There is nothing worse than watching a sports star in freefall, and when one does witness it, you have to wonder who is advising them and taking care of their reputation and guarding the respect they have earned.
Frank Farina, former Socceroo and head coach of the national team, the blue-eyed boy and favourite son has struggled in the coaching world. Yes he won the old NSL with Brisbane Strikers, but with a team essentially put together by Bruce Stowell. The follow up season saw them at the bottom of the pile.
As national coach one cannot compare his reign with that of Guus Hiddink’s, his successor, as Guus was quite simply given what ever he deemed necessary to make sure Australia qualified for the World Cup in 2006. Something Frank was never given, nor Hiddink’s successor Graham Arnold in the Asia Cup campaign.
At the Brisbane Roar, one would have to say that the team under-achieved under Farina. The talent was there for all to see but the results were mediocre.
This season saw his position as coach terminated and he has since issued a writ suing his former employers.
That being the case why would you continue to write a column on football in Brisbane? As sadly whatever he writes now appears like sour grapes. Surely the money from such a column is not that important?
This weekend a simple comment which may to all intents and purposes be true had a bitterness about it. “The current regime can try to take all the credit they like for the performances of these youngsters, but I was the one who signed them during my time as Roar coach.” When referring to the performances of youngsters Tommy Oar, Michael Zullo and Adam Sarota.
In the West – not the newspaper – we witnessed the same bitterness in Stan Lazarides after Dave Mitchell understandably did not renew his contract, now his opinions to the footballing public no longer carry the weight they did.
It is sad to see players who have given so much to the game lose the publics respect so easily. Is it not better to just walk away and let the bitterness fade and then come back and give a balanced and experienced opinion in the future? This short-term gain ends up leaving long-term pain.