Sunday, August 26, 2007

Oh so exciting!

Have I written about how happy I am for the A-League to be back yet?!?

So, the first match... Sydney vs. Central Coast
A rare Bolton error allows Gumprecht to intercept the ball, pass it off to Petrovski who does a fairly decent job of ensuring the ball gets to the far post and in for a goal. Anyone who's read my blogs realises that I'm far more interested in defences and particularly goalkeeping. With Vukovic in goals for the Mariners I really wasn't going to pay too much attention to the Sydney defence (which looked shakier than I expected!)

I'm a bit worried about Vukovic's goalkicks. Towards the end of the first half the ones from the right side of the goalbox kept veering off to the right and out of play. Then in the second half they weren't getting any distance! And then there was that moment when he came right of the box and my heart was in my mouth. I think everyone knows the moment when he came to the edge of the box for the initial save and then came right out for the second save - which he completely missed.

But he was otherwise awesome, especially when Juninho made that run in the first half down to the goalline and Vukovic kept covering - nice and low, stayed on his feet and didn't commit himself until he lost his balalnce. Juninho cut the ball back, can't remember who shot (Zadkovic?) and Vukovic was back on his line where he needed to be. I think he was a little annoyed that he lost his balance against Juninho, but I commend his effort in not committing and staying on this feet - top piece of work there.

Boogard and Wilkinson both had solid games, was very happy with them. However, my Dad pointed out that McKinna was a bit amateur regarding Jedinak marking Juninho for the whole of the match. Perhaps something for a post later down the track!

Let's move onto the refereeing. First, Talay should've been carded sooner - he was fouling all over the shop. Second, Heffernan's body check against Milligan needs to be dealt with. It's worse in the replay as you can see Heffernan keeping an eye on Milligan, waiting for the run towards him!

And while we're on referees... Queensland vs. Adelaide. What a dirty match! The thing that annoyed me most about this match was Tiatto stomping on Djite. IN FRONT OF THE ASSISTANT! And well, he's blind and perhaps deaf, he wants be a ref, but had to settle for waving a flag about. It was happening during last season too - assistants so caught up in determining if a player is offside or if the ball is out that they miss the things that occur right under their noses. It's really quite disgusting to see players get away with things such as that right in front of officials. Disgusting from the point of view of how inept our referees are!

Keeping things short - onto Wellington vs. Melbourne. I have not been very nice to Mr Theoklitos in the past (see labels Goalkeepers and Melbourne Rant), but I was willing to turn over a new leaf. This obviously will not happen - I completely blame the second Wellington goal on him (and what a turn around were Wellington in the last 15 minutes!).

I'll try to start positively - Muscat's penalty taking skills are well known, so I'll talk about the second goal. Awesome run by Keenan down the left flank. Has two Wellington players coming at him, slots the ball between them to play a one-two with a team-mate (I'll have to rewatch the match to remember). So that's two opposition players dealt with. Upon receiving the ball, we ducks and weaves past 2 and a bit players, falling down at that 3rd player and passing the ball off to Super Dan who ensure that it's a goal by slotting it past Moss. A total of 6 Wellington players dealt with between Keenan, the 'wall' player and Allsopp. Lovely sight that was. Beautiful finish too, but a wonderful run down the left flank. Unfortunately, aside from that gorgeous run I thought Keenan wasn't all that extraordinary...

Broxham was one of my top players from the match. Stocky and short, his low centre of gravity is going to make him a difficult player to stop when running at you. :)

I'm not too fussed about the first Wellington goal, a bit unlucky from the Melbourne player who headed the ball back to where Daniel was, and once that happened there was nothing that could really be done.

But the second goal... First Theoklitos comes out to the edge of the box for some reason. Broxham had his eye on the high ball, puts it under control and seemed to have the intention of playing it back to the keeper. By the time, Theoklitos was right next to Broxham, so there was no keeper to pass to! It means that Broxham had to do something quickly and played it out to the sideline. The resulting throw-in goes down the sideline and is knocked back into the goalbox. When the play is far away - say, outside the box, then the keeper has the time to be off his line. But as the play moves closer, the keeper ought to be on his line. I think there was more than enough time for Theoklitos to get back into his proper position. But he's so used to NOT being on his line... AARRRGGGHHH!!!! He ended up being about 2m off his line when the ball reached its target of Smeltz. Headed over the massive gap between the goal and the keeper - thank you very much!

Other things occurred too (Allsopp's handball comes to mind), but I have a pet hate of keepers not sitting on their line. The ironic part is that I used to do this all the time... shhh!


Anonymous said...

I knew Theo did the wrong thing in the second goal!

I only so it once and my instinct (I am nowhere near as knowledgable as you are, it was just an instinct that said something in that picture was wrong, the heading person was to close, not sure something!) was he should have cut the cross, I didn't follow theo properly so I didn't know where he was standing but now I understand, thank you!!

A couple of questions, what did you think about Carlos? and Piro? (I liked both, although was Piro the defender that was turned on like a kid at the end of the match? I hope not)also what did you think about Wellington?

Thanks for your commentary, I love your work.

Anonymous said...

Heffernan's hit was fantastic! I guess that in principle it should get him suspended, but in my heart I just loved it. Me and my friends watching the match were laughing for a ages as we watched the replays. It's a bit like when a fight breaks out. Of course, some people say it's a blight on the game, particularly the "Won't someone think of the children?" brigade, but deep down, most people are cheering them on. Especially the kids!