Saturday, November 29, 2008
Sydney 1 v Roar 1: Some ideas
At the beginning of this season it appeared that every young up-and-coming player wanted to play for Sydney. Now they can't wait to get out. Perhaps the answer lies in having to take less pay, than other clubs would have stumped up, to secure your birth. Once you are in it is all pressure pressure pressure to perform or loose your spot. Sydney's track record of making the finals would seem to make it a low risk decision, but this season the players are experiencing the downside of being outside the top 4. Add to this many players went to Sydney as a showcase for the Socceroos and European clubs. Pim put the kibosh on the Socceroos entry and Milligan (supposedly he was going to Arsenal) showed Sydney players how hard it is to get a decent Europe contract. Now they, along with Newcastle players seem to all got the message at once and want out.
And it shows in the way they play.
John Aloisi must be very frustrated. Last night he made Van Dijk at the other end look very good. While the Roar could mark their strikers one-on-one, with Moore covering Aloisi, it took two Sydney defenders to sit on Van Dijk. Great for the Roar as it opened up Minniecon and Zullo.
Again it was the Roar that should have won this match. While the Roar outplayed - outclassed - Sydney till the against the play equaliser in the 63rd, it was Miller leaving the field in the 38th or so that changed the game. Before that he was weaving his magic including a goal bound shot that was stopped by a Sydney forearm. His replacement, Tiatto, usually looks great it defence and less so in attack. Last night he looked very creative in attack opening up Minniecon and Zullo. Unfortunately his defensive error led to Corica's knee in.
Very impressive again was the cameo from Mitch Nichols, whose cannoning header looked most likely to create the win for the Roar. This year Mitch is re-developing the X factor he had at junior levels. He has a tenacity and fighting spirit that can go missing from the Roar up front. - McKay's brilliant poached goal from Minniecon's shot was another example of it at work in the team - Mitch just does not give up on balls and he is sky high with confidence. It would be a shame for the Roar to let this guy go when next year he could emerge as a star. Let's see him start Frank.