Sunday, August 26, 2007
Lions and Tigers
Although the game was played at a frantic pace and got pretty physical at times, there was plenty of creativity shown on both sides (more of it from Queensland, it must be said), and pleasing movement off the ball - still an aspect of the game so rarely commented on by the pundits - throughout.
The two youngsters who established themselves so impressively last season in their respective first elevens, Matt McKay for Queensland and Nathan Burns for Adelaide, both put in sterling performances. Massimo Murdocca, too, worked at a furious clip on Queensland's right, and posed constant danger in the first half before succumbing to tiredness a little. It was definitely a night on which the Roar's lion cubs showed their mettle.
And the newcomers?
Marcinho was, ultimately, a little disappointing, but given his far from ideal preparation for the game, this was understandable. He seemed to always be looking for the direct ball into the mixer rather than the short pass (and not just from set-pieces), and showed little ambition in terms of taking on his man. But he had his moments.
The other new Brazilian, Cassio, had a better game at left-back for Adelaide, setting up their second goal and providing a useful option on the overlap throughout. He did, however, experience some difficulties against the fiery Murdocca in the first period.
As for the returned 'roos, they had differing fortunes. Craig Moore, I think, was simply surprised by the quality of the opposition. Once or twice, the muscular Bruce Djite got the better of him, and his frustration with the pace and enterprise of Burns eventually led to a silly studs-up challenge which earned him his second yellow; perhaps it was a little harsh, but to go in for such a tackle when one has already been booked was not too intelligent.
By contrast, Danny Tiatto had a rousing game. Always a magnificent competitor, he was an absolute tiger in the tackle last night, largely nullifying the threat of Travis Dodd (who did, however, come to life somewhat in the second half), and offering a good deal coming forward as well. His challenges were on the dangerous side once or twice, and he must be at short odds to receive a red card at some point this season, but one would expect nothing less of Tiatto.
Restricted to a late substitute appearance, Paul Agostino did...nothing, apart from planting a free header well wide of goal.
A final comment about Reinaldo: once again, he was frustratingly inept in front of goal. But, as happened last season as well, once he moved over to the right wing, he was excellent. One for Frank Farina to ponder, particularly given the Roar's patent lack of options out wide this term.
He then sent his feet into the back of Burns and trampled 'accidentally' on Djite.
Tiatto will cost Queensland games.
He deserves a suspension and a fine.
He is a petulant and arrogant man.
As I said elsewhere, Tiatto is the grit that Qld needed in past seasons - tough tackler who's not afraid to assert himself on the field. He does need to watch himself, as I suspect his suspensions will accumulate and hit Qld towards the end of the season.
For a team with so much support, it'd be a shame if they didn't make the finals this season.
SEriously in ANY other league in the world, even the bloody Championship alot of the challenges made would be pinged.
Why do we have to make our league so physical? Why are we trying to make it like rugby? What is the point of getting Brazilians if they are just going to get knocked off the ball and the ref isnt going to do anything??
And btw the game itself was okay, but it was played way too fast.. seriously does anyone in this league know how to keep possession?? I Barely see ANY one touch football and very little creativity to be honest...
i hope this is just a first round syndrome..