Jets leave Brisbane with the 3 points…again

 

Brisbane Roar 0
Newcastle Jets 1 (Jobe Wheelhouse 23’)
Saturday, 28 January 2012
Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane
Referee: Ben Williams
Crowd: 9,293

 

It was disappointing, it was frustrating and it was predictable, Brisbane’s 5 game unbeaten run was ended on Saturday night by a plucky Jets side, and the chances of top spot appear to be gone as well- 2nd isn’t exactly sewn up either. The defensive issues are still there and the offense is predictable and slow, but more on those issues in a moment.

 

Starting Lineups:

 

Substitutions:

Brisbane: Brattan for Paartalu (65’), Meyer for Henrique (65’)

Unused subs: Jurman, Redmayne

Omitted: Visconte, Nakajima-Farran, Danning

 

Newcastle: Wheelhouse for Bridges (65’), Brockie for Jeffers (65’), Griffiths for Regan (87’)

Unused subs: Nash

Omitted: Virgili, Jesic, Haliti

 

Brisbane played their usual 4-3-3 formation, and the question all week was: Who will play upfront without Berisha? Well the answer was Thomas Broich, who played the role sitting slightly deeper and not pressuring the ball as much (Fox FC did a fantastic job showing this last night). There was however a bit more rotation of position in the front third than usual, with both Fitzgerald and Henrique rotating through the strikers role at different times.

Defensive issues:

Once again a single defensive mistake cost Brisbane with some inept work on the edge of the box from both the midfielders (who didn’t track the Wheelhouse run and the defenders (who let him run past them). Smith and Murdocca were the culprits in this case, but Theo should not be excused for his part in the goal, anytime the ball goes through the keeper with that small amount of power is just not good enough.

 

The bigger issue thou is that these comical pieces of defending have been going on for 2 months now and coach Postecoglou made a telling and accurate comment about them after Saturday’s game:

 

“But when you do concede a goal and end up chasing the game, it allows the opposition to frustrate you, and I guess they did a good job of that for the 90 minutes.

That’s been the case over the last eight or ten matches, we cop the first goal which puts you on the back foot and means you’re always chasing games.”

 

Indeed Brisbane have made a habit of conceding the 1st goal, here’s a few stats regarding this issue: 12 times out of 19 Brisbane have conceded the 1st goal this season that is by far not good enough. It does add some credence to what Ange is saying about teams getting a goal or two up and then ‘parking the bus’. In contrast to this, when Brisbane do score the 1st goal, as they have done on 7 occasions this seasons,  they have won 4 games, and drawn 3 (3 wins, 1 draw at home, 1 win, 2 draws away).

 

Predictable offence:

Before I delve into this issue here’s a couple of quotes from Postecoglou on the state of the attack:

 

“It’s hard to say (how our attack is going) when you’re chasing games. When you allow the opposition to sit back – and they have every right to – it’s pretty hard to judge how we’re going,” he said.

“At the end of the day, we had enough of the ball and enough time to fashion a couple of chances, but we probably weren’t as decisive in that front third as we could have been.

 

While I think he has a point regarding the opposition and sitting back congesting the space and preventing the attack from being at its best, I do however think it is possible to judge the play in the attacking third, which imo is predictable and at times can be slow. Starting with transition and counter attacks, for mine it’s too slow. There are times in games where the ball is at midfield and there appears to be a good opportunity for a counter attack only for the midfielders to turn back and play the ball to Paartalu or one of the other cm’s. The general play is also becoming a tad predictable, with cross after cross coming from the fullbacks at the by-line. While this method has helped achieve previously unachievable highs, perhaps its time to tweak it just a little. Below is a little diagram outlining Brisbane’s general shape, whilst in attack. N.B: the diagram includes the players who were substituted on during the match, next to the player they replaced.

 

 

Player ratings:

Brisbane: Theoklitos 6, Franjic 7, Smith 6, Adnan 7, Stefanutto 6, Paartalu 6, Murdocca 7, Nichols 6, Broich 7, Henrique 6, Fitzgerald 7, Meyer 6, Brattan 6.

Newcastle: Kennedy 7) Elrich 6, Topor-Stanley 7, Calvano 7, Kantarovski 7, Pepper 6, Zadkovich 6, Wheelhouse 7, Griffiths 6, Jeffers 6, Bridges 6, Brockie 6, Regan 6

 

Statistics:

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