Al-Araibi | Stajcic | Matildas | A-League | W-League | France 2019
Markus Babbel's 'fault-finding' wearing thin, while Jamie Maclaren happy to be home and ready to pounce06 February 2019 | FT Editor
Picking up on the issues we outlined here in December and echoing the call of #NewFIFANow, FIFPro vice-president, Francis Awaritefe, ($) says FIFA must ban the Bahrain and Thailand FA from taking part in international games until the issue is resolved because of FIFA's human rights obligations.
See our story on FFA's plan to hold an Olyroos training camp in Bangkok.
Alen Stajcic / Matildas
“Storm clouds” are gathering for FFA with Alen Stajcic still considering his options and the recruitment for his replacement continuing apace. Ben McKay reports for AAP that “both parties are moving towards action that will bring the unsightly saga closer to conclusion” which means acceptance of a severance package and non-disclosure agreement.
The SCG will host the A-League grand final if Sydney FC are the hosts, but earlier finals would be played at Jubilee Stadium.
Western Sydney Wanderers
Markus Babbel's tough talk is starting to wear thin with his constant “fault-finding” about his players. The season is all but over for Western Sydney and it seems that Babbel's words are having little effect “or at least any positive effect”, according to Tom Smithies. He shares a series of stats about the team, including that their 40 goals conceded from 17 games is the equal worst in the A-League, only two clean sheets all season - and more.
Oriol Riera says all they can do is wear the “stinging criticism” from Babbel until they play well enough to prove him wrong. Most coaches use the 'riot act' approach a few times during the season, but Babbel seems to do so all the time and suggestions are that Western Sydney Wanderers' management are getting tired of it.
Wellington Phoenix Chairman, Rob Morrison, says the new Western Melbourne A-League franchise should look elsewhere for a head coach; Mark Rudan is under contract and is not going anywhere.
Adam Le Fondre says he remembers Reza Ghoochannejhad at Charlton Athletic and believes the two of them “can form a truly potent strike partnership” at Sydney FC. Ghoochannejhad is likely to make his first A-League appearance against Brisbane Roar on Friday. Le Fondre says he knows that 'Gucci' scored some “worldies from outside the box”
25-year-old Jamie Maclaren “has spent more than half his football life” ($) overseas, far away from his Melbourne home and he's looking forward to fulfilling “a dream ... to play in front of my family”. While many see Europe as the “Holy Grail”, he says he's just happy to be playing at any level and he was offered a “great deal”. In a Melbourne City video, Maclaren revealed he has a twin brother, and is also soon to be an uncle to his sister's first child.
A former A-League golden boot winner, Maclaren hopes to bring even more of the same to his new role with Melbourne City, particularly his skills as a “penalty box predator” for a side that has been without a recognised striker since November. He told Michael Lynch: ''For me this club seemed to look like they wanted a striker who just wants to be in and around the 18-yard box and get on the end of crosses. That's my sort of job, to be in the box, be dangerous.”
Never a prolific goalscorer, is there a “turn for the better” ($) for Isaias? In 200 games in Spain, he scored just one goal. In 139 games for Adelaide United, he has scored just four goals, but in he has scored in each of the past two games! Ray Gatt reports that Isiaias is “full of confidence” but isn't about to get carried away. He says he tries to get goals past Eugene Galekovic at training “but it is very hard”.
His goal on Friday night in the match against Brisbane Roar is an example of what a good captain he is, stepping-up to take the free kick resulting in the first goal when Adelaide United looked down and out at 0-3 down. He says he has “played a lot of crazy games in Australia but this was the craziest”.
Canberra United, 0 v Melbourne Victory, 0
Somewhat predictably, the final home-and-away match of the W-League season ended in a goalless draw, with Canberra United maintaining their undefeated record at home. Melbourne Victory had already won the premiership and rested some key players, notably Dani Weatherholt, Christine Nairn, Natasha Dowie and Emily Gielnik. Melbourne Victory were presented with the Premiers Plate (pictured).
Women's World Cup
Women's World Cup referees are training with video assistant referees for France 2019.
hakeem al-araibi, alen stajcic, matildas, a-league, jamie maclaren, w-league, france 2019