I was watching the Melbourne Heart on SBS2 last Friday night and looking at the crowd, there was more noise coming from the West Sydney Wanderers crowd than the Heart supporters. It occurred to me that the Wanderers have established a profile because they are linked to an area of Sydney, whereas the Melbourne Heart supporters are probably made up of soccer fans who do not follow the Melbourne Victory. The Heart really needs a profile that people can relate to, otherwise I can see them disappearing before too much longer. This is compounded by their inability to win games. They really deserved a draw against the Wanderers, but didn’t have the class to capitalise on their opportunities. It doesn’t help that Harry Kewell can’t get on the park. Whoever owns the rights to the Heart should consider relocating to Geelong or establishing a base in an area of Melbourne which has a strong soccer culture.
I was also interested to see that George Bailey and Mitchell Johnson have been named for the 1st Test starting next week in Brisbane. I think naming George Bailey has some risk based on his performances in India where batting records were established with big run chases, so clearly the pitches were batting friendly strips. His 1st class average is below 40, but then again so is that of Alex Doolan who was the other batsman in contention. My guess is that the selectors opted for Bailey because he can assume the captaincy should Michael Clarke’s back let him down again. I think if Cameron White can turn a few of his 50s into 100s then he could come back into contention as well.
Turning to Mitchell Johnson, we all know that at his best he is a redoubtable cricketer and a fine
fast-bowler, but at his worst he is a liability. He has probably got another chance because of the injuries to the young incumbents and while I remain sceptical, I certainly hope he strikes form and punches a few holes in the England batting order.
Great to see Jarrod Lyle make a good comeback yesterday and let us hope he makes the cut for the Australian Masters.
Have a good weekend all!