Sunday, 2 December 2007

Time to sharpen the knives

That would have to be one of most insipid and uninspiring matches that I have ever seen the Melbourne Victory play. Purely and simply it was a disgrace and it now looks like this blog will be taking a break in February before our participation in the Asian Champions League. Don't get me started on that - on tonight's performance we will be sitting on the bottom of our group with zero points.

In the days before the game, I thought we would quite possibly turn our season around with a good win over the bottom placed Perth. But in the car on the way to watch the game I should have realised that it wasn't going to be our night and turned the car around and headed back home and locked myself in a dark room for the following two hours. The reason for this change of heart was that I heard on the radio the decision by our esteemed coach to drop Hernandez to the bench and replace him with a player who hadn't played for three matches in Joseph Keenan. If he was going to drop him to the bench why not replace him with a similar type player. The name Kaz Patafta springs to mind. Patafta, who when called into action late on in the game produced one of the best attacking passes of the night only for Thompson to be wrongly called offside. Not that it would have made any difference.

Quite frankly, we were dominated in every aspect of the park. The Glory team, winless at home for twelve months made us look ordinary and deservedly took the three points. In fact we were probably luck that it wasn't more than the 3-1 scoreline. The main problem was our midfield, it simply didn't exist. Time after time we were dispossessed or simply made bad pass after bad pass. We missed the influence of Muscat in the midfield and his ability to galvanise the team as we were totally dominated by Colosimo and Prentice. And where was the creativity? I have a sneaking suspicion that it may be have left at the baggage carousel at Perth Airport because there was none apparent out there on the field of play. We are playing like a team that has lost all confidence. I mentioned after the Central Coast game, that how we reacted to that loss would define our season. It looks like it has taken the wind out of our sails and our season has turned for the worst.

Usually, I am loathed to single out players that I think should be dropped but after tonight's performance I will break with tradition. Two players that need singling out are Grant Brebner and Matthew Kemp. Brebner has looked unfit all season and consistently gets beaten to the ball. He has also not provided any drive or creativity in the midfield and its time for him to make way for some fresh blood. There are many people on the anti-Kemp bandwagon and I now I am joining them. Tonight, two of the Perth goals came from him being caught out of position in midfield and leaving Vargas exposed. Also his passes never hit a target all night. I'm calling for his head and to be placed by Sebastian Ryall. Its time for Ernie to take some risks and play his young players and give them a decent opportunity to show what they are capable of.

That is my rant for now. I am off to watch the Euro 2008 on the odd chance that everyone's favourite football draw host, Heidi Klum might make an appearance.


Blogger Eric said...

The most frustrating thing for me was to see Melbourne seemingly try to operate without a midfield, preferring instead to send long balls in search of Archie or Allsopp. This is a recurring theme when the opposition teams start applying pressure: we drop back, eventually win the ball, then do a few quick passes before sending one big one long... Hopeful, but 95% of the time ineffective.

To be honest, I'm in two minds about the Patafta situation. He hasn't impressed me all that much when he's been on. But, on the other hand, he probably hasn't been allowed enough time to prove himself. I wouldn't favour him over Hernandez though. I'd rather see him replace one of our defensive midfielders, either Brebner or Broxham.

3 December 2007 at 08:58  
Blogger Neil said...

I would love to see Patafta get more game time. The Roar and others have proved that the young players are up to it if given the opportunity. Coming on with ten minutes to go in a game is not an opportunity. Its time to give him a start.

I was actually more astounded that Merrick chose to replace Hernandez with Keenan, especially when our team lacks any sort of creativity at the moment. Keenan is not really suited to that central position and was more effective on the wing.

3 December 2007 at 09:56  

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