Posts Tagged ‘danny allsopp’

Disheartened and smelling like a Frankston bogan

Wednesday, November 23rd, 2011

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Back in Melbourne Victory’s first season I watched them play four consecutive matches at home and not score a single goal. Last Sunday’s match was worse than that. I have watched Melbourne Victory lose a penalty shootout in a Grand Final. The feeling after last Sunday’s match was worse than that. Last year I watched Melbourne Victory lose the first ever Melbourne derby. Last Sunday’s result was worse than that.

Never have I seen a Melbourne Victory side look so disjointed as it did against Perth Glory. Two weeks ago with nine men against the Brisbane Roar, the Victory showed a spirit not shown in a long, long time. At the time both players and coach labelled the result as a “turning of the corner” and so if we are to continue the driving analogy then Sunday’s effort has to be called a “massive U-turn” that has sent us completely in the wrong direction. It was a result in the end that inevitably cost Francis Awaritefe his job as Director of Football.

The result in many respects flattered the home side with a slightly controversial sending off and a just plain wrong penalty giving the Victory both a man and goal advantage that they didn’t really deserve. When Danny Allsopp made it 2-0 it felt like a hollow lead, although not it seems to the person in the South End who thought it necessary to throw their bourbon and coke into the air, most of which seemed to land on me. Not only was I feeling disheartened about the team’s performance on the pitch but now I also smelt like someone who had just had a big night at the now defunct 21st Century Dance Club.

Even with a two goal advantage it never actually seemed that Melbourne Victory were in the game and when Andrezinho curled in that well-taken free kick it seemed only a matter of time that Perth Glory would eventually grab an equaliser. And with three minutes left in normal time that man Shane Smeltz popped up with the winner after some pretty lax defending left him unmarked at the back post. It was disappointing rather than surprising.

The result left Melbourne Victory in seventh position with only eight points and whilst many have been quick to point out that they are only three points behind second placed Central Coast Mariners it is more the manner in which the team has played so far this season that has many fans calling for the head of coach Mehmet Durakovic with his efforts in the post-match press conference not doing a whole lot to instill any confidence.  It’s not just the team isn’t winning, it’s that it doesn’t actually look like winning.

Complete and utter rubbish

Wednesday, January 12th, 2011

SOCCER Hyundai A-League 2011: 9 January - Adelaide United def Melbourne Victory 4-1

The title pretty much says it all and I’m not just talking about the performance against Adelaide. It also applies to their performance against the Wellington Phoenix on the preceding Wednesday as well. Never have I seen the Victory play such ordinary football in consecutive matches.

And the common denominator in both matches was Melbourne’s inability to get control in the all important midfield battle. This meant the defensive was always under constant pressure and the strikers weren’t getting enough of the ball. The Victory always plays well when they get can serious amount of midfield possession but both Adelaide and Wellington didn’t allow this to happen and when they did get possession it was often coughed up too quickly. Chief amongst the culprits was Billy Celeski, who hasn’t looked the player that he was before his knee construction. Whilst he hasn’t suffered the recurring injuries of both Thompson and Kemp, his form has definitely suffered and it would wise for Merrick to give him a couple of weeks break.

That all being said the Victory have certainly missed the presence of both Kruse and Thompson in attack with the combination of Danny Allsopp and Ricardinho yet to hit its straps as one would expect and maybe we as fans are expecting too much. Let’s hope they can both find some form against Sydney this weekend because another loss could spell disaster with teams like Melbourne Heart, Wellington Phoenix and Newcastle Jets all breathing down our neck for a finals position. What was looking like a comfortable finals finish a couple of matches ago has all of a sudden looked a tad precarious. What is of concern is those losses weren’t valiant losses, they were terrible, ugly losses and that more importantly needs to be rectified.

Four to the floor

Wednesday, January 5th, 2011

SOCCER Hyundai A-League 2010: 27 December - Melbourne Victory def Newcastle Jets 2-1

In my last post I stated that I our two matches over the Christmas/New Year period would surely define our season and went as far as to say that two wins would be perfect and the team duly delivered. Those two wins against both Newcastle Jets and Central Coast Mariners made it four wins in a row and seven games unbeaten for the Victory. With a match tonight against the Wellington Phoenix there is every opportunity to make it five in a row.

With Robbie Kruse being absent for the next month with the Socceroos Asian Cup squad and Archie Thompson still out through injury it will be interesting to see if we contain our recent scoring record. The striking responsibilities now lie with Ricardinho and the returning Danny Allsopp, a combination that has yet to see pitch time together and fans will be hoping that they can gel quickly as the Victory look to maintain their recent momentum. It will be key in the team’s charge to a higher ladder position.

With 2010 coming to an end I have taken the opportunity to undertake my annual review in my latest piece for Australian FourFourTwo, which you can read here. Let’s hope 2011 is a better one for Victory fans than the previous one.

Disappointing start to the New Year

Tuesday, January 12th, 2010

If you have a read of my minute by minute analysis of Sunday’s game against Newcastle Jets you will probably notice the growing despairs in my writing. Following on from Melbourne’s poor performance against the Fury, two weeks before, you would have expected a much improved performance. However, it wasn’t to be as the Jets classier finishing capitalised on some poor defending and our attacking third looked toothless. For all my thoughts on the game, take out a look at my latest 442 blog, titled “What Is UnMelbourne-Like?”.

In other news, the possible return of Danny Allsopp has many fans salivating at a possible reunion with Archie Thompson and driving Melbourne back to the top of the table. Whilst nothing has been confirmed as yet, it remains an exciting prospect as the current Kruse-Thompson partnership really isn’t working and has been exposed in the last couple of rounds. While it is tad disappointing to see Allsopp quitting Al-Rayyan after only twelve minutes, as Michael Cockerill points out:

It’s not that Allsopp has been a disaster in Qatar - he scored six goals in 12 appearances - it’s just business. Al Rayyan have re-signed Oman international Imad Al Hosni on loan after his failed venture in Belgium, and Allsopp has to make way.

I guess we now have to just sit and wait and see what happens next.

Don’t forget that Victory In Melbourne can now be found on Facebook and you can become a fan. It’s only just started and there is not much to look at, but you can check it out here and more importantly become a fan.

Who will the fans blame now?

Wednesday, September 9th, 2009

Earlier this week I wrote in my latest blog for 442 that the loss of Billy Celeski for the season would have a significant impact on Melbourne’s already stuttering title defence. And now to top it all off in a less than memorable week for the Victory, the worst kept secret was confirmed today that Danny Allsopp has signed for Qatari side, Al-Rayyan Sports Club.

To add to this, FoxSports FC was also reporting strong interest from teams in West Asia for Allsopp’s strike partner, Archie Thompson. Why don’t they just take Ney Fabiano and take all out strike force and be done with it!

In all seriousness, the departure of Allsopp couldn’t come at a worst time for Melbourne. With five points from five rounds and a serious need to get some sort of streak on in order to keep in touch with Gold Coast and Sydney at the top of the table. Also with the transfer window now closed there is no real opportunity for the Victory to sign a striker of Allsopp’s equivalent.

Allsopp’s departure also raises one another serious question – who will the fans now blame when everything is going wrong?

Delusions of grandeur

Tuesday, August 11th, 2009

Everyone’s worst fears were confirmed today with the announcement that Kevin Muscat would miss between four and six weeks with a hamstring tear.

However what is more worrying perhaps is the news that Gary Cole confirmed the club is looking at signing another striker, rather than a defender, with the spot left vacant by Jose Luis Lopez’s departure. Hello? We have just lost a key central defender for a number of weeks and we are looking at another striker.

The last time I looked, we have four decent strikers - Archie Thompson, Danny Allsopp, Ney Fabiano and Nathan Elasi - and far as I know all fully fit. In the aforementioned article, Muscat notes that last year he had a similar injury pre-season and returned fully fit and played every game of the season.

However, Muscat is now a year older and has that full season under his belt. Surely it would better for the Victory to sure up it’s backline and not sign another striker of which we appear to have a glut. Are we being a tad deluded to think that we can do with a makeshift central defensive pairing whilst Muscat is out injured.

Matthew Foschini, a Victory Youth League player, has been touted as a possible replacement and personally I would like to see him given a run early on in the season. Merrick has a pretty good record with young defenders with both Adrian Leijer and Sebastian Ryall being success stories in the past. Should be on the bench at the very least.

Doesn’t get more important than this

Friday, January 23rd, 2009

Tonight’s match against Wellington Phoenix would probably be one of the most important in the club’s history. With the possibility of securing the Premiership Plate and an automatic ACL appearance there is all to play for with goals and a number of them being the key. The fact that Wellington still has a chance of securing their first ever finals berth bodes well for our chances as they will be looking for the win. Melbourne has a good home record against New Zealand teams, having never dropped any points against either the New Zealand Knights or the Phoenix on home turf.

Also look for Allsopp to get on the scoresheet as he has a pretty good scoring record against the Phoenix, both home and away. Another key player will be Carlos Hernandez, who came off the bench to such great effect last week. Will Merrick give him a start this week? I hope so as Melbourne’s midfield looked particularly toothless last week when he wasn’t on the pitch. Hernandez was also the subject matter for my latest 442 blog post, which can be read here.

My tip: Melbourne 3 Wellington 0

Welcome to hell, indeed

Sunday, December 28th, 2008

The Melbourne Victory’s Northern Terrace certainly set the tone for last night’s clash against Sydney in what was one very important match for the Victory. Whilst not condoning the use of flares, it certainly looked impressive and was very hellish indeed. The boys certainly responded with a great come from behind win. For a more detailed analysis, you will have to read my latest au.fourfourtwo.com blog post.

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The other main talking point for the night was certainly the clash between Danny Allsopp and John Kosmina. For those who haven’t seen it, here it is. Mike Cockerill’s butchering-of-the-english-language response is hilarious.

Allsopp, who has added an aggressive streak to his game of late, set the tone for the rest of his team mates with an aggressive attack both on and off the ball and they duly responded.

Like shooting fish in a barrel

Sunday, October 5th, 2008

Celebrating the fourth

It was nice to get back on the winner’s list last night with a 4-0 thumping of Perth. But as the title suggests the opposition, to put it simply were quite ordinary. Could you imagine what the scoreline would have been if Melbourne were at full strength with Hernandez and Fabiano available, it could have been quite scary. And to be honest I got a little bored throughout the second half and spent most of it watching and listening to the Northern Terrace (shown above) in action.

The crowd of 18,000 was quite disappointing but the odd kick off (5pm on a Saturday) would have contributed to the number of people not being able to attend along with the prospect of seeing Perth in action. Thankfully we only play them once at home this year. Crowd numbers should be boosted for the next home game, which in all likelihood will be a top of the table clash against Sydney. Unfortunately I won’t be able to attend :(.

It was good also to see Danny Allsopp back on the scorer’s sheet with a double, which was also especially good for my A-League Fantasy Football team as he is my captain. It was also amusing to see Archie Thompson efforts to get on the scoresheet were more often than thwarted by his teamates much to his frustration.

Not much else to write about the game in general but after playing every team once its great to be sitting solely on top of the table with things looking promising heading into the international break. Hopefully it can continue for the rest of the season.

Allsopp at the double

Monday, August 25th, 2008

Its always good to be on top of the league, even its only two weeks into the season. But what is far more pleasing is the style in which yesterday’s win was achieved in what was atrocious conditions. It was also good to see we tried to stick with our passing game (as did Wellington with theirs) on a pitch that had more water than most of our state’s dams and didn’t resort to the long ball that was prevalent throughout last season.

Standout player for the Victory was Danny Allsopp, who after a pretty poor game last week made two classy finishes (and could have almost had a third with a sublime chip that was cleared off the line - he must have been watching the Olympic mens final) and then turned provider for Ney Fabiano’s first goal in a Victory shirt. Nice to see him also get on the scoresheet after going so close last week.

After many weeks away from home it will be great to see the Victory back in Melbourne next Friday night against Newcastle, a team we have struggled against since Gary van Egmond took charge. The five day turnaround is not ideal, especially with injury concerns for Vargas. Also with the possible returns of Thompson and Ward, only strengthens our line-up. I can’t wait for Friday!