Monday, October 01, 2007

Round 6 update

Inconsistent refereeing set the tone for round 6. While a dive and Leandro Love wink for the cameras and an ignored wrestle to the ground of Reinaldo allowed Melbourne to get their first home win, both Central Coast (Tony Vidmar) and Perth (Dino Djulbic) appeared to cop dubious 2 card dismissals. In both cases going down to 10 men proved match crushing blows.

The wins for Adelaide and CCM pushed the Roar to second last. The win for Sydney has taken the pressure off Culina. And like the pass-the-parcel game, the focus now switches to Ron Smith in Perth. However, given that player selection and salary cap are made pre-season, it is difficult to see what the options are for the Glory. Smith is a highly credentialed coach who appears to have been forced to operate under both a tight budget and the miss-fortune of player injury.

I am very impressed with Frank Farina. Before he came to the Roar my picture of him was informed by the footage of SBS chasing him up the Socceroo tunnel. However, he seems cool under pressure. he has given the likes of Milicic an Lynch a fair go and is now likely to move onto a start of Zullo and Nichols. Farina was expected to dull down the game - like other teams have. But he has stuck to football as entertainment. Good on him.

Unfortunately, to attack and win you have to be substantially more skilled than your opposition. Otherwise in throwing so many forward, gaps eventually appear at the back. Particularly, if defence is your weaker area, as it appears to be for the Roar (and as, interestingly, conceded by Craig Moore 'The two goals we lost were schoolboy defending' in this week's Sunday Mail page 102 an 103 'Too soft, too slow').

My guess is that Roar management have agents charging round the world seeking to fill this year's 6 week guest spot. My advice to them is to go to Fox and Hyundai (Hyundai subsidised Sydney FC by $450,000 in its first season to get Dwight Yorke) to pay. I recon they will need to fork out big time of anything quality at this point. The Roar is the second most popular team after Melbourne and the only Australian team playing attractive football. The A-League needs the Roar in the Top 4.

The trouble is the best performing teams are those that have built on A-League (and NSL performers) - or the NZ national team. Foreign players are huge gamble.

I feel that the FFA will regret giving Wellington the nod over a Gold Coast team this season. We may find that a NZ team winning is far worse for football in Australia than a NZ team losing.

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