Tuesday, November 14, 2006

A-League team of the week, round 12

NOT a weekend where the wide men shone, this was a round for the central men, yet while this team might look narrow in appearance, I've spread them out in 3-4-1-2;

Tommi Tomich, PG, keeper; excellent debut, particularly his work in dealing with crosses. Unsighted for the late goal, he kept Perth in it for long periods.

Steve Pantelidis, MV, right defender; gets into this team on the right despite playing in the unfamiliar role as a left back, where he provided some great thrust with his constant forward forays. Pinning back Bertos, he also got as far as Coyne on numerous occassions, drawing the odd foul in the process. As described earlier, has added some impressive drive to his game this year.

Michael Valkanis, AU, central defender; the rock at the heart of solid defensive display from United. Truth is both he and Rees have looked shaky of late, particularly when defending high, but here Valkanis was comfortable defending deep, while the screening work of Costanzo nearby helped.

Matt Thompson, NJ, left defender; has relished his new role as a left back, doing his defensive work very soundly and then springing forward with regularity to trouble the opposition right. Here he gave O'Sullivan and Wilkinson a constant working over, setting up the first with a beautiful run and cross.

Ruben Zadkovich, SFC, right midfield; in a team that was struggling to tick in the first 30 minutes, Zadkovich stood out, prepared to try things from a deep central role alongside Talay with neat step-overs and quick movement of the ball. Was less effective in the second, but gets the birth on the right here because of his adaptability.

Ufuk Talay, SFC, central midfield; gets in ahead of Musalik and Kohler after an oustanding second half when he played a massive hand in two of the three goals with some wonderful range of passing. After being on the outer last year, is benefitting from some regular action under Butcher and you can see the confidence is coming back.

Adrian Webster, PG, central midfield; gets in ahead of Brebner after an outstanding display of work ethic and simplicity on the ball. Was everywhere and didn't deserve to be a loser. Has impressed since becoming a regular fixture in the midfield a couple of months ago and has gone past compatriot Christie in the process.

Nick Carle, NJ, left midfield; while he continues to do very well roaming in front of Kohler and Musalik, picking up the ball and combining with his front three, for the sake of balance let's throw him out on the left this week, although he could easily interchange with left-footed Webster. In the past few week he's showed wonderful combination with Rodriguez and Griffiths. This week it was his turn to double-up with Bridge.

Sasho Petrovski, SFC, in behind the strikers; playing off Zdrilic for the second week on the trot, Petrovski rediscovered his scoring touch from last season, bagging one with either foot, in either half, his second especially impressive. Dropping off the front-line and engaging either Wells or Gemmill or forcing a central defender out of the line, he caused all sorts of confusion.

Mark Bridge, NJ, striker; back into the first 11 for the first time in some time, he was clearly intent on making a lasting impression, thundering a volley home for the Jets opener before using the same outside of the right foot to cushion a return ball into Carle for the second. Overall workrate was top notch, helping the Jets defend from the front.

Carl Veart, AU, striker; gave McLaren a tough night, using his strength and workrate to test the Roar veteran and eventually create the winner for Dodd. After a slow start to the season, has been in excellent form the past four or five weeks, particularly when playing up front. It creates a headache for Kosmina when the likes of Qu, Burns and Romario are available. On this form, Veart must remain up front, at this stage at the expense of Qu.


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