Friday, November 10, 2006

Melbourne vs. Perth

Well, what an annoying game last night...

"Suffering?" asked someone I bumped into at the match.

To be honest, no, I was finding Melbourne's performance really disappointing. Maybe it's because I'm so defensively minded, having played as a 'keeper the past couple seasons that I played, but the Melbourne defence and their methodology really annoyed me. I completely and utterly believe that defending is the role of EVERY player on the pitch. Including Thompson. It annoys me how little he does to try and recuperate a ball that he's lost. Sure, sometimes you lose the ball and it's well-handled by the defence, so you have no chance of winning it back. But often this isn't the case. Allsopp works very hard... and this would have been why he wasn't scoring goals last year. We didn't have much of a midfield last year, so Danny would have to cover that area as well. He'd even drop back to the defence at times, so it not only astounded me how fit he was to do that for 90 minutes, but also how much the Victory crowd would give him flack for not scoring.

Anyway, so then the ball enters the midfield. If Brebner or Fred are around, they seem to try their damn-hardest to win the ball back. Unfortunately, Fred's game plan/style seems to be to link the forwards and mid-field by dribbling the ball. Whereas Brebs takes the pass approach more often. This means that Fred does an awful lot of running, and towards the end, as much as he tried, he didn't have the legs. And the contrast between his dark skin and white teeth made it easy to tell that he was grimacing, trying to get his legs to work. Now, if Sarkies is around... well, it depends on the stars. Even if he goes in, it's soft. Along with his free-kicks, most of which went straight to the hands Perth 'keeper, Tomich, Sarkies was extremely disappointing. Occasionally, when the stars aligned, he would put a good ball through... but they didn't align very often.

And so on we go to the defence. Pantelidis played his normal game, went in hard, played well. Can't talk too much about him, as he performed as I expected. Leijer seems to improve with every game. I don't know what we would have done if both Vargas and Leijer had been suspended, as Piorkowski and Storey are the greatest disappointments of the Melbourne line-up. In my opinion anyway. Storey receives the ball from Panta or Leijer and then doesn't know what to do. So he'll pass it back. Even when there was space to run up the wing a bit to try and get an angle... perhaps pass it to Brebs/Fred/Sarkies, or even Thompson. But no, unless Brebs gave him instructions. Sometimes Storey would receive the ball from Brebs to widen the play, Brebs would point out where to pass the ball and Storey would then put the ball in. But otherwise, it would go back to the player he received it from. I can imagine the dialogue between them...

Player 1, usually Leijer: "Uh oh, Perth player taking up my space. Storey's on the left, I'll pass it to him!."
Storey: "Oh, I've received the ball. I have heaps of space. But I don't know what to do. Sure, player 1's covered, but heck, I'll pass it back."
Player 1/Leijer: Option 1 - "Great. I've got it again. I'll pass it back to Theo then... see what he can do."or Option 2 - "There's Panta/Brebs."
Option 1 -
Pulls his shorts up. "Oh, here comes the ball."
Theo then passes it back to Leijer, who consequently does passes it to Storey/Piorkowski or to Panta/Brebs as per Option 2. Alternately, Theo whomps it up the field.

And now the other side of our defence - Piorkowski. Like Storey, he's soft - not a hard tackler. But there were a few times that Pior mustn't have been feeling well, as he did go in hard. And to me, if he can do it once or twice, he can do it all the time. He's also slow... he loses his player, and then doesn't have the speed to chase them down...

Let's move onto the custodian. Theokolitos. He's a hoot to watch. Seriously. If the other team are attacking the goal - stop watch the play, and watch Theo. He'll pull his shorts up, take a few steps forward, take a few steps back, pull his shorts up again, maybe go back a bit more, pull his shorts up... He's so worried! He seems to panic... must feel great to be in the defensive line with him. And when I say "pull his shorts up" I mean he pulls them up from the legs, like Barthez when he's annoyed or prepares for a shot against him, if you've seen him play. And then when Theo has the ball. It's painful to watch. Last week, against Central Coast, we were 3-2 down... we NEEDED another goal. I would have thought that once Theo has the ball during play, that he'd call for his team to push up, put the long ball in and go for a counter. Theo does call for his team to push up... and then delibirates... bounces the ball a few times, giving Central Coast time to drop back and re-organise themselves, and then he kicks the ball. AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!

My my, haven't I ranted?

I best be off now - this took much longer than I expected, mainly because I ranted. I have a bit more to rant... perhaps later...

For the record, to the suffering question. I replied, "Oh, yeah, I suppose so." Heck, really, what could I say? That I was disappointed with how Melbourne were playing? This guy's meant to be a coach, surely he can recognise the difference between bad-luck (eg. when the team plays well, but the shots hit the post all the time) and when a team's not playing well (eg. creating no real opportunities.)

Oh, and at the train station after the match - bumped into a friend.

"Frustrating, wasn't it?" Again, what could I say? Well, I replied, "Oh, yeah, I suppose so." Despite Brebs' goal, in the dying moments of regulation time, I was still disappointed. And this friend doesn't play, so I dunno how much she would understand of a rant to would have gone something along the lines of what I did in the above paragraphs...


Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Scary Monkey said...

Sorry anon, I've somehow deleted that comment. But yes - you can now comment your heart away!