Monday, January 22, 2007

(Swoonable) idiot of the week

This week's swoon is more of a rant. Good-looking player in my opinion (and a few others too), but he was very disappointing on the pitch.

I hate it when players pick up stupid yellow cards. It's often the younger players who lack a bit of experience, and often get themselves booked for general recklessness. I've made a short post in the past about this as it is a pet hate of mine.

I would like to think that a player would earn a yellow (or red) card for a decent reason. This week a particular player stood out for me. Greg Owens came on late for Adelaide on the weekend, after the three points and second place had been stitched up.
He had quite an awful 18 minutes. First moment of misery occurred soon after his inclusion in the match, where a shooting opportunity where he didn't make contact with the ball. Now, this happens to a few players (eg. Vargas), but not really as obviously as what happened to Owens. Drew his right leg back, 'shot' with a bit of follow-through and he had a more impressive pirouette than Vargas. Although at least Owens' (lack-of)-action did cost Adelaide a goal.

The frustration that resulted from it did have a possibly worse affect though. Well, I assume that he would have been frustrated with his mis-timing and probably tried too hard to win the ball when he had a chance. And when he did have this chance, he put his entire body in the path of a player. It wasn't malicious at all, but I believe that it was unecessary. He should have known that he was already on three yellows, and that any stupidity of the tackling kind would result in a suspension.

Comparing the two ballerinas - where Melbourne didn't need the three points, Vargas is still available for next week (hoping that he just had a bad game against Newcastle). Owens, however, has now ruled himself out of the first leg of the finals match against Melbourne. From a Melbourne point of view, I shouldn't be complaining. But if I had to be honest, I'd want the A-League to be a success. It needs to be sustainable and produce good quality players. In my perfectionistic view of football, players who earn stupid yellows such as Owens (Melbourne's Adrian Leijer earns a few too, I'm not that one-eyed) affect the quality of the game.

Whether it be through giving away free-kicks or earning themselves a suspension for the next week (or couple of weeks if you're Leijer*), it's something that needs to be worked on. It may up to the individual player to decide that he will keep his cool, or up to their coach if the player needs to settle down.

From a swooning point of view, at least he'll be available for the Melbourne leg of the play-off. From a Victory supporter's perspective, here's hoping he doesn't score or provide an assist. Or recklessly tackle someone in a manner that injures them...

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