Jonathan Howcroft

Author's posts

Jan 07

Graham Arnold is the standout candidate and should already be Socceroos coach

Coach of every national team should be the same as the players, a free market off the field of play is contrary to the idea of country vs countrySix weeks on from Ange Postecoglou’s resignation and a month since the announcement of a many-handed recrui…

Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/football/2018/jan/08/graham-arnold-is-the-standout-candidate-and-should-already-be-socceroos-coach

Dec 26

World Cup qualification to FFA crisis: Australian football’s ‘weird’ year

Postecoglou’s legacy is unclear and the A-League in decline, but evolution of FFA is an opportunity to alter the status quo2017 was a weird year for Australian football. It was the best of times and it was the worst of times, occasionally simultaneousl…

Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/football/2017/dec/27/world-cup-qualification-to-ffa-crisis-australian-footballs-weird-year

Dec 09

A-League: Western Sydney Wanderers v Sydney FC – as it happened

Sydney FC thrash Western Sydney Wanderers 5-0Adrian scores twice in player-of-the-match performanceSky Blues move eight-points clear at the top of the A-League 11.00am GMT The Sydney derby rarely disappoints and this magical fixture turned on the style…

Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/football/live/2017/dec/09/a-league-western-sydney-wanderers-v-sydney-fc-live

Dec 07

It’s been a long time coming, but Fifa intervention means FFA change is on the way

Opting for a body consensual in nature but under Fifa/AFC direction, resolution should occur with minimum of damageIt feels somewhat perverse to praise Fifa’s acumen during a week in which its handling of Russia has re-alerted the football community to…

Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/dec/08/its-been-a-long-time-coming-but-fifa-intervention-means-ffa-change-is-on-the-way

Dec 03

It is in football’s best interests for Fifa to intervene in FFA crisis

After two years of failure to resolve the governance crisis, Lowy’s suggestion of further meditation is fancifulLater on Monday, in a conference room in Zurich, the 19 representatives of Fifa’s Member Associations Committee will gather to sift through …

Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/dec/04/in-footballs-best-interests-for-fifa-to-intervene-in-ffa-crisis

Nov 26

Will FFA AGM resolve Australian football’s governance crisis?

Fifa intervention a real possibility with ongoing concerns over gerrymandering; gender equity; a second division and moreFootball Federation Australia’s Annual General Meeting takes place in Sydney on Thursday. This is the final opportunity for Austral…

Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/nov/27/will-ffa-agm-resolve-australian-footballs-governance-crisis

Nov 21

FFA Cup final 2017: Sydney FC beat Adelaide United – as it happened

Sydney FC beat Adelaide United 2-1 after extra timeSky Blues complete clean sweep of domestic silverwareMichael Marrone sent off after knocking over ball boy 11.41am GMT Related: Sydney FC’s FFA Cup triumph marred by melee after ball boy pushed over …

Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/football/live/2017/nov/21/ffa-cup-final-2017-sydney-fc-v-adelaide-united-live

Nov 19

A-League must cede to national interest and grow World Cup contenders

The prosperity of the Socceroos should be a shared ambition, even when it conflicts with club interestsTwo days before Australia’s nil-nil draw in Honduras, Brisbane Roar announced the signing of Ivan Franjic. It is news that has understandably receive…

Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/football/2017/nov/20/a-league-must-cede-to-national-interest-and-grow-world-cup-contenders

Nov 05

Success of Dimitri Petratos a case study for future success of A-League

Young Australians with high talent ceilings should be given multiple opportunities, despite competitiveness concernsIt was another historic weekend for the Petratos family. 24-year old Dimitri shone for Newcastle Jets as they trounced Wellington Phoeni…

Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/football/2017/nov/06/success-of-dimitri-petratos-a-case-study-for-future-success-of-a-league

Oct 29

Lack of meaningful debate reigns over football’s proposed second tier | Jonathan Howcroft

Decisions about how the game is run in Australia continue to play out with a lack of transparency or accountabilityThere was an all-too brief but nonetheless glorious moment on Friday afternoon when meaningful debate on the future of Australian footbal…

Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/oct/30/lack-of-meaningful-debate-reigns-over-footballs-proposed-second-tier

Oct 15

FFA crisis: simmering civil war promises to boil over in public | Jonathan Howcroft

After Football Federation Australia angered A-League clubs by calling an EGM, an amicable conclusion appears as distant as everWhen Football Federation Australia announced last week that it had called an extraordinary general meeting on 1 November “to …

Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/oct/16/ffa-crisis-simmering-civil-war-promises-to-boil-over-in-public

Oct 15

Sydney FC continue winning start, Jets held by Glory: sportwatch – as it happened

Sydney FC 3-2 Wellington PhoenixNewcastle Jets 2-2 Perth Glory 11.17am BST Sydney FC cemented their status as A-League favourites as a brace for Bobô proved the difference, after Wellington fought hard to give the defending champions several scares.Gra…

Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/live/2017/oct/15/newcastle-jets-v-perth-glory-and-more-sportwatch-live

Oct 08

Newcastle off to a flier as Central Coast preseason’s fantasies prove short-lived | Jonathan Howcroft

Led by their creative trio, the impressive Newcastle turned their new coach’s tactics board into a counterattacking clinicThere’s something life-affirming about the giddiness that precedes the opening round of the season. The “it’s got to be our year!”…

Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/football/2017/oct/09/newcastle-off-to-a-flier-as-central-coasts-preseason-fantasies-prove-short-lived

Oct 05

A-League: off-season recruitment augurs well for new season

Despite war between clubs and FFA and a summer full of big sporting events, A-League fans have much to look forward to

If the turmoil wasn’t so familiar it would be tempting to regard the 13th instalment of the A-League as cursed. On the eve of the new season clubs are at war with the governing body (again), the Socceroos are shredding nerves in a World Cup playoff (again), and the once clearish air of midsummer will be tested like never before with an Ashes series, an ascendant Big Bash League and the nascent AFLW competing for attention. Fortunately, the on-field product promises to be robust following one of the smartest off-seasons of player recruitment yet.

The season kicks off tonight with Melbourne City hosting Brisbane Roar at AAMI Park. City will be without Tim Cahill, who 12-months ago was almost single-handedly responsible for any hype around the competition. This time around he will be recovering from the first leg of Australia’s AFC playoff against Syria in Melaka and preparing for the vital second leg in Sydney on Tuesday.

Related: A-League 2017-18 season preview part one: the teams bubbling under

Related: A-League 2017-18 season preview part two: the outside chances | Jonathan Howcroft

Related: A-League 2017-18 season preview part three: the title contenders | Jonathan Howcroft

Related: Next Generation 2017: 60 of the best young talents in world football

Continue reading…

Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/football/2017/oct/06/a-league-off-season-recruitment-augers-well-for-new-season

Oct 04

A-League 2017-18 season preview part three: the title contenders | Jonathan Howcroft

It’s the third and final instalment of our A-League season preview – AKA the if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it edition. There’s no prizes for guessing which teams we reckon should be challenging for the championship and premiership during the 2017-18 campaign, with another Sydney FC vs Melbourne Victory ding-dong on the horizon.

Related: A-League 2017-18 season preview part two: the outside chances | Jonathan Howcroft

Related: Tony Popovic quits Western Sydney Wanderers on eve of A-League season

Related: A-League 2017-18 season preview part one: the teams bubbling under

Related: David Squires on … the governance crisis threatening Australian football

Continue reading…

Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/football/2017/oct/05/a-league-2017-18-season-preview-part-three-the-title-contenders

Oct 03

A-League 2017-18 season preview part two: the outside chances | Jonathan Howcroft

The second of our team-by-team guides looks at three sides with bags of talent but hamstrung by obvious frailtiesPart one: the teams bubbling underIns: Mitch Nichols (Wanderers), Scott Neville (Wanderers), Jacob Poscoliero (Mariners), Jake Brimmer (Liv…

Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/football/2017/oct/04/a-league-2017-18-season-preview-part-two-the-outside-chances