Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Battle of Aussies :Did Arnie bottle it?

The A-League is improving, even SBS says so, so it must be. In part, or mostly, it's due to the quality of our coaches.

But it's the much maligned Aussie Coaches, Ange Postecoglou, and former Socceroos Coach Graham Arnold who have been putting pride back into the local game and coaching fraternity. Even SBS think they have improved!

So when the two new heavyweights of Australian Coaching met on Sunday to me it was always going to be the highlight of the weekend...forget Beckham.

The Roar under Ange on fire, no real superstars though some would disagree with me there, but a flowing brand of football rarely seen by Australian clubs.

The Mariners; truly transformed with six new players, ball players and a Gus Hiddink, Pim Verbeek trained Coach in Graham Arnold.

So it was terribly disappointing to see Arnie completely change his team, by dropping Daniel McBreen, and in effect concede possession and space to the most confident ball playing team in the league.

Arnie flopped on his tactical test. The scoreline, 3-0 after 20 minutes supports this view. 5-1 all up confirms it.

Ange; he wasn't tested. Merely set the team out, as normal and off they went. If anything he may have told Eric Paartalu to mark, tightly, Mustafa Armini, but the young kid was so tired from his midweek bounces off Kasey Wehrmann Eric never had to move.

Arnie's confidence in his team, his own tactics went missing. Sure he doesn't have the complete squad, missing a forward or two to add real potency but the team has been playing well enough in recent games against the Jets, and Gold Coast despite no wins, to suggest Arnie's current mob and style could have challenged the Roar.

They did nothing.

Worse they looked like a rabble. Without energy, a plan, or confidence.

The Mariners will never get beaten again by the rampaging Roar, not this season.

Arnie will surely play a stronger formation next time?

Or will he?

At the moment Arnie may have come from Gus, but it's Ange that leads the tactical way in Australia - by some margin.

With Aurelio Vidmar, Branko Culina, Gary Van Egmond, and Miron Bleiberg there are a number of Aussie Coaches playing attractive football at times and not just this year. SBS don't seem to realise that.

Despite being the most successful coach in the A-League Ernie Merrick still has to convince this blog writer that he has the talent and tactical nous to produce a credible performance in Asia. Even in one game.

Aurelio, Gary and Branko did it over and over.

Laurie Mckinna arguably did better than Ernie.

For now it's the local game, local focus and Arnie flopped.

Will he learn from this tactical annihilation?

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