Saturday, November 25, 2006
For Frank to Fix - update
At a single stroke last night, shortly after the dismissal of Chad Gibson, he adopted all three of my recommendations. Reinaldo went off, Remo Buess came on and went straight into his favoured left-back position, forcing Andrew Packer to move to the right and Hyuk-Su Seo to undertake the midfield anchor role vacated by Gibson (who should never have been there in the first place).
Although you could hardly say that Queensland held their own thereafter, such was Sydney FC’s understandable dominance with a man more, Seo looked the part in midfield as always. Not only was he efficient in the tackle, but he always looked the most likely to conjure up a breakaway. He nearly succeeded in doing so on 50 minutes, sliding a clever pass through for Damian Mori, who laid the ball aside for Ante Milicic to shoot just wide.
Packer, too, looked far more comfortable on the right, and managed a couple of useful excursions upfield. In the first half, he had once again looked a lost soul, failing to deal with the intelligent movement of David Carney (who was, yet again, on the wrong wing).
Then came perhaps the most bizarre substitution we’ve seen this season.
Seo was replaced by…Stuart McLaren.
That’s right, another defender (following Gibson) was thrust into central midfield by Farina, just as the appropriate man for the job was warming to his role.
It utterly defied logic, and it was hardly a surprise that all the fight went out of Queensland thereafter.
It will be interesting to see how Farina deploys his side next week, with Gibson suspended (incidentally, Queensland’s captain deserves an absolute rocket for his foolishness last night). One would hope that Seo – curiously described as “a natural right-back” by Farina following the Melbourne game – will remain in the centre. But given Farina’s odd tactical approach so far, including starting with no less than three off-the-shoulder strikers last night, nothing is certain.