's sanction is that he must not have another rant before round 9 of next season's competition otherwise he will have to pay the fine.

No mentalist outburst from you anymore Aurelio you half to walk the line now. And what a shame I’m sure more people would love to hear Aurelio’s thoughts on a number of subjects, perhaps when his book comes out.

I can see the Title now:
Aurelio’s Football Story. My life growing up; playing and coaching football in a “pissant” town.

Now that the word pissant (8 references so far) is engrained in the hearts and minds of most Australians we can again thank Aurelio for his well timed rant; I’m with you Mr Vidmar; silence is the virtue of a fool!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Apollonian VS Dionysian

Kossie’s favourite philosopher is Friedrich Nietzsche, I was surprised he didn’t use the phrase “whatever doesn’t kill you makes you stronger” after he got sacked from Sydney FC.

You see it’s one of Kossie’s favourite phrases to use during the tough times he has faced during his coaching career. He also missed out on including the beginning of the full aphorism that Nietzsche coined which is: from the military school of life.-What does not kill me makes me stronger.

You can see why Kossie like saying “battle” so much.

The reason I bring up Nietzsche is because in Football you get a lot of talk about styles and the recent Socceroos performances and watching Argentina-France, Brazil-Italy and Spain -England away has got me thinking.

See when it comes to football I am a romantic. The romantics in their day worshiped: liberty, power, love, violence, imagination and irrationality. Basically anything that aroused an emotional response.
Like the romantics, I want my Football unbounded, wild and ever-changing, nature the sublime and powerful.

You see Nietzsche had this whole concept called: The will to power as art.

Nietzsche used the Ancient Greek gods Apollo is the god of the Sun, lightness, music, and poetry and Dionysus is the god of wine, ecstasy, and intoxication to explain his theory.

Stay with me here this is no philosophy lecture.

Take the Dionysian acts (emotional hedonistic, sensual, unrestrained, irrational) does it remind you of the way Brazil Argentina and Spain play football sometimes?

Take the Apollonian values (form creating, representational, orderly, self-control and rational) does it remind you of how Italy, England play and the style that Fabio Capello coaches?

My point is that these two relationships are juxtapositions, and they have a role in the way Football is played these days. Both the artistic impulses of these concepts form the dramatic arts and tragedies that take place on the Football field.

Robinho stepping over to beat 4 Italian defenders, Messi and Tevez destroying the French team and the Spanish team continuing on with their good form from Euro2008 is more Dionysian than Apollonian.

Australia playing with Tim Cahill up front and using Grella Valeri and Culina to shield the back four is more Apollonian than Dionysian.

I would say Pim Verbeek is from the Apollonian school of thought; the wish to create order clarity, stint to formed boundaries.

You see this Theory in movies and books played over again and again. The main protagonist struggles to make order in his/her life. He/she has adventures that show them how it’s done and they change for the better in the end.

The Greeks would kill the hero in a tragic way unfulfilled to the end while these days in movies Adam Sandler gets the girl adopts the kid, moves into the big house and everyone goes home all nice and fuzzy.

While the purpose for the tragedy of the Greeks was to allow us to sense an underlying essence, what Nietzsche called the "Primordial Unity", which revives our Dionysian nature which is almost indescribably pleasurable.

You see the Greeks showed the hero in vain trying to have order and control and this brought a tragic end.

Watching Spain Argentina and Brazil this week, has given me moments where the action on the field has been indescribably pleasurable and that for me is the best Football.
Published here:

Thursday, February 12, 2009

He’s just not that into you 12/2/09

Like those poor suffering powerful strong independent modern women who can’t seem to figure why they keep missing out on all those high powered corporate types Scott McDonald must be asking why Pim Verbeek is not that into him.

Perhaps I used too many describing words to paint a picture of modern women and sure my tenuous link to the worst phrase in the history of modern society is a bit annoying. More so I’m annoyed that Scarlett Johansson has only one move and that is her pouting face and she needs to put more effort in.

Scott McDonald must be dumb founded by the conservative tactics of Pim Verbeek. Sure the Aussies got a point that leaves us in a prime position to qualify for the world cup with 3 out of the last 4 games to be played at home. Most Australian journo’s are hesitant to say we have qualified just yet. He likes scoring against AC Milan and Manchester United but Bahrain, Qatar and Japan seem a bridge too far.

My concern is if we make the World Cup and the Socceroos play with 4 defenders and 6 midfielders it is a step back from Hiddink and also a charge against the current squad that Pim has to play like that because he doesn’t have the players.
Japan pressed the Aussies towards the end of the second half with chances in
56thminute: Craig Moore rescuing the Aussies with a deft turn and flick in the box to clear the danger like a Brazilian.

67thminute: Akubo turn, shot and save.

69thminute: A ferocious20 yard shot by Endo travelled like a bullet, the ball hitting Scwharzer rather than him saving it.

72ndminute: Uchida cross to near post Scwharzer saves from Tanaka

78th minute: Nakumura cross Tamada misses a header from edge of the 6 yard box perhaps the Japanese best chance to score.

86th Deflection from Japanese shot goes the post luckily for Aus

Australia’s only chances during the game where Cahill’s long range drive from close to 25 yards in the middle of the first half, and an 89th minute Kennedy header that almost was.

But get used to this kind of mentality away. A 4-6 formation conservative as a republican rave party and effective for results, boring but making the world cup is anything but.

Perhaps it’s a luxury to have the team play attacking with strikers away from home but the lack of attacking intent and the long ball is not pleasing to the eye.

For their entire constant endeavour in midfield and cute triangles, Japan strikers melt into water once they get into the box a lack of certainty and cutting edge is the bane of the Japanese game. With players everywhere Japan reminds me of that band Slipknot, too many notes.

So the build up and the coaches mind games before the game where more entertaining than the game but as the games get fewer the tension will rise and the excitement will build as Australia gets closer to South Africa 2010.

A-League Finals
The finals last week where played out in a gloomy atmosphere I thought. Not because Sydney FC was not playing, but because of the bush fires. The haze of smoke that surrounded blue tongue stadium and the news coming from Victoria overshadowed the Adelaide United Melbourne Victory game as well.

The football was not of the highest quality with both games you could tell that Melbourne and Queensland would always win.

Get off the Pitch!!!
The pitch at Gosford; I love talking about pitches, it’s more interesting than harping on about goals and two footed challenges. I love hearing the excuses, like Madonna and Andre Rieu concerts(usually Andre Rieu destroys great classical music rather than football pitches), New Years raves and returfing during the middle of the A-league season for the upcoming Rugby League season is one of my favourites. Last excuse I heard that it was a virus a battle between old grass and new grass.

Sydney Youth
Well done to the Youth League Sydney FC boys for making the grand final with a game to spare, and nice one FFA for making them play the grand final as a curtain raiser where the Preliminary final will be played. Most probably the game will be in Adelaide chances are good that Sydney FC's NYL Grand Final opponents will be Adelaide.
The Facebook generation are after you FFA join this group if you think it sux!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Fan-Vs-Fan: Japan - Australia 10/02/2009

On Wednesday night, Japan host Australia in a qualification match for the 2010 World Cup.

With Japan lying second in the group, two points behind the visitors, tensions and excitement are already running high. Asia talked to Japan fan Aki Dalby and Australian Football writer Con Stamocostas to get their views on what should be a cracker.

Are you confident going in to this game?
Japan -Yes I am confident of the team's ability with their best players. It's especially good that Shunsuke Nakamura was allowed to return to Yokohama early. Australia have a perfect record this round but with exception of the game against Qatar, Australia have been far from convincing. In our game against Finland, while they were a second string side, Japan's finishing in particular was pleasing.

Australia -I feel confident and nervous. Japan will be tough at home. Australia has injury concerns with Brett Emerton ruled out with a bad knee injury for the next nine months, Harry Kewell will not be playing, and meanwhile Scott Chipperfield and David Carney are concerns. One has been injured and the other has not played much football.

Again there will be limited preparation for this game forcing the Socceroos to only have a couple of training session together. While Japan will be better prepared after beating Finland in a friendly 5-1.

The pressure in my opinion will all be on Japan. They are the home team so that will bring more pressure they need to win, a draw or a loss will not be a good result, they are two points behind Australia in the group and Australia is undefeated so far with three wins from three games.

The Japan coach has been getting stick form the press and fans recently. They lost to Bahrain in a recent Asian Cup qualifier, and don’t forget that they are still scared from the World Cup in Germany 2006, Tim Cahill and John Aloisi’s goals blowing Japan away in an unforgettable last eight mins of the first group game.

Regardless of WCQ points etc, Japan and Australia are becoming big rivals. Does that add extra spice to an important match?

Japan Certainly. Both sides are considered heavyweights of Asian football so whenever Japan play Australia or South Korea it means a lot more than if they played another country. Because both sets of fans believe they're the best.

Australia -Yes of course it does. Australia’s first ever win and first ever goals at a World Cup was against Japan. Japan beat Australia at the Asian Cup in 2007 at the quarter final stage and while the coaches deny there is rivalry the fans sure think there is and I’m sure the players do as well.

There have been some mind-games in the build-up, do you think these will have any affect and who has 'won' these games?

Japan - I don't think Takeshi Okada and Pim Verbeek let those comments affect them. Okada has had more than his share of flak from the Japanese press so he has had to learn to deal with it. Both are intelligent enough to let those comments just slide off them. I think if you consider the fact that Okada's under immense pressure, Verbeek would be the more relaxed man right now because if Australia lose it wouldn't be as devastating.

Australia - Well Japan has used some of their players to send a message to the Australian team and has said things like “they want to shut Australia up” there is a perception in Asia that the Australians are arrogant, in the way they think about Asian Football.

Yashito Endo has also come out and said” "I think it is unlikely that we will concede a goal unless they deliver a perfect cross and header,” This statement implies that Australia plays direct and scoring from crosses to Josh Kennedy and Tim Cahill are the only way Australia will score.
In my opinion Japan are correct to fear Australia from crosses and set pieces.

Pim Verbeek has also come out in the press slamming Japan’s decision to hold closed press conferences It doesn’t show a lot of confidence,” the Dutchman told reporters. You have been training together for five weeks and still need closed-door sessions.”

At the moment I suspect Australia is leading the mind games, Verbeek seems confident and assured while Japan seems nervous and intimidated.

What is the perception of the opposition in the local media/ among the fans?

Japan -The main thing the fans think about when referring to Australia is the physicality of the side, which of course is an advantage. With a strong midfield the fans feel that they're quite skilled, but not particularly creative, with the exception of Harry Kewell - but he might not be playing. Some of the comments by the Australian players in the past have given an impression that they're perhaps a bit over confident and many supporters think they need to be taken down a peg or two.

Australia -The mainstream media and most fans expect Australia to win almost every game they play and to play well doing it especially after making the second round at the last world cup.

However some sections of the football media and fans on forums and football websites recognise that Japan will be a formidable opponent not to be underestimated and not to be feared either.

Which player from the other team are you worried about?

Japan -If he plays then I certainly think the danger man is Harry Kewell ( Kewell has since been ruled out), for his eye for goal, creativity and even his aerial ability. Australia -Nakamura from Celtic his crosses, long range shots and free kicks are a danger, Endo is a quality player in midfield, and their tall defender Marcus Tulio Tanaka will be handful for Cahill and Kennedy if he plays.

Australia -Watch for Cahill to repeat his performance of the last World Cup, Scott McDonald if he plays will be searching for his first goal, he prefers to score against AC Milan and Manchester United rather that Qatar and Bahrain lest hope Japan is test that suits him. Kennedy has scored regularly for Australia and Jason Culina is all class in midfield. Mark Bresciano has also been playing regularly and scoring for Palermo.

What are the strengths and weaknesses of your team?
Japan - The biggest strength of the Japanese side is to retain possession and the quick passing game they play. Atsuto Uchida and Yuto Nagatomo will probably start in the side back positions and are very dangerous players to come down the wings at a very good pace and are not afraid to cut in and try to score. The main weakness is finishing. So many times Japan can control a game and create many chances, but the strikers let the side down sometimes with their finishing. Another weakness is defending at set pieces as in the past three games Japan have conceded goals from set pieces.

Australia -Weakness first: the limited preparation with players flying in a day or two before the match is a concern, the long term injury of Brett Emerton is a big loss, the injury concerns of Harry Kewell and Scott Chipperfield sees Australia weak on the left. All of a sudden our right and left flanks look weak.

Strengths: Australia’s midfield and attacking options are strong for this game. Crosses and set pieces for Australia are most defiantly a threat. Tim Cahill and Scott McDonald have been scoring for their clubs in Britain.

If Australia can control the midfield with Culina and Grella and use their passing game well they can frustrate Japan’s own passing game. Australia’s defence is strong and organised with Lucas Neil and Craig Moore at the back and Mark Schwarzer in goals give Australia a strong defence.

Also Australia biggest strength is the international experience in the team.
Most play in Europe and have played at the previous World Cup; they understand pressure they face it for their clubs week in week out.

Would you settle for a draw?

Japan -No. It's a home game and the squad of players are better than that. Anything less than a win is really unacceptable. I'm sure the Australians would be content with a draw away.

Australia- Yes it is an away game and a draw puts more pressure on Japan than Australia. So Japan fear two results, a draw and a loss.

What will the result be?

Japan - 2-0 to the Blue Samurai. Yoshito Okubo and Marcus Tulio to score.

Australia - I think Australia will win 3-1 replicating the result at the world cup in 2006.

Aki Dalby & Con Stamocostas

Thursday, February 5, 2009

I got a letter from the Government the other day 6/02/09

With the longest off season in world football now upon us I will be posting not as a rabid Sydney FC fan but as a general

During the off season my allegiance is to football and football only.

In December I shot over an e-mail to the office of Hon Kate Ellis MP Minister for youth and sport. Today I received an e-mail back, the response coinciding with news from FIFA that the deadline for expressions of interest had passed for hosting the World Cup in 2018; it was revealed that 11 countries had entered the contest

The contenders are: England, Spain/Portugal, Russia, Netherlands/Belgium, USA, Mexico, Australia, Japan, Qatar, Korea and Indonesia - plus Egypt for 2022.

The email I received was very pleasing as it outlined just how much support the Federal Government was giving Football. The $45 million bid money aside its messages like this that warm my football heart.

"Australian Government support for the growth of football in Australia is a reflection of the growing interest among the Austrlian Football community in Football and the broader sport strategy of the Government to boost participation in sport and physical activities to help build a healthier nation. The strategy paper entitled Australian sport:emerging challenges new directions was released on 6 may 2008 and can be found on the department of Health and againg website at

There was a time when previous Federal governments have been quoted as saying things like”Soccer is not part of Australian mainstream culture”

Well how things have changed.

God was second choice to Jade North

So Robbie Fowler has signed up to play for the North Queensland Fury after Jade North quit the club to play in Korea. Isn’t 70% of Queensland in flood mode at the moment? Perhaps the heat will be the least of their worries. Has anyone asked God how he felt when he realised he was second choice marquee to Jade North. You can hear Robbie’s scoucer accent reply “who is Jade North?

Have you seen my chopper?
While North Queensland has made the news with the Robbie Fowler signing, Miron Bleiberg coach of Gold Coast United has been on TV telling everyone who will listen that “I have a very rich boss who has two pilots and they fly helicopters and my boss lets me fly in them all the time” Mad Miron is going to be entertaining next season we can all bet on that.

Sydney FC and their one season wonder Czech coach.
For all the talk about stability being the most important ingredient for a Football club it is encouraging to see the trend of Sydney FC owners bucking the stability trend by hiring Czech boss Vitezslav Lavicka on a one year contract only.

These are actual quotes from the following Four Four Two article,czech-to-bounce-after-a-year.aspx

"We are looking at this as a long-term solution (but) we have to respect the fact that - coming from the Czech Republic - living over here is a lot different to living in Europe," Kamasz said.

Although conceding Lavicka's grasp of English was 'basic' but there was no problem with his 'football English', Kamasz hailed the former Sparta Prague coach's signing as a momentous occasion in Sydney's history.

So from the above article we can ascertain that the new coach wants to leave after one year because living in Europe is different to living in Australia. And he might not like Australia that much. And the coach has good Football English hopefully he knows shoot, pass, tackle, save, win, run, and don’t lose.

The pedigree he holds will be the highest of any of the A-League coaches. He won a championship in the Czech league he has coached in the Uefa cup and has the highest coaching badge you can get in Uefa.
Lavicka was the former coach of Sparta Prague, I have been to Prague a beautiful city untouched by ravages of World War Two filled with cheap beer the most beautiful stony faced women in the world and mullets.

The Czech national team always qualifies for World Cups and Euro championships regularly hopefully Sydney FC can gain something positive from this Czech experience.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Sydney FC Annual anti-awards

I present the first Sydney Fc annual anti-awards for services given and taken away from Football.

The Chad Gibson award
This prestigious award goes to a player that has over achieved on the Football field causing the opposition team to score when your team is no apparent danger.
Bea Busch
For his ability to move in slow motion as Travis Dodd ran towards him, his long back swing when making a back line clearance looked like one of those super slow-mo replays you see at the tennis and cricket. Unfortunately Bea Busch’s clearance rebounded off a motoring Travis Dodd and into the Sydney FC goal. the speedy winger stealing a goal like a thief in the night.
Fast forward to 8min 20sec for the gold.

Goal of the season
Shannon Cole free kick against the Mariners:
The previous week Shannon Cole hit the post against Melbourne but stepped up to give Sydney a 3-2 win against the fishermen.
Goal view from the terrace
Runner UP
Shannon Cole and Brendan Gan (Joint runners up)
Sydney lost this game but was up 2-0. Nuff said about that check the goals out.

Best game of the Season
Central Coast Mariners 2 V Sydney FC 3 23aug08
Sydney took a two goal lead early the Mariners came back and Sydney won 3-2.
The result and performance was nothing but a tease Sydney never played like that again.
Runner Up
My first blog was about this game; Sydney beat the Melbourne Victory 2-0 away from home. The first time Sydney beat Melbourne Victory away.
Nostalgia can be a bitch. Melbourne won the Premiers Plate and Sydney missed the finals.

Chant of the Year
"High five for the Vukovic"
The Sydney away cove was in immense form giving it to Danny Vukovic reminding him of the incident that cost him his place at the Beijing Olympics after he high fived the referee in last season’s grand final.

Runner Up
"You’re not playing for Chelsea"
The Cove reminding Mark Bosnich that he no longer plays for Chelsea and in fact he was warming up in Gosford.

Sydney Player of the Year
Shannon Cole
He had the most crosses in the box than any other player in the A-League, 100 more than his closest rival. He made a list of the world’s top 50 emerging players by the UK media. Shannon made the Socceroos squad after playing for Sydney Olympic last year in the NSW Premier League. His motto is “write your own story”
Runner up:

Best Kossie Moment
Since Kossie is departing he gets his own special award.
Danny Allsop shoulder charging Kossie, I don’t condone this sort of behaviour but c’mon everyone loves a good stack.

So what where your special moments?

Monday, February 2, 2009

Bye Kossie, It's Been Emotional Feb 1 2009

MANY things came to my mind upon hearing John Kosmina's exit from Sydney FC - "Don't let the back door hit your arse on your way out" was one.

As well as relief that the new regime has at least started by making a correct decision, perhaps the soap opera of Sydney FC can turn into a story where the main characters can play football and the director know what he is doing.

So let's be nostalgic for a moment as we look back on Kossie Sydney FC' career:

The Good
Kossie did very well last season after Uncle Branko Culina made a mess of the first 9 rounds. Kossie came in and, with Michael Bridges and Juninho, the team started playing well and Sydney challenged for the Premiership all the way to the last game of the season.

The game against LA Galaxy was a great advertisement for football and the Sydney FC brand. Juninho tore LA Galaxy apart that night albeit the game was a glorified friendly.

Kossie's optimistic attitude and volatile temper and the odd philosophical musing had everyone entertained at press conferences and interviews.

The Bad

Should I really say anymore except Kossie blew the last game of the season against Melbourne last year where a win instead of a draw would have got Sydney the championship!

This year injuries didn't help Kossie's cause and the form of new recruits went against him having a successful year. However coaching is not about finding excuses it's about finding ways of getting positive results for your team. And I say that with the utmost degree of pretension.

The Ugly
Going off at Simon Hill the Fox Sports presenter when asked if the club was in crisis and calling all internet journalist "lunatics" famously are things Kossie perhaps regrets or not I suspect.

Twilight Zone
Getting shoulder charged by two different Melbourne players while coaching two different teams; on the same ground led to Kossie helping promote the game of football in this country better than any 30 yard goal ever could.
Television replays and photos of Kossie grabbing Kevin Muscat by the throat went all over the country adding infamy to Kossie's bow. It says something about us as a people and the weird charm and attraction of Kossie.

Kossie dresses like a tactician and coaches like a motivator and in these modern times the motivator no longer works. And I say that with the most utmost pretension.

Because truly I believe, like Shane Warne, that the coach is there to take the team to the ground and that's it. In the end the players are the ones that ultimately win the games and while Kossie has made mistakes and plenty of weird decisions, the players let him down this year.

Kossie will be back and I will be glad to see him coaching another opposition side because, if anything, Kossie loves to entertain and he is everyone's favourite coach to hate.