Sport Football Glory days long gone out west

Glory days long gone out west

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Glory Days is a Bruce Springsteen song, a sentimental piece of filler on side two (remember when albums had sides?) of Born in the USA.

It’s not The Boss’s finest hour – an ode to sitting around, drinking and talking about the old days.

I wonder if Perth Glory still get together and do the same thing – gather round the old shed, sink a few Emu Bitters and talk about how good things were 10 to 15 years ago, with Bobby Despotovski scoring for fun, Con Boutsianis swerving in pile-drivers and Bernd Stange beaming beatifically at it all from the sidelines.

What they wouldn’t give to be able to go back to the time when they were a powerhouse of the NSL, drawing huge crowds and winning titles, because the Glory of today are a shambles.

Steve McMahon, Alan Vest, Ron Smith, Dave Mitchell, Ian Ferguson and now Alistair Edwards have fallen in the A-League era, unable to reignite a club that was, in their late 90s and early 2000s pomp, a flagship of Australian football’s potential.

But now the Glory are well and truly off the pace. That ship ran aground long ago.

You’d think a club owned by a man named Tony Sage would be blessed with a little more foresight.

At the time of Ian Ferguson’s sacking in February – less than 12 months after steering the club to an A-League grand final and with a year to run on his contract – it was reported Glory would be embarking on a worldwide search for a replacement.

At the end of that exhaustive hunt, they found the best man in former Glory player Alistair Edwards.

There were rumours Ferguson had lost the dressing room, and Edwards went down the same road.

His fate was sealed by a falling out with captain Jacob Burns and other senior players (Michael Thwaite, Danny Vukovic and Steve McGarry) over his team selection – specifically the use of his two sons, Ryan and Cameron.

Sage had moved in to try and sort out the impasse, and said he was shocked Edwards would not budge from his stance that Burns should be sacked by the club.

Between a rock and a hard place, Sage decided Edwards should be the man to make way.

So, either Sage and the club made the wrong decision a few months back on their ‘worldwide search’ for a coach, or they’ve made it now.

Glory CEO Jason Brewer denied Perth is a club where the tail wags the dog, but recent evidence suggests Perth’s underperforming and vocal senior players should take a good, hard look at themselves.