Monday, August 13, 2007
A-League Anticipation, Part 3
Newcastle United Jets
No Nick Carle. No Milton Rodriguez. No Paul Okon. No Vaughan Coveny.
And, in all honesty, these key men have not been adequately replaced.
Much of the talk up Newcastle way recently seems to have concerned the imminent arrival of Mario Jardel, the Brazilian striker who proved so prolific in Portugal (and in Europe) in the late nineties. Yet nothing is finalized at this point, and a glance at Jardel’s recent CV indicates a rapid decline. Not quite Stan Collymore, but perhaps not value for marquee money.
Incidentally, if the acquisition of Jardel appears to be an attempt to jump on the Brazilian bandwagon, I should point out that Jardel is perhaps the most un-Brazilian Brazilian player I’ve ever seen, if that makes any sense.
Another recent samba signing is Denni, a playmaker who has knocked around the second tier in Brazil and made one unsuccessful foray into Europe. It’s hard to tell, of course, but he doesn’t sound like another Nick Carle.
There’s another South American on the books in Jorge Drovandi, a player whom Gary van Egmond no doubt hopes will go some way to filling Milton Rodriguez’s shoes as a left-sided attacker. Drovandi’s performances in pre-season have apparently been fairly encouraging.
Otherwise, the squad is much the same. Paul Kohler and the very able Stuart Musialik are still there to organize the midfield, Joel Griffiths offers penetration on the wing(s), and the young opportunist Mark Bridge will surely add substantially to his A-League tally this season. Adam Griffiths has joined his brother at the club, and appears to be earmarked for a central defensive role.
The Jets will still rely on Ante Covic in goal, and they are quite likely to concede some unnecessary goals as a result, in my view. He did not look remotely convincing last season, despite his lofty reputation.
It’s not all doom and gloom, but it could be a difficult season for the side which played such excellent football last year.
Drovandi is definitely a member of the "Fred did well so lets buy a Brazillian" recruitment drive but does anyone else get the feeling that whilst turning up some donkeys the clubs that have gone South American could unearth some real gems?
I completely agree regarding Covic. He struggled badly on his return to Australia. Some of his flapping and decision making was comical to say the least.
I'd like to see the Jets do well because I like Gary van Egmond and Stuart Musialik. Hopefully it's not all doom and gloom for them this season.
The Jets are in the same boat - they won't be awful by any means, but only time will tell if their recruitments are adequate.
The real key for me is Denni. If he's 75% as good as Carle, Newcastle will be competitive again, but they'll have to be, with every squad bar Sydney appearing stronger this season. And we shouldn't discount GVE's impressive coaching last season - if he's the talent that many of us believe he could be, I'm sure he'll conjure up something.
The jury is still out on Reinaldo, and he definitely looks to be improving. Fernando Rech was a resounding success although he wasnt as effective in his last season as in the ones before.
Agree on few replacements for good players lost.Shame given they played wonderful football last year under both coaches.
Drovandi is actually from Argentina I believe, but essentially I agree with you. Melbourne last year had a hit rate of 1.5 out of 3 for their three Brazilians, but in the end the 1 of the 1.5 (Fred) was largely responsible for them winning the title, so I think they can be pretty pleased with that.
...It’s just my opinion but I feel if you are going to get players from overseas then (though it pains me to agree with Craig Foster) they should be better then the players already over here. For Melbourne only Fred was worth the effort and even then he displayed all of the typical Brazilian traits, the skills and the disregard for the rules (such as elbowing Milligan off the ball)....
Don't forget Grant Brebner. For mine he was one of the quiet success stories for Melbourne last season.
And although he indulged in a bit of gamesmanship initially, I don't think Fred was the worst in that department last season.
Essentially, though, I agree with Fozzie on this one too.
At the end of the day i think if you took out the Reinaldos, Lynchs, Diegos and the Salleys and replaced them with players from the various state leagues the quality would suffer. Not in all cases, but definitely some.
Yea they are going to take some time i reckon to adapt, but at least we are now understanding the importance of bringing in some players with possibly more skill than anyone in the A-league at the moment..
Lets face it guys, even though they come from lower divisions in their respective leagues, i would venture to say alot of those players have more technical ability on the ball than any of our boys...
I welcome this move, its not even that huge of an influx really compared to the amount of South American players in other leagues.
Im glad we aer going this way though, i dont want us to turn into a lower English league... (which was really at times what the A-league was like in season 1 and 2 )
He played for Chacarita In the promotion playoffs last year and scored a goal.
He will be a very interesting test case as to how a player from a top 2nd div side in Argentina plays in the A league\
Jets will surprise everyone and make it to the finals.