Monday, August 9, 2010

The A League Lives, Long Live the A League (Season 6 Round One Review)

Last week I wrote an article saying I was not so excited about this season’s A League competition. Citing poor recruitment and adverting I was not impressed going into season six.  Well I am an idiot and if I haven’t said this before please don’t pay attention to anything I say; it will make you a much happier and saner person.

The reason for my flip flop is that I was in the Cove during the Sydney FC Melbourne Victory game on Saturday night and along with the Perth Glory and North Queensland Fury match I have been left buzzing and salivating at the prospect of seeing more skills, goals and action from the likes of Nicky Carle, Mate Dugandzic and David Williams.

What an opening round of A League football, and like a federal politician I have quickly changed my views. I have to be honest I have had a World Cup hangover. My eyes had turned into footballs and I was suffering from fatigue and football watching tiredness.

Mariners killing the A League’s Heartbeat
No it wasn’t the Melbourne Heart –Mariners fixture that got me excited. To me that game was a fizzer. Why must the Mariners open every A League season? It’s like a comedian using his least funny joke to open his act. It’s like your favourite band opening their set with an obscure cover. Graham Arnold was supposedly going to bring in all this change to the Central Coast. On Thursday night I saw more of the same old Mariners, they again will be hard working (but so are factory workers and Coles check out chicks and I ant paying too watch them, play football!). 

Mat Simon was used at attacking midfielder to thwart Heart playmaker Josip Skoko. It was a pure masterstroke and it smelled of Graham Arnold. I predict the Mariners campaign to peter out around January like it usually does.

And what of newcomers Melbourne Heart? On first glance their Dutch striker Sibon looks pretty good and they have a lot of experience in their side but to be honest I would rather watch a team like North Queensland Fury. The Heart seem to lack pace and Dutch import Rutger Worm what can you say he plays like his name. Brazilian import Alex Terra looked like he could do something but didn’t. I would like to see more chances given to young players. It’s only the first game, let’s see what happens.

Mark Bosnich jumps on Oprah’s Couch
The less said about the Adelaide United and Newcastle Jets fixture the better. Ouch that game was painful to watch except for Mark Bosnich claiming that two handed fists away by the keeper should only be used in times of emergency (he should know!).  Also if Bosnich says “I never used a wall when I played for Manchester United” I will kill myself. It’s getting really nauseating to hear stuff like that all the time.  I know I know Mark Bosnich is Australian Football royalty and you can’t criticize the King but it’s time he was put on a leash. Why do your Heroes always end up disappointing you? Perhaps he’s been Yoko Ono’d. Here are some choice quotes from a weird article he wrote for the Daily Terror leading up the Mariners- Heart clash. The ex Chelsea and Villa keeper suggested we watch all  the other football codes and if you call Football Soccer it really doesn’t matter because we all live in a magical fairy land where every sport can get along.   

“THIS weekend I intend to watch as many footy codes as possible. I'll slip in to some tweed and leather patches for the second Bledisloe tie on TV at my (possible) future parents-in-law's house. Sunday it's off to the SCG to watch what should be a great game of rugby league - the code I first played as a kid - between the Dragons and Roosters.

“Although my girlfriend Sara might disagree, I can't think of a more perfect weekend.

“And that might come as a surprise to not only her but also the soccer extremists who think the round-ball game is the only code worth watching. I've always been uncomfortable with their conspiracy theories that the media has a hidden agenda to stop soccer from reaching the dominance it enjoys in other countries.

“While soccer is in the process of gaining widespread support, it is no problem at all to refer to the game as soccer to distinguish itself from other, more traditional codes because invariably a reference to "football" or "footballer" leads to confused looks all round when asking what sport one is involved with.”

I liked Mark Bosnich better when he was single.

Thousand s flock to see God!
How good was it to see so many fans at a Perth Glory game again?  For once nostalgia was outdone by the present in Perth and even the sight of Jacob Burns trying to take out opposition players chunks of meat did not take away from a fast paced action game. North Queensland was great to watch. On first sighting the Fury have a better squad and manager than last year for sure. They have a smattering of young players that other A League clubs did not want and look to have brought in some good imports. I look forward to watching Payne , Cernack, Malik and Williams get more game time this year.

Perth on the other hand has a lot of old players but the impact of Fowler and the inventive play of Pelligrino and Scott Neville could make Perth a better team to watch than last year. Having over 16,000 fans cheering you on will help Perth relive the golden years.

Carleing and Mateship
What an amazing game of FOOTBALL between Sydney FC and Melbourne Victory on Saturday night. Try and watch as much footage of Nicky Carle’s tricks and passes you can get. It was incredible to watch.  It looked like Nicky had unleashed the pressure off himself and others while trying to get picked for the Socceroos with a great debut performance for the Sky Blues. You could sense that two years of frustration at Crystal Palace were exorcised on the bumpy SFS pitch.

Carle’s choreography of passes, step-overs, feints and moves I don’t even know the names of made me happy and angry at the same time. Happy I was seeing him in full flight and angry that the Socceroos cronies of Verbeek and Arnold had dismissed his talent so easily and deprived the Australian team and public of his unique skills. Ok Jesse Fink shut up!
And what about Victory attacker Mate Dugandzic? I’m sure Melbournians have known about this kid’s talent for a while. A future Socceroo for sure, that is if the Croatians don’t nab him first. 

And I just have to say Kevin Muscat I hate you but gees he plays the best Villain. Who will I love to hate that much when he retires?

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