Monday, October 26, 2009
Ange v. the Lads - update
And yet they acquitted themselves not too badly, on the whole. Although they were plainly outclassed in midfield for much of the game, and had every reason to let their heads drop after the injury to Reinaldo, they made a real fight of the game in the final twenty minutes, and perhaps deserved to equalise. They may well have done so, in fact, had Matt McKay not donned a cloak of invisibility in the second half, after a moderately influential first.
But there were others who stepped up for the Roar in the second period, not least Tommy Oar, and their last-ditch surge perhaps suggested that "the lads" are not wholly indispensable.
As for Sydney FC, it was far from their best performance, but teams that can play badly and still win command respect. Full marks to Vitezslav Lavicka for sticking resolutely with the system and the players that accounted for Melbourne, despite the setback in Adelaide. Although the Brosque-Corica-Bridge combination didn't quite function as it should in the first half, Sydney's first goal underlined just how effective the trio can be in concert, when the cogs are turning properly.
And the fact that Sydney bounced back from a dispiriting loss with a win makes this damning-with-faint-praise from Mike Cockerill particularly distasteful. Cockerill has done his best to subtly run down the affable, diligent Lavicka in the interests of promoting local aspirants (a favourite theme of his), but linking yesterday's pitiful attendance to a nascent "blandness" at the club is disingenuous. The A-League crowds are down across the board, and a wet Sunday afternoon game against a club lacking many of its recognisable faces is hardly going to produce a bumper turnout in 2009/10.
On the matter of Sydney's "injury breaks" in the final minutes, he has more of a point. That was indeed cynical, and the sort of thing that the A-League could do without.
The ironic thing is that most of the fans Sydney are trying to attract wouldn't be able to discern the subtle differences in style between a conservative Czech import and a local manager.
As you rightly said, low crowds are an issue that plague the ENTIRE league and they probably have less to do with the aesthetics of the football on offer than the promotion of the game and engagement with the wider community - just look at the Gold Coast ;)
PS. Consider yourself linked, Mike :D
Lip service in this area wont wash anymore
Hav e a good look at the goal the Roar conceded against Newcastle - defenders against one striker - and the defender who did not jump, who turned his back to the ball and had it go just over his head - Craig Moore. Sorry this year he just has not looked as good as other A-League central defenders, let along taking to the marque spot. And yet he is the one Ange wants to keep.
I agree most Roar fans want Frank back. And if not Frank a foreign coach.