Ange the man to coach the A-League All Stars
Coaching the A-League All Stars isn’t about simply medals or championships, it’s about Australian fans believing in the beautiful game.
Picking your favourite coach from a league of contenders, to lead an All Star selection against arguably the biggest name in world football is no easy matter.
First, you have to get past your own club loyalties and instead think with your football brain.
What matters here is not domestic rivalries but ensuring we have a coach that will show the best of our burgeoning league, play the right kind of football that will show those who think of Australia as some kind of footballing backwater that we are developing and improving.
In that respect, it-s no surprise that Ange Postecoglou won the fan-s vote to coach the A-League All Stars when they take on Manchester United on 20 July.
Let me just qualify that statement by saying I mean no disrespect to the other coaches in the Hyundai A-League; all of them are striving to improve the quality of our competition every week.
And it must be noted that Postecoglou faced stiff competition from two men that have built their own reputations on brilliant football teams.
Central Coast coach Graham Arnold has made the Mariners simultaneously the smallest and biggest club in the league. The one premiership Arnie has won with the Mariners seems scant reward for the consistent excellence of his team.
And then there-s Tony Popovic and Western Sydney Wanderers, the phenomenon. We all know the story, we-ve all seen Wanderers play and heard the Red and Black Bloc sing. Premiers and perhaps double-winners in their first year of existence? It might just happen.
But a job like the All Stars requires something else. Something that goes back to the truism, strikers win games, defenders win titles.
We want to take Manchester United on in style, to show them that we can play instinctive, technical football. And for all the other coaches- qualities, who has provided more thrilling attacking football in the last three seasons than Ange Postecoglou?
He broke records as his pass-and-move Brisbane Roar side won back-to-back championships in a style the rest of the league is now trying to emulate.
He-s been unable to match that consistency in his first season with Melbourne Victory but who can argue his team haven-t provided some of the most scintillating attacking football when, with everyone fit, Marcos Flores, Marco Rojas and Archie Thompson have combined so spectacularly and so creatively.
There are some qualifiers to this game… We will lose some of our best to the Qantas Socceroos as they compete in the East Asian Cup. And we can-t expect Postecoglou to invest a disparate squad with the same qualities of his own club within a matter of weeks.
Of course, we all know this is a showpiece, a bit of spectacular entertainment that means little in the long-term. But that matters - we want to entertain. We want to do our very best.
Coaching the A-League All Stars isn-t about simply medals or championships, it-s about Australian fans believing in a beautiful game, the beautiful game.
We want to impress United and Sir Alex Ferguson. We want to show the rest of the world - and the other codes in this country - that we mean business.
To vote visit a-leagueallstars.com.au and start selecting your Foxtel A-League All Stars team.