Last Friday night’s crowd for the opening game of the Hyundai A league season between Perth Glory and North Queensland Fury was superb, and all those who turned up deserve to be congratulated. The big question is will they be back in a fortnight?
If they came to see Robbie Fowler roll back the years, maybe not, he was far too peripheral in the game, and the Jelic/Fowler combination lacks pace and will only reap limited rewards. Coach Dave Mitchell said after the game that Perth Glory ‘did not play to his strengths.’ This is what has always made his signing baffling. Perth Glory favour attacking down the flanks and whipping balls in, rather than playing the ball through a man ‘in the hole,’ so where was Fowler going to slot in, unless you had his predatory instincts in the six yard box. There are times when it looks like he was signed more as a marketing ploy and to show those on the East that Tony Sage can attract big name players. How much input did the coach have on his signing?
If they were not there for the Fowler factor, which we hope, and were there for the football, they certainly saw an entertaining game. But would they have been impressed with the atmosphere?
It was incredible how quiet it was in the ground with the clubs biggest crowd. Talking to the Fury afterwards, they said they were expecting a wall of noise. When the fans went quiet with Glory at 1-0 up they felt buoyed and when they took the lead and silence descended on the ground said it was amazing.
This appears to be a trait in recent years that Perth Glory fans in the main only sing when they are winning, however there is a pocket of true fans who try and spur the others on to get behind their team. This is not like the sport we do not mention, in football you are expected to support your team for 90 minutes.
Bernd Stange called Perth Oval a ‘Cauldron of Fear,’ but sadly NIB Stadium is far from that based on Friday night’s support.
The Glory must perform well this weekend with what remains a weakened squad if they hope to replicate such a crowd against the Jets. Otherwise the clearance issues with Mitchell and Baird could be more costly than the club realises.