Sunday, December 17, 2006


Planet Foster

For all those who scratched their heads over this article in this morning's Sun-Herald, my deepest sympathies. It's time for some background information.

You see, in a galaxy far, far away from reality, there exists a Planet Foster.

This planet glows alternately blue, orange and yellow (but never white or red, by a quirk of light), and has recently had its orbit altered somewhat by its larger neighbour, Planet Murray.

Many strange things happen on Planet Foster.

For one thing, draws against Laos magically turn into losses, and wins against the New Zealand Knights magically turn into draws.

All salient points of modest significance (such as one particular club's refusal to consider a local coach in the interests of maintaining a flashy image) always get drowned in an ocean of knee-jerk rhetoric.

Club managers on Planet Foster are expected to do far more than just get results. However, managers of national youth teams are hectored with the observation that their results tell everything.

Teams playing with ten men for over an hour are expected to produce stunning, dazzling football on Planet Foster. I know, it's a bit odd.

On this particular planet, national characteristics are viewed in terms of strict stereotypes.

On Planet Foster, everything Dutch, French and Brazilian is necessarily wonderful. Everything with its origins in the British Isles comes equipped with horns and hooves (the inhabitants of Planet Foster are liberally supplied with garlic and wooden stakes in case they encounter any of these horrible monsters).

Brazilians, Dutch and French freely spread their footballing wisdom (which is beyond question) all over the world, on Planet Foster. In a development apparently occasioned by gravitational forces emanating from Planet Murray, the nations of the former Yugoslavia have joined this conclave of the enlightened.

Conversely, the nations of the British Isles simply do not export any of their coaches to anywhere other than Australia (the likes of Roy Hodgson, Peter Withe, Stuart Baxter, Steve Nicol and others are considered mythical beings on Planet Foster). You see, there are literally thousands of coaches in the aforementioned enlightened nations who are all better than anything the British Isles has to offer. Oh, and have I told you that, on Planet Foster, British football is simply a mishmash of hard tackles and fisticuffs?

You might be forgiven for thinking that Planet Foster is something out of the realms of fantasy.

It is indeed. One man's fantasy.

It remains an inordinate pity that many gullible readers consider Planet Foster a reality, and swallow the entire package, rather than sifting the thin grain of truth from the dross in his stubbornly ignorant diatribes.

Spot on Mike.
Mike, The only thing that you have missed is that Foster should die in a fire. He's doing nothing to the game he "champions" except causing it damage.
Aah yes...the planet where Sir Robert Robson never existed.

Of course, a certain HAL manager learnt his football under Bobby Rob, so...maybe it's just a blind spot.
Absolutely right.......

I used to like Foser, until he became a self-proclaimed expert on everything football.

The reality is that instead of supporting the Australian Football culture, which in reality is largely British based, he insists on trying to re-invent the wheel.

Still, Im sure his mates Branko Culina and Nick Theodorakopoulos will be able to offer some wonderful management experience, based on their efforts in the last year or two!
You enjoyed that one, didn't you mikey?
...You enjoyed that one, didn't you mikey?...

How did you guess? ;-)
go eat some pork pie mike
It is really funny how his much championed example of a great local coach overlooked for an A-league position in season 1 (theodorakopoulos) didn't last too long when he did get an A-league position.

But I do agree with him on one point.
Sydney deserve Butcher.
I kind of agree that we are playing largely woeful, unattractive rubbish (much like under Littbarski) but I'd say thats more to do with the fact that 50% of our squad is bollocks IMO

Foster shits me because his continual ranting is likely impacting on our crowds. Him constantly telling people that we play long ball shite (true or not) is something that will convince the more easily led astray to give SFC matches a wide berth.
...Foster shits me because his continual ranting is likely impacting on our crowds. Him constantly telling people that we play long ball shite (true or not) is something that will convince the more easily led astray to give SFC matches a wide berth....

This is one of my major concerns, and in fact my basic problem with Foster is not so much that he regularly spouts gobs of agenda-driven crap (which often contains a few grains of truth if you look hard enough), but that some people seem to implicitly believe him when he does so, partly (I think) because they see him as something of a Johnny Warren proxy, as it were.
Don't even start me on JW ...
Mike, would you like to join me in a class action against Foster? As I discovered while reading his article, multiple eye rolling can be painful.

Fossie's 'reinvention' over the last 18 months, as it were, is such a great pity. I still remember the fresh faced, insightful and enthusiastic bloke who came on board SBS at WC2002. It almost seems that the weight of negativity at SBS has turned him into a sour, agenda-driven dullard.

As you were implying, some of his points are pretty much on the money, although it has to be pointed out that half of Sydney's problems were created by a certain player agent who clearly doesn't know the meaning of the term 'balanced squad', or building a team over the years for that matter. Fossie once had a point, but it's being subsumed by his painfully repetitive broken record style of cliches, stereotypes and assumptions. It's such a pity, because he could have played a constructive role if he hadn't allowed his not insubstantial ego to get in the way.

Think of our eyes Fossie, think of our eyes.

are u sure this site is not cover 4 the Australia First Party Sydney Cove Branch
Good to see your sense of humour has returned Mike. The guy hates Butcher too such an extent that he will laud "grind it out" Kosmina to make a (contradictory) point. On a side point, Jedinak still has a bit to learn, hasnt he...
Foster certainly raises interest in football. If we take away the hype Foster is simply putting forward his view that we need development of the game in Australia, which is not generally available from the pommy coaches we have imported. The second rate coaches that are paraded out here are testament that we need to look further afield. The Dutch and France reference is likely due to their success at junior development that has translated to success at senior international level. Brazil because of the longevity of developing quality players.

We can all look at Sydney and see a club that winning the league was not enough, they wanted more - most would think playing decent football is what they were after but given the poor quality of what is put out week in week out by Sydney that mustn't have been the case. There is not one person any of us can speak to that will agree that Sydney are playing or have, in anything than a part game spurt, played to their potential or expectation.

Funny how the staunchest Sydney FC fan want to shoot the messenger, probably why they have the coach they have and are playing the crap they do. The fact that they are in 2nd spot simply confirms the great opportunity available to improve the game with alternative options. I don't think anyone is saying exclude all poms, just there is more to football than hanging on to the empire.
Ahh Gilby, knew you wouldn't be able to resist throwing in your two bob's worth. ;-)

...Funny how the staunchest Sydney FC fan want to shoot the messenger...

The only messenger being shot at present is Butcher (as opposed to the gentlemen who recruited Sydney FC's aging and unbalanced squad).

...I don't think anyone is saying exclude all poms...

Read Fozzie's article again, and I think you just might find someone is.
The more you read that article, the more hypocritical and bogus it becomes. For example, Foster writes

"The diminutive Romario played the best match of his stay after Kosmina made his team play to him rather than over him. Now every Adelaide player has learnt a little about playing a different, and more effective, style of football. Credit to Kosmina and his players."

If Kosmina was such a technically and tactically compotent coach, you have to wonder why it took four games for him to get to that point.

Foster goes on to say

"Butcher has somehow taken a group of players, collectively the most expensive assembled in Australian football, and turned them into Motherwell".

Now, I would'nt laugh at this so hard if it was fact that the A-League was superior to the SPL. But I'm betting that Motherwell would walk the A-League, frankly. And Foster seems to believe that the money that the former management spent should equal a free flowing, attack-minded attitude from some weird osmosis, the $200k that Dzrilic is paid turns him into the Paddington equivalent of Samuel Eto.

In real terms, Sydney's collective wage bill is probably that of a Vauxhall Conference side.

Which is about their level.
"Now, I would'nt laugh at this so hard if it was fact that the A-League was superior to the SPL. But I'm betting that Motherwell would walk the A-League, frankly."

Butcher compared the A league to the SPL, barring the top 3 clubs I believe, around the beginning of the season. I wonder if his view has changed. The A league standard has generally been very poor this season (worse than the old NSL IMO).

Yes I thought Adelaide should have been playing to Romario more from the first 3 games but didn't see his 4th.

"The only messenger being shot at present is Butcher"
A bullet would do the job that's needed. ;-)
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