EDITORIAL: Danny Allsopp deserved better from the A-League after his departure for Qatar's Al Rayyan last week.
A foundation player for Melbourne Victory, he left boasting two championship winners' medals, a first Australia cap and having netted his former club a fee some say was worth a cool $850,000.
Not bad for player who appeared shunted out the back door by Victory and the A-League.
It became obvious Allsopp would be leaving prior to the clash against Newcastle Jets. Management say he was "rested" for that match, so denying him a farewell game. But even if he was injured, why couldn't Allsopp have been given a lap of honour prior to kickoff?
Where were the ex-players brigade to talk up what Allsopp had done for Melbourne and the local competition? Why hasn't there been word from Football Federation Australia about Allsopp's contribution?
For a player who has endured season-upon-season of barracking from his own fans and a slating in the Sydney press for his style of play, a lesser character would have skipped out on the A-League years ago. His clash with John Kosmina last season is legend, but the way the Sydney clique framed it, Allsopp should have duffed his cap and begged forgiveness from the then Sydney coach.
Which is why the lack of official recognition from Melbourne is so disappointing. They need to take care of their own. They must know they can't rely on a Sydney-biased media to produce a narrative that is going to give Melbourne Victory and it's players - past and present - their due.
Melbourne management could have done so much more to thank Allsopp, a player who did so much to establish Victory as the leading club in the land.
Speak up, Lord
Geoff Lord needs to talk more.
The Melbourne Victory chairman always creates a stir when he speaks - and football in Melbourne needs him to do so more often.
The contrast between the ease which he discussed the Mark Viduka matter last week and the clumsy, stilted approach from his football department couldn't have been greater. Lord has the patter and experience to regularly get his club - and the game - on the backpages of the newspapers and leading the sports bulletins on local radio.
Last week was finals time for the AFL, but Lord's generous and ebullient interview with the ABC on Sunday about the departure of Danny Allsopp, Viduka's interest and Archie Thompson's price-tag created some elbow room for Victory in the week's press.
You get the feeling that competing with the likes of Kevin Sheedy and Eddie McGuire every day for media space is all a bit too hard for Victory's football people. The club and the game needs Lord to take on the job, himself. If it makes his coaching staff uncomfortable, so be it, there's not enough appreciation from those inside the game of what is needed to compete for media space in Australia's sporting landscape.
Great centre-half pairings
The A-League is currently boasting some outstanding defensive partnerships - in name and ability.
Perth Glory have Chris Coyne and Andy Todd, Brisbane Roar count on Craig Moore and Bob Malcolm, Rod Vargas and Adrian Leijer are at Melbourne Victory and Central Coast Mariners are built on the combination of Alex Wilkinson and Chris Doig.
Outside Europe's big four competitions, such partnerships could compete in any league in the northern hemisphere. More needs to be said by the local media about the quality and the deep playing CV's of these centre-half pairings.