Saturday, August 29, 2009
There are mitigating factors, including the absence of Travis Dodd and Fabian Barbiero, but all the signs were worrying for Aurelio Vidmar. Adelaide's lack of cohesion and composure in the second period was quite extraordinary.
The main area where the Reds looked shaky was undoubtedly defence, for all their impotence in midfield for much of last night. Mark Rudan looks nothing like the player who kept a mediocre Sydney back four looking capable for so long, and Iain Fyfe and Robert Cornthwaite are both prone to sudden lapses, as we saw against the Fury. It's hard to overstate how much of a loss Sasa Ognenovski is.
Up front, Lloyd Owusu added a physical threat, but his first touches were often poor. I don't think that Adelaide have found their talisman up front, and Cristiano underlined his sorry recent form with that late headed miss (not that he has ever been at his best in the air).
The midfield simply disappeared at times last night, although Lucas Pantelis had his moments, including his well-taken goal. The fighting qualities of Barbiero and the surging runs of Travis Dodd were much missed, and what Vidmar perhaps needs most is for these two to return to the team and return to form. In their stunning Asian Champions League campaign, it was the midfield plus Ognenovski that really carried Adelaide throughout.
As for the Fury, if they had possessed a little more cutting edge, they would surely have put six past their hosts. Apart from their match against the Gold Coast, they have never been totally put to the sword; although Ian Ferguson would be desperately disappointed not to have taken all three points from Hindmarsh, there have been enough decent signs to suggest that they won't be an embarrassment to the league. Fred Agius was quite lively in his substitute appearance...perhaps a starter for future games?
Now you know how the Roar felt. But The Roar went ahead last season without him to have one of the best defences in the League.