Sunday, November 20, 2011

Newcastle 1 v Brisbane 2... sets up the big one Brisbane v Perth Saturday 26 - 6:45pm November

Early in the first half Brisbane had crazy misses. Besart found himself clear twice. The first time he fell over. The second he took too long. Then Issey failed to take his chance.

Then Newcastle settled into their 3-4-3 formation with Ruben Zadkovich outpacing Erik Paaratlu, Broich having his quietest half of football ever with a few well timed elbows in the head from Kasey Wehrman, and Newcastle playmaker Ryan Griffiths occasionally looking dangerous.

Humidity was high - 85% - but this should have favoured the Roar. 
Massimo Murdocca was the only player to run all day through the heat and he was clearly Man of the Match, dominating the midfield and setting up the goals with great lead up passes. Not quite Mitch, but he stepped up. 
Mo Adnan had his first full game for the Roar - should have got some game time last week - and was very, very shaky in the first half. Plus Ivan Franjic was playing injured and didn't break forward with speed. But the problem turned out to be Matt Smith playing while sick and he came off at half time. But not before Griffiths had scored for the Jets - with Mo out of position.

The first 10 minutes of the 2nd half were bad for the Roar. And Newcastle will be disappointed they did not seal it. 

But then Brisbane, Ange had been yelling for them to play forward, surged. The turning point was the 52nd minute when Newcastle keeper Ben Kennedy had his nose broken in a scramble with one of his defenders. 

Massimo pushed forward and the ball reached Issey on the right. Our man Besart Berisha ran across the 6 yard box left to right and drew a defender and the keeper, while the ball raced across from right to left from Issey and Henrique won the race with a Newcastle defender to push in. From there Brisbane lifted. Instead of Newcastle playing high and dominating possession, Brisbane played their own game. 

For the last 30 minutes of the game, Brisbane always looked like scoring. Murdocca played a key role racing away with the ball from the wrong side of half way and pushing through to Broich, Henrique, Issey and Besart and later Luke Brattan and James Meyer.

Besart had a tough game and ended up arguing with the ref a few times. He will have to watch that. It isn't going to go his way all the time.

As soon as Brisbane got back to their game, Newcastle could not keep up and their game plan fell away.

Jack Hingert had his first time for Brisbane coming on at half time as right back and looked very strong and pushed forward like we would expect from Franjic. This allowed Mo Adnan to move to centre back where he looked very comfortable and dominated the air and much more relaxed and made some critical tackles. The move freed up Shane Stefanutto and then Erik Paaratlu and the midfield started to move off the ball. In the 2nd half, this brought Broich back into the game from the left. But he was hampered by the heat and passed, rather than shot, at key moments. But Ange has directed that they get a small number of high percentage shots rather than a high number of very low percentage shots. And Newcastle didn't get there because they shot too early, or shot when there was no goal to be had, or just missed 50-50 shots and headers. On the other hand, James Meyer can shoot from distance and may be the answer when teams 'park the bus'. Meyer first timer from a cross from a short corner 3 minutes after coming on for Henrique in the 83rd minute, sealed the game. Newcastle were not coming back. Even with 7 minutes of extra time.

As a side note, the colours of the two teams, Newcastle home and Brisbane away were very close and the ref seemed to get them mixed up making wrong calls on fouls and hand balls.

Note to FFA, 6:45pm next Saturday - these times are all over the place making it hard to remember or plan.


Hamish Alcorn said...

Good comments John. I was annoyed with myself for sleeping through the first half of the game. Got myself to the pub for the second.

Typical Roar taking half a game to get into their groove, but with a virtually untried back line and a second-string midfielder it's pretty understandable. The professionalism is that they figured things out and came back, again.

And credit to Newcastle. They play a very similar system. Even saw them playing out from the back under pressure. Their pressing game is only going to improve and by bringing it to Brisbane they just got the best training match for their system possible. They'll bring what they learned against us into every game hence, unlike Melbourne and Phoenix.

Thanks for your continued work. Cheers.

john said...

thanks Hamish

Anonymous said...

Hi John,

Interesting that you saw Massimo as the man of the match. I didn't think he underperformed, but I think that expectations for what he should be giving the team have gone up. Not expecting him to "do a McKay", but as well as providing the short option, pressing constantly, and passing and moving - he should also be shielding the ball and passing forward. More.He could be the X factor for the roar.


john said...

Honourable Clayton san
massive to hear from you.
Going to the Perth game?
Will they have any players (Liam Miller their best just sent off v Melbourne and their are down 0-2)

Anonymous said...

Hi John, Yup - had a great time watching the roar this season (missed the Welly game - same time as my Sunday basketball league).

Heard there was a nice comeback by the Glory to get the draw. Dunno who will be on the pitch for them, but you still gotta beat whoever is put in front of you.