Monday, September 17, 2007

A bit on our Central and South Americans

Hernandez has lost weight, and now that he's not quite as physically slow as he was in preseason (in terms of getting from A to B), he's getting more involved in the game. But it shows that he's still not match fit. His quick one-twos occasionally work, but don't quite penetrate defence lines. What really annoyed me last night was his inability to put a good shot or cross in. By the time he controlled the ball, pushed it to where he wanted it, accommodated his body to align himself for a shot, wound his leg back... a Central Coast player had taken the ball of him!

Most of my disappointment comes from that I expected more from him. Such an experienced player from Puerto Rico surely isn't as dependent on having to turn his whole body just to use the inside of the foot to shoot or cross like many of our home bread A-League players. I'd expect him to be comfortable in using any part of his foot to do something with the ball, and I'd have expected him to be able to put some power onto a ball from the knee not only from the hip.

Perhaps I'm the only one (judging by what I could read from the Melbourne Victory forum before it went down), but I was completely dismayed by Love. I would have kept Hernandez on the pitch if I knew how badly Love was going to play! I only counted three intentional passes that were completed, one unintentional pass (a throw in from Archie, I think Love tried to control it, ended up going into the air and Archie managed to do something with it) and one shot, nicely saved by Vukovic, as his contribution s to the match during his 30 minutes of play. Not once did I see him win a ball - he would give the opposition player in possession of the ball about 2 to 3m of space (and time!) to do whatever he wised with the ball. In the end Brebner was often coming from behind Love to put the pressure on! Ridiculous! Love made Archie's occasional-defending-from-the-front look brilliant. I'm hoping Love wakes up and lifts his game... he'll end up like Claudinho otherwise.


watt said...

Interesting. You weren't very impressed by love previous preformances either.

I felt Love did fairly well. I was on the left hand side of NT3L and he seemed to create a bit of movement on the right flank (right bellow us) which was a good distraction because we were in a very bad mood by then.

That said, your technical knowledge is far far superior than mine (You have a lot, I have next to none) so I'm prepared to accept your assesment, hopefully I can get my hands on a recording of the game so I can watch it again and learn.

It was interesting that Merrick played Caceres but replaced him very early on (admittedly they were killing us on the ringht hand side). We still played with no depth, we effectively whenever we have the ball on a wing the opposing wing always cuts in all the way to the centre

I have noticed that we were defending one of the corners with all 11 players which meant in a slower counter-attack, surely we can spare at least one short fast player to stay forward?

At least twice we had the ball in the centre and CCM pushed a very flat line of defense fairly far up, I was disappointed we did not manage any through passes that would at the very least making them think twice about narrowing the field of play so much, I wonder if it happened often

watt said...

I meant to say with no width, not with no depth :doh:

Cecilia said...

I think if you were sitting on that side, Love would've looked impressive as that's where he made his three completed passes and consequently where he did the most successful attacking work. His woeful ball control, lack of marking, and awful passes occurred when he was over on my side (the left), and made me even more angry that Caceres wasn't there.

I wouldn't know about me having more technical knowledge! So try to get your hands on a copy of the match and let me know what you think!

I'm angry about the Caceres thing, because playing him on his non-favoured side, against a team that's as hungry as the Mariners, directly against Brown and Heffernan is just asking for him to not look good. It's a bit of a joke, and I wonder what's going through Ernie's head.

Yeah, I noticed that too. I think Merrick was desperate not to concede. Considering that the Mariners are the only team now with 4 clean sheets, he probably thought we'd have a harder time getting through their defence than we actually did (in the end anyway). We did have problems getting through in the first half as Danny and Archie weren't quite with it. But the closing stages of the match were promising, we just didn't have the players on the park (or bench) to do it.

I think the through-balls were a key part of our play last year with Fred. At the moment, the only player that we have and I can see readily doing such balls in the midfield is Kaz. But he wasn't played. Broxham did a very good job of it when he was released from his defensive shackles, and if he develops this part of his game could easily play in there. He's a stockily built kid (he's younger than me, ergo I can call him a kid), and won't be as much of a pushover as Kaz is.

I think that's why Merrick didn't play Kaz at all. Against Perth, a couple of pushes from the Glory players completely put Kaz off and he couldn't get into the game. Central Coast are also a physical team, so I think that's why Merrick didn't play Kaz at all, and put Broxham in right back to counter the Heffernan runs, rather than the physically weaker Piorkowski. Perhaps Merrick wasn't sure of Ryall was up for the job either, and I'm disappointed he wasn't in the starting eleven given his performance against Adelaide.