Notyalcsdrawkcab’s Weblog

October 6, 2013

A new Australia coach?

Filed under: Uncategorized — notyalcsdrawkcab @ 8:44 pm

Is Australia another poor performance away from biting the bullet and getting a new coach?  Possibly. 

Its not guaranteed that a new coach would come in and do better … Holger is a middle of the road coach who got us to the World Cup. 

Anyways, I got to thinking what I would like to see from a new coach. 

Fullbacks.  Never again do I want to see a centre back or a midfielder / utility gamely try to “do a job” in a position they don’t regularly play.  While Rhys Williams can “do a job” out at right fb, I’d rather see Ivan Franjic out there.  Or Pedj Bojic.  I want to see fullbacks lining up at fullback.  Yes, the talent pool is thin on the left, but Josh Rose is worthy.  At a stretch Stefannutto could do a job for Oz in that spot.  Midfielders don’t really know what they are doing out there in the fullback spots, while centrebacks struggle with the more open space, extra speed of wide attackers, and don’t integrate with attacking movements.  Boo.  

A team with a plan.  There was a moment in the Brazil game when Holman went forward to harry a defender with the ball, realised that he was the only guy doing so, made a funny face and threw his hands in the air in disgust.  Recent games are full of moments when players aren’t on the same wavelength, nor singing from the same hymn sheet, nor marching to the same beat etc etc.  

No more nursing players through games.  If player X isn’t match fit, or is struggling with an injury, or isn’t getting game time with his club – they don’t play.  

One rule for all – Neill keeps getting picked while Kewell misses out on the squad … neither had a club at the time.  

Horses for courses.  I don’t really see Kennedy as someone who can run at defenders on the counter, nor hold up the ball while runnings stream through.  So what was he doing starting against Brazil when we sat so deep?  

Hmmm, ok, i want lots of things.  There will be a coach after Holger, probably not before the World Cup, but after the World Cup?  Definitely.   



Hasebe Makoto

Filed under: Uncategorized — notyalcsdrawkcab @ 8:09 pm

Striker doesn’t look like a problem spot for the Samurai Blue anymore, but central defence and central midfield are … problematic. 

Makoto Hasebe – I am not a fan.  Its hard to see what he adds to a team.  Something feels like he is slowing down and isn’t able to cover as much ground as he could … despite not yet hitting 30. 

So I am checking out Who Scored . com – its fun, you see a very non-romantic view of individual players.  If you follow the Japan team, or any team in Asia – probably you will judge there players on how they compare to other players in that country, or maybe across Asia.  Yeah, Hasebe is the best central mid available for Japan … But who scored are comparing players against the players in their league. 

Their description of Hasebe is not very romantic / idealised at all.  No significant strengths.  Discipline very weak.  Crossing, tackling, defensive contribution – weak.  I giggled.  That description was an indictment!  If his tackling and defensive contribution are weak, then what exactly is he contributing?

But once I stopped giggling, I felt a little surge of respect.  Hasebe has had a solid career in the Bundesliga, and probably gotten every ounce of ability out of himself that he could.  He’ll never wonder how good he could have been if he really went for it.  No what ifs / I could have been a contender speeches here.  Worked his @rse off.  Got rewarded for it with a solid career. 

September 11, 2013

McKay isn’t a left back …

Filed under: Uncategorized — notyalcsdrawkcab @ 7:02 pm

But even a defensive specialist would have been in trouble if they were isolated on their own, with as little support as Matty got in the Brazil game.  No help from the centrebacks, not enough help from Oar.  McKay is the easy scapegoat. 

Would love to see Rose, Lowry, Davidson, Behich, hell, Steffanuto : ) get a run in a position they know and play.  But the improvement would be marginal without a better team defensive effort. 

September 8, 2013

If you are good enough you are old / young enough …

Filed under: Uncategorized — notyalcsdrawkcab @ 4:09 am

A lot of discussion following that rather traumatic morning was about generational change in the socceroos …

Its an older team, and the talent doesn’t stack up to that of the 2006 (and probably 2002 as well) squad. 

I also saw things this way before, but now, I don’t care about the average age of the squad, or of any particular player/s.  What i care about is … looking at the group, does it appear that each player understands what their role is, and are they able to play their role in the group? 

It appeared?  this morning that the plan was to play a defensive 4 – 4 – 2 … 2 blocks of four, cede possession but limit the space and hit them on the counter … with that kind of plan – big, slower, but strong and smart guys like Og and Neill and Jedi should be okay …

6 goals to Brazil says the plan didn’t work out too well.  And against a stronger opponent, ceding possession isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but i think i saw one aussie shot at goal … so in a defensive sense, the team did poorly, and in an attacking sense, the team did poorly. 

if the plan was to sit deep and counter, then it does lead to questions as to why Kennedy was playing.  Kennedy (who isn’t that old – 30 i think?) is tall and kinda awkward, and is not gonna scare anybody on the counter … nor is he gonna do the ridiculous amount of defensive work you would want from your lone striker when you are taking on a stronger team. 

The young attackers Kruse and Oar didn’t exactly cover themselves in glory in this game either.  Young or old, the only guy who I thought showed composure throughout the game was Bresc.  Who is as old as the hills.   

I worry about the age question and how much attention it is getting.  The question needs to be “are we playing well?” 

August 20, 2013

Who will hit the ground running

Filed under: Uncategorized — notyalcsdrawkcab @ 7:53 am

A-league clubs are having very different pre-seasons.  SFC toured in Italy.  WSW have friendlies in Japan.  Glory went to South Africa and Malaysia.  Adelaide stayed home.  BR have games against state league sides, and then some A-league teams coming up?  Victory played Liverpool.

My gut feeling is that tonking state league teams isn’t the toughest preparation, and I expect the teams that have taken on tougher opposition to start well.  Hit the ground running, as they say.  But I really don’t know.  But what these different pre-seasons do is give us something to compare.  Which will be very interesting.  Maybe a side that stayed at home, got their setup right and tonked state league teams start well.  Maybe SFC rips it up after playing Italian sides?  Maybe everybody starts about the same and it doesn’t make any difference whether you stay at home or go tour.  Right now we just don’t know.

I think now clubs can see the value the right coach brings to performance.  Will we also see greater fine tuning of club pre-seasons?

August 14, 2013

random thoughts – Japan vs Uruguay

Filed under: Uncategorized — notyalcsdrawkcab @ 10:20 pm
  • The Samurai Blue’s mojo has gone walkabout.  Maybe it is out partying it up with the Blue Samurai’s swagger, focus, and sense of how they want to play?  All things missing from last night.
  • Honda might want to play as a #10/central attacking midfielder/in da hole person … but is that really best for the team?  Several times, just outside the box, Honda gets the ball.  Holds it up, draws a couple of defenders, and slides a short pass to a wider player.  This wider player has no angle to shoot and a packed middle.  The Uruaguay defense seemed quite comfortable with this scenario. 
  • Kagawa isn’t a wide player.  Play him central or find him a spot on the bench. 
  • Endo and Hasebe … Stalwarts who have done a good job for Japan over the years.  But this partnership feels dull.  IF there is a dynamic CM who can win the ball and join the attack at the right time, then that player and one of these two would be a good combo.  Yamaguchi came on and instantly hit a good switch out to the right, and I thought “gee, haven’t seen that from Hasebe/Endo in this game”.  Is Yamaguchi a good player?  Dunno, he also gave away some cheap possession too …
  • Interesting Yoshida getting yanked.  Unusual for a CB to get replaced.  Zacc losing patience with Yoshida? 
  • Should Zacc be under pressure?  Hmmm, dunno.  If there was a better coach out there, you could see a better performance from the team.  But what are the chances of finding one of those?  Zacc isn’t a bad coach imho.  But an average one.  Unless a Japanese coach comes along and really impresses in the next couple of years, progress is gonna depend on developing better players – across the park.   
  • Every national team fan wishes their country had someone like Suarez.  Talent wise at least. 

July 26, 2013

Big visitors … next steps

Filed under: Uncategorized — notyalcsdrawkcab @ 10:08 pm

Fun times with the big visitors in town …

of the two, I think liverpool vs vic was my fave … the problem with an allstars is that there isn’t anything to get behind … who is gonna stand up and cheer for their all stars team?  their club team they will, but an all-stars?  no.  

Watched some of the friendlies in Japan, and was quite pleased to see most of the crowds at Urawa and Cerezo were home fans.  Which got me thinking … Dunno if they can do this, but next off season, if they could give first dibs to club members (from the participating a-league club), and active supporter groups, and have them in their own part of the ground … that would be pretty cool.  A chance to show off our fans, as well as our teams.  

And then have a second stage where club members from any of the clubs get second dibs on tickets, then it gets released public …

that would be a great way to promote memberships methinks.  And also give our home support a big promotion too.  

interesting that of previous visitors, juve got 40,000 in melbourne i think.  celtic got a decent crowd too.  boca juniors got 10,000 while fulham got 20,000?  its gotta be the right club.  hmmm, juve vs sfc might fill a big stadium in sydney … del piero vs his old team.  great storylines there …   not any old team is gonna fill a stadium.  would love to see prague bohemians 1905 visit.  after touring in the 20s, they took the kangaroo as their emblem.

not a stadium filler, but a welcome celebration of the game’s history in oz. 


July 20, 2013

That was hard to watch …

Filed under: Uncategorized — notyalcsdrawkcab @ 8:06 pm

Well, I watched Aus vs Kor till bout 60 minutes … the dodgy stream i was using was pitiful. 

And the game itself was pretty painful to watch too.  I really thought an A-league / Asian roos might come out and make a good showing.  The league is improving.  Teams are working on their playing out, their press, their spacing … there is a lot of good stuff happening in the a-league. 

not sure i can really speak about the formations used.  everything was so fuzzy.  i would prefer to see Zadkovich not on the field, and Thwaite not at left FB, but tbh these feel like minor quibbles.  As a group, the roos couldn’t deal with the Korean press.  We know the Koreans shot at the keeper a lot, but it would be boorish to belittle their finishing when we don’t KNOW what the Aussie finishing even looks like. 

I think that is the toughest game out of the way.  I don’t expect Japan to press like that, it doesn’t fit the approach they have been using imho.  China?  Dunno, but a veteren team i hear.  I think Japan and China will let us play in a way that the Koreans didn’t.  Maybe …

July 4, 2013

All Stars?

Filed under: Uncategorized — notyalcsdrawkcab @ 9:41 pm

Best eligible domestic aussie players at EAFF, Del Piero and Ono not available …

even if they were available … mmmm, errrr, ummm … all stars?  no thanks. 

Even the idea of all stars feels a bit contrived.  it feels a bit … USA in the 70s, a bit of borrowing from basketball (no prob with them in bball, it has a history and context there).  My preferred alternative – one of the clubs.  The simple choice would be Champion versus big fancy foreign club.  But why not turn this into another thing to play for? 

Day 1 of the season, the right to play in the touring giant game would be held by the champion club.  Lets give it a trophy and title, i dunno, “the people’s shield”, and it can look like a silver toilet cleaning brush (to go along with the toilet cover).  If the champion wins, they hold the “shield”, but if they lose or draw, the “shield” goes to their opponent.  Bit rough to lose it with a draw?  Yeah, this is a trophy for the brave.  It is supposed to change hands.  Unless someone pulls a super invincibles and wins every regular season game.  And on it goes till the end o the regular season, when whoever holds it is the winner. and they play a game against big whacking euro club, organised and paid for by FFA.  held at one of the mega stadiums in sydney or melbourne.  and the club gets a decent cut of the revenue too. 

Never had an original idea in my head, and not gonna start now.  Originally saw this idea over at Rob Marrs’ “left back at the changing room”, he was discussing it in a British context – its an idea he got from Rugby.  

By the time we also get an FFA cup, that would be a lot of different prizes to aim for.  Some may see a problem there, but I don’t.    Even the “all stars” isn’t a problem per se; just this is the alternative that i would like to see.

June 21, 2013

Holman’s choice

Filed under: Uncategorized — notyalcsdrawkcab @ 8:45 pm

Holman is going to the UAE.  A lot of people are thinking that he is taking the money, or taking the easy way out.  But i don’t think that is being fair on him.  Did he have other choices?  Oz players are not the flavour of the month.  Wouldn’t surprise me if he didn’t have other clubs calling.  Or if they were, maybe the offers were less than half the UAE offer.  Money isn’t everything, but it is a very good indicator of a person’s value / priority to an employer.  2010 was Brett’s coming out party, and for a while, he was the man for the roos.  I dunno if it is skills or temperment, but he needs to play in the central attacking mid spot to produce.  recent attempts to play him at left attacking and right attacking were pretty awful.  And i don’t see the energy / workrate / run that he used to provide.  for a while he was that headless chook / energiser bunny maniac who everyone loved / hated who couldn’t hit the side of a barn / was the only guy who looked like they could make something happen.  polarising.  but i think that stage of his career is over.  a year on the bench at aston villa doesn’t help, but i think he is an old 29 years old (or however old he is).  he is now a more mature player, with all the good and bad connotations that has.  calmer.  was pleasantly surprised by his passing against jordan.  woulda loved to see him in the a-league next year, but maybe we’ll see him there sooner rather than later. 

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