A-League: Stepping up a gear

I haven’t been able to get to blogging for a couple of weeks, but I can see why after three Brisbane Roar defeats in a row it would look bad. Forced to watch away games on TV is bad enough, to have to sit through them is another thing altogether. I think it’s why the Shaftson Pub is the place to be for away games, so we can at least console each other.

Hey I’m down in the mouth a bit about their current form, but I have to say, despite the results, they still look like one of the best sides in the League. Admittedly the 4-1 defeat to Heart was pretty (very) painful, however it showed the coach what’s missing. Steel. Heated, forged and hammered steel. It’s like they’ve had it too easy in the playground so far and need to harden up enough to get their LCM bar back off the big kid. They’re playing lovely football. Most days it would be winning football, but the entire A-League has stepped up. There’s quality everywhere. I honestly don’t remember so many good games this early in the season before this year.

Fan or not, from a just less than objective football perspective, I believe Roar will be in the running again come the season’s finish. They’re too good a side not to be. Granted they’re not putting teams away just now. They’re more than capable, they’re just not finishing as well as they can. We’re not talking about kids who won’t eat their dinner here. It’s not for the want of trying, or because they don’t like what’s in front of them. The effort and frustration was written all over Besart’s face at the Adelaide game – he should have had about six. On a day when it was going right, he would’ve. We must remember Berisha and his colleagues set the standard and now everyone (well almost) is playing at the same level. The onus is on them to raise it again, the testing question is whether they can or not.

They’re just learning some lessons along the way.

Western Sydney were up for it. Brisbane took it for granted. They have a right to have an attitude, they are back to back Grand Final winners. But it’s no good being champions if you can’t get fired up. It was a big win for the Wanderers – maybe even the platform for a reasonable inaugural campaign. This one was about learning not to take things for granted. Turning up isn’t enough.

Adelaide scored a screamer, but really Brisbane had them covered. The goals wouldn’t come. Perseverance and patience is what they should be taking from this game. Heart breaking that Rado’s laddie scored.

Heart was the kick in the pants that’s been coming since the season commenced. Too many close things had made the boys a little complacent. This might be the wake up they need.

With the sparkling Italian and his diamond studded, if less than successful entourage in town this week, it should be a game with goals.

The wee yin (coming up for 10) played for a bit, and gave it away for the violin (‘because of the boys, Dad’). After her trips to the games at the end of last season, she was up for a season ticket this time round. And at 50 bucks for the whole season who can blame her – astonishing value – even if you get one for the kids now, its still an incredible bargain! She was happy with a game, scarf and face paint. For an extra 50 bucks on my season ticket, she got an ‘In Rado We Trust’ t-shirt, a cap and more face paint. She’s absolutely mad for it now – best of all it’s become about more than just the chips and soft drink. She was disappointed with the defeat against Adelaide, but thought the crowd were FANTASTIC (the Den in particular). Loved it so much my wife is taking her this week while I’m in Sydney. The wife doesn’t mind, she thinks Del Piero is a bit of all right.

The reason I mention it here is because I think the Hyundai A-League is getting to a place where it has everything, old players making a contribution, young players developing, smart coaches and the touch of romance some older Leagues lost a long time ago (You can’t beat the romance of Celtic beating Barca right enough). Most importantly, as it turns out, there’s something in it for every kind of fan.


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