5 into 4 doesn’t goPosted: December 12, 2011
5 into 4 doesn’t go, so which of Brisbane Roar’s 5 foreign signings will be the unlucky man and miss out on a spot in the clubs maiden Champions League squad? Today Marco speculated that it’s going to come down to a straight battle between Issey and Henrique which I would tend to agree with if things stay as they are. There are good cases to be made for all five of the players concerned so let’s take a look at those in some greater detail.
Ok first of all some housekeeping issues- For the Asian Champions League you are allowed four foreign players, however one of them must be from another Asian Confederation nation. As things stand Sayed Mohammad Adnan is the only player on the roster capable of filling that spot.
Another question that comes up a bit when discussing this topic is the possibility of Henrique becoming an Australian citizen in a move which would allow all five to play in Asia. However this one at least imo is an extreme long shot given its now early December and it hasn’t even been discussed. In addition to that im not 100% sure that he is eligible to apply for it at this moment in time anyway.
The other factor to consider is that Thomas Broich and Henrique have deals that conclude after the 2012/13 season whereas Issey, Broich and Adnan all are free agents after the 2011/12 season. Does this play a factor in the decision? Perhaps especially in the case of Broich and Henrique because it would seem to me at least to bee a poor message to leave Henrique out for the ACL, but bring him back for next season. Perhaps that’s just me thou.
Ok so now that we have established that it is not possible to pick all five players let’s look at the five current foreigners and how they could go in Asia, starting with Bahraini defender Sayed Mohammad Adnan. The big defender is a lock for the ACL campaign and it’s fair to assume imo that a big part of signing him was with the ACL in mind. Adnan offcourse has extensive experience in the confederation playing in multiple Asian Cup and World Cup campaigns for Bahrain.
Another player surely destined to be apart of the ACL campaign is German whiz Thomas Broich who has been simply outstanding since his arrival in May 2010. We’ve seen time and again that when Brisbane has needed that something extra in the attacking third of the pitch, more often than not its been Broich to deliver it. It seems unthinkable that Broich won’t be a part of the squad for Asia, provided he isn’t sold in January, or injured.
The third and final lock it would appear is Albanian hit man Besart Berisha who has proved to be a free scoring striker since his arrival- 9 goals in 10 games or a goal a game average more or less is phenomenal. It’s not just the goals thou his all round game has been very good and appears to be on the same page with the rest of the squad and is an invaluable player in the team. There is also a total lack of out and out strikers in the squad with Meyer and Danning being the only other options. So that’s 3 of the 4 places accounted for, but who takes the 4th?
Henrique has been in some impressive form this season contributing 4 goals from his 7 appearances however 3 of them have been from the penalty spot. There was also the fact that Henrique returned to pre season training without doing the fitness work Ken Stead laid out for him and the got injured early on. Would things like this be involved in the decision? Idk but its important to keep in mind imo. Henrique has also shown in the past that he can be quiet injury prone which is another factor to consider. It is important to point out however that when fit there is no doubt the guy has an impact on the park with his play down the right and would do well in Asia is fit.
Finally is Canadian winger Issey Nakajima-Farran, who might not have started off particularly well in the eyes of a few Brisbane Roar fans but has contributed a reasonably impressive 3 goals and 2 assists in 8 starts making him the third highest scoring player in the team. That’s not the worst record out there given he is in all likelihood still adjusting to a different type of league in Australia. There have however been some poor performances and moments from him not least of which is last Friday nights game against Melbourne Heart when he got dragged after an hour.
As things stand right now this would be my preferred option on who to take to Asia would be this:
– Sayed Mohammad Adnan (AFC confederation foreigner)
– Besart Berisha
– Thomas Broich
– Henrique Silva
So as you can see as things stand right now in early December I would leave Issey out of the squad. For mine Henrique just offers that little bit extra in attack and has been just that little bit more consistent than Issey this season. This could offcourse all change in a heartbeat for many reasons.
Just one final quick thought on this issue and what about the possibility of bringing in another foreign player for the Champions League and beyond? There are two questions to consider here: which foreign player would leave the squad as we already have the league maximum of 5 and where do the team need to strengthen.
I’ll answer the 2nd question first by quiet simply saying that if we do go into the market to strengthen –either visa player or Australian- is that Ange should target another striker to provide cover and competition. For mine every other position in the squad has ample depth as things stand right now, although that could all change if someone moves to Europe or Asia in the January transfer window. With the salary cap full any new player would have to be a marquee player or somebody would need to head for the exit, and in the case of a foreign player one of the 5 on the roster would need to leave.
Who should that be? Well for mine you would have to be looking again at either Issey or Henrique. I know that it’s harsh but the squad does have multiple wing options on the roster (Broich, Issey, Henrique, Danning, Meyer, Visconte, and Fitzgerald) and swapping out one of them for another quality striker would appear to make some sense. In the end however I think that Marco hit the nail on the head today when he said it’s a straight fight between Issey and Henrique for that final ACL foreign spot, however you just never know in football.