Saturday, October 21, 2006

The Mass and Matt show over, for now

WHILE injuries are an inevitable part of any sport, as we saw last night at Bluetongue, it's always sad to learn that a player has been brought down to earth in his prime. Certainly, the news that Massimo Murdocca is out for the season, or at least till the finals, is a tough one to take for he, his team, Miron Bleiberg and fans of the Roar and A-League in general, who have warmed to the brilliant buzzability provided by both he and Matt McKay in the 18 months of the league's existence. The 'Mass and Matt' show is over for now at least, but hopefully it won't be over for good.

Demonstrating a maturity that was lacking last season, both have been outstanding this season, and Murdocca was certainly the stand-out in one of the best team performances of the campaign, the Roar's 0-0 draw at home to Adelaide in round five. Strangely left out the following week in Melbourne, he showed against Sydney how vital he is at helping the Roar tick, with his neat distribution, ability to win the ball and drive and workrate too much for Topor-Stanley and McFlynn on that afternoon.

Certainly Bleiberg has a big headache in trying to find the like-for like player, as few exist, and with Marcus Wedau yet to have the impact expected, perhaps Bleiberg will have to re-jig things a bit. Technically, Spase Dilevski has the ability, but he appears more comfortable out wide, while Harold Seo is a different player altogether, more a sitter than a driver. With Mass and Matt dictating the tempo, Queensland have been able to press teams high up the pitch, so watching them without Murdocca and seeing how Bleiberg adjusts will make fascinating viewing.

Stay tuned.


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