Lets see if you big city clubs can play at the level that Brisbane did last year. Hell, good luck reaching what CCM did last year (who I think were a better team than some of the former champions).
Well, it will be very interesting seeing how it all pans out. May the best TEAM win!
What I remember of seeing HK play in recent years for the NT is a small, but fit and strong, target man. A lot of back to the goal work. A guy who worked hard to shield the ball when he got it and bring teammates into the play.
Nothing like the kid who used to play wide left for Leeds so long ago. Not even like the 2nd striker / # 10 like player who ran out for the NT in Germany back in 2006. That isn’t a criticism. Players evolve over their careers.
My initial thought when I saw the role he was playing recently was that Harry was filling a role for the team because nobody else in the squad could do it. But now I wonder if I had it all backwards. With his injury history and loss of speed, was his move to centre forward a conscious choice? A move made to get the most out of his talents?
I think a lot of football fans (self included) can sometimes ignore what is in front of their eyes and see something that isn’t there. The first Barca vs Man U Champs final had commentators (who know a LOT more than I ever will) saying that Barca was playing Leo Messi as a right wing when in fact he was playing that between the lines centre forward false nine role. They ignored what they saw – because they knew that Messi plays right wing and cuts into the centre. Which was true, until it stopped being true.
Will A-league viewers be shocked that they aren’t seeing the wing wizard running at defenders? Will their new centre forward be unfairly compared against other A-league talents, even his own team mates? I can already feel some unfair comparisons with Rojas coming on. Maybe even with Archie (if Archie gets his mojo back).
How do you follow up that season?
And that GF? Topping it is nigh on impossible – matching it? Is that a reasonable minimum goal? Probably not imho.
But I am feeling good about this season – even with the talent that has left.
Even before the Albanian and Bahraini internationals came on board, I thought things looked pretty good.
McKay is a loss; could we see Brioch moving into the midfield and Visconte or Meyer into that attacking role? Can Danning regain his lustre? What McKay did – elevating himself from a good A-league player to a very good A-league player (at an age when that kind of development usually doesn’t happen), will anybody else make that kind of step up? Looking at you, Massimo.
Will the roar go strikerless at times this season? I was wondering about this before the Albanian guy signed. Other teams have done it in world football and come away looking pretty slick. Roma a couple of years ago, Man U when they had interchangeable Rooney/Ronaldo/Tevez trident, that blue and red shirt Spanish team with the short guy lining up as a nominal centre forward. The mysterious 4 – 6 -0 …
Guess we will find out soon.
Waa wah wah, I am not coming back to the A-League, cos I am scared of being outplayed, overpaid and underperforming. Oops. I mean, unfairly criticised, like my buddy John.
Gee, putting together thoughts on Australia’s youth teams coach is a conflicting exercise …
He took the u17s and u20s to their respective world cups, a good run in one of the junior AFCs,
But you never criticise your players abilities like that in public. ESPECIALLY if what you are saying is true.
The team preparation, selections, in game tactics – plenty of others have said plenty on these issues.
But you never talk about your players like that.
The u20s have had their 3 group stage matches. They earned the right to be there at the u20 WC. Were there negatives to the campaign? Yeah, but positives might also come out of the campaign. The biggest positive was that the boys received a footballing lesson. All of the guys in that team must have dreams of a 10 year career as a pro. With most of that career in Europe. But hopefully they can see how much competition there is now for those spots in Europe – not just the Spanish lads (some of whom are now getting game time in Britain – one guy plays for Norwich) but also the Costa Ricans and the Ecuadorians. Joel Campbell of Costa Rica played for his senior team at the Copa America. Will someone’s hunger for improvement grow after that campaign? I hope so.
Sometimes yesterdays news bubbles up to the top of my consciousness. Yesterday’s news is todays fish and chips wrapping. We have all moved on.
So the France fiasco – you might think “which one?”. I am thinking about the national coach and those discussions about race quotas in junior national teams. Which I did find racist.
But recent discussion of the summer babies phenomen (those born early in the year will outshine those born later in the same year, consistently get chosen for national / rep teams) got me thinking about ONE PART of that discussion. The French NT Coach was saying something like how the current selection processes were rewarding physically powerful / athletic players more than other types of players. And those few months of extra development are giving the late summer babies physical advantages which mean they get all the attention. So they somehow feel connected to me.
Find a way to reduce the importance of physical advantages in selection (especially when so much is now known about physical preparation and the opportunity for players to catch up physically later has never been better) would essentially triple the size of the talent pool. Crazy maths?
Yes – those born early in the year – 1 group, those born in the middle of year and end of the year – 2 more groups … look at all 3 groups equally, tripling the talent pool!
How? *Warning* some of the following will be incredibly naive – just a fan shooting the breeze
Hiving off / adding some rep team spots, which would be chosen not on general play / open trial, but based only on a skills based test or criteria. These spots might be chosen based on getting players to do a bunch of skills based drills, or it could mean having some of the selectors use radically different selection criteria when watching games (player goes to useful spots without the ball, trap ball ability, pass percentage i dunno).
I don’t know much about NFL football – but their use of the combine system could translate well to other sports. Get a group of athletes together, and rather than running games, they do physical and skills based tests. This could include small sided games made up of random groups of players, passing drills, skill based drills. And if players know that drills x, y and z are part of the combine – you can bet that they will start using those drills during the year.