Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Kosmina's smoke screen to cover his choke

First we hear from Kosmina that Sydney's players aren't going to the Socceroo camp. Then they are. Then that he wanted to buy Tiatto for Adelaide. Then that Tiatto's temperament is always going to make him a target - for diving as we saw. Then John tells us that the Roar choked...

Wait a minute, he does protest too much. He is putting a circuit breaker in for his team. Take the pressure off Sydney's choke, far worse - at home in front of their fans and in front twice and they still can't take the title.

Sydney's draw was worse than the Roar's glorious loss. John Kosmina has been talking as fast as he can to fill up the space left by Sydney's choke in twice going ahead and twice being draw level by an under strength and under motivated Melbourne.

Melbourne blooded their new young keeper and crafty old Corica put one under him in the first few minutes. But that was what it was about for Melbourne, playing their last professional game before the Asia Cup. Trying new players and moves away from home. Melbourne had already proved their capabilities and were back on a winning streak. Sydney faced the reality of playing in front of 65,000 fans in two weeks and only managing to kill off one game (v Roar 0-0) and let go the premiership in the other.

The Roar on the other hand faced Adelaide whose coach was facing the sack after losing 4 in a row and whose team had been both way out of form and full of injuries. Plus the retirement of one of their stars as motivation. Adelaide were prepared to win at any cost. Adelaide's remedy, target Moore's injury and Tiatto's reputation. Dive after every touch and near touch, even goading the next generation of Socceroo into - as the reply clearly shows - cheating. Encouraging the crowd to chant for Tiatto's blood. Was Travis Dodd really hit that hard by Tiatto's slapping hand. He looked like he was going to die - but no by a miracle he was up throwing punches at Tiatto as he walked off. (Does this remind you of the Portuguese tactics against Wayne Rooney to get him sent off in the 2006 World Cup?)

What else is an amateur ref going to do?

And it was Angelo Costanzo's big wink that showed what his team were about - winning at ALL COSTS.

No Sydney had none of that to contend with. So John Kosmina instinctively knew he had to say some controversial things to protect his players from the press questions about their major choke. Afterall, he now has the same chance as the Roar to get to Asia in 2009.

(Does anyone remember the famous spat between Malcolm Fraser and Bob Hawke when Mal boasted about his Oxford grade until Hawke pointed out that at Oxbridge a glorious failure is considered better than a labourious pass?)

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