Tribal Football - Football News, Soccer News, Transfers & Rumours Latest Articles for Melbourne Victory https://www.tribalfootball.com/clubs/melbourne-victory Sun, 18 Aug 2019 21:20:16 +1000 http://www.tribalfootball.com/images/tribal-logo-rss.png Tribal Football http://www.tribalfootball.com <![CDATA[Promoted Brescia eyeing Japanese icon Keisuke Honda]]> <p>Newly promoted Brescia are eyeing Japanese icon Keisuke Honda.</p><p>The 32 year-old is off contract after completing a season in Australia with Melbourne Victory.</p><a href='https://www.tribalfootball.com/articles/promoted-brescia-eyeing-japanese-icon-keisuke-honda-4283062?utm_source%3Dmediafed%26utm_medium%3Drss-feed%26utm_campaign%3DFeed-Latest%2BArticles%2Bfor%2BMelbourne%2BVictory'>Read more on Tribal Football</a> Newly promoted Brescia are eyeing Japanese icon Keisuke Honda.

The 32 year-old is off contract after completing a season in Australia with Melbourne Victory.

Honda scored 11 goals and provided 14 assists in 92 appearances for AC Milan between 2014 and 2017.

And now Brescia want to bring him back to Serie A after their celebrated promotion.

For his part, Honda has flirted with retirement in recent months.

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<![CDATA[Keisuke ​Honda confirms Melbourne Victory exit]]> <p>Keisuke Honda has confirmed that he is set to depart the Australian A-League.<br></p><p>The Melbourne Victory star will not be renewing his contract with the team when it expires.</p><a href='https://www.tribalfootball.com/articles/keisuke-honda-confirms-melbourne-victory-exit-4279391?utm_source%3Dmediafed%26utm_medium%3Drss-feed%26utm_campaign%3DFeed-Latest%2BArticles%2Bfor%2BMelbourne%2BVictory'>Read more on Tribal Football</a> Keisuke Honda has confirmed that he is set to depart the Australian A-League.

The Melbourne Victory star will not be renewing his contract with the team when it expires.

Despite the 32-year-old Japanese midfielder enjoying a good campaign, where he netted seven goals and gave five assists in 18 games, he has decided that it is time to move on.

Honda has represented an impressive array of clubs in his career, including CSKA Moscow and AC Milan.

"I still don't decide where I will play next year," Honda told Fox Sports.

"But I knew that I would stay for just [one] year so I hope no one is surprised, no one is disappointed."

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<![CDATA[Exclusive: Clem Morfuni using Swindon board role to fix 'pathetic' Australian pathway]]> <p>Clem Morfuni wants to use his platform as Swindon Town non-executive vice-chairman to fix what he describes as a "pathetic" pathway for Australian kids to play professional football.</p><p>The Sydney native is the founder of Axis Group, a multi-national building services contractor that was involved in the construction of new Wembley and the new Tottenham Hotspur stadium.</p><a href='https://www.tribalfootball.com/articles/exclusive-clem-morfuni-using-swindon-board-role-to-fix-pathetic-australian-pathway-4252836?utm_source%3Dmediafed%26utm_medium%3Drss-feed%26utm_campaign%3DFeed-Latest%2BArticles%2Bfor%2BMelbourne%2BVictory'>Read more on Tribal Football</a> Clem Morfuni wants to use his platform as Swindon Town non-executive vice-chairman to fix what he describes as a "pathetic" pathway for Australian kids to play professional football.

The Sydney native is the founder of Axis Group, a multi-national building services contractor that was involved in the construction of new Wembley and the new Tottenham Hotspur stadium.

Morfuni has sponsored the League Two club since 2015 and was handed a position on the board by owner Lee Power in July last year.

Australian businesses have begun to make their mark in English football recently, with a consortium reportedly favourites to purchase League One club Charlton Athletic.

Speaking to Tribal Football, Morfuni says he plans to use his own standing at Swindon to provide new opportunities for aspiring footballers in Australia.

"We've employed a talent scout who is coming out to Australia in November," revealed Morfuni.

"So we're looking for kids and we want to develop a pathway for kids in Australia to go to English and European football and the best way to have it is to have someone in that level that can pull a proper pathway for kids because I think the pathway in Australia is pathetic.

"And now that people know that I'm Swindon vice-chairman. And there's a couple of other things that I'm trying to do that I can't really announce yet. But we're trying to get that pathway where we're generating really good kids from Australia who can go and play football."

Morfuni does not state whether the idea would evolve in the form of an academy or direct trials at Swindon, but his argument that Australia needs a different platform for their young footballers is a strong one.

The A-League, which commenced in 2005, is one of the few professional domestic leagues in world football that does not have a relegation system.

The National Premier League (NPL), competitions that are based in each Australian state, and the subsequent state leagues, essentially serve as the equivalent to the English football pyramid for Australian football, with the A-League at its apex.

Over the past two seasons, however, only seven players have been recruited from NPL competitions who were under 23, Australian and had no previous A-League experience.

Despite the league expanding to twelve franchises in 2019/2020, Morfuni argues that A-League clubs have no interest in developing youth.

"No disrespect to the A-League, I've been involved in the A-League. But there is no pathway. They just want to win their competition," Morfuni continued.

"They've got a lot of older players in that league and there is probably 10,000 Australian kids that want to play football and the A-League has 10 teams and none of these young kids have an opportunity to get in.

"Hopefully this works so there might be an opportunity for our national league to get even better.

"It's good for Australia because it gives us an opportunity and I'm over there enough to be heavily involved in it."

Morfuni's plans for young Australian footballers makes up a small fraction of his work at Swindon.

Due to his vast experience in the construction industry, Morfuni has become an instrumental figure in negotiations over a proposed purchase of the club's 122-year-old stadium, the County Ground.

Swindon hopes they can buy the 15,728 capacity stadium off the local council and split the ownership 50-50 with two supporter groups, Trust STFC and STFC Supporters Club.

The stadium purchase has long been a topic of debate in Swindon, but Morfuni believes it will pay off in the long-term as Town aims to climb the rungs of the Football League.

"The football club started in 1879 so there's a lot of passion there. We've been in the Premier League before in 1993/94. We were up there for one season but we've been hovering around League One and League Two in the Football League.

"There's absolutely a lot of passion. It doesn't matter what club you support in English football, there's always passion over there. We're in League Two at the moment and we're trying to get promotion.

"We think we should be a Championship club. There's a big enough catchment, I think if we develop the ground it will be a lot better we'll get better income outside the pitch so we can put more money inside the pitch so that's what we're trying to do.

"Lee Power and I have been talking about it making it and that's our goal. To get them in the Championship minimum."

It wouldn't be the first time Swindon find themselves in the upper echelon of British football. The town might be famous for its railway history, but many nostalgic football fans will remember their ill-fated and solitary Premier League season in 1993/94.

Player-manager Glenn Hoddle departed for Chelsea before the season and the Robins would eventually finish bottom with five wins from 42 games.

Significant investment would be needed for a top-flight return, but given the emergence of other smaller clubs in recent years, such as Bournemouth, Brighton and Huddersfield, Morfuni hasn't given up hope.

"I always say we'd love to be in the top-flight but to be in the top-flight you need a couple of hundred million quid.

"If we can get in the Championship it'll be an accomplishment especially if we can purchase the ground with the supporters groups, it will be a good feat.

"You never know, you might get one freak season where you'll get in the Premier League. You got to think eight years ago, Brighton were in our division. But it's going to take time."

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<![CDATA[EXCLUSIVE: Japanese insiders say Keisuke Honda can match Iniesta, Torres for Melbourne Victory]]> <p></p><p><br></p><a href='https://www.tribalfootball.com/articles/exclusive-japanese-insiders-say-keisuke-honda-can-match-iniesta-torres-for-melbourne-victory-4244450?utm_source%3Dmediafed%26utm_medium%3Drss-feed%26utm_campaign%3DFeed-Latest%2BArticles%2Bfor%2BMelbourne%2BVictory'>Read more on Tribal Football</a>


Keisuke Honda surprised the world when he announced he was signing for Melbourne Victory. A player of his calibre and international status probably could have found a contract almost anywhere, as evident by his impressive resume spreading from Asia to Europe and North America.

Considering he was mulling over retirement after a strong performance at Russia 2018, it's a complete backflip to sign for one of Australia's most successful clubs. At his unveiling, the word ambition was thrown around quite a bit, showing that Honda and Victory head coach Kevin Muscat are very much on the same page about this not being a publicity stunt, but a true representation of their intent for the season ahead.



But how does this marquee signing differ to that of those past?

Alessandro Del Piero, Tim Cahill, Robbie Fowler, Harry Kewell, Dwight Yorke, David Villa are just a few worldly players that have made appearances in Australia, albeit some longer than others.

For some players the contract had to be right, while for others it was coming at the decline of their careers. It's hardly the type motivation to put your best foot forward on the pitch.

Del Piero stands head and shoulders above the rest of those. His classy influence throughout the season, as well as his status as a World Cup winner, drew in numbers and interest unparalleled in A-League history. Truly shining example of what a marquee player can do for his club, even if doubts were cast over his age and career priorities.


Eyes only for the Victory


Why, and more importantly how, does Honda's move to the A-League rival that of one of Juventus' all time greats?

For one, the timing. Honda has only just turned 32, and will still have plenty left to give physically. At a time where Australian football is struggling due to several factors, someone of Honda's stature and skill set could spark a much needed resurgence in the league's recruitment drive.

Honda's move to Australia also represents something more than football. Hiroki Iijima of Tokyo Broadcast System likens the move to Fernando Torres and Andres Iniesta's respective moves to the J-League in terms of the wider influence on players and fans.

"They're bringing so much energy and attention already, it's good for business," Iijima told Tribalfootball at Honda's AAMI Park unveiling.

"They still need time to fit in but they're wonderful players and they'll be a great influence for other players and being a role model for younger players."

Iijima also says that the Japanese were hopeful that Honda would return home to play in Japan, but are pleased that he will continue his career as opposed to retiring.

"They were a little bit surprised, of course many fans wanted Honda to return to the J-League but they have positively reacted to his move to the A-League. It's quite a good move and it's a good challenge for him because he's very ambitious."

There's plenty of untapped worldly talent out there, and if clubs aim to rival the magnitude of Keisuke Honda, the league could see a dramatic step up in competition and attendance numbers, and naturally improve the quality of football and development.

It opens up a brand new target audience in terms of marketing and tourism, as evident by Honda's press conference. The conference room was packed with esteemed guests, journalists, and several media outlets travelled from Japan to Melbourne just to get a first look at their legendary superstar in navy blue.



Waka Ohki of NichiGo Press says that Honda's unveiling is just a mere taste, and Japanese fans will be flocking to Melbourne to see their favourite son play in one of Australia's biggest cities.

"He said he would retire after the World Cup, but the interest in Japan has been buzzing since he announced signing with Melbourne," Ohki told Tribalfootball.

"There are already people who want to come to Australia to experience the country and see Honda on the field, he's so talented.

"He's easily our best player of all time, and this will be good for everybody involved and the fans as well."

I can't help but wonder myself what an injection this will be for the club, the supporters and the league. One can only hope that other clubs see Honda's signing as the new benchmark for worldly recruitment, which can only go up from here.

The A-League has had its share of superstar players to grace Australian shores, but Honda's signing represents a turning point in the quality of players the A-League should strive to sign.

While the wider effect of such a signing takes time to truly impose its influence, there's no doubting that Keisuke Honda will be making a memorable splash in Australia in many ways.

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https://www.tribalfootball.com/articles/exclusive-japanese-insiders-say-keisuke-honda-can-match-iniesta-torres-for-melbourne-victory-4244450?utm_source%3Dmediafed%26utm_medium%3Drss-feed%26utm_campaign%3DFeed-Latest%2BArticles%2Bfor%2BMelbourne%2BVictory https://www.tribalfootball.com/articles/exclusive-japanese-insiders-say-keisuke-honda-can-match-iniesta-torres-for-melbourne-victory-4244450?utm_source%3Dmediafed%26utm_medium%3Drss-feed%26utm_campaign%3DFeed-Latest%2BArticles%2Bfor%2BMelbourne%2BVictory Fri, 17 Aug 2018 14:39:01 +1000 Chris Sermeno
<![CDATA[LIVE FROM MELBOURNE: Japan icon Honda reveals Melbourne Victory changed retirement plans]]> <p>Keisuke Honda has been unveiled at AAMI Park as one of Melbourne Victory's marquee players for the upcoming 2018-19 A-League season.</p><p>The former Japanese international expressed his joy at the prospect of a new challenge in a different country, and despite the language barrier Honda is happy to be in Melbourne.</p><a href='https://www.tribalfootball.com/articles/live-from-melbourne-japan-icon-honda-reveals-melb-victory-changed-retirement-plans-4244297?utm_source%3Dmediafed%26utm_medium%3Drss-feed%26utm_campaign%3DFeed-Latest%2BArticles%2Bfor%2BMelbourne%2BVictory'>Read more on Tribal Football</a> Keisuke Honda has been unveiled at AAMI Park as one of Melbourne Victory's marquee players for the upcoming 2018-19 A-League season.

The former Japanese international expressed his joy at the prospect of a new challenge in a different country, and despite the language barrier Honda is happy to be in Melbourne.

"I have never played in an English country so far, it's weird speaking to someone in English. I'm so glad I can try a new challenge at 32 years old," Honda told reporters in Melbourne on Wednesday.

"I want to learn Australian English Last time I was here for the Asian Cup and my teammates and I all liked Melbourne very much. I look forward to living here with my family."



Honda's arrival in Australia has had a profound effect on local and international headlines, and despite having signed one of the biggest deals in A-League history, Honda appeared calm before the storm that was his unveiling in Melbourne.

After a strong showing at the 2018 World Cup, Japan's favourite son says that Melbourne Victory changed his outlook on his potential retirement following Russia's showpiece.

"I was considering quitting (football) after the World Cup. I changed my mind after I spoke to Kevin directly, he's a determined person who wants to succeed not only for the fans but for the league.

"He's an ambitious person, I'm an ambitious person, and I was very inspired by our meeting."



Victory manager Kevin Muscat likens the signing of Honda to a perfect marriage, saying that their ambitions were like for like and he looks forward to Honda's contribution on the pitch.

"Our conversation was about expressing what we'd like to achieve this season as we venture into the (AFC) Champions League," said Muscat. "We wanted to do something different to get the extra advantage.

"Our members and fans should be excited by the prospect because it gives us a lot of flexibility on the pitch."

Muscat was coy on comparing Honda to other marquee players both for the club and the league, however he was proud of the fact that the club could pull through on such a monumental signing.

"It's not for me to compare, but maybe for others We're very pleased as a football club that we could bring someone of the calibre of Keisuke Honda to our club. We wait with great anticipation for the season coming."



Concerns were raised over Honda's surprise appointment as manager of the Cambodian national team, however Muscat and Honda were adamant that any conflict of interest has been taken care of and Honda has his priorities set for the year to come.

"First, I'm a player for Melbourne Victory from today. I have to focus on playing well. I'm doing a lot of things besides soccer, but it's not a big issue. I have colleagues around the world helping me with that," Honda said.

"Right from the outset, Keisuke and his management were open and honest about his plans for the future. First and foremost, Keisuke's priority is here at Victory," declared Muscat.

"It would in no way compromise our games or even our training sessions."

Honda could suit up in navy blue as soon as next week for Victory's FFA Cup game against NPL side APIA Leichardt.

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<![CDATA[Stoke City striker Peter Crouch wanted by Aussie clubs]]> <p>Stoke City striker Peter Crouch is attracting interest from Australia.</p><p>The Sun says Crouch is wanted by Australia's A-League to help raise their profile.</p><a href='https://www.tribalfootball.com/articles/stoke-city-striker-peter-crouch-wanted-by-aussie-clubs-4239414?utm_source%3Dmediafed%26utm_medium%3Drss-feed%26utm_campaign%3DFeed-Latest%2BArticles%2Bfor%2BMelbourne%2BVictory'>Read more on Tribal Football</a> Stoke City striker Peter Crouch is attracting interest from Australia.

The Sun says Crouch is wanted by Australia's A-League to help raise their profile.

But any deal must be worth his while as the ex-England hitman, 37, hinted he may stay with the Potters in the Championship.

Crouch told Planet Football: "I feel like there is unfinished business for me at Stoke.

"I still have a year left on my contract and while I don't know what is going to happen in the next few weeks, I'd have no problem playing in the Championship next season and trying to get the club back into the Premier League at the first attempt.

"Stoke have a wonderful set of fans, a great set-up in so many areas of the club, and it is a club that should be in the Premier League."

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https://www.tribalfootball.com/articles/stoke-city-striker-peter-crouch-wanted-by-aussie-clubs-4239414?utm_source%3Dmediafed%26utm_medium%3Drss-feed%26utm_campaign%3DFeed-Latest%2BArticles%2Bfor%2BMelbourne%2BVictory https://www.tribalfootball.com/articles/stoke-city-striker-peter-crouch-wanted-by-aussie-clubs-4239414?utm_source%3Dmediafed%26utm_medium%3Drss-feed%26utm_campaign%3DFeed-Latest%2BArticles%2Bfor%2BMelbourne%2BVictory Wed, 11 Jul 2018 14:35:31 +1000 Paul Vegas
<![CDATA[Video Assistant Referee: How technology could decide the 2018 World Cup]]> <p>The World Cup is almost upon us, yet the landscape of modern football has never looked more different. The next two World Cup finals will take us into uncharted territory, in both participation numbers and officiating. </p><p>The officiating in question is the Video Assistant Referee system (VAR) at the World Cup finals in Russia this year, after much debate and deliberation. The much maligned and controversial system has been trialled around the world and seen at major tournaments such as the 2016 FIFA Club World Cup and the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup.</p><a href='https://www.tribalfootball.com/articles/video-assistant-referee-how-technology-could-decide-the-2018-world-cup-4233593?utm_source%3Dmediafed%26utm_medium%3Drss-feed%26utm_campaign%3DFeed-Latest%2BArticles%2Bfor%2BMelbourne%2BVictory'>Read more on Tribal Football</a> The World Cup is almost upon us, yet the landscape of modern football has never looked more different. The next two World Cup finals will take us into uncharted territory, in both participation numbers and officiating.

The officiating in question is the Video Assistant Referee system (VAR) at the World Cup finals in Russia this year, after much debate and deliberation. The much maligned and controversial system has been trialled around the world and seen at major tournaments such as the 2016 FIFA Club World Cup and the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup.

While other sporting codes have opted for their own methods of video review systems over many years, football has fallen behind in our rapidly progressing technological world. The introduction of video reviews in football has long been a hotly debated topic, to what extent they would be used and how.

Goal line technology is much less complex, as it offers an irrefutable conclusion to if the ball has crossed the line. The players and coaches can't argue against it, and it allows the officials to focus on the play at hand rather than determine if the ball has gone in.

On the other hand, video reviews have proven to be highly contentious as some decisions can be inconsistent and, despite reassurances from our reliable governing body, can inevitably and horrifically delay the flow of the game.

For those who may not know, the reviewable instances of the VAR are as follows:

GoalsPenalty/no penalty decisionsDirect red cards (not a 2nd yellow)Mistaken identity

The concept may seem relatively straight forward in certain areas, however the implementation and execution has only been met with confusion and criticism.

For one, the use of the VAR is not universal. Take the United States' MLS and Australia's A-League for example. In similar fashion to other American sports, the MLS has a sideline monitor for the head referee to review incidents on the recommendation of the VAR. The on-field referee makes the final call after viewing the replays for themselves.

On the other hand, contentious decisions in the A-League are reviewed by another official and advice is given to the head referee on which course of action to take. The on-field referee does not make the final call, instead relying on the discretions of the VAR. This in turn undermines the authority of the head referee while players, coaches and fans are left in the dark as the on-field official consults his video assistant.

Some commentators say, "that might've been a different colour card on another day", or "I've seen worse punishment for less". The same applies here to the VAR, especially if it's operated by another official. Here's couple of incidents highlight the controversial uses of the VAR and the inconsistent rulings on play that affect the game, and could ultimately affect the World Cup.



2018 A-League Grand Final VAR malfunction, communication error

For the first time in A-League history, Melbourne Victory and Newcastle Jets played it out for the A-League Championship. Melbourne seemed to pull ahead early on, however, doubts were cast over the assist with suggestions of offside from the commentary team.

On review, there are 3 Melbourne players sitting in an offside position prior to the goal, which goes unseen by the linesman. The error here lies with the VAR, as a technical malfunction right before the goal meant that the VAR could not check the correct angle for offside players, and subsequently gave the all clear.

What the VAR should have done was communicated the malfunction to the referee and held up play until a conclusive decision could be made. Despite broadcast replays clearly showing the infringement to everyone watching at home, the game carried on.

The match finished 1-0, and the concession of the malfunction by Football Federation Australia left a bitter taste in the mouths of Newcastle fans and neutrals alike.





2018 Coup de France Kylian Mbappe's disallowed goal

The French superstar thought he had put his side ahead in the final of the Coup de France. As per the reviewable instances, VAR was obliged to review the goal while Les Herbiers clamoured for a handball in the lead up.

Sure enough, the ball struck the arm of Mbappe's teammate Marquinhos in the lead up to the goalmouth scramble, which was sufficient for the referee to disallow the goal.

However, the question mark over this one was the lead up to the handball. Marquinhos arm was being held by Joachim Eickmayer, and when he broke free his arm struck the ball before Mbappe pounced.

This disallowed goal is the perfect instance of referee's interpretation, which will always be subject to human error. Some referees will identify the handball, while others may have seen the holding infringement and awarded a penalty, or in some cases allowed an advantage on the play.

This did little to stop PSG from claiming a 2-0 and the French Cup.




2018 Primeira Liga Boavista fans flag intrusion

And who said the fans couldn't get in on the fun?

In Portugal's Primeira Liga, a match between Boavista and Aves was called into question when a goal scored by Aves was considered offside by both Boavista players and fans.

The linesman nor the referee called the infringement so it was once again left to the VAR to come to the rescue. As per the rules, the VAR checked the sideline footage for an offside, only to find the view of the VAR camera hampered by a huge Boavista flag.

The very same supporters who claimed an offside didn't help their own cause, and the goal stood.

Aves went on to comfortably win the match 3-0.




Conclusion

While many may be in agreeance that video reviews are necessary, I am not one of those.

The VAR still needs serious work and fine tuning before being used at the most prestigious of footballing tournaments.

The trial and error of the VAR is no longer a viable option, as the technology has been around for almost 3 years yet the usage of such is still a 50-50 in some cases. We may as well continue on without the video assistants and put another referee on the field.

So what will we see at this year's FIFA World Cup in Russia? Much like a rose is a rose is a rose, controversy knows no other name. I have no doubts we'll see some very interesting scenarios with or without the VAR at this year's football spectacle, but you'll bet there will be plenty of it.

Good luck to the officials taking on a huge responsibility at these World Cup finals.

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https://www.tribalfootball.com/articles/video-assistant-referee-how-technology-could-decide-the-2018-world-cup-4233593?utm_source%3Dmediafed%26utm_medium%3Drss-feed%26utm_campaign%3DFeed-Latest%2BArticles%2Bfor%2BMelbourne%2BVictory https://www.tribalfootball.com/articles/video-assistant-referee-how-technology-could-decide-the-2018-world-cup-4233593?utm_source%3Dmediafed%26utm_medium%3Drss-feed%26utm_campaign%3DFeed-Latest%2BArticles%2Bfor%2BMelbourne%2BVictory Thu, 10 Jan 2019 17:34:03 +1100 Chris Sermeno
<![CDATA[The Arnie Effect: How the Socceroos have already been influenced by their new manager]]> <p>COMMENT: Just a little over a month ago Australian football supporters were desperately clamouring for the announcement of a new Socceroos head coach, hoping for some sort of relief after the stresses of Australia's marathon qualification campaign and Ange Postecoglou's subsequent resignation. Fast forward to today and we've seen not just one Socceroos coaching announcements, but two.<br></p><p>It's a case of what's old is new again, as Graham Arnold was confirmed as the man who will lead the Socceroos following the conclusion of the upcoming World Cup in Russia. He will continue to coach his hugely successful Sydney FC side until the end of the current A-League campaign, after which he will take over from Bert Van Marwijk and assume control of the top job in Australian football for a second time in his career.</p><a href='https://www.tribalfootball.com/articles/the-arnie-effect-how-the-socceroos-have-already-been-influenced-by-their-new-manager-4224417?utm_source%3Dmediafed%26utm_medium%3Drss-feed%26utm_campaign%3DFeed-Latest%2BArticles%2Bfor%2BMelbourne%2BVictory'>Read more on Tribal Football</a> COMMENT: Just a little over a month ago Australian football supporters were desperately clamouring for the announcement of a new Socceroos head coach, hoping for some sort of relief after the stresses of Australia's marathon qualification campaign and Ange Postecoglou's subsequent resignation. Fast forward to today and we've seen not just one Socceroos coaching announcements, but two.

It's a case of what's old is new again, as Graham Arnold was confirmed as the man who will lead the Socceroos following the conclusion of the upcoming World Cup in Russia. He will continue to coach his hugely successful Sydney FC side until the end of the current A-League campaign, after which he will take over from Bert Van Marwijk and assume control of the top job in Australian football for a second time in his career.

The announcement saw a wide range of varying reactions from football fans, with comments on Facebook and Twitter criticising the appointment, citing Arnold's past failures as Australian coach and his Sydney side's recent poor performances in Asia.

It is true that Sydney FC's Asian Champions League performances over the last month have been sub-standard, but it is not the last month that Arnold should be judged on when deciding whether he is cut out for the Socceroos job.

This is an appointment that has been earned not throughout the last few weeks, but throughout the last ten years of hard work, sacrifice, and positive influence on the game in Australia.

Arnold's influence on domestic football in the last decade cannot be understated, and his influence on the national side in that last decade has been immense and wholly positive. The Socceroos have been benefitting off Arnold's work in football for years now, so why not give him a chance to reap some of what he has sowed.

In 2007, over a decade ago, an inexperienced Arnold saw his underwhelming one year run as manager of the Australian national team come to an end.

The decision came following an incredibly disappointing Asian Cup performance, in which Australia could only manage one win in four games, and were eliminated by Japan in their first knockout game.

After a few more years working as an assistant for the national side, Arnold once again tried his hand at managing a senior team, as he was appointed as manager of the Central Coast Mariners in early 2010.

The Central Coast Mariners of the time were a largely uninspired side, having finished in 8th position in their previous season, only one point clear of bottom place. Graham Arnold stepped in and their rise up the table was swift and sudden.

In just his first season at the Mariners, Arnold had raised the club up to 2nd place on the table, and took the club to the Grand Final of that year. While they were cruelly denied their first A-League Championship by two late Brisbane Roar goals and a penalty shootout loss, it wouldn't be long before the club, and Arnold, got their own back. After another devastating penalty shootout loss in the Preliminary Final of the following season, the Mariners finally went on to win their first Grand Final in the 2012/2013 season, cementing their spot as a top side in Australia, and cementing Graham Arnold's reputation as one of the most formidable coaches the domestic league had ever seen.

While his early domestic success was apparent to the eye, what was a little less obvious was the quiet work he was doing in building the next generation of Socceroos. The ones that would lead us to World Cup qualification nearly a decade on. No matter where you look on a Socceroos pitch these days, you are almost guaranteed to find a player who got their start, or had their career immensely helped by Arnold.

One of these players is Tom Rogic. Rogic was full of potential and had raw ability. Anyone watching him play during his early Mariners days could see he was destined for a career abroad, and it is down to Arnold that he was given a platform to shine.

Rogic only played 24 games for Central Coast. That was all it took until Europe came knocking. Celtic ended up winning his signature, and Rogic has plied his trade for the Scottish powerhouse ever since.

The 24 games he played are testament to how quickly and effectively Arnold was able to integrate youth into his team. He made his debut for the national team while with Central Coast, and has now played more games for Australia than he did for the Mariners. Had Arnold not signed him and given him an opportunity to showcase his raw talent to the world, he may not be in the position he is today . Rogic is one of Australia's most important creative players, and will be immensely important to Australia's World Cup aspirations.

Another of these young players the new Socceroos gaffer uncovered was Trent Sainsbury, who at the time of Arnold's appointment was a teenager trying to get his foot in the door. It took a while for Sainsbury to break into the side, but by the time the Mariners' Grand Final triumph came around, the still extraordinarily young 21-year-old centre-back had solidified his spot in the team.

Along with Dutch veteran Patrick Zwaanswijk, he formed one of the most impressive defensive duos the league has ever seen. From there his career has gone from strength to strength, his debut for the national side coming not too long afterwards.

His first major tournament in the green and gold was in the 2015 Asian Cup. This was when Sainsbury truly came into his own, being named in the team of the tournament, taking home the Man of the Match award in the final, and of course receiving a winner's medal.

He has since played in the Netherlands and Switzerland, and has even featured once for Inter Milan during a short stint in Italy. The 18-year-old doing his best to impress Arnold at the Mariners has certainly grown a lot in recent years, but that comes as no surprise to anyone who saw his growth under Arnold and his performances at such a young age for his club.

The tremendously talented defender will now put the talent he showed so early on in his career on display on the world stage, as he is a certain pick for the squad for the 2018 World Cup.

It must also be remembered that in his championship season at Central Coast, the club conceded less than a goal a game. While this is thanks in part to Sainsbury's hard work, the work of another young Australian in goals certainly helped.

That future Socceroo between the sticks for the Mariners was Mat Ryan, who is perhaps the most important of all of the players Arnold handed opportunities to.

Ryan was 18 years of age when given his chance to play by Arnold, and it was certainly not a safe choice by the Central Coast gaffer to persist with him. Being so young, Ryan had his fair share of bad mistakes and errors in his starting days at the club. Any young goalkeeper thrust into the starting position of a top A-League club would make these errors of course, but to Arnold's credit he persisted with Ryan, and was not tempted to look elsewhere for a more experienced campaigner.

Each game Ryan played, his confidence grew, and before long he was undoubtedly first choice. Ryan played three seasons with the Mariners under Arnold, leaving after the Grand Final win in 2013. He was a revelation for the Mariners, and in playing him so often not only was Arnold benefitting his own Central Coast team, but he was also giving vital experience to the man who would go on to wear the gloves for the national team.

Ryan went on to star in Belgium, and after a frustrating stint with Valencia in Spain, he finally settled at newly promoted Brighton & Hove Albion in England.

It's fair to say that the now 25-year-old would not be undoubtedly first choice at a Premier League club and the number one goalkeeper in two consecutive World Cup campaigns for his country had his former coach not persisted with him when he was just getting his start.

Even only recently, Ryan spoke out about how even today he still is helped by Graham Arnold, who got in touch with him to help settle his nerves after his move to the Premier League. The Arnold influence on the two-time Belgian Pro League Goalkeeper of the Year award winner is apparent even today, and Australian football is better off for it.

If these three players didn't get their first opportunity in football, the Socceroos would likely be watching the World Cup from home. It is Graham Arnold that is to be thanked for that.

In addition to the huge role he played in getting the careers of those three crucial Socceroos up and running, he also further influenced the national squad in his time at the Mariners by giving opportunities to Mustafa Amini and Bernie Ibini while they were both young and extremely raw talents, as well as supporting the careers of Alex Wilkinson and Oliver Bozanic. All of these players have spent the last few years around Socceroos squads.

Aspects of Arnold's later stint as manager of Sydney FC have some questioning whether he has the skills to be the national team manager, and there are some valid criticisms that can be made.

No players from Sydney FC went to the Under 23 championships at the beginning of the year, which goes to show that there has been much less emphasis on youth for Arnold compared to his tenure at Central Coast Mariners.

One change he has made over time is putting more focus on getting his choices on overseas players exactly right, which he has certainly achieved with the success of Ninkovic, Bobo, and Mierzejewski at Sydney FC.

While his lack of focus on youth may leave some wanting more, it can't be ignored that despite his methods, Arnold has built the most fearsome and formidable side in Australian football history. Despite what might be perceived as a lack of focus on young Australian players, there is still a handy picking of players who have lined up for Sydney FC in the last few years that have improved tenfold under Arnold, and now find themselves potentially ready for Russia.

He has played a huge hand in the career resurgences in Joshua Brillante and Danny Vukovic, the latter especially looking like a completely reborn player under Arnold compared to his previous season at Melbourne Victory.

Both will be very much in contention for a spot in Russia. More notably, Alex Gersbach and Matthew Jurman both earned moves overseas after impressing under Arnold, and both will be pushing for a spot in the starting 11 during the World Cup.

Even when perceived as not focusing on Australian talent to the same extent as he had previously, he has still shown he is able to help nurture the ability of multiple gifted players, and get them ready for national duty. Although some of his Sydney FC projects may not have stuck around for long, the fact that they are all so close to a spot in the final 23 man squad for the World Cup goes to show that Arnold has got a great eye for talent. That's an outstanding trait for a national team manager to have.

There are of course also question marks flying around about his form in the Asian Champions League. In response, it's important to remember that this job has been earned by Arnold over ten years, not three games.

While Sydney FC's ACL campaign this season has started off badly, it is worth remembering that in 2016 he finished top of a group with incredibly difficult opponents from Japan, South Korea, and China.

Those opponents were Urawa Red Diamonds, Pohang Steelers, and current Chinese Super League champions Guangzhou Evergrande respectively. While they were then knocked out in the Round of 16, it was only due to a last minute away goal. This campaign alone is more than enough to suggest that Arnold is capable of holding his own against tougher opposition.

To those who look at his last stint as Australia manager as an indicator of his ability, know that Arnold is not the same man he was after leaving the Socceroos job a decade ago. He has spent that time winning trophies, growing the domestic league, and uncovering some of the greatest talents this country have ever seen. He's an Australian coach with an already established in-depth knowledge of local players. FFA's preference for a long term Australian manager was always clear, and there is no more qualified Australian for this job.

To those worried about the effect Arnold will have on the Australian team, try to stress less. The 54-year-old has been having an effect on this team for years, and it has been absolutely positive.

While some may argue he's not the right man to take over the Socceroos after their World Cup campaign is over, it is clear that without Graham Arnold, there would not be an Socceroos World Cup campaign to begin with. This is an opportunity he has earned.

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https://www.tribalfootball.com/articles/the-arnie-effect-how-the-socceroos-have-already-been-influenced-by-their-new-manager-4224417?utm_source%3Dmediafed%26utm_medium%3Drss-feed%26utm_campaign%3DFeed-Latest%2BArticles%2Bfor%2BMelbourne%2BVictory https://www.tribalfootball.com/articles/the-arnie-effect-how-the-socceroos-have-already-been-influenced-by-their-new-manager-4224417?utm_source%3Dmediafed%26utm_medium%3Drss-feed%26utm_campaign%3DFeed-Latest%2BArticles%2Bfor%2BMelbourne%2BVictory Tue, 20 Mar 2018 23:49:00 +1100 Brodie Cowburn
<![CDATA[​Australia appoint Graham Arnold as post-World Cup manager]]> <p>Graham Arnold will become manager of the Australian national team after the 2018 World Cup in Russia.<br></p><p>This will mark the Sydney FC manager's second spell in charge of the Socceroos after he held the role for a year after Guus Hiddink stepped down after the 2006 World Cup in Germany. </p><a href='https://www.tribalfootball.com/articles/australia-appoint-graham-arnold-as-post-world-cup-manager-4222901?utm_source%3Dmediafed%26utm_medium%3Drss-feed%26utm_campaign%3DFeed-Latest%2BArticles%2Bfor%2BMelbourne%2BVictory'>Read more on Tribal Football</a> Graham Arnold will become manager of the Australian national team after the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

This will mark the Sydney FC manager's second spell in charge of the Socceroos after he held the role for a year after Guus Hiddink stepped down after the 2006 World Cup in Germany.

Former Netherlands boss Bert van Marwijk, who famously guided the Oranje to the final of the 2010 World Cup, takes charge of Australia for the 2018 World Cup on a short-term contract after former manager Ange Postecoglu shockingly resigned after guiding the nation to 2018 World Cup qualification.

"It is a very great honour to coach your national team," said Arnold, who scored 19 goals in 56 as a player for Australia in the 1980s and 90s.

"It's a job I have always been interested in doing and I believe the timing is perfect for me.

"After today I won't be saying any more about the Socceroos until after the World Cup out of respect for Sydney FC and out of respect for Bert van Marwijk.

"I said at the time that I thought he was a great appointment to lead the Socceroos in Russia and everything he has done since has reinforced that view.

"I won't be getting under his feet but I will be cheering him and the team on from the stands."

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https://www.tribalfootball.com/articles/australia-appoint-graham-arnold-as-post-world-cup-manager-4222901?utm_source%3Dmediafed%26utm_medium%3Drss-feed%26utm_campaign%3DFeed-Latest%2BArticles%2Bfor%2BMelbourne%2BVictory https://www.tribalfootball.com/articles/australia-appoint-graham-arnold-as-post-world-cup-manager-4222901?utm_source%3Dmediafed%26utm_medium%3Drss-feed%26utm_campaign%3DFeed-Latest%2BArticles%2Bfor%2BMelbourne%2BVictory Thu, 08 Mar 2018 22:40:58 +1100 Eshlin Vedan
<![CDATA[EXCLUSIVE: Ex-Melb Victory star Archie Thompson talks Neymar's 5-a-side tournament]]> <p>The 2018 'Neymar Jr's Five' tournament is a unique competition offering footballers all across Australia, and the world, a chance at one of the most lucrative prizes in sport today. Players across the globe will battle it out for a chance to meet Paris Saint-Germain and Brazilian superstar Neymar Jr. in his own home town.<br></p><p>Former Melbourne Victory Striker and Socceroo Archie Thompson is the ambassador for the event, and says that the opportunity to meet the Brazilian superstar is too good to turn down.</p><a href='https://www.tribalfootball.com/articles/exclusive-ex-melb-victory-star-archie-thompson-talks-neymar-s-5-a-side-tournament-4219642?utm_source%3Dmediafed%26utm_medium%3Drss-feed%26utm_campaign%3DFeed-Latest%2BArticles%2Bfor%2BMelbourne%2BVictory'>Read more on Tribal Football</a> The 2018 'Neymar Jr's Five' tournament is a unique competition offering footballers all across Australia, and the world, a chance at one of the most lucrative prizes in sport today. Players across the globe will battle it out for a chance to meet Paris Saint-Germain and Brazilian superstar Neymar Jr. in his own home town.

Former Melbourne Victory Striker and Socceroo Archie Thompson is the ambassador for the event, and says that the opportunity to meet the Brazilian superstar is too good to turn down.

"The Neymar 5s tournament is a great opportunity to get your mates together and do your best to progress through qualification, and maybe you'll get a chance to go to Brazil and meet the great man himself," said Thompson.

"It's great because it gives kids and adults a taste of what it was like for him growing up, lots of Brazilian and South American players would have had to start their careers playing football on the streets, so this concept comes from that. It's so exciting and unique."

In addition to his duties as an ambassador, a role he also held last year, Thompson will be taking things a step further this year and will also be pulling on the boots. He will be entering his own side into the competition for a chance to win the grand prize.

"Last year I was told what it was about, what the format was, and what the opportunity was at the end of it. It's full of opportunity and I had to get involved, it can open so many doors and that's why I liked it," Thompson said.

"I'll be putting a team in this year as well. It's great to talk about it and watch it like I did last year, but I really wanted to put a team together this year and I can't wait to be a part of it. I'd love to get another chance to meet the man too, last time we met they beat us so I want to go back and make things right."

Thompson and Neymar faced off in during an international friendly in 2013, when Neymar's Brazil outclassed Australia 6-0. Neymar, then 21 years old and fresh off a move to Barcelona, scored one and assisted one goal during that game.

The first round of local games in the Neymar Jr's Five tournament will take place at several locations around Australia across Victoria, NSW, WA, SA, ACT, Queensland, and Tasmania. Each state will also be hosting a Women's tournament, a first for the competition this year. As these teams advance from the early rounds they'll face off against other quality opponents from interstate, and then abroad, for a chance at the grand prize.

The tournament is offered to men and women between 16 and 25 years of age, with each team allowed two overage players in their side. The competition is designed so that anyone can sign up and have a go, regardless of experience or skill level.

"This is for anyone who loves their football and wants to try something unique with their mates. It's so much fun, and it's a great chance to play other people, other countries, and also who doesn't want to meet Neymar? It'll be a tough road to get there, but if you're up for the challenge and up to compete, this is a tournament for everyone," Thompson said.

The games are played under special 5 a side rules where each time a team scores, the opposition loses a player. Games are played to a 10-minute time limit, or until the opposition team has been entirely eliminated.

Qualifiers in Australia begin in Sydney on the 18th of February, and will take place until the 29th of March.

More information on dates, locations, and how to get involved can be found at www.neymarjrsfive.com/en/AU

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https://www.tribalfootball.com/articles/exclusive-ex-melb-victory-star-archie-thompson-talks-neymar-s-5-a-side-tournament-4219642?utm_source%3Dmediafed%26utm_medium%3Drss-feed%26utm_campaign%3DFeed-Latest%2BArticles%2Bfor%2BMelbourne%2BVictory https://www.tribalfootball.com/articles/exclusive-ex-melb-victory-star-archie-thompson-talks-neymar-s-5-a-side-tournament-4219642?utm_source%3Dmediafed%26utm_medium%3Drss-feed%26utm_campaign%3DFeed-Latest%2BArticles%2Bfor%2BMelbourne%2BVictory Fri, 16 Feb 2018 09:44:57 +1100 Brodie Cowburn