Sunday, September 21, 2008

Physicality - all you will ever need (Sydney 3 v Adelaide 0, CCM 2 v Melbourne 2)

Wow. Wow. Melbourne do it again with just 10 men. And an Archie special in the last 4 seconds.

But the real message from this and the Sydney/CCM match was the A-League is now all about speed and strength combined. If you don't have this physicality across the park, you are making up the numbers.

Adelaide have now achieved more than any Australian club - of any football code, ever. Hats off to them for that, holding Japan's top team to 1-1 in the heat and humidity of Japan was amazing. But too much even for their physicality plus team - too much football and traveling. Sydney smashed them. Aloisi's role is now decoy but that is another story. 

CCM v Melbourne underlined what the A-League has become. A physicality arms race. And Matt Simon has been perfectly nurtured (scoring twice). He smashes through defenders - bowls them out of the way - and no free kicks. That is what you need in a striker. Forget the mamby pamby flicks and tricks - the good defenders aren't going to fall for that.

And the game's defining moment? in the 59th, Mr Physicality - Sasha Petrovski goading  Michael Theoklitos into treading on his foot and getting a straight red. How times does this happen unnoticed in a match? This is going to encourage the crowding in the box that Fox says they hate. Well it gets rewarded. 

Melbourne, down to 10 at 1-1 it looked like Central Coast's day, but that was before CCM defence relaxed with 4 seconds to go, and thinking Archie was offside left him to his devises. I say spare a though for the 2 other young Australian keepers that Mark Bosnich is keeping on the sidelines. 


Anonymous said...

matt simon`s two goals both involved some technique.

the first goal used a chestdown, one touch to settle the ball, then he slotted it past the keeper. the second was zinger of a header.

he deserves more credit than he gets because there is an element of skill to his game.

granted, he does look like he thinks he is playing rugby sometimes ...

as for adelaide, they rested how many players? they are understandable concentrating on the midweek match.

what song has added to that jets side. i wish the roar had got him. a technical player that plays his game whilst adapting to the physical side of the a-league.

sfc, by taking a chance on shannon cole, have signalled that they are interested in technique. the guy is two footed, can send them in better than anyone else in the a-league and he couldn`t get a spot in the first 2 seasons? can`t defend, but he adds more than he takes away.

evan berger getting a chance and taking it down in melbourne. one of the smallest players in the a-league is looking like a very decent left back.

i think there will always be a physical edge to the aussie play. we`re big, we eat meat, we like to kick people. the trick will be not relying on that physical edge alone. and not excluding people just because they are different (small, slow, fat, skinny etc).


john said...

Great review Clayton san

Berger is also very physical, but I agree he looks the goods.

It is how Simon gets there - to the goal - that I was getting at. Contrast with even Kruse who can get thumped off the park. Simon was prepared to bash Danny Tiatto and see what happens - which is Danny's weakness.

Anonymous said...

hmmm, physicality is an issue. last year at the business end of the year vs sfc, kruse getting past his player, only to be kicked from behind. repeatedly. that was fun, wasn`t it. maybe frank thinks he is protecting the youngsters by not overplaying them. but the season is slipping away. they need to play, and they need to punish teams that bash them. punish them with goals.

the tone of the season is set by the FFA and their referees. when referees swallow their whistles, or even worse, use them inconsistently, thuggery is rewarded.

yesterday`s game at perth had a blatant body check on dadi that should have been an automatic yellow. not giving the yellow was a message, "do it again".

i don`t wanna lay into the refs though. i think they need more support and training than they currently receive. i would love to see some kind of ref exchange with asia, maybe with the j2 or k2 leagues (i don`t know if there is a k2 league, but if there is).

did you follow the old league? what did you think of the physicality back then?


ps. playing your own game (running at defenders, tricks and flicks etc) even when it leads to a constant kicking takes strength of character. c. ronaldo, (arrogant though he is), ignores the retribution and plays the game his way.