Tuesday, May 19, 2009


The Lessons of Ljubo - update

You just can't shut Ljubo Milicevic up.

Matthew Hall, now contributing articles to SBS's World Game website, presented the latest rant from the Jets defender to the world yesterday. No references to gay discos this time, but plenty of prolix bagging of Pim Verbeek. And again, Milicevic is getting a far more sympathetic hearing than he deserves.

Not that some of his criticisms of Verbeek and his cautious style are wide of the mark, but those cheering Milicevic for his strictures should perhaps learn to discriminate between honesty and spite. Hall himself, in my view, subtly nails his own colours to the mast by depicting Milicevic as a "a straight shooter" in his opening paragraph (not quite how I would define it). As for the "Keep it Real" policy...

It must be said, in fairness, that Verbeek's own comments were typically blunt and insensitive. But he is probably right: although Milicevic has done very well with the Jets in the Asian Champions League, that is five games only, after a period of enforced rest. Not quite the record of consistency you would be looking for in an international defender.

The Australian football media needs to be a little wary of lapping up the Ljubo soundbites too avidly. Although he provides plenty of colour and entertainment in the short term, implicitly encouraging the man to shoot his mouth off at every opportunity is likely to lead to embarrassment sooner or later, for the sport as a whole.

I have never understood TWG's recent fascination with all things Ljubo Milicevic - most of which make for good sound bites but little else.
if ljubo had come out with these comments first ... then i figure it would have been out of order.

but since it was a response to "honest" pim, i figure it was warranted. pim could have surely found a better way to say that ljubo wasn`t in his plans.

should everything pim says be just accepted with silence, or with a guilty nod in agreement?


ps. i am totally biased on the issue of over the top characters. i used to find jason akermanis entertaining when he was at the brisbane lions (sorry, AFL reference in a soccer blog).
He went a bit over the top in response though Clayton - I think partly because he's come to believe that the media will lap it up (and he's not far wrong), which will in turn help his career (and there he probably is wrong).

Pim needs to improve his media skills and pull his head in sometimes, no doubt at all.
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