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So Canberra, did you like the taste of top flight football?

By johnboy 5 March 2009 59

The SMH brings word of the experience that a decidedly non-capacity 20,032 crowd enjoyed tonight watching Kuwait triumph 1-0.

Having watched WIN introduce the match with a “Green and Gold army” of six drunks at King O’Malleys earlier in the evening I was less than impressed.

For those who were there, how did you see the game?

What’s Your opinion?

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59 Responses to
So Canberra, did you like the taste of top flight football?
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Whatsup 7:01 pm 07 Mar 09

Was there a game on ?

astrojax 6:41 pm 07 Mar 09

shhhhhh, s’gone all quiet…

did i say something?

astrojax 8:13 pm 06 Mar 09

Even with the non fifa sanctioned date I don’t think we would have seen a lot of the euro players. They play these games when it suits them… there is a pattern of non attendance and it’s not just this game

not to cast aspersions, tonka, but you’re an idiot. you clearly have no idea about the mechanics of running real football clubs… i’m assuming you meant to write ‘even with a fifa-sanctioned date’ (fast fingers and that slow brain, eh?); on a non-sanctioned date a club that pays its chattel squillions to win for it isn’t going to risk damaging the goods letting it go off and have a brawl and be all shagged out after a long skwark home-bound flight and be useless for the next game. on sanctioned dates, they are obliged to do so, not that they like to. and all of the current first-pick socceroo squad champ at the bit to play when they are able to be released, so i really can’t see a real argument here – sounds more like a fart.

‘pattern of non-attendance’ – really! what century are you talkin’ here?

as to pim’s credentials, while really no-one on the planet beside the special one and mebbe a couple more are really likely to be any equal of guus, pim is well credentialed and has lots of asian national side experience, and importantly results with the socceroos to prove it. four wc qualifiers, four clean sheets, three wins and a draw he’d have taken gladly if offered up front against japan in japan. point to where he’s let the side down, will ya?

mebbe look to the players at his disposal – even mourinho would struggle to beat kuwait with that squad playing with that little passion for the gold guernsey. if we want role models for passion, we should run the hightlights tape on kuwait’s left back – he was a fantastic and saved them from almost certain goals (only ‘almost’ cause it was archie up front) at least two or three times – where was that in the socceroo’s game?

mebbe write to frank lowy with your complaint about him and see what response you get – would be keen to hear it.

away wi’ ya lads! ; )

kobez_outlaw 7:06 pm 06 Mar 09

Why can’t Canberra sustain an A-League? Come on some people in here are a bit negative. We have a bigger population and football community than both the Central Coast and Townsville who both have teams. Don’t forget that we (including Queanbeyan which is fair enough to include) are of similar size to Newcastle.

ronster 4:21 pm 06 Mar 09

“From where I was sitting the ground didn’t look full, and the attendance given, around 20,000, would suggest that to be the case.”

Nambucco…sorry mate, Canberra Stadium holds 25,000. I disagree with you, I thought it looked pretty full & terrific!

p1 3:16 pm 06 Mar 09

I think if we can’t get capacity, or near to it, in Canberra with the national team playing you can well and truly kiss any A-League aspirations goodbye. And of course people will say ‘neither do the Raiders/Brumbies’. Well, they don’t need to.

Yeah, but Wallabies vrs almost anyone would probably sell out.

Tonka 3:00 pm 06 Mar 09

Hey swaggie,

Agree with you re the NSL. We’ve come a long way. Through my oldies I used to know a lot of the old Canberra players and played backyard football with a lot of them many a time. They were great guys, but unfortunately not the best team.

In regards to real top flight football, I’ve seen plenty of it first hand (every week or fortnight for seasons on end) in the UK. Passion was real, and winning was everything, and a loss to certain teams meant the game turned into a riot with hundreds of fans punching on. Those teams played to win every week and negative football wasn’t tolerated – hence my extreme dislike of it. I even used the word hence ha ha.

I really do want it to get better here… I’d love nothing better. I’m just really sad cos I got the feeling that a whole bunch of people were putting the tools down after the world cup and I’m not seeing anything to convince me otherwise.

If people here could really experience proper top flight football, they wouldn’t put up with the debacle that we had last night (again – that’s my opinion sorry for any offence caused to anyone…).

Snoopy 2:44 pm 06 Mar 09

PigDog said :

Unlike others I thought the crowd was pretty good.

Until drums, trumpets and hand held fireworks are smuggled in the stadium, the atmosphere will be lacking, not matter what the crowd is like. We need the pitch enclosed in a barbed wire fence with nutters pertched on top waving flares and dodging rubber bullets and the referees escorted be security in riot gear. It’s not only the team that is not playing hard enough, its the supporters as well!

Swaggie 2:42 pm 06 Mar 09

Montana – they held up a laminated sheet of paper with the 3 digit number on.
No worries Tonka, I’ve been lucky enough, like you, to see top class football in my travels and if you were around for the old NSL days you would realise just how far we have come in a short time. It only gets better mate….

montana 2:22 pm 06 Mar 09

im stil trying to figure out how they subsituted the player number 107 out.
Those electronic substitution boards are only 2-digits.

Holden Caulfield 2:03 pm 06 Mar 09

@MWest #44: Thanks for the explanation. As you say, though, it’s still a bad look. Thank goodness we didn’t have a player with 207 on their backs. EEK!

Tonka 1:55 pm 06 Mar 09

Re Bill’s comments-

Ok- Point already noted… fingers going faster than brain re world/asian cup. Already apologised for that.

Even with the non fifa sanctioned date I don’t think we would have seen a lot of the euro players. They play these games when it suits them… there is a pattern of non attendance and it’s not just this game. it says to me there’s a fundamental lack of respect for the green and gold jersey, and attitude of players only putting it on when the occasion is big enough to rate their presence. I know there’s a whole club v country argument but I don’t see too many euro based players showing a whole lot of pride in the shirt since the world cup.

Ok your opinion about Verbeek. Whoopee we pay him a million dollars. He’s s**t. Look at the negative football he’s got the team to play. Three wins and a draw… great.

Say what you will, but the last three results have been utter sh*te. We went to Japan and played for a draw. I hate that… in that game I saw a team refusing to outright attack or counterattack because they were afraid the game would open up.

That’s negative football. I hate it. I hate the teams who play it and I hate the coachest who coach it.

Like I said, my opinion, I’m entitled to it. If you’re happy with what you see then i’m happy for you.

Really I am.

So without being a flame, a troll or trying to upset people, all I was doing was honestly giving my opinion re the original question regarding ‘top flight football’ – it set me off, cos top flight that was not. Top flight I have not seen from this team since the world cup or this coach.

justbands 1:49 pm 06 Mar 09

> The lines were long, but not unreasonable. The organisers (and this counts for the Brumbies) should put on some sort of opening match like the Raiders do. Canberra first grade, U21’s international – whatever.

The Brumbies did exactly that for their last home game…Royals V someone (can’t remember).

PigDog 1:45 pm 06 Mar 09

My two cents.

I had a good time. Unlike others I thought the crowd was pretty good. However, I don’t think you can compare the attendance of a crowd at an international soccer game to a potential A-league game crowd. I for one (and the 15 other people I went with) probably wouldn’t go to a Canberra A-league game. I think a decent percentage of the crowd are in a similar boat, there were a whole lot of people in Wallabies and Kangaroo’s jersey’s. I think you can judge what codes grab their attention.

The lines were long, but not unreasonable. The organisers (and this counts for the Brumbies) should put on some sort of opening match like the Raiders do. Canberra first grade, U21’s international – whatever. That means you get to the game early and still watch something, you don’t have all 20,000 people arriving at the same time.

All up a good night out. Hope to see more Socceroos games here, especially when you can field a third rate team against a country no one really cares about and still get 20,000 to show up.

billbixby1 1:36 pm 06 Mar 09

Tonka said :


The view of our European players/ffa/the coach that this world cup qualifier wasn’t important enough for them all to play is simply disgraceful, and disrespectful to the fans and to the jersey.

The coach we have now is like the cheap, home brand version of Gus Hiddink. No offence meant to Mr Verbeek either, but he wouldn’t know attacking football if it bit him on the ass and we could have, should have, done a lot better. A word to the FFA – please get the national squad a decent coach – cos this guy has no clue.

1. It was actually an Asian cup qualifier.
2. Even if the euro players wanted to come their clubs would not release them because the game wasn’t held on a FIFA sanctioned international date.
3. Pim’s a decent coach, he is not cheap, he earns over a million dollars a year.
If he is junk why are we leading our world cup qualifying group with three wins and a draw?

MWest 1:26 pm 06 Mar 09

To answer the question about the high numbers on players backs (if someone hasn’t got to it yet)…. The Asian Football Confederation demands that each national team assigns an individual shirt number to every player who participates in the competition, whether that be the Asian Cup Qualifiers or the Asian Cup itself. Because last night’s game was not scheduled on what is known as a FIFA sanctioned date, the European clubs are not obliged to release their players for the game until 48 hours before (not enough time to fly here and prepare etc). Hence why an A-League only team. Now the FFA has probably drawn up a list of all the players who could possibly play for the Socceroos over the Asian Cup campaign. Given there are well over 200 Australians playing professional football overseas at the moment at least 100 or so of those could be considered for these matches at some point. Hence the high numbers on their backs as the A-League players had to appear somewhere on the list. Particularly those who were on debut (or only recently hit form and have been reconsidered for the Socceroos squads) would have high numbers. Pim Verbeek is also renowned for selecting very large squads of 30 or so players for each game. Each player would have to be assigned a number and after a few games doing that and a few different selections for various reasons there is a large pool of players being drawn on (and hence high numbers).

I agree that it’s not a great look but hey they are the rules.

Tonka 1:25 pm 06 Mar 09


No I’m not a troll…. I got a bit carried away because I’m feeling jerked off.

Apologies for that.

Just very annoyed at the way football is treated in this country. Where i come from it pretty much has the status of religion, and pretty much everything the FFA has done since the world cup, has been in my opinion, half assed.

So we got to the world cup and we did ok. Since then it’s my opinion that the wheels have fallen right off the wagon. We could have aimed higher, but we didn’t…

I meant to say that every international we play, regardless of the possible outcome or, the opposition should be treated as a world cup qualifier.

Fingers going faster than brain.

But my point about it all being second rate stand.

So apologies swaggie. You may not think I have a clue, but I’ve been involved in football since I could stand upright and I know s**t when I see it. Regardless of what you think, I do know what i’m talking about.

Since the world cup, pretty much everything I’ve seen rates as s**t.

Sorry if this upsets you, it’s not meant to deliberately upset anyone, but hey, I’m entitled to my opinion.

Swaggie 12:54 pm 06 Mar 09

Tonka – what planet are you on? I smell ‘Troll’ if you think this game last night was a “world cup qualifier” – you show you don’t have a clue about what you are talking about.

Swaggie 12:51 pm 06 Mar 09

We parked at 6.30 and were inside by 6.50, we got our seats, I went on a food run for the kids and we had a top evening, the game was poor and I got the impression the players (Aussies) were nervous, there was no composure, no tactical ‘nous’ and certainly no rebuttal of our coaches assessment of the A league standard which given that the A league is so much better than the old NSL says a lot about the old comp.

That said the crowd were great, the attendance blew me away and I can’t wait for a Canberra A league side.

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