Thinking about Brisbane. Over Ange P’s reign in Brisbane, a couple of themes emerged. Fitness, short passing, creating lots of chances, playing a high line. But the most important thing was control. Control of the game.
Of the opponent. Keeping the ball. Stretching the opponent’s defence. Probing. Getting the ball back quickly. Tiring the opposition out. Leaving them without enough possession to attack. Leaving them with so little possession that when they did get the ball, they rushed it and missed their opportunities. But I think that Brisbane flirted with control, but ultimately gave up on it.
The patience and mental strength needed to control games isn’t there. In the ACL campaign, what worked against A-league opponents didn’t work against more technical, faster opponents. In winning the championship last year, Brisbane was a team that would trade blows with an opponent, and come out on top. That isn’t control – not the way Spain does it. The grand final finished with Brisbane as best in the A-league. No mean feat.
But if Brisbane had stayed with control, they wouldn’t have just been the best team. They would have been a class above.
Maybe the above is all wrong, maybe Rado will surprise everyone with next year’s team. We’ll see.
Two banks of four : )When I was looking at the updates to England vs Italy, I kept on seeing TBOF but didn’t know what it meant : )
gonna sit down and watch the highlights. Something about the updates got me to thinking.
Could someone win using a defensive, counter based 442 – two banks of four – get it forward really quick and put the ball in the net?
Why not. If their defensive organisation was good enough, and the attackers were fast enough, and the attackers were able to put the ball in the net. More than the other team. Then yes.
Am I Saul on the road to Damascus or something similar? I still enjoy watching Spain etc, and can see how effective that style is. But I also thought I saw something in that last Aust vs Japan match, something different from Australia. Something that suited us. Get it forward, at speed. Get at em.
Seeing an article on the Guardian claiming that England’s possession stats meant they didn’t win … very poor logic there I thought. What if they had had the ball more? With the way they used it, would they have done any better? I argue no. What percentage of possession you have may not matter. What have you done with the ball when you had it? That matters.
Spain versus Portugal should be very very interesting. Could Portugal be that mythical team that doesn’t want the ball much, but knows what to do with it when they get it?
I like it – 1st and 2nd get a week’s rest, then into the fray against whoever won the first week knockouts.
Shorter finals, knockout football. Sounds good to me.
Some may worry that 1st place doesn’t get the advantages they do currently.
A league leading side leads the league all season, and the best football in the league, and then gets knocked out at the first hurdle. What if the Champion ends up being a bunch of chancers who get two lucky calls across two games? Life will go on.
It is great when there is a clear best team in a season. But some seasons are … muddled. Like last year. Central Coast won the league but ran out of gas in the finals – maybe two of their best players leaving mid year had something to do with it? Brisbane came good at the end, but not quick enough to earn another double. Not quite as good as the double team? Perth fans will still be thinking they might have got lucky if that GF had gone to extra time, man down or not.
Hmmm, if this frees up some time needed to give us a balanced league (one game against each opponent at home and away), then I will be a happy camper. Throw in an FFA cup including the state champions and we are set ; )
Would love to know what was going through Holger’s head when he made that swap.
Milligan is a handy utility who can play in central midfield?
Or, Milligan can slot in there, we are looking to bypass the midfield anyway?
Or, gee, that Japanese midfield is scary, best get another defender on?
Handy utility that he is, he isn’t a pass forward central midfielder. The team ended up bypassing the midfield pretty much.
Be interesting to know why other options weren’t chosen. Kilkenny in a like-ish for like-ish swap. Or Kewell or Kennedy into striker, with Cahill dropping back to midfield. Rhys Williams.
There are a couple of guys who weren’t there. Who should be fighting for that role. But they aren’t, cos they aren’t on top of their careers. Adam Sarota. (and, a longer stretch) Stuart Musialak. Steven Lustica (ex GCU Yoof, now playing in Croatia) is a name I hear sometimes, could be in the mix sooner than later if he can keep playing well.
Of course, who else would I be talking about but Shinji Kagawa and Keisuke Honda.
Whilst they may have been the most skilful players on the pitch in the Aus vs Japan game, did they do enough? Is being the best on pitch necessarily good enough?
With game changing talent comes game changing responsibility.
Too many promising attacks ended with them passing to team mates. Sometimes the team mate was in a better shooting position. Sometimes not. Either way, none of those team mates had the composure, technical skill or shoot ability that this pair has.
This Japan team could be something special. But its on field leaders have to take responsibility.
There was nothing particularly patient about the Aussie approach in Aus vs Japan. 2006 WC team it wasn’t.
But it was direct. Confident. Aggressive. Vikings. Pillage. Loot.
In some ways this is nothing new. Our players are big and strong. We have played more direct than our neighbours in Asia. But this felt like a change in degree … And speed.
Could this be the approach that works for Australia? Get it forward and head for goal could be the approach that works for this group of players. What a difference having speed and strength in attack made.
The Aussie performances in the Asian cup weren’t bad. Not bad at all. But that tonking of Uzbekistan feels like a long time ago now.
When we got to the WCQs, the same group of players and coaching staff, are not getting the same performance, nor the same results …
Are we wilting under? The pressure that a team can put on itself when it knows that not getting to the WC is not good enough. When they wonder if they are good enough to get there …
Would love to be wrong. Australia comes out tonight and tonks Japan. Will be interesting to see.
The only player I have heard of moving out of the A-league this off season is Eli Babalj. Go forth and prosper!
Well, Amini also makes last season’s move to Germany. Good trialling with Newcastle. And Nicholls would like to play in Norway? Did Antonis go to Germany?
Has Europe’s general money troubles lead to less opportunity? Or have players started becoming more picky about where they end up (if Amini, Kruse and Leckie can go to Germany, why should you be running around in Romania?). Or are the players not up to scratch?
As the league improves, it should prove a better platform for sending players OS … but the days of Kewell, Emerton, Viduka et al with gold dust on their boots seem to be over.
Mark Bresciano needs noone’s pity. A) he has been a professional footballer, B) played for his country, C) at a world cup.
But the younger, more mobile Bresc got pushed out to the wide forward, wide mid type role – for his country. Which, with the package of skills that he has, is a shame. Moving to offer a pass option. Passing and moving again to offer a pass option. Passing forward. Joining the attackers after playing it forward. Did I mention passing it forward?
Now he has the opportunity to play in the centre for his country. Why did it take so long?
Because we have spent so long worrying about being overrun. Because we have spent more time thinking about how to stop the opposition from playing, than thinking about how we want to play.
I still feel a lack of confidence in the national team choices. The recent use of centrebacks as fullbacks. McKay, Cahill and Carle not having opportunities through the centre of the park.
But having Bresc in the middle. That is something.
At least, the socceroos are. Get the job done (beat everyone at home, draw on the road) and we go to Brazil. Don’t? Everyone can start thinking about which other team to support at the next WC.
One of my big hopes for the future is a larger pool of potential NT players, with competition for each place in the team. Between players who regularly play for their clubs. And we don’t have that yet. On the bright side – with the current rate of development of the A-League, we have players in the league NOW who can contribute to the national team. Kewell, Emerton, Thompson. Carle, Marrone, Rose and Paartalu could also step in.
Spiranovic, out of favour at his club. Starting for the NT. I am a fan of his, but he needs to get his club situation sorted. Og monster may be a better partner for Neill (if we are stuck with “Neill must play”).
Jade North is playing for his club – who are getting hammered and may be the fastest team relegated in Japan for quite some time. At centre back. And he is playing RB for the Socceroos. If he is gonna play, play him at centre back, because he isn’t a fully developed right back, he struggles against wide players defensively and struggles to contribute to the attack.
Oh well, it will be nailbiting stuff whatever happens.