The Hoops is a Frank Farina fan. Now I don’t know as much about the beautiful game as the Hoops does (spent half the game trying to decide if it was a 433 or 451 formation), but I’m pretty sure that it is not OK for a team representing a city with a populace of around 1.7 million folk to get beaten at home by a team from Gosford. Nor is it extremely encouraging that our boys are yet to take three points this season.
Last night I was mad. After the final whistle blew and the booing died down, all I could think was "Hey Farina - I did not spend all night sitting in the rain to watch you buggers lose to Gosford!"
Last night we scurried back up the hill in the rain cursing Reinaldo’s shooting boots, our inability to maintain possession for more than two passes, Nick Mrdja’s diving, the ref… the linesmen, Frank Farina, Andre Gumprecht’s ugly mug, the ref again.
Today I have calmed down. I remember that Reinaldo played with passion and never gave up, that Matty and Massy worked hard all night, that Tiatto looked a class above, the way we cheered as Marcinho made the Mariner’s defence look stupid (before drilling his shot wide... again), perhaps most importantly, I remember that the Manager cant actually put the ball in the back of the net.
Finishing once again seemed to be the Roar’s greatest problem. This has been an issue for two and a bit seasons now. It does not seem to matter who is on the park or who the manager is. QLD can’t score at home. Having said that Reinaldo, who was the player most guilty of spurning opportunities was also our best attacker. He may play like a donkey, but it must be a donkey with the heart of Pharlap.
Heres the thing, Frank may not be able to put the ball in the back of the net, but when no one else will, it is his problem. Most forums and media articles today have focused on the Roars almost complete domination of the second half. Folks… dominating one half of a home game, after going behind, is not good enough.
There was an air of inevitability about the result as the Mariners dominated early only to be denied by three courageous saves from Liam Reddy (yeh, you read it right, I was praising Steady Reddy. Maybe he was motived by me chanting "there’s only one Tommy Willis" at him for the entire first half). The Mariners out smarted us, keeping possession well and launching several frightening counter attacks in the opening twenty minutes. No doubting Mc’Kinna is an excellent tactician. I would hate to think that the Roar are suffering from the same tactical naivety that the Socceroos suffered under Farina.
Another worrying aspect of the match was the appalling attendance. Sure the weather was not pleasant but nobody drowned, nobody melted having discovered rather too late they were made entirely of sugar. Only 8,815 fans dribbled into the stadium. Lang Park does not come cheap. We can only conclude the match represents a massive financial loss for the club.
Following on from the rather disappointing opening night’s crowd of 17,000, this has to be a concern for the club. With this in mind, how did the players thank those who braved the rain to cheer them on, suffering cold wind, wet chips, soaked arses and appalling football?
Did the captain lead them around the ground to thank each stand as was the norm under Chad Gibson? No. Craig Moore simply made a half turn to the East, clapped his hands above his head once or twice and walked off. We don’t care who you are Craig, don’t you dare think its ok to pull on the Roar jersey, lose a game you should have won, then wander of the field without paying respect to the soaking fans who pay your wages.
Oh, and it wont matter a fig that you are a more highly rated player than Gibson until we start winning games at home.