Friday, October 12, 2007

Our midfield problem

I'm not a Ljubo fan. So with Brebner suspended* and Muscat injured (Broxham too, but he would've been ineligible due to Olyroo commitments) we had a new midfield. Of Ljubo. If anyone saw one thing that Ljubo did for the team, please let me know. All I saw was someone doing bugger all and giving the team instructions the whole time. As if I'd listen to someone who wasn't putting in the hard yards themselves! And how can such a tall guy be beaten in the air?!?! Oh that's right, as part of the step-onto-the-pitch-only-package, the guy can't jump. Couldn't jump during preseason or against Wellington, can't jump now. It's not the knee, it's him. He's useless. So what did Ernie do? Use the three subs but kept Ljubo on the pitch.

I owe Beltrame a hug, not just because I do find him swoon-worthy (I 'fessed up last week during Eamonn's podcast) but because he almost took Ljubo out. I seriously think that we would've been better with ten men and no Ljubo than ten men plus Ljubo. Not only was Ljubo completely useless on the pitch, it looked like the other Melbourne players were avoiding passing the ball to him unless there was absolutely no other option! Perhaps passing and playing with Ljubo gets you on the wrong side of Muscat...

Anyway, let's not waste anymore time on Ljubo.

How GREAT were Adelaide! Sorry, I know I should be licking my wounds, but the main difference between the two teams was desire. Everytime there was a fifty-fifty ball or yet another Mickey-Mouse-pass from Melbourne, Adelaide would be there challenging for the ball. They looked so much quicker, getting there before us most of the time. Mentally and physically faster than us. I think not having Burns, Djite, Agostino and Valkanis means that a few players who don't often get a chance to play really wanted to prove their worth.

Pantelis had a great match, perhaps the best on the park. And to cap it off with that goal - it was quite a pretty strike. Dodd also had a great match, he seems to have really stepped up since taking on the captain's armband. Vidmar is now in the enviable position of having to seriously decide who to start with, and I'm hoping he gives Pantelis another start, he really did have a good match.

Yeah, I'm happy with our loss to Adelaide, but only because I can sit down to watch Adelaide and find myself watching some football. Vidmar may have started his head-coaching career in a bit of a shaky manner, but there's a real football team in the A-League season now. Perhaps two once I see the Roar play this weekend.

*Serves me right, I know.

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