Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Adelaide 1 v Antlers 0 - Adelaide go Asian top 4

Adelaide will pick up a $1.6m pay check which will push them to the top of the A-League sustainability stakes. Plus they will now have massive recruiting power for foreign players (happy to accept the lower salary capped pay today for longer term opportunities). Particularly those wanting a shop front into Asia. That they are not in this seasons championship should matter for little.

Look at the Adelaide team structure - all physicality, something the Asians could not match the 2nd time around. Further, Sasa Og's move is totally vindicated, and despite his poor behaviour, he looks the hero. It is a lesson for his former bosses who worried about him picking on the little ones. Can they learn from this?

This club has shown other A-League clubs the power of ruthlessness at all levels. They are very prepared to ditch poor performers, perhaps even before their contracts are up.

There is no sentimentality. No dud hires. Don't be surprised if their under-performing marque Agostino gets a gentle shove. Clearly Adelaide has been building to this achievement from day one. Well from the NSL days - but they did fantastic recruitment for season one and few have caught up.

And of the match, could have been 3-0 but for open goal air-swings from Travis Dodd and Agostino. Took about the only threatening Adelaide play of the 2nd half for Cornthwaith to head in a nice cross from Cristiano on 72 minutes. The Antler keeper escaped a bullet in the last seconds as he handballed - outside his box - out of Christiano's path for only a yellow. No matter.

The real shame is the lack of a substantial fan base for Adelaide. Few Australian youngsters will even have known that this match was on, or what it should mean for football here. Few will hear of it tomorrow. And the result, the cash and the reputation will lockout the growth markets.

As noted before, the A-League set-up favours the small teams and low growth potential markets.


Anonymous said...

all the soundbytes i have been hearing is that the current asian champions league setup is a loss making proposition for everyone except the winner. but you would love the opportunity wouldn`t you.

having said that, perhaps the champs league participation also helped adelaide land their main sponsor - sakai (a japanese company).

i am a little surprised how mute the response has been; i thought this result was pretty effin amazing, but the response from eastern state media has been muted. this is a great result for the a-league.


john said...

My guess is that Adelaide costs between 1/5 to 1/10 of the top teams. They will be making money.

Look it is finals in the other codes, the A-League is making no real cut through. The header for the Courier Mail - buried 10 pages in on a bottom corner was about Cornthwait making up for a own goal. Hello they are top 4 in Asia.

Simon for CCM shows the AFL problem, none of the Roar youngsters are as strong. All Qld tall, strong guys are playing AFL. The AFL trumptered a major 16 year old convert from soccer to the lions AFL team a few months back.

Anonymous said...

well, the sound bytes i saw were the reds owner saying he was spending money to compete in the champions league. it could be just pr talk though.

no surprise the mainstream media wasn`t so interested.

the surprise was that the response from the soccer media on the web was also muted. some new bloggers collectives (real football, the 84th minute) didn`t have much, the sbs site, the 442 site ... all kinda subdued.

just had soccer training today and a couple of the jap guys were saying how impressed they were with adelaide, knocking out last year`s champs / this year`s third place team.

i am really hoping a midget can come along and kick ass. maybe patafta. probably someone else. if we obsess on the physical side of the game, we will miss out on so much talent.

if you check out any writing by tim vickery ( a pom in south america), you`ll see two recurring themes. one is gilberto silva is a waste of space. the other is that the brazillian obsession with the physical game and countering has left the country with no talented central midfielders, left the country incapable of matching the football it played in the 70s.

there is a technical element to physical play - you need anticipation, balance and touch to not be knocked off the ball, to shield it ... dunno if our qld kids get enough training in these skills.


john said...

I didn't realise till tonight that Sakai are an earth equipment coy.

I tried to introduce the world's biggest nickle coy, Brazilian CRV - whose Australian head office is Brisbane, to the Roar last year. But they were not interested. Too Dutch.