Saturday, October 10, 2009

 

Come Together

If anyone can remember a better Sydney FC performance than last night's at Etihad Stadium, I'd be interested to hear about it. Put simply, it was a game where it all came together for the team in sky blue. Against their eternal rivals, no less!

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.

Comments:
I missed the game but I have read the reports. Is it possible to start suggesting that Lavisca is showing what a true quality foreign coach import can bring to the table?
 
Whats great is there is still a lot of room for improvement from Sydney. The forwards movement off the ball could be better and Corica and Musalik are lazy at times.

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.
 
I think with the new owners in place, I think they're prepared to pretend the whole John Aloisi signing didnt happen. He'll play off the bench (barring injury to B or B), and then come the end of the season he'll probabaly quietly off to Asia. It's hard to see him getting another marque deal in Australia. John circa 2009 is A-League quality, but he's not A-League marque quality. Watching him plod around the front third last night once Bridge came off was almost embarressing.
 
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All of my sentiments about Aloisi from last season aside given he's been much improved this year I really fail to see how he can replace Bridge or Brosque in the starting XI at this point in time.
 
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