Sunday, December 02, 2007
The Unlikely Entertainers - update
And perhaps the best aspect of the win is that it was achieved in some style, with three fine goals and some excellent play in the first half. Perth went off the boil in the second half with the departure of both the lightning-quick Jimmy Downey and the team's fulcrum, Simon Colosimo, but unlike in Round 8 against Sydney, the men in purple kept their heads.
It's worth pointing out that Perth Glory have now scored as many goals this season as Queensland and the Mariners, and more than any team in the competition in the last ten rounds. They have, in fairness, been involved in some of the more exciting games of a largely drab A-League season.
And the signs for the future might not be as bleak as some have suggested. Mitchell Prentice is gradually gaining confidence, Nikolai Topor-Stanley's improvement since his move across the Simpson Desert is plain to see, and in Nikita Rukavystya Perth possess a player of great promise, in my opinion. In Jimmy Downey they have the Zullo of the west, and like Michael Zullo, his delivery often leaves something to be desired, even though his pace is, well, frightening.
Rukavystya may have taken the wrong option once or twice tonight, but he has that essential striker's virtue: lack of fear. He has been pleasingly willing to run at the defence whenever he has turned out for Perth, and hopefully he has succeeded in making himself a fixture in the first eleven now. Contrast this with the hapless James Robinson, whose confidence, as Andy Harper observed, has plummeted, and whose general play on the ball remains far too elaborate.
This season is basically a write-off for the Glory, but there's plenty for the Shed to feel optimistic about in the longer term. That Dave Mitchell, like Ron Smith, has made such scant use of Nick Rizzo is puzzling to say the least, but hopefully we'll see some more of him in the run-in to the finals.
As for Melbourne...what can one say? For all Ernie Merrick's protestations to the contrary, the loss of Fred has been a calamity for his side. This season's suspensions have not helped, but there just hasn't been the creativity in midfield for Melbourne this season; Carlos Hernandez has taken too long to get used to the pace of the league, and Kaz Patafta has (arguably) not been given enough of a chance.
To make up a six-point deficit and scrape into the finals will be a tough ask indeed for Merrick's men.
The Victory's next two home games are against Adelaide and Newcastle, meaning consecutive wins here will keep Melbourne's hopes alive. Anything less and we might as well start training for the AFC Champions League.
even though i am a qld fan, i am really glad to see a team like perth playing well. they play a pleasing to watch game, and they have put their trust in young talent. they really didn`t get much value out of some of the old hands they signed - foxe, mate ...
if they can build with the end of this season, then next may a big season for them.
ps. a clicking adelaide is a team in the same vein (young team, fun to watch).
To be fair to Merrick, the kid can't bench press 120 kg!
This season, the league has become more and more physical, referees seem to be encouraging it too.. its almost like we are trying to stamp out what potential creative players the league has...
We heard it straight from Merrick he wanted moer grunt and steel in the midfield... thats why he chose Keenan over Hernandez.. and that statement right there sums up the problem with Australian football..
Seriously, people wonder why our Australian players (especially the young ones) go overseas, its because Australian football does not give them the proper development..
A player shouldn't need to be able to bench press 120kg. Football is game of skill, of which Patafta has huge amounts and which he demonstrated all too briefly on Sunday night.
"This season, the league has become more and more physical, referees seem to be encouraging it too."
Couldn't agree me, I have seen more body checks this season that in the past two seasons combined. And in most cases only a free kick is given - a few more yellows for these incidents would result to see the practice reduced.
Pardon my sarcasm Neil; I was actually having a dig at Ernie Merrick. The reason Kaz doesn't get much game time is because the MV coaching staff apparently consider him too easily pushed off the ball.
As a wise man once said, you reap what you sow, and MV are getting what they deserve.
They seriously lack width.
oh and that archie is still a stupid idiot of a footballer.