Sunday, January 03, 2010


Archie the Third

Before the 2006 World Cup, it was Archie Thompson. In between, there were Bruce Djite's delusions of grandeur. Now, a recalcitrant Joel Griffiths has become the latest to attempt to hold his A-League club to ransom over a career move of doubtful value.

Griffiths' indiscipline in China has cost him precious game time, but even had he starred at Beijing Guoan, would a 30-year-old striker with a record of blowing his top in pressure situations really come into consideration for Pim Verbeek's final 23? Griffiths certainly seems to think so, and appears prepared to defy his club over it.

Con Constantine's reputation for intransigence means that Griffiths will probably receive some sympathy, but if he does choose to skip training and sulk, he hardly deserves any. The awkward placement of the A-League season vis-a-vis the World Cup may be a problem, but it scarcely justifies such brinkmanship.

In this instance, Constantine and Branko Culina are fully entitled to play hardball. The constant denigration of the A-League from certain quarters seems to have emboldened some players in their dealings with the clubs, but with the Asian drain slowly gathering momentum, A-League clubs have never had a greater need to stand their ground on player contracts.

I have to think now that it is simply about the superior salary he would gain in China. Surely he (and his agent) realise his no show to training makes him look like a trouble maker, can you see Pim wanting such an attitude in his WC squad let alone from a guy that is fringe at best?

The next ting is his Brother Ryan also in China, a talented player but is no where near the squad, is China the place to be to get attention? Whether warranted or not there are A-league strikers ahead of Joel on the list.

Lastly he should be training at Newcastle if only to keep up his fitness. Playing golf is not keeping fit.

Beijing tried to screw Con and is now running out of time before ACL registration on January 11.
I considered mentioning in my post that a league that has had none of its clubs qualify for the knockouts of the ACL in the last couple of years, and is riddled with maladministration and corruption, is hardly the place to be.

The wages would be good in China, and it is possible to live there pretty cheaply, but is that really better than a marquee contract at the Jets, without any culture shock etc.? I think there's more to it than just the wages, but if he's thinking World Cup, he's fooling himself IMO.

Further piece from Seb Hassett about it in this morning's SMH. He seems to be digging his heels in.
Draw here would be ok - win would be great.
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