After the success of last weeks notes post, I thought id write another as this has been an equally big week based around some public comments from Rado and some senior players, the loss of a talented defender to Victory, the final cut for the East Asian Cup Qualifiers and the 2nd of a season long instalment about discipline and the fair play award.
Starting with the positive news of the week and that is two of the mainstays of the back to back championship winning squad have been rewarded with a chance to win their 1st national team caps next week. Both Matt Smith and Ivan Franjic have been named in the 20 man squad to take on Hong Kong, North Korea, Guam and Chinese Taipei. In the meantime they’ll miss this week’s game at home to Newcastle and next weeks trip to West Sydney Wanderers. Former skipper Matt McKay also made the cut, while current winger Ben Halloran and former midfielder Dario Vidosic didn’t make the cut.
That does however leave Rado with a tricky situation of having to replace both central defenders from last weekend, and wether we like it or not- Jurman will get another chance (possibly his final) over the next 2 weeks to show he belongs in the side. I won’t go into too much detail about who’ll play next to him- I’ll save that for the preview post tomorrow. All I’ll say is that it’s very disappointing that a young defender like Jason Geria was able to move on from the side at a time when he could possibly have made his 1st team debut –probably from the bench- this weekend. It’s disappointing, but there’s still James Donachie who’s a valuable young defender in the squad (and probably will start on Saturday) so it’s not like they let their only good young CB go.
The big theme of the week has been the constant public comments coming from players, and player agents about the way they’re being dealt with at the Roar lately. 1st it was Matt Jurman who through his agent Terry Palapanis began public negotiations about a new contract which is apparently ‘ongoing’. Following that ever-present midfielder Erik Paartalu said to Aus. 442 that all of the public comments from the coaching staff have created an air of negativity around the club. While I agree that these public comments aren’t the smartest idea from Rado and that he should be keeping them in-house wherever possible, he’s not wrong with what he’s saying. The defending is amateurish at times, but perhaps there’s a better way of getting that message across. You can also make the argument that he shouldn’t be talking publically either given his start to the season which has mirrored the fortunes of the side as a whole aswell.
2012-13 Brisbane Roar disciplinary record- November.
Brisbane Roar yellow cards:
A quick reminded that 4 yellows equals an automatic 1 game ban.
League wide discipline record:
Reminder that a yellow card is worth 1 point, a 2nd yellow is worth 2 points and red card is worth 3 points.
So Matt Jurman and Shane Stefanutto are now 1 yellow card away from an automatic week off while Berisha, Smith and Nichols are halfway there. On the teams front Brisbane is now once again back at the top of the table after only getting 7 yellows this month. At the other end of the spectrum Sydney amassed a massive 16 yellows this month at an average of 4 per game.
Central Coast Mariners 2 (Ibini 4’, Rogic 81’)
Brisbane Roar 1 (Murdocca 32’)
Crowd: 9084 at Bluetongue Stadium, Gosford
Central Coast Mariners: 1. Mat Ryan (GK), 2. Daniel McBreen, 3. Josh Rose, 4. Pedj Bojic, 5. Zac Anderson, 7. John Hutchinson, 9. Bernie Ibini (11. Oliver Bozanic 69’), 10. Tom Rogic (19. Mitchell Duke 87’), 14. Michael McGlinchey, 16. Trent Sainsbury, 18. Nick Montgomery.
Substitutes not used: 13. Brent Griffiths, 20. Justin Pasfield (GK)
Yellow cards: Hutchinson (34’), McBreen (34’), Bojic (80’)
Red cards: Nil
Brisbane Roar: 1. Michael Theo (GK), 2. Matt Smith, 3. Shane Stefanutto, 5. Ivan Franjic, 6. Erik Paartalu, 7. Besart Berisha, 8. Massimo Murdocca, 10. Henrique (17. Mitch Nichols 46’), 11. Ben Halloran (87’), 19. Jack Hingert (4. Matt Jurman 70’), 22. Thomas Broich.
Substitutes not used: 20. Matt Acton (GK)
Yellow cards: Berisha (34’), Jurman (80’), Nichols (89’)
Red cards: Nil
I’ll start with the Mariners this week and congrats to them I guess, law of averages suggested they’d win at home eventually. Hopefully it’s another 14 games before they get another home win. They were good yesterday however and played it smart in the conditions so as to not wear themselves out like they have so often in the past against Brisbane. That Rogic kid isn’t a half bad player either.
The one feature of the Mariners game worth pointing out is that they were very compact yesterday in defence. Now that could have been because they took the lead and were protecting it but either way it was very effective and limited the amount of opportunities for Henrique and Broich to drift into dangerous spaces in front of the Mariners defence.
Now onto the Roar, and since he’s my all-time favourite I’ll start with the positive from the game and that’s Massimo’s 1st goal in almost 2 years. It was a cracking strike too from a short corner routine the Mariners clearly didn’t see coming.
Unfortunately that moment of brilliance from Mass was the only one really from Brisbane for the entire match and I can remember too many other chances which suggests that Brisbane was ineffective at breaking down the compact defence of the Mariners.
The 1st half wasn’t all that bad, they knocked the ball around reasonably well, most of it was sideways across the halfway line with the Mariners either cutting out or closing down quickly any time Brisbane tried to penetrate in behind. The 2nd however was largely controlled by the Mariners for mine with Brisbane having precious few chances to get into the attacking third of the pitch.
Rado described the defending as ‘like kindergarten’ or words to that effect and he’s right on that, especially for the Rogic winner. The opening goal was for mine a rather simple goalkeeping mistake on the near post but there was a cavalcade of comedic pieces of defending for the 2nd. 1st Stefanutto was beaten far too easily on the sideline, then Jurman was beaten just as easily and chose to bring the man down despite the fact the ball was running away. As for the free-kick, well the smallest guy at the back post won a free header while Brisbane marked shadows and argued about the ball being out. Play the whistle.
The substitutions are something that I’ve brought up before and im going to do it again because yesterday I found all 3 puzzling. Firstly the halftime switch of Nichols for Henrique which imo made no sense at all. In an attacking sense it’s a downgrade in that Henrique is the more dangerous running at defenders while defensively I find it hard to believe Nichols tracks back more than Henrique does (Neither do tbh). While switching Franjic to his natural role isn’t the worst idea, bringing on a defender who’s clearly lacking in confidence right now against a Mariners side who were in control and attacking regularly is. It’s no coincidence they attacked more down our left from that point on. Finally, I would have brought Fitzgerald on with about 20 mins to go –most likely for Halloran- just for some fresh legs and speed on the counter. Im not sure what bringing him on in the 87th or whatever it was achieves. Speaking of Rado, I do hope he’s not alienating the dressing room with all these public comments about the performances.
Brisbane: Theo 5, Hingert 6, Smith 6, Franjic 6, Stefanutto 6, Paartalu 7, Murdocca 8, Henrique 6, Broich 6, Halloran 6, Berisha 6, Jurman 5, Nichols 6, Fitzgerald 6.
Central Coast: Ryan 6, Bojic 7, Anderson 6, Sainsbury 6, Rose 7, Montgomery 6, Hutchinson 6, McGlinchey 7, Rogic 8, McBreen 6, Ibini 7, Bozanic 6, Duke 6.
Brisbane return home next Saturday evening to take on Emile Heskey and the Newcastle Jets in what is shaping up as a must win game to keep within touching distance of the top 6.
Apologies for this being late, but I’ve been a bit under the weather, nevertheless its game day and here’s the match preview- albeit much shorter.
Starting with Brisbane, are they back? After last weekends convincing win over Sydney everyone seems to think so, and I guess we’ll find out this afternoon. There’s no doubt they were very good last weekend, but was it just a case of beating up on a very ordinary Sydney side. The midfield last week was very much back to it’s best with Halloran especially looking dangerous down the right.
There’s no reason to change a winning side that did so well last week, but Mitch Nichols is back from injury and it’s hard to see him missing out on the squad. I can’t see him starting, but he’ll most likely take the place of Brattan on the bench. As much of an imperfect solution as it is, Ivan Franjic will continue at CB for the immediate future until either Jurman or Takahashi step up, or they bring someone else in.
Predicted Brisbane Starting Line-up: Theo, Hingert, Franjic, Smith, Stefanutto, Paartalu, Murdocca, Henrique, Halloran, Broich, Berisha.
Subs: Acton, Jurman, Nichols, Fitzgerald.
Omitted: Takahashi, Visconte, Dong-Hyun, Brattan.
As for the Mariners Arnold’s been in the press saying they’re not haunted or whatever by the Roar, we shall see because Brisbane have had a hold over Central Coast these past two seasons, and they’ve not lost at Bluetongue to the Mariners since the start of the league. They are in a good run of form however it must be said and they’re a better side this year than previously.
They’ve tweaked there style ever so slightly particularly in midfield to allow them to maintain more control of the game which is something they’ve never had against the Roar so we shall see if it works for them today. Upfront McBreen has been banging in the goals like nobody’s business with two quality strikes last week against the Victory so he’ll be a handful for Smith and Franjic this afternoon.
One possible weakness that Brisbane could exploit however is the young Central Coast centre half pairing of Sainsbury and Zac Anderson. Sainsbury has been in fantastic form to start the year but due to a suspension for Zwaanswijk he’ll be partnered by the former GCU defender. Berisha, Henrique and the rest of the Roar should give them a major test this afternoon.
Predicted Mariners starting line-up: Ryan, Bojic, Sainsbury, Anderson, Rose, McGlinchey, Hutchinson, Montgomery, Rogic, Sterjovski, McBreen.
Subs: Pasfield, Bozanic, Kwasnik, Ibini.
Omitted: Griffiths, Pellegrino, McDonald, Caceres, Duke.
It’s been an interesting week around the place with rumours of a marquee signing, January arrivals and departures and Socceroos call-ups for some current and former stars. So rather than write individually about on or more of these I thought id lump them all together.
Starting with the biggest rumour of the week and Brisbane Roar rejecting the opportunity to bid for current LA Galaxy and former England star David Beckham. The former Manchester United and Real Madrid midfielder is reportedly looking to embrace ‘one last challenge’ in Australia and a host of clubs have shown interest-either as a 10 game guest player or on a longer term contract. Brisbane Roar however ruled them out on Monday from the bidding and imo they were right to do so.
The biggest reason for this is the one which I would hope lead them to ultimately make this decision, and that is the clubs philosophy as spelled out by former CEO Eugenie Buckley in a members email sent in July 2011 (yes, I kept it).
“The signing of these players (Jurman, Hingert, and Danning) continues the Brisbane Roar philosophy of identifying and developing young talent by giving them the opportunity to play at the highest level available in Australia under the best coaching staff in the competition, led by Ange Postecoglou.”
It’s a philosophy that’s brought the club many players, who’ve moved on to Europe and the national team, although id argue that isn’t something that only started once the Postecoglou revolution kicked off and could be traced right back to the Bleiberg days. That’s why David Beckham didn’t make football sense, and why im not disappointed in the decision. Footballing reasons vs. short term economic reasons. Easy decision for a good club imo. Oh and there’s the fact that as a player he doesn’t fit into the mobile Brisbane midfield.
The Beckham story isn’t the only transfer speculation around the traps this week with players linked in both directions. Starting with potential incomings and there’s some speculation that Rado is fed up with Matt Jurman and is looking to external options, one of which could be Guizhou Renhe defender Dino Djulbic. Djulbic, the former Gold Coast defender made the Chinese Super League team of the year would obviously be a massive upgrade at the back and provide some solidity next to Matt Smith. While the obvious thought is Rado isn’t happy with Jurman (and lets be honest- why would he be?) there’s also a chance that he’s seen Takahashi in training and NYL and believes the Japanese youngster isn’t ready for 1st team action yet. Either way Brisbane’s salary cap is reportedly full, and it would likely require somebody leaving to make room for Djulbic.
There has been some news on that front aswell this week with Erik Paartalu being quoted in the press suggesting that he’s looking for a move to Europe/Asia in January. He’d be a big loss obviously, as would Mitch Nichols who was also speculated as seeking a move to Europe. Both are off contract and it sounds as though the Roar wouldn’t stand in their way.
Brisbane Roar vice- chairman Chris Fong:
“There’s one or two players they haven’t made it a secret they’re interested in moving overseas. Erik is quite keen and we know Mitch has always been keen.” “We’re not going to get in their way if they’ve really got it in their hearts.”
Finally today Holger named his preliminary Socceroos squad for the East Asian Cup Qualifiers and it contains 3 current Brisbane players- Ben Halloran, Matt Smith and Ivan Franjic. They’ll meet up in Sydney on Monday with the squad for a 3 day training camp before the squad is trimmed to 20. If they make the final cut they’ll miss the home game against Newcastle and the away trip to Western Sydney. Im happy for the three guys to get the call up, but it severely depletes our already weak defensive ranks and the prospect of a Takahashi/Jurman central pairing isn’t too attractive. Also congrats to Matt McKay and Dario Vidosic, who both also made the squad. So there it is, another busy week at Roar HQ, hopefully it ends with a win on Sunday.
Brisbane Roar 4 (Broich 30, Paartalu 33, Halloran 45, Berisha 57)
Sydney FC 2 (Del Piero 42, 49)
Crowd: 22,970 @Suncorp Stadium.
Brisbane Roar: Theo, Hingert, Franjic, Smith, Stefanutto, Paartalu, Murdocca, Halloran, Henrique, Broich, Berisha.
Subs: Fitzgerald for Henrique (78’), Jurman for Hingert (81’), Brattan for Berisha (82’).
Un-used subs: Acton.
Yellow Cards: Paartalu (71’)
Red Cards: Nil
Sydney FC: Necevski, Ryall, Fabio, Bosschaart, Emerton, Reid, Del Piero, McFlynn, Yau, Abbas, Grant.
Subs: Powell for Reid (46’), McClenahan for Abbas (46’), Chianese for Yau (78’)
Un-used subs: Janjetovic.
Yellow Cards: Fabio, Ryall, Del Piero, Yau, Emerton, Bosschaart.
Red Cards: Nil
Very quick review this week guys. All these storms have played havoc with my Electricity and Foxtel connection so I haven’t been able to re-watch the game back as yet. Here are some dot points, and then a couple on the NYL from today.
The midfield was far better on Friday. There was a lot more pressure on the ball, and a lot more quick interplay that were use to seeing from Brisbane Roar. Paartalu –who I’ve criticised in recent weeks was much better. Nice to see him score aswell.
Franjic at CB was an interesting move, and it threw things off imo. I put the two Sydney goals down to that lack of a genuine understanding that Franjic and Smith would have had. The first goal came because neither pressured the shot (cracking finish btw) and the 2nd from a quality run that fooled them both, and Theo.
Ben Halloran’s goal raised an interesting thought in my mind- is he better off on the left hand side? The way that he hit that shot so confidently was far and away better than any he’s had thus far this season. Maybe a slight tweak of Henrique on the right, Broich central and Halloran left at times throughout the game is worth considering? I wouldn’t do it all game because Henrique was very dangerous in the central position aswell.
Even though he’s been below his best this season, I was surprised that Mitch Nichols wasn’t even in the matchday XV. I would have thought at worst he would be on the bench, but my thoughts echoed most fans who thought Paartalu should have been the man to make way. Worked out well for Rado though, and I now wonder how long until Nichols gets back in?
Brisbane still haven’t lost at home to Sydney since late 2007, so long may that continue.
Theo 7, Hingert 7, Franjic 7, Smith 7, Stefanutto 7, Paartalu 7, Murdocca 7, Halloran 7, Henrique 8, Broich 7, Berisha 7, Fitzgerald 6, Jurman 6, Brattan 6.
Necevski 6, Ryall 6, Fabio 6, Bosschaart 6, Emerton 6, Reid 6, Del Piero 8, McFlynn 6, Yau 7, Abbas 6, Grant 6, Powell 6, McClenahan 6, Chianese 6.
Brisbane heads south to Gosford to take on their old sparring partner in Graham Arnold and the Central Coast Mariners next Sunday.
Friday, 16 November 2012
Brisbane Roar v Sydney FC
Venue: Suncorp Stadium
Kick off: 7:00 PM
Referee: Alan Milliner
Assistant Referees 1: David Walsh and Ashley Beecham
Fourth official: Matt Gillett
Brisbane: Besart Berisha (3)
Sydney: Alessandro Del Piero (3)
Brisbane: Massimo Murdocca, Ivan Franjic(2)
Sydney: 6 players (1)
Brisbane Roar squad:
1. Michael Theo (GK), 2. Matt Smith (c.), 3. Shane Stefanutto, 4. Matt Jurman, 5. Ivan Franjic, 6. Erik Paartalu, 7. Besart Berisha, 8. Massimo Murdocca, 10. Henrique, 11. Ben Halloran, 13. Yuji Takahashi, 14. Rocky Visconte, 16. Do Dong-Hyun, 17. Mitch Nichols, 18. Luke Brattan, 19. Jack Hingert, 20. Matt Acton (GK), 22. Thomas Broich, 24. Nick Fitzgerald.
(Four to be omitted)
Ins: Rocky Visconte (promoted), Do Dong-Hyun (promoted), Besart Berisha (returns from injury), Yuji Takahashi (promoted)
Sydney FC squad:
1. Ivan Necevski (gk), 2. Sebastian Ryall, 3. Fabio, 4. Pascal Bosschaart, 7. Brett Emerton, 9. Paul Reid, 10. Alessandro Del Piero, 12. Blake Powell, 15. Terry McFlynn, 16. Joel Chianese, 18. Trent McClenahan, 19. Kruno Lovrek, 20. Vedran Janjetovic (gk), 21. Yairo Yau, 22. Ali Abbas, 23. Rhyan Grant
(One to be omitted)
Ins: Joel Chianese (returns from injury), Kruno Lovrek (promoted)
Outs: Mitch Mallia (rested)
Unavailable: 6. Jason Culina, 17. Terry Antonis (International duty – Qantas Young Socceroos
It has probably been the most tumultuous in the last couple of years around Roar HQ with injury rumours, training ground ‘bust-ups’ and multiple media ‘experts’ predicting the end of the Roar. The good news however is that everyone is fit and available for selection and every time Marco reports one of these training ground arguments the boys seem to play well so hopefully that record continues tomorrow.
Changes have been the big topic of the week among the fans and Rado has made no secret of the fact that he’s going to make some this week after a poor month on the park. Matt Jurman and Mitch Nichols seem destined to be the fall guys for the recent run with some suggestion that Ivan Franjic will move across to central defence and Jack Hingert slotting in at right fullback. If Rado does go that way it’s an intriguing option as the only time I can recall seeing Ivan play in a more central role was against Newcastle last year – he started at RB, but moved to CB after an injury- when they came from 1-0 down to win 2-1 and keep the unbeaten streak alive. The biggest thing Franjic offers is his attacking attributes down the right side but that should be mitigated somewhat by Hingert coming in. Im surprised that Takahashi isn’t being considered by all reports –although he is in the squad- but maybe Rado believes he isn’t ready for the 1st team yet?
The second change is a more logical and obvious one with Besart Berisha coming back into side to play upfront, with Henrique slotting into a #10 type role in behind Berisha which is somewhat similar to how they finished the game against Adelaide 2 weeks ago. Hopefully it’s more fluent than it was on that occasion.
Likely Brisbane line-up:
Theo, Hingert, Franjic, Smith, Stefanutto, Paartalu, Murdocca, Halloran, Henrique, Broich, Berisha.
Subs: Acton, Jurman, Nichols, Fitzgerald.
Omitted: Takahashi, Visconte, Brattan, Dong-Hyun.
Sydney’s week hasn’t been all that different to that of Brisbane- just replace internal squad issues with a coach who couldn’t handle the pressure of such a ‘big’ club and as such they’re now searching for their 7th head coach in a little over 7 seasons. They’ve also got their own injury issues with Del Piero still recovering from a slight hamstring injury- but the good news if you’re interested in watching him play is that he’s tipped to start the game tonight.
Their form is slightly better than Brisbane’s in that they’ve only lost their last 2 games compared to Brisbane’s 3 game losing streak, but other than that imo Brisbane has played the better football. There is no doubt for mine that they’re still in early season form –at best- given that they missed out on almost all of their preseason games and their squad came together rather late in the preseason.
Im not sure that tactically Corica is going to change too much given the short turn around for Sydney so it will likely be the same 4-3-3/4-2-3-1 type formation from last week against Victory. Del Piero is the name on everyone’s lips but Panamanian attacker Yairo Yau is the one that should be kept in mind- he’s scored two goals in two starts and been lively thus far. At the back Bosschaart has added some solidity there which was desperately needed. Speaking of Mr. Bosschaart I don’t think we’ll be seeing the same type of fireworks we saw last time he and Berisha were on the same pitch.
Likely Sydney starting line-up:
Necevski, Grant, Ryall, Bosschaart, Fabio, Emerton, Reid, Abbas, Yau, Lovrek, Del Piero.
Subs: Janjetovic, McClenahan, McFlynn, Chianese.
All-time record against Sydney FC:
Played 23- Won 7, Drawn 8, Lost 6
At Suncorp Stadium:
Played 13- Won 7, Drawn 4, Lost 2
Last home loss vs. Sydney FC: 22nd September 2007.
Brisbane Roar 1: (Henrique 82’)
Melbourne Heart 4: (Gerhardt 20’, Garcia 62’, Tadic 71’ (pen), Williams 73’)
Referee: Shaun Evans
Crowd: 5,466 at AAMI Park, Melbourne
Brisbane Roar: Theo, Franjic, Smith, Jurman, Stefanutto, Paartalu, Murdocca, Nichols, Halloran, Henrique Broich.
Substitutions: Brattan for Murdocca (65’), Fitzgerald for Nichols (69’), Hingert for Stefanutto (83’)
Yellow cards: Jurman, Smith
Red cards: nil.
Melbourne Heart: Bolton, Marrone, Colosimo, Gerhardt, Behich, Thompson, Kalmar, Garcia, Dugandzic, Hoffman, Tadic.
Substitutions: Williams for Kalmar (61’), Macallister for Tadic (82’), Mitchinson for Thompson (89’)
Un-used subs: Redmayne
Yellow cards: Gerhardt, Hoffman, Colosimo
Red Cards: nil
Im sorry for reminding you of this and I promise that it will be a far shorter review than usual- because just as you don’t want to hear about it, I don’t really want to talk about it. This will actually be more about the fallout than the game itself, but here goes.
Ok- so this is the part of the review you might want to avoid…but I’ll start by giving credit to the Heart as I thought they pressed reasonably well last night and were well worth their win. Brisbane as has been discussed more than enough already were abject at best. A lot was made of the disallowed goal and how it could have changed the game- and that’s right- but we were so bad last night in the end I doubt it would have mad any difference if we went into halftime at 1-1.
The same issues that existed going into the game (transition, ideas in the final third) still exist so im not going to go through them again. The only new one is one we all saw coming in that Henrique isn’t a genuine #9 and struggled to hold the ball up. So what changes should be made?
Well I think it’s time to make a real statement by dropping players who aren’t performing up to the level they can and have in the past and the two biggest culprits imo are Matt Jurman and Erik Paartalu. Yuji Takahashi and Luke Brattan are the two who’d id bring in to replace them. Finally id bring Proia in to start upfront- yes, it might be a big call and I wouldn’t be expecting great things from him but at the very least he would bring the defensive pressure of Berisha which was missed massively last night. You could make a case for dropping Stefanutto and bringing in Hingert but I don’t like the idea of making multiple changes at the back.
The postgame fallout was almost more interesting than the game infact and im sure you’ve all heard Rado’s comments by now. But if you haven’t in summary he said it was garbage, called some players selfish and question if the players had the same desire as in the past. It’s hard to disagree given the difference in performances this season compared to last season but Matt Smith categorically denied that in the post game press conference which could make for an interesting week ahead.
Theo 7, Franjic 6, Smith 6, Jurman 4, Stefanutto 6, Paartalu 5, Murdocca 7, Nichols 6, Halloran 6, Henrique 6, Broich 6, Brattan 6, Fitzgerald 6, Hingert 6.
Bolton 7, Marrone 7, Colosimo 7, Gerhardt 7, Behich 7, Thompson 7, Garcia 8, Hoffman 6, Kalmar 6, Dugandzic 7, Tadic 8, Macallister 6, Williams 7, Mitchinson 6.
Up next: Brisbane have until next Friday to cure whatever ails them before Alessandro Del Piero and his Sydney FC teammates come to town. A big crowd is being predicted, maybe that’s the thing to shake them out of their slumber.