Busy week aheadPosted: March 17, 2012
It is a busy 9 days ahead for Brisbane Roar, and it could very well be season defining as they fight on 2 fronts, this time however they’ll do so exclusively on the road. Starting in Newcastle this evening the Brisbane boys will attempt to gain the lead in the chase for the premier’s plate before jet setting off to the Chinese capital to take on Beijing. That game shapes up as at the very least a ‘must not lose’ encounter with Brisbane already suffering defeat from FC Tokyo on the opening match day. From there Brisbane return home before heading down the M1 to take on Gold Coast, in what could be the decisive day for the premiership –or it could be completely academic. Either way a derby is always an important game to win, and this one could be especially spicy given it is possibly the last time Brisbane and Gold Coast will meet in the derby.
Here’s a few quotes from Brisbane boss Ange Postecoglou in relation to the next week:
“Having to travel, we’re taking 15 to Newcastle and 19 to China, then we don’t get back until Thursday which means probably just one session before we play Gold Coast.
Shane Stefanutto and Mohamed Adnan look to be the likely team members to drop out of the starting eleven against Newcastle with Postecoglou opting to rest his veteran defenders for later in the week.
Massimo Murdocca (shoulder), Mitch Nichols (groin) and Henrique (suspension) are all available for selection again, leaving just Luke Brattan (knee) and Rocky Visconte (ankle) back in Brisbane nursing their respective injuries.
So clearly there has been a lot of thought put into all of this from the folks over at Roar HQ and it’s defiantly a tough balance to strike in regards to A-League vs. ACL, but it’s not going to get any easier with finals fast approaching. Resting Adnan is perhaps risky to some given that they don’t rate Jurman, but for mine Matt is fine in an A-League game and he’ll hold his own, plus imo Adnan’s been a little below his best in the past week or so, so a freshen up should help.
For mine it’s a good decision to rest Stefanutto today- he was exposed in Asia for speed and possibly fatigue so getting him to only play ACL is a smart move especially since imo at least Hingert isn’t up to the standard of Asia as yet, while Stefanutto has some fringe Socceroo experience to call upon.
Id like to see Fitzgerald get a rest at some stage as well, because imo he’s just beginning to look a little tired out there on the park and isn’t having the same influence on games he was a month or so ago. Perhaps it’s a youth thing where they struggle with consistency, but it’s also worth considering that this is his 1st professional season and even though he spent the majority of it in the youth side, he could be running out of gas.
It is also incredibly lucky that both Brattan and Visconte aren’t out for the long term and could be back in the side along with Issey for next weeks M1 derby. That at least provides Postecoglou some food for thought as he considers how to shuffle the decks to fight on multiple fronts. A decision on Visconte and Brattan wouldn’t be made until next Friday most likely in what would be the squad’s sole training session prior to the GC game.
Finally- Ange mentioned that 19 players will be making the trip to China, and with no official conformation on who they will be –although 90% of it is obvious- I’ll spend the final part of this blog on who will likely be making the trip.
Certain travellers: (16)
Theoklitos, Franjic, Smith, Adnan, Stefanutto, Paartalu, Murdocca, Nichols, Henrique, Berisha, Redmayne, Jurman, Hingert, Meyer, Danning.
Mundy- 1st team member, but with 6 defenders already making the trip will he be needed?
Fitzgerald- Not strictly 1st team but has featured frequently of late. He’ll more than likely go.
Lambadaridis- Like Fitzgerald isn’t part of 1st team, but with Visconte and Brattan out there’s a lack of cm’s in the travelling party and that imo should see him go as a bench player.
Acton- Perhaps im alone on this one but I think it’s a smart move to take Matt along to every Asian away, for 2 reasons. 1stly its good experience for him, but more importantly you don’t want to be short of a GK if Theo got injured in the warm up.
From the above list of 4 imo it should be Acton, Fitzgerald and Lambadaridis to travel as bench filler with Mundy missing out. It’s nothing personal against Matt it just makes more sense imo if the other 3 go.
Not considered: (6)
Donachie- No need
Brown- No need
Proia- No need
My final guess at the travelling squad for Beijing away:
Theoklitos, Franjic, Smith, Adnan, Stefanutto, Paartalu, Murdocca, Nichols, Henrique, Berisha, Broich, Redmayne, Jurman, Hingert, Meyer, Danning, Fitzgerald, Lambadaridis, Acton.
** All of this is on the assumption that nobody gets an injury in tonight’s match