Tuesday, March 25, 2008


Below the Radar

The injury news keeps getting worse for Pim Verbeek this week, with Bruce Djite apparently now out of contention for the China game as well.

Nevertheless, I think that Verbeek has not done himself any favours with the squad he has chosen, which contains a few real head-scratchers (Adam Griffiths and Nikolai Topor-Stanley), and is light-on in certain areas.

Once again, despite the overt belittling of the A-League, it's the European second tier who have been passed over when they perhaps should have been utilised. For Nick Carle to be left out of the squad for such a match, where creativity is clearly going to be at a premium and a fresh threat in the final half-hour will be essential, is a triumph of strangulated reasoning (bedding in at a new club, wouldn't fit in with the prevailing system, etc.) over common sense.

And there's another character, barely mentioned until recently, who would have been an ideal choice for a Socceroo squad bereft of good options on the right: Richard Garcia, in excellent form with promotion-chasing Hull City in the English Championship.

These players might cop some flak at their clubs for taking part in a far-flung midweek international on a friendly date, but should we really be pussyfooting around in the case of a World Cup qualifier?

James Troisi should perhaps have been taken as well, but he did disappear from view somewhat after his bright beginning against Singapore. We are not short of left-sided options, so I can understand Verbeek's reasoning there.

It will be a difficult, difficult assignment with so many absentees - enforced or otherwise. The team I would pick, from the remaining troops:

Schwarzer; Wilkshire, North, Neill, Carney; Grella, Valeri; Culina, Bresciano, Kewell; Bridge.

The team I suspect Verbeek will go with:

Schwarzer; Wilkshire, Neill, Beauchamp, Carney; Grella, Culina; Bresciano, Holman, Kewell; Thompson.

If we do win this match it's going be very interesting to see the reaction in the press and to take note of Verbeek's comments - I think they'll tell us a lot about his approach going forward.

Bridge over Archie, yes.

I would also like to see Garcia. All of a sudden our flanks are looking a bit thin.
Mike, would love to see a little more of Garcia - hopefully Hull are on Fox soon...

Speaking of form, Holman has been bangin em in in the eredivise of late - so fingers crossed that translates if he gets a run

Gunning for a point or three - go the mighty socceroos
Why doesn't any Socceroo manager rate Carle?

Or is it a case of the hassle of getting him released is too much to cope with?
Carle would have to be missing only because of his recent move, as it may be detrimental both to him and Australia in the medium term if he were offside with his new club and manager. His recent form in the G&G has been too solid to be ignored.

As many others have said, it would be interesting to see what Garcia can offer.

Although the injuries to our forward stocks is now beyond ridiculous, at least the midfield is pretty much intact. The real key tonight IMO is Lucas Neill's CB partner and how he settles in. If we're solid at the back and in midfield, I reckon a draw is still a reasonable bet. We're still capable of nicking a goal, although I can't see us scoring more than one TBH.

Like Mike, I'd like to see Jade North partner Neill, as I see him being more mobile than the often lumbering Beauchamp. North also seems to be a well-organised footballer these days, which is a real credit to him after his fairly ordinary past displays at RB in the G&G.
I am getting worried about Pim.

Carle should be in the best Socceroo side let alone this one.

now we need strikers what we could do with is a big fit,fast,high workrate striker who scores goals err Joel Griffiths who was much better than either Archie who has been disappointing and Bridge who to my eyes is vastly over-rated.

Beachamp is quite fast as he showed on Saturday night. He will do the job but if Harry is injured we have no creativity at all.how wil we score?
Re Griffiths, he's now gotten himself injured anyway, so the question is somewhat academic. Mind you, there's something funny going on there IMHO.

At this stage I'd be happy enough with 0-0 tonight, to be quite honest.
I think we will need a Bresciano or even Culina thunderbolt.

Everyone is getting injured
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