Saturday, September 01, 2007

The let-down

Empty. Ho hum. My initial reaction to the match is, oddly enough, the feeling I had against Perth at home last year. Unfortunately we didn't have a late strike from Brebner to at least get us the three points.

Things started to go awry when Keenan picked up a knock earlier in the match, hobbled about for a bit and was substituted for Kemp. Now Keenan's not consistently spectacular, but his runs down the left flank in preseason (against the VPL teams and in the preseason cup) showed that he has something special to contribute to the team. An occasional spark that can can work wonders - such as his wonderful set up of Allsopp's goal last week. Only 10 minutes into the match and our creative spark was gone. I do rate him as our most creative player at the moment.

Kemp, on the other hand, is quite the opposite. Dull to watch and has a tendency to thump the ball up the field to no-one in particular. Seems to do it consistently too, which adds to the anguish of watching him play. I'm fairly finicky. I appreciate that Kemp is quite stable as a defender, but it's his playing of the ball that depresses me. If he really loved the ball, I think he could do more with it. Instead, he seems more eager to clear it from defence and just getting rid of the ball.

I was delighted to not only have Pantelides back in the squad, but to have him in the starting line-up. It looked like Panta had the job of looking after Rukavytsya, occasionally passing the responsibility to Broxham when he felt the need to push forward. Aside from the foul on Sekulovski, Panta had a great game. Solid tackles and well thought passes - essential for building play from the defence. I'm hoping that he makes good use of the opportunities that may be thrown his way while Ljubo is injured.

Unfortunately Panta couldn't complete the match after tackling the elephant that is Topor-Stanley. An African elephant. Looks like Panta copped a knock to his knee, and while he was still competitive (he really does seem to have a never-say-die attitude), he ended up coming off. So early in the season, not worth sustaining a serious injury after playing on from a bit of a knock.

All up it was a disappointing match. Not once did we threaten the Perth goal, Tommich was never tested. We really never had a scoring opportunity. Perhaps I should be happy with the single point and a clean sheet. But I'm not - all that excitement of the A-League being back in town and we couldn't even get close to cheering and celebrating as a combined Melbourne fan base. Anyway, perhaps we'll get the better of current leaders Central Coast in a fortnight.

No comments: