Sunday, November 12, 2006

The Queensland Meow

The unique aspect to my experience at Suncorp Stadium last night was that I spent it in a corporate box. I don't think the people who invited me - parents of Stavros, one of Jacob's Terrorist mates - even know I blog, so I don't feel I should name the company, but needless to say I appreciated the opportunity to experience the game from the vantage point of the privileged. Even better when the boys, with Stavros' mother, were also able to be invited up as a few of the clients had failed to show up.

I had virtually premeditated this blog as a comparison of the experiences. I was ready to talk about how I so much prefer the course banter and smells in the main stands, screaming, swearing and drinking beer out of plastic cups. But I must be perfectly honest here. The corporate box was brilliant.

The food was brilliant, drinking proper beer out of glasses was brilliant, the bird's eye view from pretty-much the centre of the pitch - although distant - was brilliant. Even the company - even aside from my friends who invited me - was jovial and fun. A couple of the clients were knowledgable football buffs, but most weren't, but they were interested and there to enjoy.

I did feel privileged. Hell, I was privileged. No pretence otherwise. But I will not miss it when I'm back with the plebians. Because I still love the smells, the language, the course heckling humour, and the beer from plastic cups.

The night itself was beautiful. The West End Terrorists had beaten the Hogz that morning at Indoor Soccer 8 points to 4, which aided the high to begin with. Even the football was enjoyable to watch, especially in the first half.

What the hell is wrong with the Roar? Now I should prelude this with the fact that I pretty much expected Adelaide to win. But I expected them to win by outplaying the Roar. Once again, a deja vu from Round 5, the Roar dominated completely. Just by watching the play, watching the midfielders repeatedly stealing possession and beautifully passing it around and up the field, there was no question who should have won the game.

So I'm no longer blaming the midfield and the loss of Massimo. Frankly Matty, Seo and Packer are purring. Sassa didn't have his best game, and made a few silly mistakes, but overall the defence was also tight and fluid. The ineffectual meow is in the strikers, and especially Reinaldo.

I'm going back through my memorys of the Brazilian. The first I saw him was in Round 4 against the kiwis and he appeared to have a few good chances there, and I put it down to luck that he didn't score from play. He did score from a penalty though. It wasn't clear that it was his penalty to kick, but he had the ball in his hands and there was clearly to be no discussion or consultation about it, and here is where I'm beginning to piece together a problem of psychology. He took the kick, got the goal, and did the most ostentatious celebration of the evening.

Now I loved his cartwheel and double backflip, and said so at the time. Don't get me wrong there. But perhaps a little bell should have rung when a couple of weeks later he boasted about how he was going to surprise the Roar fans with more celebratory acrobatics next time he played here. This guy really likes himself. The name on the back of the jersey is more important to him than the one on the front, to paraphrase the coach in Goal!

Last night you could see it in his movement and almost feel his one-track desire to put the ball in the net, at the expense of any good play. There were several times he could have fed it to Lynch and just didn't. He called for the ball virtually every time anyone else had it, without apparently reading the game around him at all. Lynch on the other hand was more coherent, and several times did get it to Reinaldo, but the show pony, in nervous egoistic excitement, couldn't deliver. That's what I'm seeing; it's an interpretation, but it's been growing on me for a few weeks now.

It seems wrong to scapegoat one player, and there were other mistakes on the field, but overall the Roar looked like a very effective machine. Something is wrong. That something appears to be up front. I'm making my call now: that something is a Brazilian with an ego bigger than Miron Bleiberg's.

I'd like to see a start next week against Melbourne with Zhang and Lynch up front. For so many reasons the Roar can beat Melbourne. Whether we will or not depends entirely upon what happens up front.


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Anonymous Djecker said...

Poor old Miron, falling on his sword. Fwankie for the job now...

November 12, 2006 11:37 pm  
Blogger Hamish said...

Djecker, I was going to attempt a blog about it last night, but along with reading of Tim Cahill's injury, I was in a bit of shock.

The most obvious point to make is that if Roar's recent bad run is worthy of a resignation, where does it leave some of the other coaches in the League, and elsewhere?

I still like Miron, and he still had my trust for the long-term. I'm not happy to see him go.

November 13, 2006 6:41 am  
Blogger john said...

Agree Hamish Not Happy

John Kosmina said 'we ground them out.. a great game to watch.' For who? Australian's will not buy a game where the better dominant team loses.

November 13, 2006 7:07 am  
Blogger Hamish said...

Indeed John.

Clearly Miron was doing something right. Meanwhile, I just read the response from Liam Reddy. Hopefully he's right and this affair will stick one up the Roar for Friday night against Melbourne. Should be some entertaining play.

November 13, 2006 7:23 am  
Blogger john said...

I've just blogged it out of my system Uncle Hamish:

PS you may be my only reader

November 13, 2006 9:36 pm  
Anonymous Wes said...

Its unfortunate that Miron Bleiberg decided to resign because Queensland Roar hasn't been playing that badly but their biggest problem has been putting away chances that came their way.

Against Adelaide they dominated possession but failed to make use of the ball and for the few chances that came their way they failed to bury them.

Since losing to Victory, the Roar has either drawn or lost by a one goal margin and most of those matches were very close and they could easily have gone either way. Not something that a coach could resign for really.

Whovever takes over its not going to be easy task because there is home match against Melbourne and then away to Sydney and Perth but as you say Hamish all that is needed is probably a goal scoring machine.

November 13, 2006 9:42 pm  
Blogger Hamish said...

But John, the wind has changed direction and we must bend with it now. It's just possible - by no means a cert, but quite possible - that Miron has just made his coaching masterstroke. He is a good man, and I trust him still, even in his latest decision.

Blog on mate. I'm particularly curious about the bent you're taking re: the survival of the A-League as a whole. By no means certain that's for sure, and worth an independent, ongoing observation.

Wes, I agree completely, but to repeat myself, time to move on, because there are no other options. Go the Roar!

November 13, 2006 10:03 pm  

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