OF COURSE IT WAS NO PEN!
Firstly, it was never a pen - even the bookies are paying out Glory fans on that one! Secondly, Berisha is no diver. It was just a fresh air shot after 94 minutes of running. He never went down claiming anything, ref Jarred Gillett never gave him a chance to, anyway! Thirdly, why were they still playing closer to 95 minutes on the clock when the board went up saying four minutes of added time?
STILL AMAZED WE GET TO SEE BERISHA AND MILLER
No coincidence that the two clubs playing off for this season's title showed the greatest ambition in the transfer market. It's still amazing that we get the chance to see Besart Berisha and Liam Miller up close and personal here in Australia. Thomas Broich, you can see him coming to a competition like the A-League. Little profile, not quite doing it at the top level, it's understandable Brisbane would get a clear run at the German.
But the competition for Berisha and Miller would've been red hot. Glory coach Ian Ferguson and owner Tony Sage deserve great credit for bringing Miller to Perth. His Celtic and Manchester United profile would've made him an ideal signing for MLS, particularly in Canada.
Then there's Berisha. He's still only 26, he's been with top level clubs in England and Germany and turned down offers from Serie A. And he's a goal scorer. Again, the Bakrie people and Ange Postecoglou deserve thanks from Aussie fans for delivering such a quality import to the comp.
PENALTY AND REF FARCE CAPPED OFF PUBLICITY-FILLED CAMPAIGN
Er, yeah, I thought Jacob Burns was best afield. Fancy getting that one wrong! Dear oh dear - was it another Brisbane conspiracy? We know everyone was desperate for Glory to fall over yesterday - but even robbing Burns of his Marston moment? C'mon!
But it just adds to the fantastic drama we've had off the pitch this season. PR disasters, soccer crisis, blah, blah, blah ... it's been the most entertaining year we've had in the game! From Harry Kewell, to Clive Palmer and Nathan Tinkler, to the GF penalty shocker and all the fallout ... including the ref's relationship with a Roar official ... it keeps the game's story bubbling along. If we actually had a media with a bit more fun about them, all this controversy could've been turned into bumper publicity.
POSTECOGLOU WILL BLOW OZ CHANCE GOING TO MELBOURNE
So where to now for Postecoglou? He really should stay with the Roar - the Champions League is unfinished business for him and the club. Then there's the Australia job to think of. At this moment, Postecoglou has to be front and centre in terms of candidates to succeed Holger Osieck after World Cup 2014. Two more big seasons with the Roar and a deep, deep ACL campaign would only strengthen his candidacy. Why throw all that away to start again with Melbourne Victory? A squad in transition and a board on the brink. He'd be starting again and even if he turned things around by 2014, it still wouldn't read as good as two or three time winning Brisbane coach with at least three ACL campaigns under his belt.
GLORY FANS CAN CONVINCE SAGE TO BUY BIG
Glory are perhaps two players short of going toe-to-toe with Brisbane in their current shape. If Ferguson can uncover a quality centre-half , perhaps in the mould of Perth native Adrian Madaschi, and some real pace on the flanks to make the most of Smeltz and the big man up front, then the momentum will continue into next season. Much will depend on Sage dipping into his pockets again. He has the bug, no doubt about that, but the club really needs the fans to take up season memberships through this winter to convince the mining magnate to back Fergie to the hilt in the transfer market.
BRISBANE JUST A CRESPO AWAY FROM BEING HUGE NEWS
Brisbane are just some gold dust away from becoming a genuine contender in the Queensland sports market. You just fancy, if the Bakrie people and their football department can come together to deliver local football fans someone like Hernan Crespo or David Trezeguet then we'll be talking about Brisbane being the go-to place for Aussie football and not Melbourne. I know reps for the both players would welcome serious talks with interested Aussie clubs.
PERTH PROS BUILDING WINNING CULTURE
Plenty has been said about the culture and foundations Postecoglou has set down at Brisbane. And rightly so. Even if they lose a few senior players this winter, management is confident the youngsters coming through will step smoothly into the system Postecoglou has built.
But Perth Glory are also building something special. This campaign, these players, is something the club can develop a culture around. The character, the courage they showed to not only get to the GF, but actually run everyone's overwhelming favourite so close, is the stuff of heroes. You can already see the desire and drive of Burns and Smeltz in young Josh Risdon. If Perth's young players come through the academy knowing - and accepting - what the senior pros demand from them, then the club will be taking huge strides in the coming years.