Sunday, August 31, 2008

Roar 2 v CCM 4

The Roar off season focus on attack and neglect of defence has come to roost. A-League teams are usually built from the defence forward.

After two games of domination and no result, the Roar either had to show their striking talent has teeth or face the consequences of an off night. The Central Coast defence was a solid wall. There was no way through for the Roar, and both Roar goals came from spot kicks.

At the other end the Roar defence clearly has some holes to fill. But worse than that CCM played negative long ball counter attack all night and their speed and strength made it highly successful.

For the Roar Sergio Van Dijk is starting to look like a Marcus Wedau style mistake - was there too much of the idea of a Dutch striker and not enough of the reality check of the physicality of the A-league? Strangly I read in the paper that he said that the A-League pays players a lot of money. Well I think the Roar pays him a lot. He just isn't strong enough it is as simple as that. He is too weak in the air. He can't run fast enough.

Meanwhile, Reinaldo and Miller are the Roar's strongest players but have an inadequate target man to bounce the ball off.

Overall the Roar remind of their season one team - not mature enough to win penalties and free kicks when fouled, pushed off the ball when goal bound.

And the defence - young Matt Simon made them look slow and foolish, as did MacMaster.

It will be interesting to see how the Roar respond. We don't want to be left behind with Perth and Wellington as not quite there.


ed said...

John, I'm gutted. They did not even give a good account tonight, and that is not like the roar. I wonder if all this young guys v old guys stuff is breaking moral? They never looked in it. Appart from the penalty (blatant red card!!) Bozza did not have a save to make. I cant write about it tonight because I'm too disapointed. Will do it tommorrow.

Anonymous said...

hi john,

i think it is a bit rough calling the mariner`s tactics negative.

i thought they went forward with purpose and skill. i thought we basically got outplayed

but hey, one of the great things about footy is that 4 people can watch the same game and come to 4 different conclusions.

interesting you noted van dyk. for mine, the two buzzers M and M were strangely subdued.

do you think the young wide players are missing the ogmonster? seems like there aren`t any more long diagonal passes leading to one on ones where they can run at people. zullo doesn`t look like much if he isn`t running at defenders. i am starting to think that zullo, kruze, minniecon etc might find it hard to match what they did last year, let alone build on it.

hi ed,

re old guys - young guys, it`ll be a shock at first, but competition for spots is gonna be a positive in the end i think.


john said...

Honourable Clayton san

I just can't agree. Kruse and Minniecon need to start. Reinaldo needs to move into the centre.

The crowd around me could not believe that Frank subbed Reinaldo - we had assumed it was going to be Van Dijk.

A similar pattern emerged with Marcinho last year - he was given a number of starts, then dropped or benched never really making it back in.

It will be interesting to watch the 'recruitors' pride. But for me van dijk was found out - just like YN Zhang and Wedau before him. Nice style but soft. He proves that Pim was wrong when he said on the bench in Europe was better than the A-League - or maybe he meant the premier leagues only.

The other fact was the crowd; sub 13,000 and Lang Park is an echoing caven.

Van Dijk just isn't up to the A-League. The rumour is that we paid $200k to $300k for him and that Reinaldo is on a small retainer with bonuses. $200 to $300 buys you Petrovski, 3 Matt Simons, a Dada, an Archie Thompson... He is not in this league.

The Roar still dominated possession. We let them beat us with defensive errors. (CCM have perfected a negative long ball game with a brutal defence - the style that FFA have been telling junior coaches that they don't want - so brief your refs). Defensive can be fixed. Fundamentally DeVere look sound. I though Moore was out of position most of the game. DeVere need to work to learn to cover Moor's wims. But a weak striker has to go.

Unfortunately, I do not expect Zullo to start next game. Compare him to Matt Simon. Simon was faster, stronger, a better shop. Only Robbie can beat that...

Dr Zen said...

We were mostly played off the park. Maybe it doesn't strike Aussies as fiercely as it does us Poms, but it's quite noticeable that all the players who have played in Europe put their foot in, while all those who have played only in Australia tend to jockey the opposition. Because of this, and also because they're midgets, our midfield was pretty easily overrun. It's no good blaming the defence when your midfield is poor. It doesn't help that McKay isn't at all creative, much too often looking to lay it off to a defender, rather than get it forward. We'd do a lot better with a high-pressure style than we do by trying to play patiently, particularly given that we do have some pace. We're noticeably more direct and much much better when Charlie Miller has the ball. He was outstanding and should be a model for the rest of our midfield. It's not just about running around a lot, which for sure the two Ms do. You have to do something when you get there.

Reinaldo is a pisspoor striker, and he's no better at right wing. Re-signing him was just terrible. It's not great when a player's number is cheered when it comes up on the fourth official's board.

Zullo has disappointed since his emergence. He isn't quite quick enough to beat fullbacks consistently and he's not strong enough to get much change out of bigger, more physical types. He and Kruse are way overrated by the fans. They are decent prospects but neither is a superstar or likely to become one. Nichols looked a decent bet though. Is he injured or something? Odd not to see him even on the bench.

I'd strongly prefer us to play 442 and put more pressure on other sides. Our defence needs to be better organised. It's not that they're slow. It's a lack of understanding, and I hate to say it, because I love him as a player, but Seo occasionally goes missing--it's no use playing Reinaldo on the righthand side of midfield (among many other reasons) because he does not track back and cover for Seo. I'd like to see one of Tiatto or Seo in midfield alongside Miller. We were badly short of a ballwinner, and for the past couple of seasons, we've allowed most goals through the middle, which is shocking. You can't blame the defence if the midfield just lets guys run through without a challenge: it's awesomely hard to defend against that. Minniecon should start on one wing: he definitely does have the pace, but I wouldn't be crying if he played up front--he'd make a decent foil for van Dijk. If we're going to play Murdocca, we should play him on the right, where he can indulge his love of running with the ball. He does much better when he plays positively and puts defenders under pressure. Van Dijk would look a lot better if he had a partner. I don't agree that he's not strong enough. He simply didn't have enough options. Charlie Miller worked hard to be there for him, but it's asking a lot of Miller to be our creative force in midfield *and* second striker *and* cover for a midfield that doesn't enjoy tackling. We are awesomely negative under Farina: our 433 looks like 451 way too often when we are going forward. It's easy to mistake being busy in the middle third for actually attacking. If you watch Sunday's game again though, you'll see that the Mariners are constantly looking to get forward while we often lack purpose. Sadly, Farina seems to have learnt his tactics in Italy, but we don't have sufficiently talented players to play that technical style very well. Each year, the A-League is most strongly contested by sides that play directly and with a bit of bastard about them. We have the personnel for it imo and fourth just is not good enough. We'll be lucky to get that much out of this season though.

john said...

I cheered Reinaldo to praise his efforts.

Ed Vegas said...

Dr Zen, I dont agree with aboute everything (for starters I have discovered what causes the Lang Park Hoodoo is - all will be revield shortly, but I can reviel that a more direct style wont help - ooh mysterious), however I agree that we need a ball winner in the middle of the park, just dont say it too loudly or Dodd will be back. For me, it has to be Tiatto - with the experience of he and Miller in the midle we should be much more effective.

As for Reinaldo and Zullo - they did not ahve great games but the insesant long balls did not do them any favours (particularly Zullo). I agree with you about Van Dijk - He is probabley not the wonder signing he was sold as but he has set up two goals - just seems a bit shot shy.

Minecon is very very fast and will surely play a big part this season at some stage.

I think saddling the two little guys with the defensive duties without a genuine hard man (Dodd/Tiatto/Seo) to protect them stoped M and M from driving forward and we lost the link to the front guys - forcing us wide but the clever fisher folk were ready and in most cases had the wingers well covered/smothered.