Saturday, February 14, 2009

Victory 4 v Adelaide 0 - could have been anything

I watched in amazement. 36,000 Victorians came out to see a repeat of season 2's 6-0 grand final. And they just about got it. Ernie Merrick said Melbourne played their best game ever. I believe that. And Hernandes, off the plane from playing for Costa Rica, played the best game for an individual so far in four seasons of the A-League. Yep. And the stats show that. Hernandes - one goal and the other three assists.

Coach Vidmar disclosed after the game some startling news. He said the result was caused by some issues 'that have been around the club for some time.' Crikey. What they are was not spelt out. Ownership? Funding? Player infighting - most likely. So many Adelaide players are on the move it is hard to pinpoint who would be at the heart of it.

Travis Dodd talked about the performance being 'garbage'. And needing to think about whether they want to be here. Both Dodd and Vidmar questioned whether the club should be anywhere near the finals.

They will use these words to build for next week against the Roar. And it may work. But even if it does, could they possibly face up against Melbourne again.

I can see Frank Farina trying to shield Roar players from this hype. After all I think over talking and thinking this is what got the Mariners and Adelaide into their messes. Both went out saying how tough they were going to be. For the second game in a row Sasa Ogenovski went in hard and got an early yellow card - for negative benefit. Cassio, clearly over-whelmed by the game got himself a second yellow card then gave the crowd an 'up-yours' fist. (My theory is that Sasa, a real handful for the Roar - causing fights with team mates 2 or 3 times could be in the thick of it, as could Cristiano - who sometimes comes across as a hothead and has been mysteriously benched for key games).

The Roar now (again) face their biggest game. Because with Melbourne already qualified for the Asian Champions League, next week's Adelaide v Roar is the most important game. The winner gets to go to Asia. And gets big name Asian teams playing in front of their home crowds. And gets agents pushing the best foreign players hoping to show their stuff on Asia TV. That is why next week is so important. Particularly for the Roar. That exposure will engage the sports mad people in Brisbane in football.

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