Tuesday, October 18, 2011

How good can it get?

I might have to be writing a bit this season. Things are exciting at the Roar and I am full of material. If anything I've been suffering the writer's block of someone with far too much to say. So fuck it, I'll start with a rave. Anything to get the gripes with FIFA (which I still have) from the top of the page and some news of this brilliant team filling the space.

How good can it get for a Brisbane Roar fan? I'll briefly outline how good it is.

1. We have the best coach in Australia. I read around and come across this sentiment often, along with frequent speculations that he will be Australia's next coach. Behind The Roar is a good short documentary on 'the Ange Revolution'. I'll elaborate on why, in my view, Ange is a rare coach, in further blogs.
2. Our team has been undefeated for longer than Manchester United's longest undefeated run (29). Meanwhile the general chatter is that Brisbane is virtually unbeatable and the earnest conversation is "How do you beat them?" I guess I'll give my views on that by and by as well.
3. Our team is enthralling to watch, and this can be confirmed by the dozens of comments I've read from people from other teams, as well as the praise of every commentator in the country, but of course I mostly confirm it for myself when I see for myself. I read a Melbourne man say that he didn't follow the Victory because he thinks the A-League is pretty crap (it has been), but he is going to fly to Brisbane for their games. People travelling a long way to see very high quality soccer is not new. I can see why keen soccer fans in Australia would.
4. Our team is good because of Ange's plan and training, not because we are wealthy. This strikes at one of the great myths, or at least distortions, in World football, that the reason great teams are great is because they have great players. The Roar have no expensive marque player at this time and have won most of the games with a team well under the salary cap. It is a team.
5. We have hit the new season in a form looking like where we left off last season. Ange post-match only ever speaks of how the team can improve. He's serious. They can improve and with sustained determination and training, they will. It actually still looks uphill, if that is possible.
6. With Point 5. in mind, we will compete in the Asian Champions League at the end of the season. One of the stupid things about the ACL qualifying is that the A-League winners from the season before qualify. Too often Australian teams have gone into the ACL having lost their players and their form from one year earlier. Brisbane has the opportunity, and it appears the capacity, to head into the ACL very strongly. Playing in it is exciting enough in itself, and that will happen even if for some unforseen reason Brisbane bombs out mid-season.
7. Brisbane players are not stars, but they are cool. Ange himself is clearly an intellectual, but Broich has a very cool doco made about him (can't wait) where he is revealed as a maverick philosopher (Part 1 is linked, but you'll find part four of the trailer, which has the Roar bits, including a bit of interview with Ange), and Issey is an Artist. But in general, there's not a lot of machismo in the team, even less without Matty. Our star of game one, Mitch Nichols (who was only tentatively a footballer when Ange got hold of him, incidentally), looks like some kind of sweet choir boy. They're all lovable.
8. In the soccer blogosphere, with its sites and blogs and hundreds of amateur commenters, something that is historic has, I think, occurred. Nobody, not even the most crusty, hard-core, trollish fans of the other teams, say that Brisbane plays badly or that Ange should be sacked. Anyone familiar with football fan sites will know how ludicrous a claim that this is. It's true.
9. We just got a billionaire owner. God knows I'll probably be writing a bit about Aga Bakrie, but meanwhile the financial woes of the club are over and, well, we can dream! The guy, who owns an Indonesian Club and one in Belgium or something, wants the Roar to go to the top of Asia, and why wouldn't he? I don't know what his source is but Michael Flynn over at 442 quoted the new chairman as saying, "I think that if we could have our own stadium in ten years time that would be fantastic." What? And Ange mentioned a clubhouse, and training facilites. A youth academy?

Good people, that is not all. All of that is merely context for the thing that has happened to the Roar which really is, for this fan, deeply satisfying:
10. The kit, for the first time in The Roar's history, looks cool. It really does.

Go Lads. And for fuck's sake Brisbane, this sort of moment in a sporting team only comes once. Let's fill that fucking stadium.

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Anonymous Guido said...

I will be barracking for Roar to do well in Asia. Victory had its chances and failed pretty bad (apparently that is a reason why Merrick was shown the door). If any team can Brisbane can.

Just an aside about that Melbourne gut who wouldn't support Melbourne because the 'A-League is crap'. I really can't abide with statements like that. If someone really love the sport, he or she should support the local game. We can't compare the A-League to the EPL or the Serie A, not many comps in the world can do that anyway. One of the reasons why a team like Brisbane was able to achieve the level of play it has was because we have had a competition for six years and were able to foster talent and give the opportunity for a coach like Ange to develop and create a team.

October 18, 2011 9:43 am  
Blogger Hamish Alcorn said...

Thanks Guido.

The argument that lovers of the game should support their local side and local competition is a strong one, in a similar way that arguments to 'buy local' are strong.

'Shoulds', however, are never 'woulds', and although I engage in should statements myself, they are ambit claims in practice. For one thing will remain true: the better the football, the more will tend to want to watch.

On one hand this is a bad thing, because another truth is that the more people support the League, the more resourced it can be to become better. But on the other hand, if there was no elasticity in demand at all (ie. if all soccer lovers supported the local team no matter what) then there would be no healthy pressure on the League to improve.

The thing is, right now, Brisbane does have the product to attract the loyal troops as well as the fickle connoisseurs.

But even further than that, there are also those who only want a high calue entertainment experience (ie winning most of the time). I cringe every time I hear 'bandwaggoners' disparaged by hard fans. Right now, bring on the bandwaggoners! We know many will turn away again when Brisbane has another trough of form, but meanwhile, the A-League should cash in.

October 18, 2011 7:05 pm  
Blogger john said...

Thanks Hamish
The away stripe is amazing and looks like it is gaining as the fan favourite.

October 22, 2011 3:55 pm  
Blogger Hamish Alcorn said...

Agree John re: The away kit. It is a-way cool.

Ahem. I'll get my coat, sorry.

October 22, 2011 11:53 pm  
Anonymous Marta said...

Puma for the kits. those are cool definitely

November 02, 2011 7:14 pm  
Blogger Hamish Alcorn said...

Indeed Marta! Thanks for stopping by.

November 06, 2011 8:41 am  

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