Perth Glory are close to completing the signing of Mile Sterjovski as their marquee player for the forth coming season, and as signings go it will be a good one for the Western Australian club. One that could see them score the required goals to get them into the finals for the first time.
However with all due respect for Sterjovski, should he be a marquee player, in fact should Jason Culina? Prior to that should Zelic, Aloisi or Mooore, have been?
Of the list above Craig Moore has been far and away the best performer of the Socceroos to return home; the question is however do his performances warrant marquee status and a salary of in excess of $400k? Does he put an extra thousand bums on seats? Has he taken Queensland – now Brisbane Roar to a championship?
It may sound harsh, but I do not believe that these returning Socceroos deserve the marquee status that they are afforded. Some of those mentioned came back well after their “use-by” date had expired, Lazarides, Zelic and Foxe to name three, yet all commanded salaries way beyond what they game back on the pitch.
Surely if we are honest there are only two outfield Australian players who would warrant the status of being a Marquee player, and they are Kewell and Viduka. The latter however would be wise not to consider a move back to the A league, as with his injury woes of late it may damage the excellent reputation he has. The sensible thing to do would be play the World Cup and then retire with his head held high.
Schwarzer would be another that warranted such status, but those of us who pay to see a goalkeeper are few and far between.
Culina will be on a far bigger salary than Sterjovski, and the pressure will be on him to perform. The last thing we need is another Aloisi. It was sad and painful to watch Aloisi struggle last season. Yet was it really a surprise? When he joined the Central Coast Mariners they were riding high at the top of the league, when he joined their form dipped, as his style of play did not suit the style that the team had been playing.
Which raises the issue of these returning Socceroos needed to find a club that suits their style best rather than chasing the big dollars or their reputations will be damaged in the long term. Secondly they say it takes a foreigner a season to settle in the big leagues in Europe, could that not be the case here in Australia too, as the pace and skill level is, whether we like it or not, far removed from the top leagues of Europe.
Yes, we need the not so big names to return home to boost the A League, but being also-rans in terms of being top names, no matter how hard the A league clubs try and pump them up, do they warrant the big bucks? Maybe a performance-based salary would be a better option. Then the fans will not feel ripped off and we will see who has come back to play and who hasn’t.