Friday, September 22, 2006

A-League team of the week, round four

MIDWAY through round five, let's take a quick moment to reflect on the stand-out performers of round four, shaping up in an attacking 3-4-1-2 formation;

Michael Theoklitos, MV, keeper; while his work on crosses looks shaky at times, the overall improvement in his game, particularly in coming off his line and acting as a sweeper, continues to impress. Decisive throughout this game, it is easy to see why he is currently ahead of Eugene Galekovic. Made a couple of vital stops, particularly one in the opening half to deny Jamie McMaster when he'd previously had little work to do.

Greg Owens, AU, right back; another impressive performance in an unfamiliar role, combining beautifully with Travis Dodd to dominate Adelaide's right side and pin both David Micevski and David Tarka back. Mobile and excellent on the ball.

Rodrigo Vargas, MV, central defender; take your pick between Vargas, Daniel Piorkowski and Adrian Leijer, all three performed with distinction to help keep another clean sheet, but when the pressure was on in the last 30 minutes, as the Mariners pressed for an equaliser, Vargas was composed and clean. Has added some much needed organisation to the Victory backline.

Aaron Goulding, AU, left back; by far his best A-League perfomance, Goulding combined well with Jason Spagnuolo as United dominated Perth on both flanks. With Perth playing rather narrow, Goulding took the opportunity to continually join the Adelaide midfield and played a decisive role in Dodd's screamer.

Travis Dodd, AU, right midfield; like Goulding and Carl Veart, by far his best A-League perfomance of the season, and his best since the Socceroos v Kuwait in Sydney. A constant menace for Tarka, he was as good cutting in as he was going around, and capped off his night with a great hit.

Carl Veart, AU, central midfield; involved in most of Adelaide's best moments, this was the Veart of last season, controlling the game with his neat and simple distribution. Combining with Ross Aloisi and Fernando Rech, he was too much for Simon Colosimo.

Marcus Wedau, QR, central midfield; on the subject of controlling a game, Wedau demonstrating some of the passing range, both long and short, that has seen him spend time in the Bundesliga. Combined well with Hyuk Su Seo and Matt McKay to dominate Malik Buari, Richard Johnson and Scott Gemmill.

Matt McKay, QR, left midfield; playing in a wider role than we were accustomed to seeing him in last season, McKay offered the left-sided width to stretch the Knights and even managed to cap a good overall game with the first and final goals.

Fernando Rech, AU, attacking midfielder; when Rech plays well, so do Adelaide, so it's not surprising that he was at the heart of much that was good against Perth. Finding space in the hole between Simon Colosimo and Perth's central defenders Ante Kovacevic and Jamie Harnwell, his mobility was too much for the Glory, and he bagged his third in two weeks.

Archie Thompson, MV, striker; if the evidence was there against the Knights that Thompson was back to his best, than it was confirmed against the Mariners, his trickery, movement, pace and quick feet giving the Mariners defence constant headaches. In truth, he has his partner Danny Allsopp to thank, the two combining beautifully for the second week on the trot.

Milton Rodriguez, NJ, striker; playing more as a left-sided attacker, dropping off the front-line to create and getting forward to finish, the Colombian showed in three-quarters of a game that he has enough class to have an influence on Newcastle's season. His first was simply beautifully, cushioning a solid Nick Carle cross onto his favoured left peg and finishing with aplomb, before catching Clint Boton unawares at the near post for his second. Impressive debut.


Blogger Hamish said...

Despite a less-than-sublime performance from Adelaide United on Friday night you've got to pay their goalie, Robert Bajic. He faced relentless and increasing pressure, until it seemed the rest of his team might not have been there for the frequency of goal attempts thrown at him.

If he doesn't get goalie in Round 5's team of the week, Bajic at least deserves mention in despatches.

Incidentally, thanks for this blog. Miron, from Confessions of an A-League Junkie put me on to you. Consider yourself good and properly linked.

Mon. Sep. 25, 02:44:00 pm AEST  
Blogger The Round Ball Analyst said...

Hi Hamish, thanks for the comment and link, much appreciated...

What you witnessed first hand on Friday night was brilliant performance not only from your Roar team, but from Rob Bajic. Last year Adelaide truely missed a top line keeper, Bajic and Daniel Beltrame chopping and changing throughout the year. This year Bajic is making it extrememly hard for Beltrame.

After watching his performance on Friday I thought there was no chance anybody would surpass him for goalkeeper of round five, but then Danny Vukovic decided to have a special night, making the decision between the two the hardest one of this week's team of the week, which I'll pop up a little later.

Thanks again for your interst and support.

Tue. Sep. 26, 04:15:00 pm AEST  

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