Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Nearpost Podcast November 28th

Nick, Gerald and Clive are back again this week, taking a look at Holger's squad for the East Asian Cup qualifiers as well as discussing the week's news in Australian football.

or play right from your computer....


Thursday, 22 November 2012

What's Your Plan Holger?

Nick Amies, Gerald Crawford and Clive MacKillop take an in-depth look at the new A-League broadcast deal as well as running the rule over Holger Osieck's tenure as Socceroos coach.

or play right from your computer....


Tuesday, 6 November 2012

The Podcast Returns...

After a brief vacation the Nearpost Podcast is back! Nick Amies, Ben Kelly and Clive MacKillop take you through all the action of the weekend's A-League and W-League fixtures and also giving you their predictions for the upcoming round of fixtures.

or play right from your computer....


Sydney FC - Rogic is just developing, Flores and co are the final product.

You knew they'd concede heaps once Sydney came out 3-1 down on Saturday and went to a back three.

 They did.

Schoolboy Coaching? Possibly, schoolboy defending...all game.

 Confidence at an all time low? Of course 6 or 7 players out including a defence means results are perhaps not showing the real Sydney especially as its early in the season.

But you can guarantee if they can't get three out of four defenders back for this week they'll get thumped again.

Melbourne will rip them to shreds.

Worse teams than Melbourne have caused them problems this season; think game 1 v Wellington.

The pace, touch and vibrancy of the Victory front six could scare Trent McClenahan and co.

Tommy Rogic - he's just developing, Flores and co are the real thing.


Brebner and Broxham gone - Ernie Merrick take note!

It has always been interesting to watch the evolution of Australia's biggest supported football club. Melbourne Victory.

 Ernie Merrick took them to the heights early.

Thumping Sydney FC at Olympic Park in season 1 in front of a sold out crowd, followed in Season 2 by Archie's Grand Final (I was there)demolition of Adelaide United in front of 55,000 at one of the AFL's once previously monopolised hallowed grounds.

Ernie remained, players changed.

Grant Brebner and Leigh Broxham took centre stage and Ernie couldn't see it.

The damage done to the brand, the Victory brand.

Renowned for fast flowing football particularly in season 2 with Fred flying in behind and at times ahead even of Archie and Allsopp, things slowed a little once the Killer B's took over.

In Asia Ernie's men were embarrassing. Every time. And surely that was the true test for the rampant A-League squad.

Second time in Asia, Ernie was ditched pretty early.

And so Brebner, the faithful long ball servant retired. And Leigh Broxham after just one game under Ange and a demoralising few minutes at full back where he clearly gave up against Brisbane, or seemed to, he's also now gone. Not even on the bench.

Fans, we think we know football. We'd be screaming for years that Brebner and Broxham might get a you a result or two against Brisbane but they never were going to take the club forward, into Asia were they?

 Ange must be a fan, that's all you can assume!


Rado v Ange: Round 5 assessment

It was all Rado, what did Ange do?

Or so came the cry from some football followers and if grew a little louder once Brisbane had thumped Melbourne 5-0 in Round 2.

5 rounds in and it's time for further assessment.

Melbourne Victory are the most improved team in the league.

Their first half performance was simply stunning last night v the renowned tough to beat Wellington Phoenix. Last night Melbourne passed and passed again. It was fast and incisive, more so that Brisbane at their best? Possibly.

 And I loved it.

Archie and Marco Rojas have more pace than Brisbane ever had in the forward line and although Flinkler and Flores struggle for pace and endurance they can play a pass, a special pass, to ongoing willing runners can't they?

If anything Melbourne at their best are slightly more direct than Brisbane were at their best. Is this deliberate or just the nature of the group assets?

Brisbane are still maintaining possession but five games in they are looking far less potent and although still have a lot to offer no doubt they need to find extra pace and energy not to mention a few goals. There ball possession is still fine, but their ball movement too predictable and too slow to create real havoc. Early days?

Broich looks a little less consistent this year. Berisha also - is he following Rado's new plan by dropping deeper or is this just his frustration coming through.

The Roar without Ivan Franjic are half the team and it was no surprise with him back against Adelaide the possession and energy so reliant on wide players, returned. Not so the goals, not yet.

 Melbourne showed they have been training.

How many goals will Archie create for Rojas? At least three tap ins already. Interesting!

And with Flores and Finkler combining for one of the goals of the season, mind you the other two for Victory weren't bad were they, then you can see things are on the up.

Pace and movement in the final third is evident and thrilling. One touch.

Weakness? Clearly they couldn't sustain it beyond 48 minutes or the third goal!

Wellington came back hard which showed how well Victory had played early on. But Ange would be worried.

Flores and Finkler are no Mackay and Murdocha. Can you see Victory winning games in the last 3 minutes? Not yet, not with these players.

 But Victory have shown they can possibly perform on a par, maybe even better than Brisbane at their best.

Victory's defence, even the much-maligned Adrian Leijer, seemed more composed.

Although if the ball is down the other end all night you can pick yourself up for the odd chase and tackle I suppose.

Mark Milligan over Jon Bru is a huge improvement.

Great for the A-League to have another Ange team producing excitement. If he spends two years at each club in another 16 or so think of the quality of the league!!!

If it's not Ange that produces the quality free-flowing team, then who is it? Kevin Muscat?


Sunday, 4 November 2012

Sydney FC: The entertainers. And have they found a no. 9?

Have you ever seen Sydney FC entertain like that?

They were sharp out of the blocks, took the lead with a great finish and with a little more urgency could have been a couple up early.

The Mariners were all at sea, unusually sloppy with their ball retention in front of their back four and the defence was losing tackles and players at will.

But Sydney despite being handed the lead and the initiative contrived to throw it all away in an instant.

The keeper spilled a tame shot, and Seb Ryall simply bundled the ball home to ensure it was a double catatrosphe.

It got worse.

Josh Rose parked himself in the attack...Holger must be worried about Emmo defensively after that..and Tommy Rogic slowly delivered the ball to anyone who wanted it and if they didn't he simply shot and scored himself.

Trent McClenahan fouled in the box when the danger had passed. Did he have a bet on.

3-1 and that's before half time. Sydney simply couldn't defend.

And then Ian Crook sends them out with a back three.

I kid you not. We all screamed it's going to be a mauling.

7-2. It was.

Danny McBreen even scored three!!!

Adam Griffith, Pascal Bosschardt and Fabio could easily reduce this game to a 3-2 type of defeat...and that's at best.

The positives? Sydney showed some attacking flair, real creativity against a Mariners team not easy to breakdown.

How many times have we watched a laborious Sydney FC build up...slowly. Oh for the days!

Have they found a new number 9 in the Panamanian. Jason Culina and ADP will need young legs around them. But it might be worth getting Yau in front of ADP. Surely ADP can release this guy. Lovrek is never going to score is he?

Sydney can be a good team, they have the players but do they have the Coaching staff.

After the performance in Wellington - they had a pre-season to prepare for that - the game last week and last night you wonder what they are going to build on in training this week.


United leave it late - but what quality goals..sssh don't tell the Canberra Times

Funny how people see a game of football.

I read the Canberra Times report of the game between Canberra United and Adelaide and you got a sense it was all United and they left it late but the report missed the real talking point among the fans.

The sheer quality of the goals.

Caitlin Cooper rose at the NEARPOST like that leaping salmon and thundered the ball into the net. The tension lifted immediately.

It was a crucial goal at a crucial point in the game.

United had struggled to complete many of their excellent opportunities and Adelaide had clung to a 1-0 lead. 

But a more powerful leap and header than Coopers you won't see.

 Until the second goal.

Ariane Hingst drove a free kick into the ball into the box with such power and pace, it had to be seen to be believed.

No-one in the stands wanted to head it believe me.

Ellie Brush came tearing in, leaping into the path of the ball and simply smashed the ball home.

It was the winning goal. It deserved to be the winning goal and Captain Brush, who had been leaping and winning headers all day, showed the determination, skill and leadership to win the game.

And then enter Sammy Wood. Wood picked the ball up maybe 20 - 25 metres out (40 in the Canberra Times apparently, that would make the half way circle in my book) and having only just come on, looked up and drove and effectively lobbed the keeper.

No mean feat, especially when you consider Sammy is in her first season and only just getting a few minutes on the park. This was her second run as substitute.

To understand the importance of the goal to Sammy, to Jitka you have to know something about the game, the players. If Sammy can score a goal like that in those minutes who knows what she can do over the season.

 I think it was the confidence to try the shot that impressed me most. The delivery? Well that sent me home smiling!

You can read the Canberra Times report here!