Disappointing Brisbane beaten in Gosford

A-League Rd 25 - Central Coast v Brisbane



After last weeks bright and exciting draw with Melbourne, Brisbane turned out a polar opposite performance in comparison with a 1-0 defeat with a lack of creativity and ingenuity. The same issues that have occurred throughout the season raised their heads again today, and Mulvey still has some work to do in fixing those.  There’s a host of reasons why that occurred, and I’ll get into those in a moment- 1stly a rundown of the match.



The start of the match was pretty ordinary from both sides, with neither showing an ability to string more than 3 passes together, albeit with Brisbane controlling both possession and territory. Steve Lustica had Brisbane’ best chances in the 1st half- starting with a short corner routine that went just over the bar, as well as two other shots straight at Ryan.

As the half wore on Central Coast began to get on top, and they eventually got their reward when Bernie Ibini beat Theo on his near post. The Roar custodian would be disappointed with the fact he was beaten in that manner, however to his credit he also made three other excellent saves to keep the scoreboard close going into the break.

Brisbane controlled possession and territory in the second half, although in truth they rarely threatened or created any clear cut goal scoring chances for their efforts- more on that in a moment. The best chances ended up falling to Nijland who had a few long range shooting chances, with a free kick that hit the post being the closest he, and Brisbane came.



The first big problem related to Berisha, and his play within his role as the striker. We’ve seen him drop deep to link the play at various stages for Brisbane, and it’s usually followed by a disjointed attacking performance- today was no exception. When Berisha gets frustrated and drops deep, there’s no outlet to play the ball forward quickly which played perfectly into the Mariners hands.



If we look back to when Brisbane were truly at their best, they regularly had someone playing on the shoulder of the final defender- both to pressure in defence and offer an option to run in behind. These days, most if not all of Brisbane’ play occurs in front of the back 4. It’s not solely on Berisha however, because there was a lack of service today with the fullbacks and creative midfielders having quiet games, which brings me to the other problem.



In recent weeks, both the fullbacks and wide midfielders have been pivotal in the turnaround of results and performance- today they were well below their best. Stefanutto got forward only occasionally, and was often unrewarded with play tending to go down the right side in recent weeks. The right side was reasonable today, like the rest of the side if was slightly off it’s best.

The real problem here however was the complete ineffectiveness of Broich- who barely had a kick in the entire match. He floated from standing wide on the left to provide width, to standing in a central #10 role but he rarely found the ball, and when he did, he didn’t do a lot with it. That caused Nijland to become the creative link who took the wrong option more often than not, shoots too much and continues to disappoint. The two at the base of midfield also failed to have an impact which did little to help fix the issues that arose ahead of them on the field.

Brisbane now have two games left, both at home to sort out these issues for good, and in addition to that Mulvey also has to fill a hole at the back with North away on national team duty.  The only positive is nobody else in the hunt for 5th and 6th also dropped points.







Player ratings:
Theo 6, Hingert 6, Donachie 6, North 6, Stefanutto 6, Brattan 6, Lustica 6, Franjic 6, Nijland 6, Broich 6, Berisha 6, Nichols 6, Halloran 6, Murdocca 6.


Central Coast: Ryan 6, Sainsbury 7, Anderson 6, Zwaanswijk 6, Rose 6, Montgomery 6, Hutchinson 6, McGlinchey 6, Ibini 8, Fitzgerald 6, McBreen 6, Bozanic 6, Duke 6.



Up next: Brisbane play the also desperate Melbourne Heart next Sunday afternoon at home, in a game which should eliminate one side once and for all from finals contention.


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