In the Oz team, Lucas Neill was playing despite having a club earlier. Was playing in a friendly despite not being able to play in the qualifier that followed. Holman has been persisted with despite not getting game time with his club.
I look over to Japan, and Endo and Konno are playing despite being in J2, and Maeda plays despite poor club form.
These guys are all known quantities, coaches know what they are getting when they call on these old hands. And the coaches can argue that they got it right. Australia finished well, and guys like Neill and Holman played well and gave leadership. Japan was the first country to qualify, played well against Italy.
But I think there is some real damage being done to team unity and morale when you play favourites within teams. Different rules for different people. How can non-favourites not resent that? Creates an us and a them within a team when there should only be a we.
we get so used to seeing players dedicate themselves to the sport that it feels weird to see players make choices for other reasons?
dude is leaving the champion team … to reduce his commute? my first thought was “how dare you not be ridiculously focused on football” but even as i was thinking it, it felt wrong …
we complain when players are footballing savants who are focused on nothing but footy, then complain when they aren’t.
pedj is just on the cusp of the oz squad imho. i rate him higher than my team’s ivan franjic (who i also reckon is pretty good). a very underrated piece of last year’s champion team. feels a bit weird to see him to a mess like sydney …
I didn’t see too much to make in this game to make me quake with fear.
Japan seems to be off the boil at the moment. The friendly loss to Bulgaria follows the away loss to Jordan if I remember correctly. Last night’s game … with the ball, Japan seemed were spaced out quite carefully, but it all seemed quite … static. Every passing option was standing still. This improved later, but even then, it was like the team wanted to see they would keep the ball before they got moving? Without the ball, it seemed like they were happy to let Bulgaria have it for a bit, and wait for the ball to come back to them … nothing really concerted as far as pressure goes, more shepherds than muggers. But they weren’t really good at that either … bit of an energy conservation kinda style …
outside of the established players, Inui, wide attacker, looks like one who will put his hand up, but otherwise its all a bit non-descript. Zac has a tendency to use old hands he knows. that is a very old looking central midfield with endo and hasebe. and guys like konno, komano and maeda are a bit workmanlike … kagawa is no gerrard – no dragging his team to victory or anything like that. and the goalkeeper is more perfunctory than modern … not really into that fancy sweeperkeeper stuff. or that don’t make basic stuff ups stuff.
a good win against oz and all those complaints get swept aside though. but nothing in last night’s practice game should make the socceroos feel scared. the last oman vs oz game, that is the game that gives me the chills. boom tish.
Asian teams have bigger budgets, better facilities and can buy better imports for their teams …
It isn’t fair. How can an Aussie side do well in the ACL. Nobody here will get interested cos we don’t have a chance. It’s not fair.
Boo hoo. Hoo.
All this talk about facilities, budgets and imports … it lets us ignore the quality of the opposition team as a whole (cos Asian players aren’t that good, they only win cos of their imports), the hard work it took to build up their club to have that kind of budget …
Where is the excitement about taking on new challenges, really knowing where we are at?
Where is the desire to win this thing, and go to the Club World Championship?
Oh, right, nobody has heard of these clubs, no-one cares, and they are richer and we can’t beat them.
Real mature attitude.
but what exactly will “more grit” do if we have another scenario like oz vs oman, with our attacking 4 surrounded by two defending banks of 4?
Even if we had a time machine, and could call up a young harry and a young dukes … would they be able to play through the double teams and triple teams that they would see?
holger, holger, holger … : (
I don’t quite know what to make of Mike Mulvey … a lot of the soundbites about him are about his “no BS” policy … it sounds Harry Redknapp-ish … more emotional than intellectual … but i dunno if that is the full story. the team has gone out there with a plan, with good movement and played some good footy. So does he have a geeky side that he doesn’t talk about. Well, he gets to recruit and set everything up over the off-season. Time will tell? cough – i am copping out on this one – cough. I love the idea of controlling, probing, stretching, tire out the opposition football. Spain as a boa constrictor. But i don’t think Mulvey will take them in that direction.
What to make of Nichols? He can be good. He can also sulk half a season …
What to make of Halloran? Not the greatest crosser of a ball … but he can hit them. Doesn’t quite seem like he has a sense of the game. More athlete than footballer. And he is 20, so i don’t think that will change. Could he be used better? Ala Walcott, another speedster who isn’t a winger … “inside right” is what they used to call it i think. Not a winger, a support striker who lurks in the right channel.
Does Mass have a future with the Roar? Would another club see him as a starter? Hard to say. Almost as marmite as Nichols … but without the stroppiness. I like Mass, and a lustica bratten mass midfield sounds pretty nice to me.
We’ll never see Jurman in a roar jersey again : ) … pity, as a CB he had everything he needed, except for the bits in between the ears. Temperament, ability to size up the situation. No and no.
What would i like to see? More of what they were doing at the end of the season. I’d like to see young local players challenging for spots at every outfield position. Be nice to see the roar aiming for the top … and giving themselves the best possible chance to win every game.
That’s the season over then.
My image of the game … it was actually quite similar to the recent Nick Diaz vs Georges St Pierre UFC match. Diaz, the challenger, did quite well against the champ. Gave the champ a better fight, and more bruises, than anyone had in quite a while. But even in saying that, it was a comfortable win for GSP.
So take the above para, and replace Nick Diaz with Brisbane, and GSP with WSW.
Well, its a season that ended better than it started. But the level has risen again. Will BR make the right choices about personnel? Will they be ruthless enough? What is next for BR?
Brisbane beat Sydney. Yay : )
And they looked very Brisbane-ish while doing it : )
It was so nice to watch this after seeing the dross that was served up on tuesday. Maybe none of these players will go on to bigger things or star for the national team. But seeing a guy like Bratten at the base of the midfield trio pulling strings, Lustica probing and controlling in tight areas, Nichols … ummm not sure, would actually prefer to see Mass on the pitch than Nichols tbh. But if anyone says that the NT is only playing as well as they can, that we don’t have the players to play better than that. They need to watch some A-league.
And other random thoughts.
Does Holman’s strike balance out the whole lot of nothing he contributed prior to his goal? Some will argue yes, but I would argue no. I would rather see someone out there contributing in general play than see Holman out there. Maybe if he had done more in general play than that long range strike would have been the icing on the cake rather than the goal that saved a point.
Holger is such a downer. big tall players like cornthwaite and jedinak are needed to … gee, i dunno. We are out to win the game, and Holland is your passing midfielder … Take Kruse off? There is a much more cohesive Socceroos team that could be playing … with better touch and mobility. Not a bunch of world beaters, but better than what we have seen recently.
Barca vs Milan … that’s probably as good as it gets.
Can we have a euro league already?