Sunday, August 27, 2006


Killer Cameo

We’re only two games into the second edition of the A-League, and already we may have seen the season’s most influential performance by a substitute.

So often it is just a small change in personnel that can swing a game, and thus it proved with the introduction of Dario Vidosic last night at Suncorp Stadium.

Perth had looked marginally the better side up to that point, thanks largely to the efforts of Leo Bertos on the wings, and Queensland’s abysmal defence at set-pieces. Miron Bleiberg’s team looked short of width and awkwardly balanced, the three centre-forwards constantly getting in each other’s way.

When Vidosic arrived, things finally started to click. Shifting between the left wing and a position behind the strikers, he played pivotal roles in the first two Queensland goals, and gave the Perth defence a torrid time throughout. He also showed a maturity wholly unexpected from a player making his first competitive appearance at senior level.

Skills, pace, tenacity and vision are the first qualities that one normally looks for when determining the likelihood of a young player making the grade, but the more nebulous quality of footballing intelligence is perhaps a surer guide. And against Perth, Vidosic demonstrated it in spades.

For the first Queensland goal, his chest-down to Milicic was unselfishly shrewd. Receiving an aerial ball in an advanced position, even with back to goal, most youngsters would surely seek to turn their man, or take a couple of touches before laying the ball off. Vidosic made a quick, accurate judgement of the situation, and Milicic was able to force the ball through for Simon Lynch to slam the ball home.

The second goal was the kind that all players treasure; Vidosic was able to supply the finish to a move that he himself initiated. But it was the manner of the finish that was particularly impressive. It was not just a tap-in; the cross from Lynch was hard and low, and Vidosic’s touch needed to be sure. In the heat of a first senior appearance, plenty of neophytes would no doubt have opted to bang the ball home, and consequently missed their kick completely (I’ve seen it happen, folks). Vidosic, slightly off-balance, calmly nudged it past the flailing Aleks Vrteski, sacrificing elegance for certainty.

Queensland would appear to have a youngster of considerable acumen and enviable temperament on their books. Definitely one to watch.

I didn't watch the whole game and missed two of the three goals, (as you do), but he does look an interesting prospect.

That type of footballing intelligence you refer to is something that's not easily taught to a youngster, so they either have it or they don't. Compare him with Michael Baird last season, who I would rate as the most frustrating player of HAL Version 1. He so often chose the incorrect option, while Vidosic did the right things at the right time last night.

Whether the Raw are genuine contenders this season is too early to tell, but at least they've attained their best ever home result. Not that they were particularly impressive, but at least they won at home for a change. I can't believe I'm saying this, but the home teams currently have a 100% record!

BTW, I also liked the look of Vrteski for Perth, despite letting in three.

Just a bit of an OT. First, i disagree Re: Perth looking slightly better. In the 2nd half they did attack much more than QLD did. However, i thought the game was more in favour of QLD up til Vidosic's arrival. In saying that, however, there were definately worrying signs for QLD. Willis will start next game anyway, i believe.

Second, i agree to an extent regarding the width problem. However, QLD's game seems to be more about trying to go through the middle, then if need be head out wide. It's probably not down to not having the options, it's more down to Miron building a team that can cause trouble through the middle, then if need be switch out wide. That's probably why we don't see Petta or Richter in QLD colours.

Anyway, to the central topic. I'm afraid that Dario might not become an integral part of the team after we see the arrival of Zhang. We knew very well that McLaren was used as a striker, however, his main asset is his versatility. I hardly see himself or Murdocca making way for Zhang. I'll be very interested to see what the outcome will be.

- AP...
Couldn't agree more about young Dario. A future socceroo I reckon.
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