Notyalcsdrawkcab’s Weblog

January 24, 2010

A love letter to Central Coast Mariners …

Filed under: Football — notyalcsdrawkcab @ 9:54 am

This might seem out of place, coming after a post about Ronaldhino …

But my respect for the Mariners has become admiration.  The high points this season have been quite high – and now they are back going through some tough times again.

I think it was the game against the Vic that they won at Ettihad.  Physical, fast, direct and organised.  I really enjoyed what I saw that night.  When I went into forum land afterwards I saw another round of posts dismissing their long ball game, and their bullying of the smaller, more skilful Vic.

What I saw during that game was fast forward movement, with intent.  Balls to feet and balls to space.  An excellent defensive and attacking display by Pej Bojic.  Midfielders advancing past their forwards.  A confident, organised team that moved as a group.   I didn`t see this “longball” that some people disdain so much.  And to see complaints of bullying from fans of a team who have physical players like Muscat, Leijer, Vargas, Brebner and Broxham on their books was hard to understand.

I saw good football and a team that wasn`t getting their due respect.  My contrarian streak was turning me towards the Mariners.

And then the expectation within the team became too much and they have done it tough ever since.  Liverpool fans could tell you a story or two about the weight of expectation.

They might fix their season, they might not.  But some of my favourite Season 5 moments have been Mariners moments.

That 3 – 0 win over Gold Coast.  The rich, talented GCU had had their halos knocked askew by their first loss of the season – a loss to a tactically astute Newcastle.  Then the week after Central Coast knocked the halos completely off.

They clatter people.  They are physical.  They are dirty.  Do I like them despite this or because of this?  Beats me.

I think their style of play fits the Aussie temperment quite well.  We are big.  We like to kick people. I think the Mariners could be the future of Aussie football.

Pretty much any Aussie game in the ACL will be accompanied by growns about our thuggish game.  Even the relatively pass focused Jets.  When I was at the Aus vs Japan game in Yokohama, you could hear the Japanese fans shock at how often our players would kick their opponents.  Hi Brett Holman.  Hi Marco.

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Ronaldhino day dreams …

Filed under: Football — notyalcsdrawkcab @ 8:40 am

Watched the highlights recently of ac milan vs sienna.  Ronnie had a good game.  Not a great game.  A good game.  Sienna are relegation battlers.  And they were down to 10 men pretty early in the first half.

But … despite knowing that this game proved little about Ronaldhino … it warmed the cockles of my little heart to see him doing his thing again.

The stuff that he can do with the ball really is jaw dropping.  This is the kind of guy that professional players would pay to watch.

ronaldhino day dreams …

Filed under: Football — notyalcsdrawkcab @ 5:25 am

This was sitting in my “draft box” for a long time.  Seems as good a time as any to publish it, even though the only thing I HAD written was the title.

So Ronnie isn`t going to the WC.  Some people seem a bit indignant about this … but he can`t really have any cause for complaint.

Some say he has betrayed his talent – failed himself.  Fair enough methinks.  There was a bit of a return to form this year, but it wasn`t a complete return.  He didn`t exactly own Serie A, or take over that Big Cup tie against Man U.  But something is better than nothing.

In the long run, I also think he will be remembered.

Seeing Ronnie on song is the kind of things that turn adult non-fans like me into believers.  You watched him and thought “Football can be like THIS?”.

Paolo Maldini (a professional with amazing longevity) he is not.  But I got a feeling that I will remember Ronaldhino long after today.

January 18, 2010

SFC thoughts …

Filed under: Football — notyalcsdrawkcab @ 12:05 pm

They got thoroughly outplayed on Sunday.  GCU looked the better side all match. 

But that has all been covered elsewhere. 

SFC can click.  When Colosimo plays like the best Centreback in Oz.  When Musialak plays like the best deep lying mid in Oz (Call me crazy, but I think at times this season he has.).  When Corica, Bridge and Brosque are working together in the front third …

Aloisi is not part of the solution, not anymore.  Yes, the team is old and slow.  They could hide it when they were busy outworking people. 

With Brosque they are still in it.  Without him they aren`t. 

Or maybe, like Brisbane, they are preparing for next year.  When Aloisi isn`t taking up that Marquee spot.  I can see a fair bit of cash spent on Corica`s successor at the attacking central mid position.  Probably money well spent.

January 16, 2010

Gloryroos – What a let down they have been

Filed under: Football — notyalcsdrawkcab @ 8:31 am

A promising Glory team adds some experienced players who have been around NT squads.  There were high hopes, but those hopes have faded.

These guys think that a loan deal to a minor overseas league team will help them get to the World Cup?  Being the best in the A-league would have been a better start.  Taking your team to the Premiership wouldn`t have hurt either.

Why exactly should an overseas team want Sterjovski, Burns or Coyne?  Would you want them after watching footage of Perth Glory in the current season?  Not exactly lighting up the A-league, are they?  And if they can`t excel here, why should anyone think they will excel in a harder league?

January 10, 2010

Thoughts on Newc vs Vic

Filed under: Football — notyalcsdrawkcab @ 8:02 am

Probably most fun I have had watching a game in a while.

The organisation and collective footballing IQ shown by a 10 man Newcastle was pretty impressive.  Watching a lumbering Topor-Stanley lumber intelligently around the whole field was kind of surprising.  Kind of impressive too.

That man Song had one of his better games imho.  I would love to see him take on defenders more – few can run with the ball at their feet in the a-league like he can.  Part of this is confidence, temperment – but it is also about roaming intelligently so you can create those matchups … not much point getting in a footrace with Matthew Kemp, but a footrace with Kevin Muscat or Roddy Vargas …

What is it about Muscat that makes him magically protected against cards?  A thoroughly dislikeable man.

PS.  Angulo had a game to forget.  Does he really offer more than a Dugandzic or a Pondeljak?

Topor-Stanley`s freedom to lumber forward came from the team`s understanding and covering for each other.  The Newc central pairing of Wheelhouse and D`Puzzo were quietly impressive.  If I was gonna criticize Da`Puzzo for anything, it would be for not trying to impose himself more … does the job in midfield, and has good ball control and the ability to keep the ball under pressure.

I don`t expect the bald striker from Newc to be a sub next year.  A smaller, mobile striker who has excellent strength is worth a start somewhere.

Big shoes to fill …

Filed under: Football — notyalcsdrawkcab @ 7:00 am

So Matt Spiranovic is joining Urawa Reds.  He should slide into the space left by the recently joined Nagoya Marcus Tulio Tanaka.

A big character, and a good footballer.  Not good enough to lead Urawa out of mediocrity, but still.

Spiranovic is not joining one of Japan`s top clubs.  He is joining the club that was 7th or something last year.  The league title and the ACL trophy are a long time ago.  They even have the Japanese equivalent of John Aloisi, Naohiro Takanohara … a striker whose salary and on-field performances are all out of proportion …

Could Uruwa get it together next year? Yeah, but the money and the big name players were there last year too.

Japan`s Man U or Japan`s Newcastle United?

January 8, 2010

Future Trends – The socceroos in Asia

Filed under: Football — notyalcsdrawkcab @ 3:11 am

Slowly, gradually … Australia`s introduction to Asian football is influencing our way of doing things.

The days of relative international isolation (I`m gonna be arrogant and ignore the tonkings we gave to our former Oceania comrades, and, yes, the occasional loss to NZ) are over and we now have competitive football around the year, every year.

We now get to meet a group of countries we consider as our equals – the Japans, the South Koreas, the Saudi Arabias …

Countries we don`t rate, but still have a lot of trouble with – the Kuwaits, the Omans, the Bahrains …

And countries we don`t rate, but seem able to tonk.

The second group of countries has got my attention.  A larger group of players are being given more serious games.  I love it.  I also like how the AFC doesn`t care too much about FIFA dates.  I am glad that A-league guys have responsibility in serious matches.

Oh yeah, the future trends.

Downsizing.  Yeah, our players are very fit and work hard, but we usually get overrun when playing in the West Asian heat.  There is a place for smaller terrier type players in this kind of match.  Imagine someone like Mass Murdocca, but just more talented.  A guy like Jedinak might get shifted to centreback for this kind of game, when we take on smaller, mobile teams in hot weather.  Do you really need a traditional centreback like Moore against these opponents?

Conditioning over ability.  The euro guys who are currently on break are gonna get de-emphasised in the future methinks … they are more used to cold weather and don`t have the match fitness they need to get through a full match.  Expect these guys to get half a match rather a full match.

The continued growth of an Asian middle-tier of Aussie pros overseas.  The Asian player drain will continue.  And I think it will be good for the game in Oz.  Our player development has to improve, but I see opportunity, not crisis.  We will have a group of players who know all about the opposition – cos they are club teammates.

This could all not happen, but I think change is in the air, and it will continue.

ps.  other future trends …

The death of the beloved “aussie spirit” myth.  the idea that we can overcome a technical deficiency with our hard work is such a pathetic myth.  the idea that we work harder, or that we want to win more than the other team just seem silly to me.  yup, we really outworked those Kuwaitis, didn`t we.  Koreans?  Bunch of lazy bastards.

Fast centrebacks.  Back in the last A-league GF, Daniel Mullen of AU had initial responsibility at CB tailing a certain Mr Thompson.  A guy like Mullen could be a good fit for these games against smaller, fast, sharp attackers.  The Kuwaitis certainly saw our CBs as a weakness they could exploit, and it almost won them the game.

January 2, 2010

Cheating

Filed under: Football — notyalcsdrawkcab @ 2:46 pm

Its an interesting comparison – the professional foul preventing a one on one with the keeper and the intentional use of the hand leading to a goal.

Both intentional. One is to prevent a goal scoring opportunity, the other is to create a goal scoring opportunity. Both break the laws of the game. The differences? The professional foul to prevent the one on one is pretty hard to not see. The player is punished with a red-card, but has prevented the goal scoring opportunity.

The handball to create a goal scoring opportunity may be seen by the ref, may not be. Seems like cheating gets more attention if it goes unpunished.

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