Monday, December 04, 2006

A-League team of the week, round 15

NOT many goals in round 15, only seven in total, so fair to say it wasn't really one for the strikers. Instead, some of the better performances came from the men at the back and in midfield, thus this weeks in vogue 4-2-3-1;

Tommi Tomich, PG, keeper; after a smashing debut in round 12 and follow-up performance a week later, gets his third gig in TRBA team of the week in four weeks, quite a remarkable first month in the A-League. Here he produced a string of remarkable reflex saves to keep the Glory in it right up until he was finally beaten. As Andy Harper pointed out in the commentary, looks to have trimmed down since his debut, no doubt helping him with his agility.

Matthew Kemp, AU, right back; while he played on the left, beats both Wayne O'Sullivan and Hyuk Su Seo to the right back role after a starring performance that saw him create Adelaide's only goal. Took it to Melbourne all night, getting beyond Caceres at will and forcing the replacement to be replaced. Didn't deserve to be a loser, unlike the rest of Adelaide's back-four.

Mark Rudan, SFC, central defender; looking as trim, mobile and fit as he ever has, Rudan made a number of crucial covering clearances to deny Nick Mrdja a clear sight on goal.

David Tarka, PG, central defender; just pips Dean Gorden for the central role after a number of superbly timed challenges, particularly when getting across to cover Naum Sekoulovski, not the greatest in the defensive third.

Damien Brown, CCM, left back; after what can only be described as a disappointing season to date, Brown had his best game by some measure, doing a stirling defensive job on Dave Carney. Getting up in his face and denying him time to turn and face the Mariners goal, Brown provided other teams a template on how to defend Sydney's lethal right midfielder. If he can contine this form, creates a nice solution for his manager who has had little luck finding a replacement for Dean Heffernan.

Kevin Muscat, MV, defensive central midfield; back into the starting 11 and back on the scoresheet, another clinical penalty. But more importantly, he provided a presence in the midfield that was sorely lacking last week against Newcastle, picking up the ball and pinging passes all over the place. Not content with his penalty, he took on more attacking responsibility after Brebner's send off (Mark Byrnes provided the depth in midfield), delivering a sumptuous ball for Allsopp's go-ahead.

Stuart Musalik, NJ, defensive central midfield; after last week's excellent display at the Dome, this was another accomplished performance from a player clearly growing with the season. Admittedly it was against weaker opposition, but the Jets' domination of possession was due in large parts to Musalik's ability to recycle the ball. Growing in confidence and demanding the ball, his work of late has been exciting, and gets in here ahead of Mile Jedinak and the returning Andre Gumprecht, both good against Sydney.

Fred, MV, right sided attacker; while he drifts all over the place, creating headaches for opposition managers, lets plonk him on the right for the sake of a formation (that's what Merrick appears to do). Not surprisingly was involved in most things good that Melbourne did, creating the first and rounding things off at the seocnd attempt. Continues to combine excellent technique with a high workrate, what more can you ask for. Gets in ahead of Griffiths who was a bit wasteful despite his excellent goal and general play.

Matt McKay, QR, attacking central midfield; after some patchy displays of late, this was the McKay of the first third of the season, dominating the midfield with his high work ethic and good use of the ball, proving too much for Colosimo and Webster, especially when he decided to drive beyond the defence. His goal was a gem, both courageous and measured.

Spase Dilevski, QR, left sided attacker; such a talent, Dilevski has failed to deliver on his promise this season, until Saturday night. Drifting in from the left and combining beautifully with McKay and his front men, Dilevski caused the likes of Bertos and Coyne all sorts of problems, all night. At times he clipped some delightfully weighted balls over the Glory defence, such as the one which played in McKay. Other times he drove forward and got a shot on, stinging Tomich's palm. Generally, everything he did was good, but for a couple of needless late tackles, something he needs to work on.

Danny Allsopp, MV, striker; took his tally for the season to nine with a delightful finish but may have had another one or two after causing the slowish Adelaide defence problems throughout. Smashed one against the cross-bar, set up Fred's goal and ran all over the place, just amazing levels of fitness.


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