Monday, December 10, 2007
Big Blue Man
Littbarski may not have always given Rudan the game time he deserved during the 2005/06 A-League season, but I'm sure the German coach realised that it was essentially Rudan, not Dwight Yorke, who was the driving force behind Sydney's eventual success.
Although he has had his ups and downs since then, particularly from a disciplinary point of view, he remains one of the best defenders in the league; physically imposing, superb in the air, and always on the lookout for a purposeful run upfield (such as the one which resulted in Sydney's late winning goal against Newcastle on Friday).
Rudan was every inch a Cove favourite; their "big blue man" was readily forgiven his rash moments from last season, including the infamous assault on a prone Alessandro. No doubt, he will be given the warmest of sendoffs (no pun intended) on Saturday.
A Croatian friend introduced me to Rudan at a state league game earlier this year, just prior to Sydney FC's Asian Champions League campaign. He chatted warmly with the two of us about the game in question (a rather disappointing Olympic v. Sydney United encounter), the differing tactical approaches of Terry Butcher and Branko Culina, and football in general. He is certainly a keen student of the game as well as a very fine player, and this trait, along with his unquestionable leadership quality, would make him an excellent coach, in my view.
His decision to look after his bank balance in Japan is understandable, and a reflection of the fact that the A-League is still a relatively weak competitor in the Asian market. But he will be missed.
Firstly that incident with Joel Griffiths, in most other football leagues in the world wouldve been a straight red if it was seen
Secondly yea that Alessandro incident was pretty pathetic the way he reactly, to be honest i really dont like his attitude at times, this is football you cant go barging people about, a trip is a foul, people have to accept this
I think you overstate his influence in season 1, he was good but not spectacular. One thing I certainly won't miss is the big blue man chant.