Sunday, October 15, 2006


Be My Guest - update

In this piece, I detailed the concerns of a thoughtful Covite who bemoaned the disruption to the Sydney FC team caused by Kazu’s guest stint last year.

On that occasion, the team was altered to accommodate Kazu.

Interestingly, in the current instance, the opposite has been the case. Benito Carbone has, in many ways, been accommodated to the existing Sydney FC modus operandi.

In the win over Adelaide, Carbone played in the role known by Italians as “trequartista”, “three-quarter man” – the central link-man between midfield and attack, the provider of the killer passes. He was superbly effective there, if only in short bursts.

The problem was, Steve Corica had been used in such a position for the early part of the season by Terry Butcher. Corica fulfils the role in a slightly different manner; not blessed with Carbone’s vision and touch, he is nonetheless hard-working and adept at wriggling past his marker. It does appear, however, that he has lost the proverbial “half a yard” over the last year or so.

Corica’s suspension, following his four-letter blast against Newcastle, allowed Carbone to take his place against Adelaide. But what would happen when Corica returned?

There were many Sydney FC fans who commented on the likely difficulty of fitting Carbone and Corica into the same team.

Terry Butcher’s solution, somewhat questionable given Carbone’s efforts against Adelaide, has been to re-assign Corica his old role, while shifting Carbone about. Against Queensland, the Italian was partnered with David Zdrilic up front, while in Gosford he found himself on the right side of a front three.

In each case, the frequent use of long balls by the Sydney backline, combined with the aerial aptitude of the likes of Sasa Ognenovski and Paul O’Grady, has meant that Carbone was starved of service. Up front, he has suffered.

In Butcher’s defence, one could argue that he has been planning for the post-Carbone period, when Corica will presumably remain fixed as the trequartista. But it has seemed a sad waste of Carbone’s abilities.

Again, the guest player issue is not as simple as it appears.

It might be a bit over the top to say that Kazu changed the team more than Carbone has. The only difference is that Kazu replaced one of the (ineffective) strikers while Carbone has either replaced an injured or suspended player (which is, of course, what a guest player should do).

It might be a bit of a stretch, but I think playing Kazu might have given Litti the idea to play Corica up front late last season to, what I believed was, great effect and is what I had hoped would continue this season.

Still, the idea of long balls to Carbone makes me giddy as a schoolgirl.
More and more of an advertisement for Corica to be dropped IMO... My pre-season prediction was that he would be the one to lose out in our bolstered attack and the Carbone signing only makes that even more true IMO.

Not good enough on the wing, Carbone is better suited centrally (as is Brosque when Carney gets back), and certainly no use as a subsitute - where does Corica fit in?

And as for Guest Players... I'm starting to agree with that certain Coveite. I await Romario's debut with interest.
Yeah its an interesting question. Victory haven't signed one yet, and I think that Merrick's policy is the right one in the long term. As you can all see by crowd figures, there's really not much of a case to be made for guest players attracting more fans, while they really do disrupt the balance and strength of a team.

I guess what I'm saying is marquee players or bust!
There's an old saying "You don't know what you don't know".

I think your rightfully pointing out a few obvious deficiencies in the coaching at Sydney, Mike.
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