Notyalcsdrawkcab’s Weblog

April 29, 2010

The intellectual and the emotional …

Filed under: Football — notyalcsdrawkcab @ 7:50 am

Intellectually, I can look at Inter`s work over two legs and applaud them.  Deserving winners.  Balanced, composed, excellent defence.  Their work in neutering Barca despite only having 10 men for a lot of the match in the second leg was brilliant.  Intellectually, I know all this.

But emotionally, it was a downer.

Barca are Roy and the Rovers.  And Inter?  They are not.

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April 24, 2010

Me and Marquees – meh.

Filed under: Football — notyalcsdrawkcab @ 1:44 am

I was just feeling good cos most A-league clubs were ignoring the opportunity to use a Marquee.  There was Fowler and Culina, and … a bunch of faux (not real) marquees, Vignarolli? Moore? Thompson? Sterj?  Aloisi?  And other clubs without a marquee.

It was being used as a salary cap prop, rather than as a marketing tool as initially intended.

I was glad.  I thought the marquee would die off, despite FFA headquarters wishes.

I am very meh about the marquee system.  I thought to ask myself why.

– It involves accounting silly buggery; this is in the salary cap, this is outside the salary cap … argh! just make a number.

– It made me think about America`s efforts to build the game back when they had Pele, Best, Matthaus etc …that went great, didn`t it?

– It panders to the casual fan (when is someone gonna pander to the anorak fan? sniff sniff)

– It emphasises the player over the team, remember that line “no player is bigger than the team”?

– It takes attention off other things the powers that be should be doing.

What should the powers that be doing?

– Getting pricing right – prices that make sense to the general public

– Making transport to games as simple as possible

– Doing whatever it takes to get consistently good playing surfaces*.   My God, that grand final surface was almost as bad as Wembley!

*This one is a doozy.

Robbie Fowler playing on a cow paddock isn`t too entertaining.  A bunch of no-names playing on a good surface that INVITES them to pass is more entertaining imho.

The most talented teams you will see this year …

Filed under: Football, Uncategorized — notyalcsdrawkcab @ 12:29 am

Are playing right now.  The next leg of the Inter – Barca semi final is next week.

Recorded the games, went on an internet blackout (so I wouldn`t see the result) and watched the semis last night.

Most talented teams you will see all year, including the World Cup.

There is no Alves flying down the wing for Spain, nor does Spain have a Leo Messi.  Brazil doesn`t have a Xavi.  I am not gonna mention the England team.  Argentina is nowhere near as balanced as this Inter team.

The top clubs ability to bring together top talents means that Internationals are no longer the highest form of the game. Not saying that Internationals are less exciting, am saying that they are no longer the biggest collection of talent in the game.

Of course, the World Cup will always have a special place – once every four years, and a much larger group of fans have a chance to get behind the teams.

April 13, 2010

world player of the year

Filed under: Football — notyalcsdrawkcab @ 1:44 am

Matthaus, van Basten, Baggio, Romario, Weah, Ronaldo, Zidane, Rivaldo, Figo, Ronaldhino, Cannavaro, Kaka, C. Ronaldo, Messi … great players.

Some things stand out – Cannavaro is the only full time defender from this list (I don`t think Matthaus was a defender at this stage of his career? Could be wrong on that).  Van Basten, Weah, Ronaldo and Romario are the only strikers on the list.  The others are attacking mids/ 2nd striker /wing players.

I would argue that the list is weighted towards the dribblers/short passing players.  That is most watchers favourite part of the game.  The mazy run, trickery with the ball.  Nothing wrong with that.  Its what people like.  Hell, I like to see the same stuff too.

But there are other elements of football.  And people who excel at those elements of the game won`t be on this list anytime soon.  Deeper lying passing midfielders.  Defenders who read the game beautifully.  Full backs who play as part of the defence, and as part of the attack.  Goal keepers who control their area, and give their defence the confidence to play higher up the pitch.

Don`t cry any tears for these “others” that are left out of the World Player awards.  They are usually rewarded with their team`s success.

April 10, 2010

The choices for the A-league – Socialism or the free market

Filed under: Football — notyalcsdrawkcab @ 12:44 am

Right now, I think the current “1 size fits all” approach to the A-league, based on a salary cap, the requirement to use the best available facilities (whether you can afford to, or can fill it, or not) isn`t working so well.

First, the success stories – Melbourne Victory, Adelaide United, Wellington Phoenix, CCM, SFC, Perth Glory … It all looks quite stable here (now – there have been tough times everywhere at some point).  The Jets and the Qld clubs?  not so good.

All season fans have worried about crowd numbers and financial sustainability.  When all we want to obsess about is the footy. A lot of good footy websites now spend as much time discussing how teams are run as what happens on the pitch.  Such is life.

So I figure the A-league has two choices, go socialist or free market – let the team`s market decide what kind of team it can have there.

The A-league already has some socialist traits – equally shared TV money, the FFA taking Finals revenue and sharing some of it with the clubs, the early control of club strips.  But I think 1 more step is needed to go fully socialist – the sharing of gate receipts.  The NFL does it, the English First Division (the name before they split off to become the Premier league) did it.  The idea is that we all sink or swim, together.  I would expect the Victory, Phoenix and SFC to not like this.  They have been smart, been lucky, worked hard – why would they want to share more than they do now?

The other choice – the free market choice would be letting clubs give up on stadiums they can`t afford.  It would see clubs getting no-where near spending the salary cap.  At its most extreme, you might see a club playing out of a stadium that can hold 10,000, with a team that costs half that of the high fliers.  It would essentially be a state league team playing in the A-league, with the same expectations of success (none).  It would also be a financially sustainable club.  What`s that?

Some A-league clubs already look like this?  Well, yeah, the A-league currently has elements of both of these models.  The clubs with marquees, marquee lites and those without.  Very free market.  Most of last year`s NQ squad looked state league quality.  They still spent more than they could afford.  There is still an expectation that the clubs would grow together, have similar player budgets, that every team`s fans would have hope for success.

Those are the choices methinks.  Both have elements that are not easy to accept.

April 9, 2010

2nd class citizens …

Filed under: Football — notyalcsdrawkcab @ 11:15 am

Got to thinking after Pani Nikas didnt get offered a contract by CCM (and no-one else raced in to sign him either) …

It seems a strange thing, to win an award like NYL player of the year, but then not be able to get a senior contract. 

Seems to me that our younger talent is in several tiers. 

Top tier – In Europe, in a senior squad.

Next – In Europe, in a youth / reserves squad. 

Next – In the A-league, with a senior contract. 

Next – In the NYL, with a senior contract.

Next – In the NYL, with no senior contract. 

Guess that makes Pani a 5th class citizen?  (No disrespect intended – he could go onto a solid career).   

Interestingly, CCM signed 16 year old Mustafa Amini a couple of months ago to a senior contract.

April 6, 2010

Should I stay or should I go?

Filed under: Football — notyalcsdrawkcab @ 10:24 pm

Now that it is the A-league off-season, the latest round of SISOSIG ™ is now open.

And to start things off, the Brisbane trio of Oar, Zullo and Sarota are now in the Eriedivisie.

Sarota feels like a throw-in.  Would he have gone if Oar wasn`t going?

Be interesting to see who else from the “promising” ranks heads off.

Then you also have the “Jedi” type players.  Someone who would make a best of the A-league squad, mid-20s …

Sitting at the big kids table

Filed under: Football — notyalcsdrawkcab @ 9:32 pm

Arsenal were just emphatically beaten by a team that won every trophy possible last year.

Some will criticise the gunners for not winning trophies – a fair expectation given their talent and wage bill.

But Arsenal have won something that teams like Everton and Villa don`t.  They have won the right to sit at the big kids table.  There is something to being at the highest level you can.

The joy that a promoted fan feels is based on this.  They aren`t thinking about how tough the upcoming season is, they are thinking about how they will play against Man U.

Same goes in the ACL – AU and Vic are challenging some of the best in East Asia.  IF they are lucky, they might even get to take on a Rivaldo (as AU did on their fantastic run).

April 3, 2010

Just because you CAN do something doesn`t mean that you SHOULD do it …

Filed under: Uncategorized — notyalcsdrawkcab @ 12:23 am

FFA – “Good news”!  We will take over the NQ licence, there will still be football in Townsville next season!  Same stadium, same awful team name.  Same colours.”

Everybody else – “Yay!”

FFA – “Oh, you players and staff … come in on monday and we`ll start negotiating your new contracts.”

Staff and players – “But the Fury is continuing, and I have a contract for next year …”

FFA – “Well, that was with the old management.  See, we haven`t actually continued the Fury.   Your old employers went bankrupt and the old team, and your contracts are gone.  We have started a NEW club with the same name and colours.  So come see us on monday to negotiate your contracts.  Oh, except you in the corner – you are pretty crap, so don`t bother coming in on monday.”

The statesman like thing to do would have been to continue the prior “franchise” and honour current staff and player`s contracts.  MOST football players do not have an easy time of it – they are dedicated professionals who work hard to get where they are and have short careers.  And the FFA is using legal smart arseness to avoid honoring contracts signed in good faith.

They COULD have honored the contracts, but aren`t.

IF the white knight was a local business group, or businessman or whatever, the actions taken in restarting the club completely (letting the prior teams contracts lapse) would be understandable.  But it is the FFA.  And if anyone in Aussie football is supposed to act a bit stately, it is them.

April 1, 2010

Arsenal vs Barcelona

Filed under: Football — notyalcsdrawkcab @ 5:32 am

It doesn`t get much better does it?  Well, maybe it does, but that was a good game.

How Barca didn`t have 3 goals at half time is a mystery.

How Arsenal came back in the second half is also pretty amazing.

Abou Diaby was a non-entity in this game.  Maybe he only has sticky feet when playing against mid table Prem opponents?

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