Notyalcsdrawkcab’s Weblog

February 27, 2010

Kiddie Fight! The stay at homes versus the early leavers

Filed under: Football — notyalcsdrawkcab @ 3:59 am

In Ozzie football forumland, one of the more lively debates is the “best development pathway” one …

Should the kiddies stay at home and get game time, or should they head overseas ASAP so that they can get the best technical training possible as well as experience the greater competition for places?

Is this discussion even possible?  I mean, using kid A as an example of how kiddies should stay home/go early is flawed IMHO.  Because we have no way of knowing whether kid A would have succeeded using the other course of action.  If Kid A is flawed, and lacks something, isn`t it possible that they would also fail using the other option?  Or if they did have the X factor, couldn`t they succeed either way?  Unless we find some identical twins, with identical skills and personalities, and send one OS and keep the other in the A-league …sorry, went into fantasy land for a second …

Hell, is it even a definite that there is one pathway that will work for all players?

So even looking at the national team in 2012 probably won`t tell us much … we will be able to see which group the players have come from; but won`t say anything about which approach works better.

Even so, I got curious about our young leavers.  It felt like Rhys Williams and Shane Lowry came out of nowhere.  So I went to this website

Whacked their spreadsheet into excel, and had a little play.  Had a look for players born in the 1990s.  Ignored anyone playing at regional level.  Some interesting things.

Seems that there is a 16 year old Aussie midfielder playing in Bayern Munich`s youth team.  Another kid is on Valencia`s books.  Jason Davidson (ex-socceroo father, spent time playing in Japan`s youth system) skipped the A-league and went over to Portugal.  Kids in senior squads – 6.  Number of starters – 2.  3 kids in reserve squads.

OK, so these guys aren`t really gonna be fighting for NT positions in 2012.  When might these kids be on the NT radar?  2014 maybe?

Whatever happens, expect a lot of turnover post WC.


February 26, 2010

Do you see what I see? Wayne Shroj

Filed under: Football — notyalcsdrawkcab @ 11:16 pm

Probably not.  Quite often different people can watch the same game and see very different things.  Wayne Shroj could be the most polarising player in the A-league at the moment.

Is he a lazy git with some talent who doesn`t work hard enough for the team?

Or is he a football player with a bit of nous who adds something to the collective that his hardworking teammates cannot?

Everyone can agree that he doesn`t run around a lot.  Many consider him wasteful.  His fans would say that any player who tries to make those kinds of passes and plays is gonna make mistakes, but that this leads to a net positive.  The main point of disagreement seems to be whether his talent is enough to justify taking the place of a hard worker …

I am a fan.  I think he has had more positive impact on Perth this season that Sterjovski has.  Mile gets a pass mark with a lot of people because he runs around while being anonymous.  There are a handful of players in the league who can weight a pass as well as Shroj imho.  Most of my favourite Perth moments this season have involved Shroj.

February 23, 2010

The mystery of Ljubo Milicic

Filed under: Football — notyalcsdrawkcab @ 3:40 am

The Ljubo-monster ain`t doing too badly at the moment.  He`s keeping his head down, not giving interviews and getting on with the job of playing football.  That is a decent partnership he has with Hyphen.

But.  Yeah, there is always a but when you talk about Ljubo.  But, one of the more intelligent Aussie centrebacks running around in the A-league is no longer pushing into the midfield.  Recently Hyphen has been given the freedom to roam, whilst Ljubo anchors the defence.  No offense to Hyphen, but he doesn`t have Ljubo`s nous, vision or passing range. That is no insult at all.  Not many centrebacks at this level do.

So what is going on?

Could it be a pout from Ljubo?  Probably not, as he is getting on with his job quite well.  But I did imagine a scenario where Branko asked Ljubo to time share the roaming duties with Hyphen, and he had a hissy fit and said “no thanks, I`ll just stay back here”.  I quickly dismissed this idea, cos he doesn`t look like he is pouting at the moment.

Could it be because of a fear that he isn`t quick enough to get back to his defensive duties?  Or that he doesn`t have the stamina to play a roaming game over 90 plus minutes?

Could it be because Wheelhouse and Da`Puzzo are doing such a nice job in the engine room that Ljubo doesn`t want to crowd their space?  Yeah, Da`Puzzo was at left back last game, but I reckon he works well in centre midfield.

Could it be because Branko thinks that Hyphen is the better player in that roaming defender role?  I feel a bit silly mentioning this last one.

I have no freaking clue.

Guess that is why I called it a mystery.

February 19, 2010

Handing in my ABU card

Filed under: Football — notyalcsdrawkcab @ 1:58 pm

As a young man, who had just found football, I quickly jumped on the ABU bandwagon.  Anyone But manchester United.  They were the rich, uber-successful Empire forces of football, while, anybody else were the plucky rebel forces.  And Luke Skywalker.  And Yoda.  All rolled into one.

My choice of Arsenal as “my” premier league club was quite random.  An FA Cup final was on.  One of the teams was Arsenal.  The other was Liverpool.  Didn`t know anything about them.  So I just chose one.

But my second favourite team was ABU.  Somebody beat United – I glowed on the inside.  Man U won something.  Opportunity to watch them lose lost.

But I am handing in my card.  Watching the highlights of the recent Man U – Arsenal game, I still felt more drawn to Arsenal – but I was warming to Man U.  I thought that Rooney seemed rather imperious, majestic even.  I thought that they would look good as Champions.

What has changed?  Well, I have changed.  Happens to everyone.  But United are also changing.  With their owners bleeding as much money out of the club and the fans as they can, something feels like an end might be possible.  It could also be that there are no Cinderellas waiting to take the crown.  Those plucky underdogs from Chelsea?  Arsenal?  Yeah yeah, they never pay much in Transfer fees.  But back in 2006/07, their team wages bill was slightly lower than Man U`s.  So Arsenal are not really “doing it on the cheap”.

Could it have been the goal that I saw in those recent highlights?  Rooney gets the ball in his own half, sends a beautiful flighted ball to the wing, runs at least half the pitch to then slam the ball into the net with one touch.  This goal has stayed in my mind.  Quite a tasty one I thought.

But, there you go.  Go United.

February 14, 2010

Random Thoughts – East Asian Championships: Japan vs South Korea – Our Stev Debroski reffed it.

Filed under: Football — notyalcsdrawkcab @ 12:29 pm

FFA might not be doing much to improve the quality of our reffing … and I know everyone loves to complain about the A-league refs.

But Stev was in charge of a fast, physical international.  And he did alright (I reckon Stev is one of our better refs).  Our refs will grow from this kind of experience.  Being part of a larger fraternity of refs.  International duty.  2 reds – both earnt imho.  Kept the game under control, but let it flow.  Nice Work.

As for the game; 3 – 1 to South Korea.  Junichi Inamoto – the former Arsenal squad member put in a decent shift; but I wonder if he should take more responsibility for the team.  Likes a bit of the niggle, bit of a tough nut, can make a slide tackle.  Tulio Tanaka let his team down big time by kicking out after getting knocked over in the box.  Diddums.  On the bright side, Iwamasa (from Kashima Antlers I think) looks a solid deputy if either Nakazawa or Tulio Tanaka get injured / lose form.  Nagatomo is one of the few Japanese players who will go for goal. Despite being miniscule, I wouldn`t mind seeing him in midfield – cos stuff happens when he is near the ball.  Okazaki spent too much time helping the build up play.  Which he is quite capable of doing, but which takes him away from his most needed skill – shooting the ball in the penalty area.  I could be so wrong on this – but I think Endo is a flat track bully who is anonymous in big games.  Just a feeling I get.

After early South Korea domination, Japan came back into the game (when both teams were 10 men each).  But all this lovely build up play had 0 end result.  I recall yelling “SHOOT THE BALL FUCKERS!” at the TV.

But lets take a moment to hail the South Koreans, cos the Blue Samurai are a broken record.

Strong on the ball.  Very good wide forwards/mids, who can keep the ball under pressure.  Purposeful play.  End product.  Hard running and never gave up on a run.  Did run out of steam after their defensive mid picked up a second yellow (for a second slide tackle that completely missed the ball).  But took Japan`s best, and came back to craft another solid goal and firmly put the Japanese in their place.  I live in Japan.  I like Japanese football.  I cheer for the Japanese team when Oz isn`t playing.  I was cheering each of Korea`s goals – the quality of their goals was easy to see.  You just had to applaud.

I would say they are the current kings of Asia – qualified first from the tougher WC qualification group, just beat Japan in a very one sided game, beat Oz in our last meeting*.

*START RANT – Oh yeah, I forgot.  That game against Oz doesn`t count, cos we had injuries.  Cos, you know.  Games don`t count if either team has any players injured.  How about lets cancel the World Cup if any of the 32 teams has any injuries.  Cos, you know, games don`t count if someone is unavailable through injury.  No – injuries are part of the game.  You play the game with the best players you have available – and you cop whatever result comes.  Blaming injuries / downplaying games because of injuries is merely pointing out how lacking in depth your team is.  Arrgh.  Urgh.  ugg.  END RANT.

Wanting it more, or executing better?

Filed under: Football — notyalcsdrawkcab @ 8:09 am

A very good day for SFC fans – hail the Premiers etc etc.

But I am kinda interested with what fans and observers will take from the game.

Pretty sure some people will say that Sydney won because they wanted it more.  I would argue that Sydney won because they executed better.  Winning the 50 / 50 ball takes awareness and technique, as well as commitment and bravery.  Putting the ball in the net takes composure and awareness.

Oh yeah, lovely work by Aloisi – taking the ball from deep and taking an excellent goal.  Lovely work from the Brosque and Gan (?), the two guys running the channels who kept the Melbourne defenders in two minds, giving Aloisi the space he needed for that wonderful strike.

February 9, 2010

Is a premiership / championship double “better” than a championship by itself?

Filed under: Football — notyalcsdrawkcab @ 12:19 am

I was wondering about this … I read something a while ago talking about the A-league champions – Season 1 till now.

And the tone in the article held them all in the same regard – equal respect for the Champion SFC team, the Newcastle Jets, and the Victory.

It was a really good article – can`t think where I read it tbh.  But I found that point a touch puzzling.

I place a team capable of winning the premiership and the championship upon a higher pedestal than one that wins the championship alone.  “Champions” and “Champions +”.  And I wonder who will be the first team to join Melbourne in the “Champions +” category.

And I wonder how long till the next one comes along.  Currently 2 out of 5 seasons have had a Prem/Cham double – I expect that percentage to lower over time.  So when it does happen next – it`ll be a pretty tasty, pretty unusual achievement.

Or am I enamoured with something that doesn`t really matter?

February 8, 2010

Playing without the ball – thoughts on the second half of Welly vs GCU …

Filed under: Football — notyalcsdrawkcab @ 4:06 am

Only watched the second half.  Damn life getting in the way of footy watching.

GCU is a good football team.  (Was gonna make a metaphor about being lion – like, but thought better of it).  Yet Welly calmly and intelligently declawed and muzzled this good team.  What I saw in that second half was a team with excellent organisation and composure neutering a rather good team.

Without the ball for the most part.

I saw the introduction of Dadi as a very sound defensive measure.  A hold the ball up target man who could help give the defense a breather at times.

Some will tell you that possession is the future of the game.  Whoever possesses the ball more and makes better use of it will win.  This game was an argument against such thinking.  Adelaide`s run in the ACL last year was not based on possessing the ball.  Excellent organisation was there base.  There is a future for teams who are comfortable without the ball.

February 7, 2010

The greater evil …

Filed under: Football — notyalcsdrawkcab @ 4:50 am

Big Rich Dodgy Russian Billionaire owned Chelsea got away with it.  Their punishment for taking a youth player from France was overruled.  So now the onward march of big rich clubs gobbling up every talented player they can find will just continue and gather pace.

I support this.

Because, on the other hand, 14 year olds should not be signing life and career changing contracts.  The kid was also punished along with Chelsea.  A suspension and joint responsibility for the huge fine Chelsea received.  For breaking a contract he signed at 14.  They can`t drink, can`t marry, can`t vote, can`t join the army, can`t leave school, AND definitely cannot take responsibility for signing a legally binding employment contract.

Chelsea are not particularly “good”.  But sometimes there are greater evils.

In researching Patrick Kluivert, I found an article about the Ajax side that won the champions league with Kluivert slotting the winning goal.  It was the end of an era, the Bosman rules had altered the landscape and a small club would not be able to keep its players like Ajax had, ever again.  On the one hand, some of the romance evaporated from the game.  On the other, how can anyone justify clubs holding rights over players who are no longer under contract?

Greater evil.

February 5, 2010

Patrick Kluivert – who is he?

Filed under: Football — notyalcsdrawkcab @ 10:24 pm

Yeah, I went on the internets, 442 etc, and I know he was a “fully sick Dutch legend footballing grandmaster”.  Or something like that.  Not exactly a full picture is it?

You can look at numbers I guess.

149 goals in 343 League games.

40 goals in 79 Internationals.

As a youngster he came off the bench to score the winner in a Champions League final.

Personal life?  Footballers don`t really have private lives anymore.  Just ask Wayne Bridge.  Convicted of manslaughter after a driving fatality – didn`t have to serve any time.  Kluivert also popped up in a non-football related article on where to divorce and how that can save you shiteloads of money, interestingly enough.

Tall, strong, fast, technically adept.  More of a ball to feet guy than target man.  Could make a good pass.  Kind of a combo Striker / Midfielder in some ways.  No-one ever doubted his footballing talents.  He was in Pele`s list of the best 125 players ever – great player that Pele was, many found fault with his list though.

I always got the feeling that he was kind of in Ronaldo`s shadow.  Two skillful strikers who were starting out about the same time.  And Ronaldo casts a big shadow.  Just looking around the webs, I get this vibe that he could have done more with his talents.  He did plenty, but could have done more, won more, if he had stayed out of the party scene when he was younger.  This feels a bit unfair tbh, very few people live up to their full potential, CoughMarkVidukaCough.

Not expecting to see him on the park in Oz.

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