Dynasties don't last in the Hyundai A-League and Brisbane Roar aren't the exception to the rule.
Team: Brisbane Roar
Current position: Eighth | 25 points
The run home: Adelaide (A), Victory (H), Mariners (A), Heart (H), Sydney (H)
The question: What do Roar have left? Mike Mulvey has hardly had a warm welcome to his first full-time senior coaching job. The Roar fans seem to have made their judgement already, while the club lacks that over-arching philosophy that defined Ange Postecoglou-s time there.
But Brisbane, like Wellington and Perth, are victim to the competition-s zombie-making system; those at the bottom of the ladder are undead, clinging on to the last vestiges of life until they get a mathematical blow to the brain. Realistically, form says they-re out of the equation but they have to keep competing until the numbers tell them it-s all over.
Mulvey has tried to reinvigorate the still-reigning champions but surely now his gaze is moving to the future and what he must do to rebuild for the future. Because unless everything goes Brisbane-s way, this is the season they came back down to Earth.
The big match: Round 23 v Adelaide Roar have been living on borrowed time and if they don-t get a result against Adelaide, at least one of the three teams two points ahead of them will make that gap five points. Of course, they could get a break and get the three points they need to overtake them all - but what are the odds? Adelaide have been good enough at home to suggest this could be it for the Roar.
The Player: Besart Berisha It-s a bit unfair to dump so much responsibility on the Albanian-s shoulders but Brisbane need his goals.
The main problem, of course, is the paucity of supply and support from his teammates. Stef Nijland looks promising but he-ll have to integrate pretty quickly to have any impact. Either that, or the Roar are going to have start getting balls into the box for their striker to finish.
We say: Forget the past; Brisbane-s record-breaking days are over. Now they-re back down with the rest of the pack and they have to accept that. The Hyundai A-League doesn-t do dynasties or monopolies. They might not say it but the Roar know this season is beyond them. So go out with a bang and get everything in place to come back strong again next year.
Prediction: Ninth | 28 points