Tuesday, December 12, 2006

 

The Guest Party Line

As the Romario experiment crumbles embarrassingly, one has to wonder whether anyone will make a public statement expressing some equivocation over the guest player issue.

Sunday's Adelaide v. New Zealand game followed a predictable pattern. Nathan Burns once again forced over to the right, where he is not remotely as effective; Romario taking up permanent residence in the middle, occasionally laying off neat passes but never striving to beat his man; and, last but not least, Adelaide's attacking players regularly getting into promising positions but hesitating pitifully, torn between the obvious attempt at goal and the possibility of playing in Mr. 986. It was agonizing to watch.

Suffice to say that once Romario and Ross Aloisi (how does this man command such a regular starting place?) had been replaced, Adelaide were simply transformed, and played some marvellous football in the final fifteen minutes.

And now, we hear, Romario is up to some of his old tricks, doing a runner from the stadium before the final whistle, and going AWOL from training.

And yet all and sundry continue to sing the praises of the Romario guest stint, when it has so obviously been a disaster in many respects. Andy Harper, amusingly, went to some lengths during the first half at Hindmarsh to excoriate those who had cast doubt on the value of the visit; yet after the game, in his brief interview with Carl Veart, he timidly asked whether the team cohesion had improved once Romario had departed the field. Veart, however, kept to the party line (and, in fairness, you could hardly expect him to do otherwise).

We continue to hear about the tremendous exposure Romario's visit has given the A-League internationally, most recently from John Kosmina. Frankly, apart from coverage of Adelaide's games on Brazilian TV, there has been very little evidence of this.

Romario has not, in fact, played all that badly. But he has disrupted the balance of the team, and his presence has put his fellow attackers in two minds in the final third all too often.

Will the next club thinking of undertaking a guest signing please take a moment to consider Adelaide's current situation. They are paying an exorbitant amount of money (yes, some of it is covered by sponsorship, I know) for the privilege of slipping behind in the league at a crucial stage of the season, in the hope of building their brand.

In the long term, will it have been worth it?

Comments:
In the end it may come down to Adelaide missing out on the finals by one or two points. That fine line can always be drawn back to last week v.s. NZK, and that is where it will be judged.
 
I didn't have a strong opinion either way on the subject of guest players, but Romario's stint has turned me into a huge sceptic. I wonder if Adelaide has gained anything at all from this exercise? Even Kazu had his moments, especially at Hindmarsh with his beautiful goal from a narrow angle, not to mention a fleeting short-term interest from Japan before the club's WCC visit.

A part of me was hoping Romario would fail, because it would prevent the predictable criticism that a 40 year old banging goals in left, right and centre would lead to serious question marks over the league's quality. Like with Nicola Berti at Spirit and Peter Beardsley's stint at the Melbourne Knights, Australian club football has always been stronger than some people would have you believe.

- TFO
 
...Like with Nicola Berti at Spirit and Peter Beardsley's stint at the Melbourne Knights, Australian club football has always been stronger than some people would have you believe....

I'll add Ian Rush at Olympic before Well-Informed Covite does. ;-)
 
Let's think of it as payback for inflaming Viduka into a red card for hacking Romario down just after his disgraceful dive in the 1997 Confederations Cup final.
 
....I'll add Ian Rush at Olympic before Well-Informed Covite does. ;-).....

;)

I was thinking of him, but Rushie played reasonably well from my hazy memory?....

- TFO
 
From an Adelaide supporter's point of view, its disapointing that Romario will most likely be remembered as a failure, when Kossie should shoulder most of the blame.

Yes Romario has been lazy and possibly ill disciplined off the field...but he has been his whole career. United and Kossie knew this when they signed him, so you would expect the team to be set up to play to Romario's strengths otherwise quite obviously it would be the failure it has been so far.

Playing Burns on the right, when he be a perfect foil for Romario to bounce 1-2s off up front, is an absolute waste. Not only for United, but for Burns who could learn God knows how much off someone like Romario.

Finally when Dodd came onto the right and Burns moved up front, we started playing some decent football. I still think if Romario stayed on in the final 20 minutes, with the service from the flanks he would have scored.

I'm glad that people outside of Adelaide can see how ineffective Aloisi has become. The 2nd biggest cheer of the night was when he was finally taken off for Owens (who scored and provided some much needed drive from midfield). If Kossie starts this Friday night with Aloisi and Veart in the middle again...well there will be few thousand very unhappy supporters.
 
....I'll add Ian Rush at Olympic before Well-Informed Covite does. ;-).....

;)

I was thinking of him, but Rushie played reasonably well from my hazy memory?....

- TFO


I think Rush even scored a goal in the couple of games he played.
 
...Australian club football has always been stronger than some people would have you believe.

I think you are right, but I don't think it has anything to do with skill, rather atheleticism. Australian players are fast, strong and mobile and the defenders are usually quite young. This means that you need to be equally or more so better athletically to beat them. This is why I think older, slower marquee players are doomed to failure in the A-League (especially strikers) because one thing we have is mobile, scrambling defenders.
 
would it be self-congratually to say 'I told you so'?
 
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