Tuesday, January 27, 2009


One Foot in Europe

The lucrative transfer of Nikita Rukavytsya to Holland's FC Twente constitutes a fantastic bit of business for Perth Glory, and an exciting opportunity for the talented striker.

It was fitting that Rukavytsya signed off in the A-League with one of the finest goals he has scored in the competition, an impressive display of close control (an aspect of his game which has improved markedly) and precise finishing against Queensland. Yet within that goal there were signs of the deficiencies which he will probably need to iron out if he is to become a fixture in Europe.

Receiving the ball somewhat awkwardly with his left foot in the area, he danced neatly around four Queensland defenders before firing a tremendous shot inside the far post. Yet, as has already been mentioned, he may not have had to skip past the crowd of Queensland players at all had he received and shot with his right foot.

Shortly afterwards, there was a revealing moment when Rukavytsya was forced to shoot with his right peg, and a weak, snatched shot was the result. Pim Verbeek's comments about the one-footedness of Australian players are pertinent once again.

Yet there is a great deal to like about Rukavytsya, whom I've long considered one of the most exciting young talents in the league. It is not only his pace which marks him out as a player for opposition defences to fear, but his infectious confidence, his willingness to run at a defence. Few other strikers in the Australian game are so keen to take on a centre-half. His finishing, too, shows great promise.

He is undoubtedly at his best with a striker of the target-man variety beside him; this season, the imposing Eugene Dadi has been an excellent foil. When paired with another "runner", as he was with Archie Thompson at the Olympics, Rukavytsya loses a great deal of his effectiveness. As a matter of fact, he appeared so short of confidence in China that one wondered whether he would be able to slip back into his erstwhile groove with Perth.

No problems at all. And this resilience could be a solid asset on his European adventure.

The Shed will miss him, and the gap in the strikeforce will have to be filled pretty quickly, but the reported transfer figure will be a godsend for a club whose finances have been in such a parlous state over the last few years that there was even talk of the franchise being withdrawn. Now, things are looking considerably rosier.

Perth have looked a much better team this year, although their position on the table may not reflect it. Their long-suffering fans deserve better than the shit that's been dished out to them on and off the pitch since the A-League started - the club may be finally getting their act together. Good luck to Ruka, he could have quite a career ahead of him.
I too like Rutsy.

It isn't too hard to improve his ability to beat a fullback on the outside going down the left wing and the amount of goals he misses just shows up his inexperience.

Eventually he will convert more chances.

He is a modern version of Peter Sharne.

just imagine him running off Buzz Kennedy

I have rarely seen other than one footed players.

Can you name some of these ambidextrous wonders
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