It’s hard to know what to truly make of Brisbane Roar’s season, there were so many variables to it.
It-s hard to know what to truly make of Brisbane Roar-s season, there were so many variables to it.
Roar had to come to terms with the loss of Ange Postecoglou, the man who redefined the club; Rado Vidosic-s promotion was first hailed, then lambasted; Mike Mulvey was lambasted, then hailed, as he turned the rudderless Roar around mid-season and back into the finals.
Unlike their football in recent seasons, Brisbane have been anything but smooth this year. For much of the season they were disjointed on the pitch before finding form at the right end of the season.
Defence Brisbane were one of only three sides to concede less than 30 goals throughout the season - the other two being Western Sydney and Central Coast - and when you look at it like that it is clear defence was never really a problem.
Despite the season-ending injury of skipper Matt Smith, the signature of Jade North, whose three-and-a-half-year contract got some sniffy responses at the time, has proved an excellent addtion to the squad. The sometime Socceroos- wealth of experience has balanced the likes of Hingert and Donachie, as Roar conceded just 11 goals since round 16.
Midfield It-s plain to see Brisbane have a wealth of talent in the midfield and their engine room is as talented as any in the competition. At the end of the season it was revving at a high rate, earlier on… not so much.
Looking at the darker part of their season, Mitch Nichols seemed angry at everyone, Erik Paartalu had departed mentally before his deal to Asia was eventually done, Thomas Broich was a shadow of his former self. The flashes of brilliance were there, they just weren-t consistent and that-s what hurt them.
Come the back end of the season and they began to click, Broich was back to his best, Nichols was vocal in the right way and the additions of Luke Brattan and Stephen Lustica were working brilliantly.
Broich now leads the league in assists (10) and the mids chipped in with their share of the goals, Ben Halloran leading the midfield with four.
Attack Controversial Besart Berisha may be, but the Albanian knows how to put the ball in the net. Fourteen for the season falls short of last season-s total of 21, but he has remained a shining light for Brisbane this season.
He defends from the front and is always a handful for defenders the league over, he just needed a partner up front.
Overall , Roar-s 33 goals was sixth in the league and given Berisha netted nearly half, it-s fair to say their attacking structures still work reasonably well.
Coach Rado Vidosic began the season as the coach of the Roar, promoted from the role of Ange Postecolglou-s asisstant. Just a handful of weeks into the season he was given the dreaded “vote of confidence” from the board and it wasn-t long before he was sacked.
Successor Mike Mulvey was met with little fanfare from Roar fans, who even went to the lengths of taking signs to the games demanding his sacking, before and after the club bizarrely announced his two-year-deal at a doorstop press conference at Brisbane International Airport after the disappointing ACL qualifying loss to Thai side Buriram United.
Despite all that, Mulvey worked hard to impress his style on the team and they have gone into the finals full of confidence and good form.
Despite criticisms that a team who endured such a terrible season could get a shot at the title, Roar are now genuine contenders and the semi-finla against Western Sydney will show us just how far they have come under Mulvey.
Rado Vidosic: 11 games, 3 wins, 2 draws, 6 losses; 11 points from a possible 33. Mike Mulvey: 16 games, 7 wins, 3 draws, 6 losses; 24 points from a possible 48.
Brisbane Roar Overall Grade: C