Right off the bat, it must be said that this edition of the Tuesday Teabag is probably going to get the underpants of certain readers more twisted than Tony Abbott’s understanding of quality of life.

It also must be said that the A-League is still very much a developing competition and its current phase is all part of the process. It also doesn’t help when half the country is against your growth but hey, that’s a story for another time.

With that aside, it needs to be pointed out and in the open that the A-league has become a competition where football careers go to die.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s great to have international names come and join our ranks and pull on the boots on Australian turf and this is by no means a “Hurr, keep your oldies to yourself” thing, but it’s pretty damn sad when the players that are coming over here drop off in performance considerably and are still picked consistently based on face value.

Are those that come to Australia to finish their careers expected to perform like world class footballers in their prime? Hell no. But on the other hand, it’s pretty piss poor when guys that were good once upon a time get a gig over young players that are the future of Australian football.

It was alright receiving oldies for a little while, but in recent years it has started getting a tad laughable. It’s as though these players treat the A-League as a holiday.

Let’s start throwing around a few recent names that have entered the A-League starting with two Aussies in Brett Emerton and Harry Kewell.

After 11 years abroad, Brett Emerton returned to Australia in 2011 after mutually ending his contract with Blackburn Rovers. While it was all well and good that an Australian son was returning home, Emerton retired from the game just over two years later without making any real contribution to the A-League. Sorry, it’s true.

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While Harry Kewell is still a viable starting option, the ex-Leeds, Liverpool and Galatasaray man still obviously treats the A-League as a circus. Although the reason for leaving Melbourne Victory after just the one season of 2011/12 was justified, his decision to return after only three games with Al-Gharafa in the Qatar Stars League and then sign for Melbourne Heart is baffling. Although he still contributes on the field, he rarely manages to get out on the pitch for the Heart due to injury.

One year later, Alessandro Del Piero, Emile Heskey and Shinji Ono entered the fray, although Ono has well and truly proved himself as a consistent performer.

Alessandro Del Piero is a curious case. Having spent 20 years with Juventus, Del Piero decided to end his career in the A-League with Sydney FC. There’s no questioning that Del Piero has made a contribution but now the shine has worn off and if you wipe away the novelty, he is a near-40-year-old man that is currently more renowned for going down easier than a Balinese escort than his abilities.

The acquisition of Emile Heskey from Aston Villa was and continues to be a really poor joke. Considering Heskey is best known for being incomprehensibly bad, that’s pretty much all that needs to be said. If there’s a way to raise a metaphorical banner reading ‘we will take anybody’, it’s by signing Emile Heskey.

To round off the hall of shame, let’s shine the light on some new acquisitions this season: Pablo Contreras, Michael Mifsud and William Gallas. If ever you needed examples of terrible acquisitions, just look at Contreras and Mifsud.

Contreras has spent his career being shipped around the globe, playing for 10 separate professional clubs. Since moving to Melbourne Victory, Contreras is heralded as one of the worst A-League signings ever due to his inability to clear a styrofoam box out of the way, let alone a football. Mifsud follows closely behind with nine clubs to his name and while Contreras has floundered in defence, Mifsud is just as useless up forward for Melbourne Heart.

Then there’s William Gallas, the ex-Tottenham man that you’d be excused for not even knowing was playing here. Usually signing ex-Premier League names is great for the A-League’s exposure but has anyone actually talked about Gallas? It may be because he lives in the barren wasteland that is Perth but between relaxing and being injured, Gallas is still yet to make any contribution. In fact, his biggest highlight so far was his failed clearance that led directly to a goal against Western Sydney Wanderers.

So why is it that all of these players enter the competition and flounder? Aside from the obvious being their age, the A-League seemingly sends out the message that the competition is not serious or we are just existing for the sake of existing. Either players go in with this mindset and get proven wrong like in the cases of Emerton, Heskey, Contreras, Mifsud and arguably Gallas, or they simply treat it like a holiday like Del Piero and Kewell.

While this article is hardly going to stop A-League clubs trying to lure aging footballers to play here because the merits of having them on name value helps the competition’s growth, there has to be a line drawn somewhere.

We are coming off as the desperate mid-40s woman that is running out of time to have a child and taking anything she can get her hands on. Maybe it’s time to get some standards, A-League.

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