Wednesday, June 06, 2007

A point in Amman...

...THAT'S all the Olyroos need overnight to navigate what has been, shall we say, an interesting 2nd phase of the Olympic qualifiers, and we wish Rob Baan and the boys all the best on a pitch which is said to offer 'concerns'.

If they do get the point in Jordan (or the group leaders Saudi Arabia do us a favour in Tehran), it will have been a job well done by all involved. It has been a nightmarish campaign in terms of continuity, with injuries, suspensions, matchdays not falling on FIFA dates and Asian Champions League committments denying Baan the opportunity to build winning momentum.

So frustrated has our technical director become with the logistics that this will be his last game in the dugout, with Graham Arnold muted to be taking over post the Asian Cup. It seems the Dutchman has 'drafted in' or used almost a zillion or so players throughout the six matchdays....has anyone been keeping count?

The two constants in the starting 11 have been book-ends, Vukovic in goal and Djite up top.

Tonight is no different with circumstance robbing him of the likes of Topor-Stanley, Bridge, Musalik, Troisi, Broxham and Sarkies from the starting 11. It has forced Baan to bring in yet another 'trialist', little known Turkish-based fullback Ersan Gulum.

But it's still a pretty formidable 11 he puts out in something resembling a 4-2-3-1;

Vukovic; Zadkovich, Leijer, Downes, McClenahan; Milligan, Kilkenny; Vidosic, Burns, Williams; Djite.

There's enough potency in the front third to suggest the odd chance will be created against the bottom placed team in the group. Reports out of the matchday 5 3-1 win over Iran at Hindmarsh suggest the players, after almost four months of having it drilled into them, are warming to Baan's ways, but the problem for him is that he will be fielding his 6th new-look 11.

The pity for us is we won't be able to see it on the box, but fingers will be crossed the boys and Baan can get the job done and keep the Beijing dream alive.


Blogger The Round Ball Analyst said...

Great news for those of you who might not yet have caught up with the news, and let me tell you, it wasn't easy to get this morning.....the 7am news on 2ky, nothing. flicked over to 2bl, nothing. andy paschalidis on 2ky, disappointingly, nothing. fox sports news, nothing......

Anyway, here are some details...

The Qantas Under 23s have progressed to the third and final stage of qualifying for the Beijing Olympics with a comprehensive 4-0 win over Jordan in Amman overnight.

After a tight first half the Australian side completed dominated the second period with goals from David Williams (2), Nick Ward and Dario Vidosic.

The Australian side went into the match knowing a draw would guarantee progression to the next stage of qualifying which commences in August. Australia finished the group on eleven points with Iran concluding their matches with five points after a final match 3-2 defeat at home to Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia won the group on 15 points with Jordan finishing on two points.

The draw for the third stage of qualifying will take place next Wednesday.

The third stage features 12 teams split into three groups and will be held from August 22 - November 21, with only the three group winners representing Asia at the Beijing Olympic Games.

Match Details:

Jordan 0

Australia 4 (David Williams 54’, 72’, Nick Ward, 68’, Dario Vidosic 91’)

Australian line-up:
Danny Vukovic (gk); Trent McClenahan, Aaron Downes, Adrian Leijer, Ruben Zadkovich (Ersan Gulum 83’), Mark Milligan (c), Neil Kilkenny, Dario Vidosic, Nathan Burns (Nick Ward 58’), David Williams (Adam Casey 74’), Bruce Djite.

Cautions: Downes 20’, Milligan 68’

Thu Jun 07, 10:05:00 am AEST  
Blogger Mike Salter said...

As I recall Tony, the shift in personnel was not entirely imposed by outside factors; Baan was apparently insufficiently impressed with some of his A-League crew and was determined to get some of the overseas guys on board from quite early on (my latest blog post is partly about that).

Credit to Baan and the boys, that's a fine achievement in what was not an easy group.

Thu Jun 07, 07:11:00 pm AEST  
Blogger The Round Ball Analyst said...

Hi Mike, good to hear fom ya....

Yeah, agree there's been a fair bit of chopping and changing from Baan to find out who his best men are to get the job done, and I guess there had to be a bit of that as Baan hasn't had the exposure to the players that say an Arnold or Postecoglou may have had by virture of the fact they are closer to our youth structures and have watched the players develop...

So I guess he had to sift through the players to find out what he liked and what he didnt....

I did notice the likes of Ben Griffin, Vince Lia and Robert Cornthwaite were gradually phased out of the squads....

The good news from an A-League perspective is that he seems to rate the likes of Djite, Burns, Bridge, Topor-Stanley, Milligan, Musalik, Broxham, Sarkies, Leijer, Vukovic and Zadkovich....

But there's no doubt the late momentum has been built through arrival of the likes of Williams, Troisi, Kilkenny and Downes.

For the sake of continuity, it would be great if Baan hung around to help whoever is in charge at the next phase as this team is starting to look the goods...

Fri Jun 08, 06:07:00 pm AEST  
Blogger john said...

Isn't Arnold taking over for the next phase? This could be his main job post the Asia cup.

Dario and Williams are ex-Roar and there are no current Roar players as per the Socceroos.

Still I'm pretty confident for the Roar this year, plus CC look to have bolstered their side. Adelaide seems have fallen over a bit albeit with a team that has had offseason experience.

Fri Jun 08, 09:18:00 pm AEST  

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