Nine years ago, we played the Mariners in this very stadium, full of 50,000 people. What a massive difference it makes having 46,000 of those people lose interest in the team/worry about COVID-19. The last time we had Corona in Suncorp we had way better crowds, but alas, the Spanish midfielder moved on before flights were cancelled.
The 4,000 strong crowd tonight were segregated to ¼ of the stadium, the part of the stadium out of camera shot, must have looked amazing on the broadcast. The stadium felt empty, you could feel the chill of the autumn air and hear your voice echo through the stands. I was up in the corporate seats and I swear at one point I could hear my mum’s conversation from down behind the benches. It is a shame attendance took a hit this weekend because the active support had really started to take shape again in the last few games, tonight there looked to be about 20 people in the den.
I know I continue to say it, but I’m sick of Fowler football. It is dull and robotic. I know we have been getting the results lately, but that shouldn’t be what football is about. It should be about taking risks, trying new things, being creative, telling a story with your feet. There is none of that in this team, the only one who has passion on the pitch is Wenzel-Halls and his game time has been inconsistent. Muratovic is showing promise but my greatest worry is his creativity and passion will be crushed out of him to suit the system rather than nurtured. If we played good football and lost every week, I would enjoy that more than watching this team go out and finish the game every week. Because that is what we do, we finish it. There is no playing, no enjoyment. They just perform, and finish.
Something that really peeved me is Muratovic and DWH not getting the chance to play together again, instead AAH came on. It puzzles me why he continues to get game time when he doesn’t fit the system or the team Fowler has built, not that he gets much time but it seems like a waste of an international spot when we could use that on a playmaker who could make our team more interesting and more creative. There is a reason Thomas Broich is the best player we have ever had in this league; he was beautiful to watch because he was creative and passionate, and you just knew he loved it. He wanted to be there every week, through injuries and constant fouls on his body, he wanted to be there, and he wanted to play.
It has been nine years since the love for this club was imprinted on me. Nine years since I first watched Broich, Henrique and Matt McKay. Nine years since I started to bleed orange. Those players were the first ones to show me what it meant to be a fan and a supporter, I know it is a high bar to set, but I want to feel that excitement to come week in week out. Through wins, draws, losses, blood sweat, tears and laughter. I want to see those players enjoy the game, play football, play with each other and for each other, for the club and for the fans.
The best moment of the game came when McDonald scored a ghost goal. I had looked away after the goal was disallowed for an offside only to hear cheering and see everyone hugging. I thought there was a mass confrontation or something out of nowhere. Turns out it was a very long VAR decision to award the goal on a tight offside decision. Lucky for that Assistant Referee he had no one behind him to give him a spray, in fact he had no one within 200 metres of him.
It’s a shame the last home game of the season wasn’t more interesting, but then again with 4,000 this week, maybe by the next home game we’ll be under 500 and allowed to go ahead! Really makes you think, would there be a difference in atmosphere playing the remainder of the A-league season behind closed doors with a turn out like that?
By Kianna Aquilina