Sunday, January 28, 2007

Midfield Victory!

Having no Talay for the Newcastle match meant I was really worried about how we would stack up against the strong midfield of the Jets. McFlynn and Milligan were unreal in the first half! McFlynn had the wood all over Carle, allowing the 3 midfielders and Brosque in front of them to run riot in the attacking 3rd. This pairing kind of reminded me of the one Butcher sent out across the Tasman in Round 5 but using them in the 4-2-3-1 with the attacking players in front of them really made the difference compared to the 4-4-2 used back then when McFlynn and Milligan lined up as the only ones in the centre of the park.

I want to apologise to Butcher for giving him hell just after half time for taking off my still man of the match, Terry McFlynn for at the time what I thought was no reason. You could see just how much the game changed under his absence and the one player less in the midfield for the introduction of Petrovski. Now I have not been a fan of the bloke since his outburst against Butcher and subsequent links to various other clubs and I can never tell if Petrovski is just out of form or if he is not giving his all for the club or manager that he really doesn’t want to be pulling on the shirt for. Sydney just weren’t the same in the 2nd half and I hope that some of the bashers of the 4-2-3-1 formation can see that just by putting “another striker” up front it will not make us play more attacking or dominant!

The game is set up perfectly for the away leg. I’m pretty confident that we can score and at least nab a draw to go through. With Melbourne failing to score in Adelaide tonight in what would have to be one of the contenders for poorest game of football this league has seen, Adelaide are now favorites for the tie to me, with hopefully Sydney facing the loser. Although I would love to play Melbourne in the Grand Final down there, I really think Adelaide will now take the tie and we will be playing the tards next week. Either way I can’t wait until Newcastle away on Friday!


Monday, January 15, 2007

Penultimate Round

Whenever we lose the bagging of the formation that Butcher plays begins. Now I have not been the biggest fan of Butcher over the year but the guy is growing on me and I definitely have no qualms with the formation he plays. The only thing throughout the season I have bitched about is the selection of who plays where in the formation.

4-2-3-1 is an attacking formation! Everyone has in there head this idea of “a lone striker” system that all the other players must be sitting back. There are three attacking midfielders sitting behind him, with the idea being that they run on and flood the defense with quick movement.

The formation is not the problem, it is who is where within the formation! We do not have one player on our books who is perfectly suited to the lone striker role. Petrovski is the best option in that he his built but can move well but I am worried about his commitment to the team and if his head will explode and he will just think “oh fuck it” with his supposed arguments with Butcher and imminent move to Japan.

In my opinion, Brosque needs to be one of the midfielders which only leaves Zdrillic remaining. It is a gamble to play him but I can’t see any other option available to us for the time being.

Carney needs to be given some time of the bench and come on as an impact player. He has come out with all guns blazing in the first half of the previous two matches and then goes missing in the 2nd half only to be substituted by players with no impact value. Let Carney do his damage in the 2nd half (And no I don’t mean stupid 85th minute substitutions that we are all used to seeing now!) when he can run at tired defenders.

So after all this, the formation I want to see played next week is the 4-2-3-1 with:


With Milligan and McFlynn both injured and with Sydney needing to win, I’d like to see Butcher take the game to Qld with Corica and Talay providing the passing and vision in midfield and Brosque pushing further forward in the 3 man attacking midfield to support Zdrillic a lot more than previous weeks. Cut the wingback shit that hasn’t worked all year and play an actual defender, in Topor-Stanley. There is no option for the other side of defense so Ceccoli retains his spot again…

We couldn’t have asked for a more exciting final round and Its only increasing the appeal of the league that so many teams are still vying for a spot in the playoffs. Bring it on I say!


Saturday, January 13, 2007

Becks Transfer

Well the David Beckham move to the MLS has finally happened! Beckham has agreed on a move to the Los Angeles Galaxy at the end of the season. He is set to earn a record $320.4 million $AU from the deal which includes his salary and sponsorship deals.

Although this has nothing to do with Australian football on the surface, I think it does have some aspects that we should look to learn from. The MLS is similar to the A-League in that each team is restricted by a salary cap. The MLS has a limit of $2.4 million $AU for a 28 man squad where in Australia we have a $1.6 million cap for only a 20 man squad. Both competitions have adopted the same “marquee player” policy with one player on the squad allowed to be paid a salary outside the salary cap. Obviously the LA Galaxy believes that David Beckham’s marketability outweighs this salary but seriously, is that even possible?!

This amount of money being thrown around is not the best thing for the sport in general but it’s great for the game in the US. Beckham has stated that his reason for going to the US is because “everywhere else in the world soccer is big except for America and I want to change that.” I mean it couldn’t be for the money, Hollywood lifestyle and potential business opportunities once he is done with football could it? J You can decide if this is good for football or not....


Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Great Start....

Now two weeks back from the A-League Christmas break and I’m sorry for the length between posts but I’m updating to the “New Blogger” and haven’t been arsed to work out how it works until now. I was going to do a bit of a double up post, combining what I thought would be a straightforward win over New Zealand after the excellent result away at Newcastle on New Years Day. How far off could I be?

Newcastle, the whole day was awesome. The crowd, the occasion and for me the result and way that we came out in the 2nd half all guns blazing with purpose in the final 3rd! New Zealand last night is the opposite. The club screwed thousands of fans by bringing the kick off time forward an hour. I went for a walk at half time then came back and was so shocked at the amount of people that weren’t there before! Dead set close to 5000+ of the 16 000 people I would say had come late. The only reason I knew of the change was because I read the fans forum. If I was a part timer and were screwed around like that then I sure wouldn’t be keen on coming back!

New Zealand nabbed an early goal off a set piece, with Bunce beating Bolton at the near post. They continued to push forward in the first half and played some alright football. I am interested to see where Marcina will go in the next few seasons. The second half was however a different story with the same old Kiwis coming back into the picture. Throw everyone behind the ball and hope for the best. Sydney dominated possession and yes had about double the shots of their opposition but severely lacked that killer edge and final ball. I have said for the last few weeks that Brosque is definitely not Sydney’s answer to the lone striker’s role in this system that Butcher will not budge from. He got lucky with two scrappy goals in his two previous games playing in this position which is not where his strengths lie. I just hope for Asia that the loss of Petrovski to Japan encourages us to sign a marquee striker! Again at the risk of sounding like a broken record, Butcher if you want to play attacking wingbacks then buy ones who can cross!!!!

The post game function was another eye opener. When accepting the man of the match award Bolton said: “It’s hard when only half of your team is giving it their all while the other half is taking it easy and bludging.” With the most dejected look on his face. He would not name names to the request of the crowd and I don’t want to speculate *Cough Zadkovich* but meh…. This isn’t just a negative comment because we lost but I genuinely believe the club has deep problems. Give the squad an overhaul and employ players that will suit the system you want to play!

Best part of the night in my opinion was having the Barmy Army there in support of “Whoever’s playing Australia.” Some good banter with the Cove and it was nice having away supporters singing back…. Even if they weren’t really fans J The award for best traveling support 2006/2007 goes to New Zealand Knights. Get that into ya’ Melbourne! It was good that the Kiwis went and clapped “their” fans after the win, as a thank you. Well, made me laugh anyway! J