Saturday, January 26, 2008

Tactical Analysis - Farina springs a surprise, but it's advantage FC

Minor Semi Final first leg, SFC 0 v QR 0

HITHERTO Frank Farina has been reluctant to play his two midfield dynamos, the M&Ms, Matt McKay and Massimo Murdocca, alongside each other, deep in the centre of midfield.

It was something his predecessor Miron Bleiberg did often, with some success.

But Farina has generally split the two with a deeper holding central midfielder, either Danny Tiatto, Stuart McLaren or Chris Grossman. But with Tiatto suspended and Farina seemingly unhappy with the alternatives, he reshaped his midfield for the first time in a long, since the kids came into his 11 in round 7 and forced Farina to go from a 4-4-2 to a 4-3-3.

Here he also played with a three man midfield, but with an interesting twist. Instead of the one holding midfielder flanked by the two buzzers in McKay on the left and Murdocca on the right, this time he played the two buzzers in the holding midfield, drafting in Marchino in the attacking midfield position.

The south-bound arrow had become a triangle.

The plan appeared to be two-fold; use the buzzers to crowd the midfield and try and get Marchino forward in support of Reinaldo, who had looked isolated in recent weeks.

The second bit was less successful, but the nullifying aspect worked a treat. Every time Juninho touched the ball, they they were, Murdocca and McKay, right in his face, snapping at his heals. His compatriot, Marchinho, was never too far away, while the two kids on the flanks, Zullo and Kruse, always doubled back and tucked in to make it a five man midfield.

With Ognenovski and Moore pressing up and following Brosque and Corica into midfield, there was rarely a moment when an FC player had time to take a touch and turn.

It was a template meant to frustrate and nullify the hosts.

The same was happening in the other dug-out. Hitherto John Kosmina has chopped and changed between and three and four man defence, but here he cancelled out the Roar by congesting the midfield and going with three at the back. Problem was that his two flankers, or wingbacks, Brendan Renaud and Robbie Middleby (later Ruben Zadkovich) were both very defensive minded, concentrating first on ensuring Zullo and Kruse had little room.

Indeed, from very early on it was clear Kosmina wanted to apply alot of physical pressure on the two wide kids, with the wingbacks and Ian Fyfe putting in a couple of early hits, especially on Zullo. It had the desired effect, with both kids struggling the shake off the attention.

Little wonder Farina was frustrated, but he can hardly complain given the treatment his men dished out to Adelaide's kids in the opening round. Remember that? In the meantime, Farina will be hoping for a similar outcome.

With both teams in the business of nullifying each other, not for the first time this season, it was little wonder a stalemate ensued.

Things livened up considerably in the second period, with the Roar looking a little tired and FC finally getting on top in midfield due to sheer weight of numbers, which allowed Juninho more freedom to thread a pass. Brosque should have given the hosts the win, troubling Ognenovski and Moore with his mobility in the second period, but he couldn't prize a finish past Griffin McMaster, who at times looked kamikaze coming off his line, despite a couple of decent one-one-ones.

But the injection of Tahj Minniecon late on breathed a bit of life back into the visitors, and they were soon in behind the pedestrian Renaud, adding to the mystery of why the kid wasn't given more time by his manager after destroying Renaud a few weeks ago.

Ultimately, both teams survived and will go to Suncorp in a fortnight hopeful rather than flowing with confidence.

While Farina had an away draw, it was a goalless one, meaning that Sydney will travel north knowing that if they can maintain their unbeaten away record and bag a goal, they will be through.

History proves there is very little between these side and on the evidence of this latest clash, it's not unrealistic to expect extra time and penalties.

6 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I disagree about Renaud. I thought he was solid and probably Sydney's standout player. Especially in the second half.

Frank L

Sun. Jan. 27, 10:26:00 am AEDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hi, i live overseas so i don`t see full games) anymore (just highlights, so would like to hear your thoughts on this years roar ...

i can`t figure them out, sometimes they sound like a freewheeling passing team, and then another week they are in a bore draw ...

are they kinda split personality, or is one of this images a mirage?

thanks

clayton

ps fyi i just saw a fairly uninspired japan vs chile last night ... 0 - 0 . the euro players stayed with their clubs, and they were playing some new kids ... but it was like they were strangers. the ability to string passes together and move the ball was gone. i expected chile to be fairly lightweight, but they were the more dangerous of the two...

Sun. Jan. 27, 10:52:00 am AEDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Frank, good player Renaud - about ten years ago. Doesn't say alot about the game if Renaud was Sydney's best.

Sun. Jan. 27, 01:52:00 pm AEDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How can you say Farina has little to complain about when Fyfe deliberately hit Zullo while the ball was 30 metres away?? What a joke! Fyfe should be suspended for at least a match. (but since he plays for Bling FC nothing will happen) Are you saying that you wish to see more of those tactics? Defenders dropping the shoulders into kids and flooring them in off the ball incidents? No wonder this league won't improve when the thoughts of defenders are to injure the flair players rather than improve their own defending.

Mon. Jan. 28, 08:31:00 am AEDT  
Blogger john said...

Great post Tony

I agree with your sentiment re:

'Little wonder Farina was frustrated, but he can hardly complain given the treatment his men dished out to Adelaide's kids in the opening round. Remember that? In the meantime, Farina will be hoping for a similar outcome.'

However, there is a very very big difference in that game>

1. Craig Moore was suspended.

2. Danny Tiatto was cite and given a one match ban plus one week suspended - for an incident he ref did not call (it happened in view of the assistant ref).

Mon. Jan. 28, 10:40:00 am AEDT  
Blogger The Round Ball Analyst said...

Thanks all for your comments...

Frank L, re Renaud, I thought he did well against Kruse, but Minniecon did get in behind him a couple of times, and thats where i was referring to him as 'pedestrian'. I was shocked Farina didnt let him lose earlier.

....i can`t figure them out, sometimes they sound like a freewheeling passing team, and then another week they are in a bore draw ...

are they kinda split personality, or is one of this images a mirage?...

Thanks clayton, when the kids on th flanks are given time and space, the roar can look flowy and impressive, but lately they have been effectively shut down (stifled) and qr's style suffers as a result...I would say they are more graft than flow.

....ps fyi i just saw a fairly uninspired japan vs chile last night ... 0 - 0 . the euro players stayed with their clubs, and they were playing some new kids ... but it was like they were strangers. the ability to string passes together and move the ball was gone. i expected chile to be fairly lightweight, but they were the more dangerous of the two...

Thanks clayton, interesting...

....How can you say Farina has little to complain about when Fyfe deliberately hit Zullo while the ball was 30 metres away?? What a joke! Fyfe should be suspended for at least a match. (but since he plays for Bling FC nothing will happen) Are you saying that you wish to see more of those tactics? Defenders dropping the shoulders into kids and flooring them in off the ball incidents? No wonder this league won't improve when the thoughts of defenders are to injure the flair players rather than improve their own defending....

Anonymous, thanks for the comment. What I was saying is that farina can hardly complain about rough treatment of his players when his team were the ones dishing it out earlier and he was defending them. It doesnt for a second condone the treatment fc dished out. I hated it and noticed it within a few minutes. This avo i hear that fyfe got off and i reckon he's a very lucky boy...not sure that there was close enough footage to confirm it was deliberate but from a distance it looked a body check, suspendable.

Now farina has a right to complain in my opinion, and the lack of media scrutiny towards fc is disappointing.

John, I agree, while the challenge by Fyfe wasn't x-rated like Tiatto's, i reckon it still warranted a hearing from ffa or at least closer media scrutiny than it was given.

Tue. Jan. 29, 08:21:00 pm AEDT  

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