The disaster / dumpster fire / trash can derby. Battle of the cellar dwellers. Wooden spoon snoozefest. The coach sacking race. This game has many names, a few highlights, more lowlights, and more reasons to stop talking about Fowler and his Liverpool days when Brisbane Roar and the Newcastle Jets are fighting to NOT BE LAST.
Let’s get this out of the way to begin with, lest I again be accused of being a Wanderers fan again (just a Georgevski fan). I am from Brisbane, I do love the Brisbane Roar, and I will marry Jamie Young in a heartbeat but I weep at what this team has become. Before twitter rages that this “article” is one sided, lets break the game down into pros and cons and then look at the bigger picture for both the Roar and Jets.
Line up changes
Mirza Muratovic and Bobby Burns, the baby debutants for Roar and Jets. Bosnia represent for Muratovic! I could feel his mothers happiness from my couch and the fact that this story will be told everywhere they go for the next 50 years. Moj sin je igrao za Brisbane Roar! Burns was meant to study mathematics at university and instead pursued football and thank heck for that because the kid can move. Both of these youngsters were clearly brought in to help their struggling teams and be the spark they so desperately needed. Brisbane also had a few surprises in Hingert finally back from injury and O’Donovan on the bench looking like a surly kid sent to time out. More line-up changes which I think most of Brisbane wanted to see!
Know when to take your chance
Bravo to the Jets for knowing when to capitalise. We will get to Bowles and the shocker of a game he had but Hoffman and Petratos knew to take their chances – taking advantage of a defender not doing his job and being there to collect the ball that Young failed to grab. It was a great goal from the Jets in the 32nd minute after they had absorbed a lot of pressure from Brisbane in the first 20.
After 85 minutes of fumbling around the box and not really doing anything to excite, Brisbane finally got it in man (thanks to the group chat for this one). Inman managed to take what looked like a wayward touch forward, move it from left to right, and then shoot his shot 100% on target. It was an amazing strike after a pretty boring second half that produced few chances for both teams.
As mentioned earlier, I am known for being a Young fanatic. I admired Crocombe in the early games but definitely raged that Young was left on the bench and during last nights game I had friends messaging me to make sure I didn’t injure myself when celebrating Youngs saves. In the final 10 minutes of the game, Jets threw all they could at the Brisbane goal. Young manages to punch away a Jets corner, getting knocked in the chin and going down to the ground. Thurgate then kicks in a magnificent cross and Young, who has barely gotten up from the first save and is wrong footed manages to jump and deny what looked to be a guaranteed goal.
It was Jamie Young doing what Jamie Young does best and it is the only part of the game that got me to crack a grin.
Ready for the cons….
Jets needed to do more
After the wonderful opening goal, Jets surely knew they needed to come back into the second half and secure their win, but their attacks lacked gusto. Though the final minutes were entertaining and with lots of pressure from the Jets, it all felt a little too late. The midfield seemed to fall back to defence far too often, signalling that they thought Brisbane would do more (lol) or lacked confidence in themselves to truly push forward. Port Macquarie Pele with some of the best chances for Jets but with a lack of support from the mid, it is why the draw probably feels like a loss to the Jets.
Same old Brisbane story
Brisbane with the early pressure, greater possession, and disciplined defence – for the first 30 minutes. Then the opposition capitalises, Brisbane are down a goal, and we go into the break. Brisbane now hold some truly horrendous statistics in the form of:
- Not a single goal in the first half of a game this season
- The lowest percentage of match time in a winning position
- An average of one goal per game this season
See @RovingRob on Twitter for the data.
The problem for Brisbane is now twofold: they are failing to score at one end and letting easy goals slip at the other. Though Young is the true GOD, he can only do so much when our defence is lax and we are playing outside the box for 90 minutes.
Oh buddy, you are getting singled out for what must be the worst game ever. From letting Hoffman waltz right past you because your back was turned away to trying to rugby tackle most Jets players and somehow only getting a yellow in the 56th minute. Worst of all, Bowles, wanting to make up for the mistake that resulted in a goal, kept pushing himself forward into positions he should not be in and then running back for defence. There were so many grubby tackles I was ashamed and if you are going to force yourself to take a header then do better then a hair flick and swish past the goal.
Final rant with some statistics!
I am going to end on a small rant about Fowler and why I am not going to defend Brisbane this season. Unlike the many fan accounts who want to pretend it is all good that we hold possession and do nothing with it or that Fowler is god because he once played for Liverpool, I want to look at the statistics. After 12 games, Brisbane currently have 5 losses, 3 draws, 2 wins, and 2 byes (bless uneven teams). In the 18/19 season Brisbane had 4 draws, 1 win, and 7 losses. Thankfully, Brisbane cannot mess up a bye but it is fitting to note that on this same date last year (28th December 2018) we let Aloisi go for poor performance. Sure, the 17/18 season wasn’t exactly a booming success, but we ended on a high note. Hilariously, looking back, we also had a very similar start to that season with 6 losses, 4 draws, and 2 wins. Do we have to repeat that again?
I am not arguing that we should fire Fowler just yet (come back to me in four rounds time) but let’s be realistic about the current teams’ performance. Brisbane (currently) ain’t shit and everyone knows it. We need to make changes, youth need more game time instead of just hoping they will perform miracles when brought on, and perhaps we need to acknowledge a few international transfers are treating this like a summer vacation instead of a league I so desperately care about.
Brisbane are ending the decade tied bottom of the ladder, only because the poor Jets have a worse goal deficit than us. This is not something to cheer about. I am sure Jets fans are feeling pretty defeated too but at least Ernie acknowledges their faults instead of blaming the fixtures, money, or playing around with bench placement.
As for the Jets (sorry this article has been so Brisbane focused!), it has been a weird start to the season. After some heavy defeats and holding the lead against Brisbane for so long, this draw must sssuuuccckk. Last season was a mixed bag but with some decent wins so this start is far from what you would have expected. To me, you were the better team but failing to get another goal or really go on the attack was punished by a random Brisbane and they screw you out of a win and me of a truly rant worthy article.
What a freaking note to end on! Let’s hope the new year brings us both better results but lets also be realistic about how to achieve that. Happy new year!