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This week's the Good, the Bad, and the Downright Ugly!

Monday, September 26, 2011

By Paul Frederickson

The weekend always gives at least a sliver of excitement when your football team is playing. A rainbow or storm cloud can appear part way through a game or even right at the end. I hope your weekend was full of rainbows!
THE GOOD
For many years Paris Saint Germain were the darlings of French football and a serious contender in Europe. After some lean years and a strong youth policy PSG have hit back and are joint top of the French Ligue 1 after beating the fourth place Montpellier side away from home.


THE BAD
My own team, Aston Villa win the bad for this week. 1 nil up, the opposition down to ten men, you would be thinking that the drive home would be a joyful one. But, conceding a 93rd minute own goal for your fifth draw out of six games turned those claret and blue smiles upside down!
THE UGLY
This section can depend on which team you follow! Barcelona fans enjoyed football ecstasy whilst long suffering Ateltico Madrid fans would have shrugged and muttered, "That is what we get as Atletico fans!" in their 5 nil loss at the Camp Nou. Not a great night for a team who would like to be challenging the 'big two'.



WHAT DO YOU THINK? What were your weekend's Good, Bad and the downright Ugly?

The Great Debate - Salary Cap or not to Salary Cap?

Tuesday, September 20, 2011


By Paul Frederickson and Sean Caden

A Game of two Halves will bring you regular debates on topics that YOU can can nominate on the Play the Advantage Internet and Facebook sites. This week Paul and Sean discuss salary cap restrictions on teams in Australia's A-League competition.


PAUL’S SAY
I believe that in a perfect world a free-market economy would be the ideal platform for all sectors of society, but in reality it faces many obstacles. After all, most ‘free’ economies have trade-tariffs, quotas and restrictions placed upon countries that import to them. This is no different in the convoluted world of Australian football.

Australia is one of the only countries in the world where four professional football codes compete for the hearts, minds and money of the Australian fans and sponsors. In its latest incarnation the A-League has found this to be especially hard. After 6 seasons the A-League clubs have had multiple owners, clubs buoyed and owned by the FFA themselves and one club has been sacrificed to the football gods, the North Queensland Fury.

All these issues have occurred in spite of the league’s salary cap. Imagine the damage that may have resulted from a free-spending, free-for all. A football nirvana of untold riches is not a reality in this country and nor will it ever be. There are too many competing factors that would prevent this from happening.

There is another factor that concerns me, and we only have to look at Spain’s La Liga and Scotland’s Premier League to see what this issue is. If each team could buy whom they wanted without restriction I believe that this would result in two or three teams dominating the A-League for many years to come. In Spain and Scotland the league have become, outside the top two teams of each league, extremely anti-competitive, predictable and some would say boring. The unpredictability and competitiveness of the A-League is seen by many as its greatest strength.

I am unabashed Brisbane Roar fan and would love them to dominate the A-League for years to come. But even more so I want the league to survive and heaven help us, prosper! Survival and steady growth may not be exciting but they are considered and responsible ways for a league to behave.

Call me boring but I want the best for the game in Australia and if that means that my club has to take turns in winning the competition then I am more than prepared to follow my team win, lose and draw! After all, the losses make the wins that much sweeter comrades!

SEAN’S SAY

The last time I looked the Berlin Wall was torn down, The Soviet Union dissolved and with notable exemptions, the free market, globalised economy reigned! Not so in the world of the salary cap. In this world everyone is created equal and sits around the campfire, feeling all warm, fuzzy and SAFE! Professional sport, especially football is based on excellence and aspiration. The "what if" brigade are definitely exponents of the glass half empty theory.

"What if the clubs pay money they can't afford”?

"What if clubs fold"

"We must have sustainability"

Et-Al!!!

Would it be SO wrong to have 2 or 3 Super clubs in Australia? That is the Question! What is SO Wrong with trying to attract the UBER-RICH owners?

Lets get Rock & Roll!

Lets reach for the stars!

Lets not worry about the Doom & Gloom, what if Merchants!

The logic behind this is that we can still encourage Youth, but also lift the overall standard, which in turn will help the Socceroos and make it more attractive for players to stay in the league. The worrying and most telling argument is that we are losing "top shelf" quality players to, in this humble scribe's opinion, the "Lesser League's" of Asia.

Case in point, ex-Roar star Luke DeVere, who is now plying his not inconsiderable talents in the K-League. In Plain terms it's a short career & a player needs to maximize his earning capacity, and the offers received from K-League and the like are vastly superior to their A-League deals!

PS. We Love you Lukey!

If the Status-quo is allowed to continue the A-League could, and in all probability, will become irrelevant in world terms & become a Circus Side show! Essentially any salary cap is a restriction of trade, and if challenged would be deemed Illegal.

Keep going FFA; Chairman Mao would be SO Proud of You!


WHAT DO YOU THINK - CAP OR NOT TO CAP?


This weekend's the good, the bad, and the downright ugly!

Monday, September 19, 2011

By Paul Frederickson
The weekend has come and gone and the results have been dissected, discussed and analysed by fans, pundits and players alike. Now for my take on the week's good, the bad and the downright ugly!

THE GOOD
So many results around the world to choose from. This week we have a three-way tie. The newly promoted teams all won this weekend in the EPL. Norwich City beat Bolton 2-1 away. Swansea beat West Brom 3 nil at home and QPR beat Wolves 3 nil away. A great weekend for the newcomers and their adoring fans.

THE BAD
As tempted as I was to put Fernando Torres in the ugly section for his horrendous miss against Manchester United on the weekend he played so well for 45 minutes that it would not have been fair to him. Whilst he did score in the game it will be his miss when Chelsea trailed 3-1 that will be long remembered! He did make this week's 'bad' as a consolation prize!

THE UGLY
Now I admit, this is a week late but it had to make the ugly column! Just over a year ago Division 1 club Bournemouth FC was on the brink of extinction and were financially saved by current owner Eddie Mitchell. After a successful 2009/10 season Mitchell started selling players to stem the cash flow problems of the club. This had not gone down well with the club's fan and the anger was beginning to simmer. This reached boiling point, when, in the lead up to a home game against Chesterfield, Mitchell addressed disgruntled fans on the fan forum: “If you don’t like it go and support Southampton.” What a way to garner fan support! The comment was compounded by a 3 nil away loss to Chesterfield at home. A game in which Mitchell decided to address the disappointed fans using the ground PA system after the home team loss.

AUDIO ONLY


What do you think, what are your weekend's 'The good, the bad and the downright ugly?'

The Good, the Bad and the downright Ugly!

Monday, September 12, 2011

By Paul Frederickson

I hope you had a good weekend and that your team played well! Welcome to another addition of the Good, the Bad, and the downright Ugly!

THE GOOD
The Bayern giants are on top of the Bundesliga, a place that many believe that Bayern Munich should always belong. Their seven goal thrashing of SC Freiburg in front of 69,000 adoring fans featured four goals by Mario Gomez and a brace to Frank Ribery. A Champions League run would not surprise.

Honourable mentions to the two Manchester teams and the Melbourne Victory fans who greeted Harry Kewell's arrival to Australia at 3am on a chilly Monday morning!



THE BAD
Fedrnando Torres' quick descent down the footballing ladder as a player continues. Many people believed that Chelsea had bid unsuccessfully in the transfer window, not for a player, but for a goal for Torres! Sitting on the Chelsea bench for 75 minutes against Sunderland may be a great training session for Torres for he may gather quite a few splinters for Chelsea in this campaign. Perhaps more splinters than goals! From the video below it would seem that Torres had started his pre-Chelsea bench training for his old club Liverpool!



THE UGLY
The death of a Welsh fan due to violence is the kind of abhorrent scene that football must strive to get rid of. The culture of alcohol and violence at international games must be addressed. It cast a dark shadow on an extremely competitive and exciting European Qualifier. Thoughts go out to the fan's family and friends.



WHAT WERE YOUR GOOD, THE BAD AND THE UGLY OF THE PAST WEEK?

Andre Villas-Boas "I Have No Problem Dropping Players." When Asked About Torres

Saturday, September 10, 2011

New Chelsea manager Andre Villas-Boas has made it clear in an interview about Fernando Torres, that he would not compromise the atmosphere of a team for one player, suggesting that he would drop Fernando Torres if he does not start scoring for Chelsea.

According to Goal.com Andre Villas-Boas is of the belief that Chelsea's number nine is full of talent, and is simply out of form. However, in the interest of the Chelsea squad, the former Porto manager will not let Torres' constant battle with his form slump affect on field results. With Didier Drogba ruled out for Chelsea's clash with Sunderland, one would think this is Torres' last chance in the starting XI to get it right, or fear having to prove himself off the bench.

When asked about the current form slump of Fernando Torres, Villas-Boas said "The talent is there and the question is regaining confidence.That comes from training and from time and finding the back of the net, so we have to persist. But it can't compromise the team. The moment it compromises the team it has to come to an end. We make choices regarding what we see. I have no problem dropping players."

Fernando Torres will most likely start against Sunderland this week. For Chelsea fans around the world, Torres has more than worn their patience, scoring just once in the league for the Blues, after his high profile transfer from Liverpool.

One for the underdogs: Crazy results in the latest round of international football

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

By Marcel Abboud

Celebrate for football's international minnows!


In what turned out to be a very crazy round of football (7/9/11), many of FIFA's minnows have recorded remarkable draws or even incredible wins against much more fancied opponents. Many people would have written these nations off, but they played their hearts out and triumphed (or almost triumphed) against all odds to salvage a point or to claim all three points.

Who would have known?


2014 FIFA World Cup Qualification (Asain Confederation):

Lebanon 3-1 United Arab Emirates

Jordan 2-1 China

Kuwait 1-1 South Korea

2012 UEFA European Championship Qualification:

Slovakia 0-4 Armenia

Moldova 0-2 Hungary

Azerbaijan 3-2 Kazakhstan


Luxembourg 2-1 Albania


Malta 1-1 Georgia


Iceland 1-0 Cyprus

So next time you see an underdog team and they get absolutely destroyed by the opposition, don't feel sorry for them: support them!

Monday, September 5, 2011

THIS WEEK'S GOOD, THE BAD and THE DOWNRIGHT UGLY!
By Paul Frederickson

GOOD
The Netherlands were recently announced as the number 1 football team in the world to the consternation of many who believe the world champion Spanish team has no peer. What better way to prove that they are the best team than scoring an 11 nil win in the weekend's European Qualifier against the minnows of San Marino.


THE BAD
The 22nd ranked Socceroos were expected to get their World Cup qualifying campaign off to a flying start with a comfortable home victory over the 120th ranked Thailand team. Just over 25,000 people were left stunned at half-time when the Thai national team held a much deserved 1 nil lead. The Socceroos got their act together and beat the Thais 2-1 in a big wake-up call for the re-building Socceroos line-up.One of the worst home halves of football I have witnessed in many a year!


THE UGLY

Racism has no place anywhere and never more so than on the world stage of sport. The section of Bulgarians who chanted pre-conceived chants to the black English players in this weekend's European qualifier have brought their wonderful country and team into disrepute. Ugly scenes for any national team and let's hope that FIFA and the Bulgarian FA come down hard on the perpetrators! Not that it makes up for the taunts but the England team won 3 nil!


WHAT DO YOU GUYS THINK? WHAT WAS YOUR WEEKEND'S:
THE GOOD, THE BAD and THE DOWNRIGHT UGLY?

A bumpy start...but don't count Tottenham out yet!

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Tottenham Hotspurs start to the 2011/2012 EPL season has been rough to say the least. With a postponed first round fixture, two losses of which 7 goals were conceded and major transfer issues, we could almost say this start isn’t a surprise.

At the height of the Tottenham riots the club appropriately decided, with the advice of necessary authorities, that it would be safest that the round 1 home match against Everton be postponed. This blow may seem insignificant but for a club beginning their campaign in one of the most competitive leagues in the world with top 6 expectations, it is. Establishing themselves in the league would have to wait till the following week, and what harder way to get started... than at Old Trafford away.

Daniel Levy’s stubborn stance, unaltered by Chelsea’s effort to acquire the services of Luka Modric, could be seen as both a good and a bad thing. With Modric’s ‘dream’ denied after consulting the club will he perform to the standard we know to be him? If he does Spurs season and Levy’s decision look positive, but if he doesn’t £40million pounds just went begging. Upon this are the sales of Crouch, Bentley, Palacios, Jenas and others, freeing up wage obligations and building on the clubs spending power. With this new found power could Spurs have brought more to their starting XI than Modric could offer, provided that he maintains his performance?

The Season is just getting started and to make conclusions about any club at this stage would be ignorant. Harry Redknapp reminded us not to “write Tottenham off this year” and Ledley King assured that “players want the window to close now so we can get on with the squad that we've got and get on with business." I agree, yet still toss up if the decision made is the one that a Spurs supporter would have made or if it is the right one.

By Adrian Caltabiano