To label the A-League off season interminable is somewhat of an understatement but never fear we are only days away from the action kicking off. In light of that I finally got around to writing a season preview for The Elastico, the first part part of which you can read here. All I can say is that I’m glad I left Newcastle for the second part.
Posts Tagged ‘brisbane roar’
It is about time that referees are held accountable for their horrendous mistakes. Peter Green’s horrendous decision in not pulling up Michael Theoklitos for handling the ball outside the area on Friday night ultimately cost the Victory’s chances of taking a well earned three points against Brisbane Roar should be punished by the A-League hierarchy. Teams’ chances of making finals are penalised by the incompetence such as that shown by Peter Green. Time to penalise the referees for their mistakes because it’s finally gone beyond a joke.
As I alluded to in my previous post, the real test of where the Victory is at a third of the way through the season was going to be the two clashes against Brisbane Roar and Adelaide United. Whilst we didn’t come away with three points against Brisbane, mainly down to the heroics of our former ‘keeper and a slice of luck, there were plenty of positives to come out of Saturday night’s clash in the Queensland capital. These positives were the subject of my latest blog for Australian FourFourTwo, which you can find here.
Now as we look forward to Friday night’s match against Adelaide and our attempt to make it ten wins in a row against the team from South Australia. They are yet to lose a game this season and a tenth win against them would be truly satisfying way to end their unbeaten streak. Let’s hope so.
One of the keys to Sydney FC’s relative success over the Melbourne Victory in their 2009/10 double winning season was their ability to shackle the rampaging Carlos Hernandez like no other team could. In light of that it was rather pleasing to see the Costa Rican provide an assist and also get on the scoresheet in Saturday’s romp over the still winless champions. Not that Hernandez has been playing that badly up to then anyway.
The confidence boosting win over Sydney FC is difficult to judge mainly because Sydney FC are really that bad. The defence that was so measly in their last campaign was completely porous on Saturday and if it wasn’t for some poor finishing (I’m look at you Ricardinho and Rodrigo Vargas) we could very well have had a repeat of that 5-0 thrashing in Season 1, which coincidentally occurred five years to the day on Saturday.
The real test of where the Victory is really at will come in the next matches against Brisbane and Adelaide. Whilst they may have beaten the Roar 3-0 a number of weeks back, the team from Queensland is playing some of the best football in the competition at the moment. Despite our impressive record at Suncorp Stadium it will be a difficult challenge.
As for Adelaide, I can’t really say that much about them as the only match of theirs I have witnessed was their 0-0 bore draw with Gold Coast United. That aside, their results so far speak for themselves and it will be interesting to see if our winning streak against them can continue.
Whilst one Costa Rican may have grabbed all the headlines on Saturday, it’s the lack of game time for another that forms the subject of my latest effort for Australian FourFourTwo, which you can read here.
It was probably no coincidence that Melbourne’s best home performance of the season came in front of its biggest home crowd. The atmosphere within the stadium was electric and it almost seemed that there was more than the twenty or so thousand that was listed as the official crowd figure. If that translate to the new rectangular stadium then it will truly be an intimidating venue. In the Southern Terrace, where I now spend most of my match time, was in full voice almost from the kick-off. Also the Aida chant that went almost for half an hour from the start of the second half was truly impressive. Others tried to drown it out but it was unstoppable.
As for the game against Brisbane Roar itself, my thoughts can be found in my latest blog for 442 and also my comments on this post by John at A Seat At The A-League. But I must say it was great to finally hear our club song ring out around the ground after a home win and with Sydney winning yesterday it sets up a tantalising match against the arch-enemy on Friday night. It should also see a marked jump in the home attendance with some commentators saying 40k is a distinct possibility. I think that it is unlikely and personally I would love a crowd around the 30k mark.
I also managed to get to the stadium early and catch the last half of the Victory women’s W-League opening match against Perth Glory, the only team I seem to see Melbourne play. Good to see the girls get off to a winning start with a 2-0 victory and was pretty impressed with the style of play and cohesion. Also singing the praises of the W-League is Hamish over at Football Down Under and Beyond. Will definitely try and catch more of their games and would like to see them play the curtain raiser more often.
Saturday night’s game will certainly go down as one of the most exciting games we have seen so far in the short history of the A-League. And that’s just on the quality of the goals alone with five of the six scored being absolute crackers.
But the game was also the story of how Melbourne’s makeshift central pairing was unable to deal with the combined presence of van Djik and the slippery fish, Henrique. Matthew Kemp is probably one of the best right backs going around but as a central defender he looks a lot less assured.
Merrick’s other gamble of playing Nick Ward as Kemp’s replacement also didn’t work. And much like Fred’s exploitation of Greg Owens in the 2006/07 Grand Final, Henrique was too much of a handful for Henrique and left Kemp exposed too many times for everyone’s liking. From what we saw on Saturday night, Surat Sukha needs to be given a starting spot and a proper central defender is needed to shore up the currently leaky defence.
One person that seemed to be copping a lot from the crowd, was former Wellington Phoenix custodian, Glenn Moss, with the Victory faithful seeming to blame him for all our goals. This is extremely poor form by large sections of the crowd and in my latest blog 442 post I take them to task.
Carlos Hernandez, what else is there to say apart from - “We have been two years for you to score from a free kick!”