Sunday, 7 October 2012

Football makes it mark with record attendances

While it was great to see the A-League open with a round record for attendances there were a number of players and teams that caught the eye early.

While the Roar - did I see a few long balls post-Ange - didn't really achieve, the Glory with their established stars got their win, but they'll never win over the neutrals at this rate.

Liam Miller and Travid Dodd excited in patches, Dean Heffernan further forward isn't my idea of exciting innovative coaching. Each to their own.

Nick Fitzgerald looked one footed for the Roar while Ben O'Hallaran looked to have left his football at the Gold Coast - early days no doubt.

In Western Sydney - Aussie Aaron Mooy shone when he moved forward in the second half, Aussie Tom Rogic was outshone by Aussie Trent Sainsbury for the Mariners. Pacy Aussie Mitch Duke will have an interesting year.

Great to see some young guns getting and having a go. If Mark Bridge, for WSW, could play that final pass he too could be a tremendous player playing much deeper than ever. He's not a forward but can he deliver the pass?

Tony Popovic has shown he can coach, already, and be competitive. Now his hard work begins with it seems a lack of goalscorers. Shinji Ono looked the business, but can he play at the tempo required in the first 6o minutes and can he last a game, every game?

In Wellington, Louis Fenton took Socceroo Brett Emerton to the cleaners, while Terry McFlynn showed that the league has clearly passed him by both in technique and work rate. What does he give a Sydney team that contains Del Piero?

Ian Crook looked to be the Coach with the most to do - or was that Ange Postecoglou. If Ange can sort the defence they should improve and Ange is proven, Crooky is the new Durakovic, new coach superstar player. How do you manage that - when Allesandro knows more than Crooky judging by the teams cohesion or lack of it.

Why do Sydney teams always look the same, poor tempo, poor attacking threat, and lack of ability to keep the ball consistently and boss games. And defence always scrambling - no matter what Coach?

Answer: Terry McFlynn is always in the middle of every team

Crooky? Where do you start. Confidence would be low after that and the two behind Del Piero are possibly the least experienced and in McFlynns case the least technically able centre or defensive midfielder in the league.

Who'd you rather? To impose a style, your style of play?

Partaluu v McFlynn

Burns v McFlynn

Muscat v McFlynn

Broxham v McFlynn - okay that's a close one.

Hutchison v McFlynn

Drop him? Paul Reid and Terry Antonis or will Del Piero simply become the new Dwight Yorke and control the whole game - looks like he can and he'll be wasted further forward if he never gets the ball.

Can Sydney or Melbourne with Adrian Leijer really flourish with McFlynn and Leijer in such key positions this year? I doubt it.

Alessandro Del Piero gave all players a lesson in technique and tight, tight control. Delightful movement and a touch to die for. Clearly the touch between the A-League and Champions League remains as wide as the kilometres.

Adelaide showed that the best warm-up for an A-League game is a 30 plus hour flight to Tashkent and back - nice one and haven't they picked up some interesting signings. Can't wait to see them play at home this season.

Victory too seem to have some good, even great, football to come. Fans should be excited, but shades of last season already, great promise, but can they (Leijer and Traore) defend?

John Aloisi was the winner of the weekend. A great game with great goals. 42,000 for football - it still excites.

Richard Garcia and Dylan MacAllister look like the recruits of the year. Good work John Aloisi. Garcia ex-epl has come in quietly and showed his class on the weekend. Perhaps the cauldron suited him. MacAllister should benefit from the team structure and wing players Aloisi has sent out. With Wellington missing half a team and a Coach this weekend, the Heart should hit six points early. Would be a great start for them.

Gary van Egmond and Ian Crook will be very disappointed. The Roar went long a few times under Rado - who'd have thought. And Melbourne under Ange will bounce back. He'll make them!

For the record the B-League - what was that - didn't make me laugh, Hayden Foxe did. What was that!

 Now if only the Socceroos could get a win. Sorry I had to spoil it!

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