Saturday, October 10, 2009
The midfield functioned superbly well, passing neatly and crisply, and providing plenty of support to both the attack and the defence. Stuart Musialik is definitely back to his best, pace that little blunder on the ball towards the end of the first half.
The movement of Mark Bridge and Alex Brosque up front was a joy to behold. As we saw towards the beginning of last season (notably in the 3-2 away win over the Central Coast), a Brosque-Bridge partnership up front, with Steve Corica in behind, is the most effective attacking combination that Sydney has ever possessed.
And what can one say about Simon Colosimo? Outstanding, dominant, masterful, and plenty of other adjectives. Another reminder of what a shame it was that such a fine player had his career derailed at a critical stage in 1999. As has been noted by many commentators, he should definitely be in the mix for a Socceroo call-up in central defence, given our lack of good options in that area.
Even the absence of Stephan Keller proved no hindrance to Vitezslav Lavicka's side, as Seb Ryall fitted snugly into the centre of defence (perhaps his best position in any event), while Shannon Cole had one of his best games at right-back.
The slow-down in the second half was predictable, given the quick turnaround that the team had endured (two games in five days). And yes, Melbourne should really have scored a couple of times in that second period, but it would be tough to argue that Sydney did not fully deserve their win.
It gave the impression of being Sydney FC's best eleven, and it probably was. Karol Kisel tucked in and tracked back more often than Kofi Danning is ever likely to do, and while Rhyan Grant's enthusiasm and drive in midfield have their uses, the experience of Musialik and Terry McFlynn make them better options in the engine-room for the moment. But those two youngsters are pleasant alternatives for Lavicka to have.
Most importantly of all: John Aloisi. Marquee man he may be, but all will remember how quickly Sydney went downhill last season once Aloisi was plonked up front, while Bridge and Brosque were shifted wide and deeper respectively. Will there be pressure for Lavicka (who has done a fine job so far, by anyone's estimation) to restore Aloisi to the first eleven? He did, admittedly, have a good start to the season, scoring in Sydney's opener and looking more lively than he did under John Kosmina. But Sydney hardly looked as smooth or effective then as they do now.
I love Bimbi, but think perhaps a forward partnership of Aloisi/Bridge (Or Danning/Bridge) with Brosque in behind may be more effective.
Grant is no where near ready to play midfield in the A-League... a good fullback, for sure. But not centre midfield. He is pushed off the ball way too easily and was a big reason for the loss against NQ Fury at home.