Wednesday, February 07, 2007


Sydney FC - The Report Card, Part 5

11. Saso Petrovski

Saso Petrovski’s season could probably be described in the following terms: a dull beginning, a bright spot towards the middle, and a forgettable end.

Almost immediately, he appeared less committed than he had been in 2005/06. A lacklustre performance in Sydney’s opening game meant that he was in and out of the side during the opening stage of the competition.

Interestingly, Petrovski’s best performance of the season was in Round 12 against New Zealand, a game in which he occupied a playmaker role, behind David Zdrilic. He scored two goals, and provided plenty of clever promptings for the likes of Zdrilic and Brosque.

With the return of Steve Corica, however, Petrovski could only hope for a start up front, and he didn’t often get one. His ill-advised blurtings in the media did little to endear him to the fans, or his coach.

Petrovski’s cameo appearances towards the end of the season tended to indicate that his mind was already elsewhere. Although he scored a clever opportunist’s goal in the New Year’s Day encounter with Newcastle, he rarely looked interested most of the time.

Not the best of seasons for Big Sash. 5.5/10.

12. David Carney

This is a hard one.

Carney’s position towards the end of the season might be described as “on the right, but drifting infield most of the time”. It certainly looked more effective than his anonymous right-wing efforts soon after his return from that shoulder operation, but there was still no real sign of the Carney of 2005/06.

A tendency to freeze in the final third, a complete inability to use his right foot remotely effectively, and (let’s be honest here) a serious lack of fitness all contributed to Carney’s failure to make a sufficient impact this season. Having said that, he still looked like the Sydney FC player most likely to create something at times, but there was a sad inevitability to the blunting of many Carney-initiated moves.

Will we ever see Carney used on the left, a deployment which seems so much more appropriate?

Perhaps. Perhaps he’s now gotten used to the right side. Perhaps, subconsciously, his questionable position has become a convenient excuse for him.

In any case, the Carney bubble of 2005/06 has burst. 5.5/10.

13. Jeremy Brockie

Put in a number of lousy performances towards the beginning of the season, and was not sighted thereafter. 3.5/10.

14. Alex Brosque

The debate over Alex Brosque’s ideal position continues, but one thing is certain. A lone striker he is not.

Not physically imposing or particularly strong in the air, Brosque is fundamentally unsuited to the role. And yet that is where he was used for so long by Terry Butcher.

For that reason alone, he deserves some sympathy. As it happened, Brosque made a modest success of the deployment, scoring some crucial goals.

Early in the season, he seemed short of form and confidence; Terry Butcher’s highly questionable decision to keep him on the field for the whole ninety minutes in the Round 4 game against Newcastle, when he was clearly still struggling for fitness, was not helpful in this regard.

At the beginning, he played mainly on the left wing, but proved incapable of beating his full-back with any regularity. He was tried behind the striker against Perth in Round 10, and did a little better. Yet he still seemed pitifully hesitant in front of goal.

Once he broke the drought against Perth in Round 17, things started to go right for him, even in his uncongenial target-man role. In the first half of the minor semi-final first leg, he was a torment to the Newcastle defence, finding space, running confidently at defenders, and bringing his comrades into play well.

Sadly, he rather spoiled his return to form with two moments of rank stupidity in the second leg.
A young player with plenty of promise, probably as a second striker. 6.5/10.

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