Sunday, January 31, 2010
Ange v. the Lads - another update
And last night, they showed that they have the makings of a reasonable team for next year, now that Operation Expel Drinking Buddies has been brought to a successful conclusion. The conversion of Michael Zullo into a fullback is still in the experimental stage, but there were enough signs that he and Tommy Oar could form a potent combination on the left. Luke DeVere is growing in confidence, and Matt McKay seems to be rediscovering some form in midfield.
Brisbane might have been lucky to win in a sense, given Sydney's domination of possession and territory. On the other hand, Clint Bolton and Shannon Cole should both have been sent off in the course of the game, which gives the result a whiff of justice.
Most importantly of all, from Ange Postecoglou's point of view, there was a real enthusiasm about the home side's play, which produced a very entertaining game despite the low scoreline. Sydney played their part as well, continuing to commit men to attack even as Brisbane began to look more dangerous in the second period.
If there is a lacuna for Brisbane, it is surely in the centre of midfield, where the acquisition of a truly experienced anchorman should be a priority for Postecoglou in the off-season. Adam Sarota showed glimpses of quality but his passing left much to be desired; McKay has always preferred attack to defence, and would hardly be suited to the role of a "tempo" player. David Dodd, too, is not quite up to it.
It is tempting to say that, results aside, Postecoglou has done what he was hired to do. However, next season will represent the real test.
It was a great night and a reminder of what it is like to win at home.
The real test will be how many of this re-newed team will be there next year. The expectation is that both McKay and Van Dijk are leaving at seasons end. Several others contracts are up.
A gap is opening up in club quality that will be re-inforced at year end player trading. Under a salary cap system - better clubs can get the better players at a lower price than weaker ones. And Melbourne Heart is acting to pick-up up to 18 current A-League players.
Does anyone think that Brisbane is the only club that had bad boys? What if half your fans see themselves as bad boys and want to what people with traits they recognise in themselves? There is a governance issue here about sponsors being on club boards. The rugby league and AFL examples shows that independent boards, via their CEOs, can negotiate with their sponsors to deal with errant players (particularly when they are very popular. Brendan Fervola going to the Brisbane Lions is a counter point to the Roar strategy.
Fevola going to Lions - he'll have 0 influence on how the club is run and will be held on a tight unleash, unlike the late days of Farina.
I'm happy with bad boys, as long as they're on a leash and not running the club by proxy.
BTW - Brilliant game and atmosphere at the game on the weekend. I think it was the one I enjoyed the most all season.
'The inside word was that the majority shareholders in the club (who only took full owernship this season), were sick of core older players and a coach call ALL the shots at the club, over the very people bleeding their money into it.' refer to the Lions or the Roar? Lions lost a stack of money in the GFC. The majority ownership in the Roar is waiting to be sold - if the minority shareholders allow.
BTW I am very happy with Collen and good to see Patrick K and the possibility of his appearance as a marque next year.