Sunday, May 23, 2010

I'mmmmmm Baaaaccckkkkk!!

Yep, I haven't posted a single bloody thing on here for over 5 months or so and feel quite slack! Thanks to Dave McD for cracking the whip and getting me to write again, much appreciated mate.

Well, theres too much to discuss in the world of Brisbane Roar FC since my neglectful blog hiatus, let's start with the transfer news so far! *deep breath* Here we go!

No Longer With Us

- Sergio Van Dijk: Another major departure for the club, this one was out of Ange's hands though with Adelaide making a big money offer to the big man with the promise of Asian Champions League football and the Asian shop-window oppurtunites that accompany it.
Sergio leaves as the club's highest and most prolific scorer and good luck to him I say, he made a fantastic contribution during his time here but hopefully our next striker will be a bit more mobile and not quite as lazy or slow as big Serge.

- Tommy Oar, Michael Zullo and Adam Sarota: Our three most promising youngsters all left for a 2 week trial with FC Utrecht in the Dutch Eredivisie at seasons end and in a complete surprise to yours truly and most other Brisbane fans, all three were snapped up at the end of the trial period.
Tommy is the big ticket item at the moment, the media have already bandied about the cursed 'Next Kewell' tag, because he has some skill and a left foot. Fortunately the little whipper-snapper has his feet firmly on the ground and recognises that he has a hell of a lot of work to do to reach even a fraction of the level that Kewell has achieved.
When the trial was announced I thought that maybe one of the boys would be signed, leaving the club with two solid youngsters but now Ange has a bit of rethinking to do with his vision for the future hitting an unexpected speed bump.
Brett Emerton thrived in the Dutch league and from there has gone on to mid table happiness with Blackburn in the EPL, hopefully all three of the boys can follow Emmo's lead and do us all proud!
With ex-Roar youngsters Tommy Oar and Dario Vidosic now named in Verbeek's provisional World Cup squad and Zullo, Nichols and Devere already Asian Cup Socceroos, more youngsters should in my opinion be encouraged to join the Roar as a clear pathway to bigger and better things is being developed at the club.

Pieter Collen - The big Belgian defender has been let go by the club and I can only hope that Ange has someone top notch up his sleeve to replace him as I feel he and Devere could have forged a fantastic partnership. Collen also really impressed me with an offseason charity poker win, donating his winnings to the Royal Children's Hospital then spending the day with young leaukemia patient Haleena Hanssen. The photos of Collen and Haleena really made my day when I saw them, here's one of them:

- Liam Reddy & Matt Ham: As an ex 'keeper I am a very hard marker when it comes to the man between the sticks and for me, the Roar haven't had quality service at the back since Tommy Willis was replaced by Reddy, a masterstroke from Miron.
Reddy has NEVER been confident or dominant in the air or his area and from what I could see both at the games and on TV, his communication is not good enough. I also noted that when he left and went to New Zealand and was playing for contracts that his performace improved, i don't really know what to read into that? Oh, and he always looked constipated. Metamucil or some prune juice and a few sit ups will sort that out Liam.

- Andrew Packer: Andy has left the team to pursue a career in the military, a noble cause indeed. Andy has noticeably fallen off the pace over the last two seasons, niggling injuries and a decline in pace may have helped his career change.

- Josh Mcloughan: Clogs has retired, a great servant to the club, Clogs, like Packer has lost a bunch of pace and if he'd gone around for another season would have just been taking up a spot for a younger more mobile defender.

- Charles Miller, Craig Moore, Bob Malcolm & Danny Tiatto: No more to see here, what's done is done, no use rehashing a million opinions that have already been expresed, move on.

Closed Season Signings

- Kosta Barbarouses: I can't remember too much of Kosta from the Phoenix games I saw but he has big wraps from all and sundry involved with Kiwi football and is considered mightily unlucky to miss out on a World Cup berth.
He is one of, if not the quickest player in the league and Nikita Rukavytsya proved at Perth what pace can do to opposition defences with good delivery. I'm sure he was also Ange's first closed season addition.

- Andrew Redmayne and Michael Theoklitos: Redmayne was signed by Ange from the Mariners under the premise of more first time football, a towering lad with lot's of promise. His relief at more game time may have been short lived after Ange pulled off what I consider a coup in bringing Theoklitos back from his horror spell in England.
In my opinion Theoklitos is the best keeper the A-League's had so far, Eugene has been awesome the last two years but just remember who he was playing understudy to beforehand!

- Erik Paartalu: This signing excites me because I've been calling for some size in our midfield for a long time now, both Miller and Malcolm gave us size, just in the wrong areas is all.
Big Erik is a compartive giant in the Roar squad standing in at 193cms or 6'3", that's almost a whole foot taller than Murdocca, McKay and Henrique and is a defensive midfielder by trade, a completely new type of player for the team.
Erik returns to Australia from Scotland where he has spent 4 years plying his trade and from all reports he has done well there. He hasn't set the world alight but a quick lurk on the Grenock-Morton fans forum when his signing was announced told me that he would be missed by the fans, they thought he was a solid player and scores the odd sensational long range goal, yet another weapon that the Roar have really struggled to master.

- Shane Stefanutto: I'm biased when I say that this is a fantastic signing because Shane was in the grade above me at my school! A fantastic bloke, I think he will be a great for the team both on and off the park and is immeasurably more reliable at left back than Andy Packer. I can just imagine him and Franjic bombing down the flanks already!

- Matt Smith: Not the biggest defender in the world, but from what I saw of him at the Fury last year he should do a solid job no matter where he's slotted into in the backline, a quad rotational player you would imagne. He reminds me of Matt Mundy a bit.

- Rocky Visconte: A Australian national youth rep, Rocky has spent the last 4 years in Scotland, namely on loan at Ayr from Hearts. Hearts snapped him up as a promising 16 year old but Rocky failed to reach the heights they expected of him. A young, quick left sided midfielder, he seems a logical replacement for Zullo and Oar, let's just hope he has the same impact on both the pitch and the supporters!

- Thomas Broich: The latest and perhaps most intriguing and promising signing, Broich joins the Roar directly from FC Nurnberg in the German Bundesliga, a competition he has played in for the last 6 years, previously spending a few seasons in the lower German tiers. Broich played for the German under 21 team from 2002-2004, making 7 appearances and attaining the dreaded 'next big thing' tag, obviously we haven't seen him lighting up the European leagues like contemporaries Michael Ballack, Miroslav Klose and Torsten Frings but what I've heard about him is promising.
A friend of mine lived in Germany for some time and followed the German leagues very closely, he informs me that he thinks Broich is quality and is a near certainty to have an impact in the A-League.
He has apparently taken a pay cut too, to allow the club to chase a big name marquee.

We're now a few months out from the new season and are yet to see that 'big name' that I think we are all hoping Ange will announce, in fact, with the changes to the Marquee system there could well be a few big names to be announced.
I am hoping that Ange is waiting for the World Cup to pass before making any further announcements as the WC will be taking up 100% of football stories for the next month and a bit, in fact I reckon a few clubs might be sitting on their hands in this regards!

Possible Marquee targets anyone? Well, we missed the boat as far as Recoba goes. How about these names?

Patrick Kluivert
Kevin Phillips
Ryan Giggs
Mark Bresciano

is anyone else willing to have a crack at some marquee predictions?

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Dear Ange

Dear Ange,

Firstly I'd like to say hello and welcome you to Brisbane, I hope you'll find the weather to your liking and also hope you and your family settle in quickly.

Secondly I'd like to ask you a few questions if I may?

Why is David Dodd still playing for the club I support? He really is quite shit you know, I know his dad was a coach at Palm Beach and that's probably how he got his break and fair play to the lad but seriously now, he is a pretty shitty player. Even more shitty than his brother, who is also a fairly player shit himself.

Will anyone whose name is not Serginho Van Dijk ever score on a semi-regular basis for the team? Please don't tell me we'll be relying on Reinaldo, Mckay, Murdocca, Dodd, Sarota, Nichols and Cernak for goals over the next few seasons becuse quite frankly aside from the odd refreshing dip, they couldn't hit water if they fell out of a boat.

When will Michael Zullo revert to his position at left wing? I know Tommy is the darling of the media at the moment and I do agree that he is a quality prospect, but I think that Zullo is our best left winger and possibly our worst choice for left fullback. I've seen his head drop more times in two games than I have in the previous two seasons.

Will we ever take a set piece properly? I know that the club's patented 'Take It Quickly and Promptly Give It Back To The Other Team Or Generally Waste Every Chance' tactic has served us really well in the past, but is there any chance we'll see the likes of Devere, Mcloughan, Van Dijk and Reinaldo (the tall guys) get up into the box and look to get on the end of a ball whipped in? Taking your time on set pieces seems to work every now and then for um, pretty much every other team in the world. Especially when you're 3-1 down with 10 minutes to go in a must win, surely 30 seconds to get the boys set isn't too much to ask?

When are you going to make some signings? Contrary to what everyone else is saying I think what you've done with the clean out of two oldies and one inconsistent keeper is a bold move and one that you'll be judged on. However, before any other players leave, like Tiatto and Sergio are rumoured to be doing, I'd like to see SOMETHING, ANYTHING, ANYONE announced as soon as possible.
Oh, as long as it's not another of the Dodd clan.

Kind regards,

Balls and Denco Rub.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Mooy On Target

Whilst doing my news search for info on Ruka, Mooy and Bozanic I was pleasantly surprised to find a youtube clip of Aaron Mooy's recent goal for the Bolton Reserves against Manchester United Reserves. A Man Utd midfielder loses control of the ball and Mooy swoops on the scraps before unleashing a dipping strike from 25 yards that bounced past the Utd keeper for Bolton's first goal in their 2-2 draw which they then went on to win on penalties.

In some recent news for Oliver Bozanic, his loan period to Cheltenham has come to an end, coinciding with his recovery from knee surgery and has since been loaned to 6th place Aldershot Town in League Two who are still within sight of promotion to League One. His most recent contribution was scoring a late consolation goal for The Shots in their FA Cup tie with Tranmere Rovers on December 10. Bozanic returns to Reading on January 4 and it will be interesting to see what happens for the left sided livewire from here onwards.

I haven't been able to find any info on Rukavytsya and can only assume he's still playing for Twente's reserve team, the only news worthy mention is his naming in the squad for the Socceroos Asian Cup Tie in Kuwait on Jan 7.


Since day one the Qld/Brisbane Roar franchise have had a few 'constants'. Firstly, and most worringly, is the team's woeful home record, losing and playing poorly at home time after time for 5 seasons now. A quick look at the club's wikipedia page reveals a table showing the club (as at time of the table's creation) has played 43 games at Suncorp Stadium for a return of just 13 wins, 18 losses and 12 draws, so from a possible 129 points the team has only been able to amass a meagre 51 points, well under half of the points that have been on offer.

The next 'constants' are the team's pocket dynamo midfielders in Massimo Murdocca and Matt McKay. The two have been running around nipping at the heels of oppositions since day one, their stamina and tenacity in the middle of the park are more often attributed to them than anything else. Up until last year with the introduction of Charles Miller (c) Moron Bleiberg 2009 the 'M&M' partnership has lacked a real attacking foil in front of them in the midfield, an once again find themselves trying to do everything.
While I have grown to appreciate the work of the little blokes, the time has come for me as a fan to put the interests of the club first. The pure facts of the matter are that the club continues to lose at home and choke in big games, losing games means letting goals in and being outplayed in the middle of the park, it just seems too obvious to me that these two factors, the home form and general inconsistency since day one, coupled with the fact that M&M have also been there since day one, are somehow related.

Another constant is the tenureship of Rado Vidosic at the club, while I'm sure that he is a good bloke and a solid coach, it seems once again too obvious that he has been involved with the first team since the inception of the League and I feel it is more than a coincidence that he has been the number two for three underperforming managers now.

You often hear coaches in other sprting codes, as well as our own code, saying that 'things need shaking up', whether it's army type boot camp days, a game of another sport at training or as North Queensland Fury coach Ian Ferguson did on the weekend, not naming the starting eleven until the team were in the sheds before the game, it seems that a sudden and random upheaval can be the thing that can inspire sporting stars and clubs to greater things.
I feel it is time for a 'shake up' at the Roar, whether it's now or in the off season doesn't bother me, but I feel somethings need to be changed in order for the club to go forward.

My Brisbane Roar Season 10/11 Wishlist:

- A BIG name Marquee player, Michael Essien would do quite nicely I think...
- A returning Socceroo to join the club post World Cup, Mark Bresciano maybe????
- A win against Gold Coast United.
- Gold Coast United fans to continue wearinf the silly hats, it's........cute.
- A revamped marketing approach, ie; at least SOME marketing or advertising.
- Another Boxing Day Derby down on the coast.
- Bob Malcolm to go home.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Ruka nets again in Cup tie

Sorry for the slack blog action, i've had some other stuff going on lately but promise to start writing some more!
In some recent news for 'my' overseas boys Nikita Rukavytsya has netted again for FC Twente, coming on in the 76th minute against Capelle in the KNVB Cup. It was a fairly simple piece of 'route-one' football with the Twente keeper hoofing a ball up field to allow Ruka to use his piece to harass and dis-posess the Capelle defender before neatly slotting past the keeper. You can find footage of it here, just search through the videos for 'Twente - VV Capelle'.
Ruka will be hoping to find the net more often as Pim Verbeek steps up his search for a goal scoring solution for the Australian National Team leading in to South Africa 2010.

For the other boys, Aaron Mooy started for the Bolton Wanderers Reserves the other night but had a game to forget as a misplaced pass from him fed the Sunderland striker who scored the 5th goal in Sunderland's 6-1 rout of Mooy's Bolton team.
Mooy featured quite heavily in the recent World Youth Cup and although the results were less than pleasing, Mooy was a standout and will be hoping for an extended run in the Bolton Reserves on the back of it.
Oliver Bozanic is nearing full fitness after undergoing treatment for a knee injury and will be hoping to get back amongst the goals for Cheltenham Town who are currently 4 points above the drop zone in League 2.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Ruka Strikes!

In some good news for the three youngsters whom I'm tracking this season Nikita Rukavytsya has opened his account for F.C Twente. While he hasn't featured much at all for the first team in the League, 'Ruka' took hold of his oppurtunity in the KNVB Cup to help Twente thrash lowly SC Joure 8-0.
He apaprently had a chance early on which was well saved and finally got his first goal in a meaningful game for the club in the second half. In some other welcome related news it was also David Carney's starting debut for the club, he also put in a sterling effort, setting up the second goal for Nashat Akram.

Oliver Bozanic is apparently close to a return for Cheltenham after rceiving treatment for his injured knee back in Reading. The poor bugger still misses the Youth World Cup though, massive bummer.

Aaron Mooy was prominent in the Young Socceroos recent warm up friendly against Trinidad and Tobego with his corner setting up the first goal and he then hit a sweet dead ball in first half injury time to round out the scoring in a 2-0 win. Coach Jan Versleijen had chosen a surprising tactic in the wamr up games of giving each player an entire 90 minutes over the few games, only allowing for a subsititution if a player got injured. It's a weird sounding tactic, but with most of the boys on the periphery at their clubs he wanted to give them maximum game time, the proof will be in the pudding next week I suppose!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

World Cup Dreams Shattered for Bozanic

As promise I would post updates throughout the season for Oliver Bozanic, Nikita Rukyavitsya and Aaron Mooy.
Not much to report from the last two aside from Nikita getting some game time at FC Twente and the fact that his Socceroo team mate, the much maligned (at Sheffield anyways!!) David Carney is set to sign for the Dutch club in the next 24 hours.

Oliver Bozanic was fouled in a crude tackle on the weekend and was taken from the field in Cheltenhams amazing 5-4 defeat to Bradford in League 2. A goal was scored from the resulting set piece but the news at the end of the day was gloomy for the Gloucestershire club and even gloomier over the next few days for Bozanic who has been diagnosed with medial ligament damage and will now almost certainly miss out on the World Youth Cup in Egypt next month. It's a bitter blow for Bozanic as he has had a bright start to his loan period at Cheltenham and has started a few games, as well as being included in the senior camp for the thrashing handed out to Ireland a few weeks ago.
Bozanic was surely in the starting plans for the Young Socceroos and a good showing at the 'WYC' coupled with an outstanding season for Cheltenham could have put him on the periphery for next years World Cup in South Africa. Bozanic has returned to Reading for treatment, so fingers crossed he recovers well and returns to first team football as soon as possible.

ps what is it with Aussie players CONSTANTLY getting injured overseas? Perhaps we could pass the hat around and send them all some vegemite!