Tag Archives: A-League 2010/11

Graham Arnold and the Ajax of Australia

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In a weekend where the big news was Sydney putting an end to Brisbane’s mammoth unbeaten run the action was kicked off by the quietly achieving Central Coast Mariners. The Gosford-based club finished runner up by eight points last season and took the Roar all the way in the Grand Final, at one point 2-0 up before losing on penalties, and are currently three points behind the Queenslanders after nine games but have somehow managed to avoid the attention of the media despite playing a brand of football that competes very well with the famous ‘Roarcelona’.

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Has Ange Postecoglou Changed The A-League?

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The 2010/11 Brisbane Roar side were lauded for playing what was quite possibly the most attractive and effective football ever seen in Australia. While those much older than myself can debate the quality of the side in the wider context of Australian football history, what is certain is that Ange Postecoglou and his boys (and many of them were barely old enough to be considered anything else) turned the highly physical and athletic A-League on its head. In a league where even the great Brazilian Juninho was kicked into submission, the Roar dominated with attractive, possession-based football that might have changed the aesthetic face of the Australian game.

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2010/11 A-League In Review

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2010/11 was the A-League’s sixth season and included a second extension in the length of season. After 21 games in the first four years, the A-League jumped to 27 in 2009/10 and then a 30-game season for 2010/11. The additional games allowed Brisbane Roar to accumulate the A-League’s highest ever point total for a regular season champion, amassing 65 points and finishing eight points clear of second place Central Coast Mariners. In fact, the Roar lost just a single game, a 3-0 to Melbourne Victory in Week 6.

Sergio van Dijk won the Golden Boot with 16 goals, including a hat-trick in Adelaide United’s 8-1 destruction of North Queensland Fury in Week 24. Thomas Broich led the league in assists with 12 for Brisbane, contributing to the most prolific offensive output in league history. The league’s best attendance came at Melbourne Victory and the three Melbourne derbies (as Melbourne Heart were introduced in 2010/11) were the three most highly attended matches throughout the regular season. Adelaide’s Marcos Flores won the Johnny Warren Medal as league player of the year as voted on by players, 18-year old Central Coast Mariners goalkeeper Matthew Ryan won Young Player of the Year, while seven of the eleven All-Star Team members came from the Roar.

In the Finals, Brisbane advanced to the Grand Final through a 4-2 aggregate victory over Central Coast. Adelaide and Gold Coast United played in the semi-final round with winning 3-2. From there, Central Coast outlasted Gold Coast in the Preliminary Final to schedule a rematch with the Roar in the Grand Final. Through full-time, neither side scored, yet four goals were scored in extra-time. Central Coast scored the first two from Adam Kwasnik (96′) and Oliver Bozanic (103′), seemingly winning the title. But a 117th minute goal from Henrique gave Brisbane life. In the game’s dying moments, Erik Paartalu headed in for the Roar to stunningly force penalties. From there, Brisbane converted all four of their attempts while Central Coast had two saved by Michael Theoklitos, leaving the Roar as champions of the A-League and holders of the Gold  Medal Trophy.

Despite substantial growth within the Australian and Kiwi sporting markets, the A-League did lose one of its member clubs. North Queensland Fury were wound up at season’s end, reducing the league back to ten teams. Other clubs struggled to attract supporters to their grounds even as 50,000 packed Suncorp Stadium for the Grand Final. The 2011/12 season is an important one and has both positive ground to build from and negatives to overcome.

Pos Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts
1 Brisbane Roar 30 18 11 1 58 26 +32 65
2 Central Coast Mariners 30 16 9 5 50 31 +19 57
3 Adelaide United 30 15 5 10 51 36 +15 50
4 Gold Coast United 30 12 10 8 40 32 +8 46
5 Melbourne Victory 30 11 10 9 45 39 +6 43
6 Wellington Phoenix 30 12 5 13 39 41 −2 41
7 Newcastle Jets 30 9 8 13 29 33 −4 35
8 Melbourne Heart 30 8 11 11 32 42 −10 35
9 Sydney FC 30 8 10 12 35 40 −5 34
10 Perth Glory 30 5 8 17 27 54 −27 23
11 North Queensland Fury 30 4 7 19 28 60 −32 19
Rules for classification:1st points; 2nd goal difference; 3rd goals scored.
Teams qualified for finals.
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