Tuesday, October 14, 2008

A crucial three points

Socceroos v Qatar md 3 preview

WITH non-Fifa date away games to follow in Bahrain and Japan, it's crucial the Socceroos build on the wonderful matchday 2 result in Tashkent with the three points tomorrow night.

Pim has certainly been on the front foot this week, with positive rhetoric and a seemingly positive shape set to throw everything at a Qatari side still adjusting to their new manager.

Other than the mooted 4-4-2, perhaps the most talked about selection has been in central defence. Once Moore made himself available, he was always going to be the choice, as harsh as it is on Coyne, who has hitherto taken his chances.

Verbeek would have remembered how Quintana toyed with Beauchamp the second time around last phase, and wanted Moore's experience and comfort on the ground, as well as in the air. Quintana is quick, mobile and strong in the air and you need an all-round defender.

Pim was rightly secretive about his 11 and 18 in today's press conference, but there now appears only one major debate, who will partner Kennedy? Verbeek has made no secret of his love for Holman, so given both Carney and McDonald haven't had much football, don't be surprised to see him get plenty of time.

Cahill ghosting in late to get on the end of crosses or pick up second balls will be crucial, so his battle with the fiesty and much improved holding midfielder Talal Alboloushi will be one to watch.

Metsu will do everything in his power to keep the Roos out early, but is likely to miss Marcone Amaral. The aim, as Metsu has said, will be to 'disrupt', so expect a congested midfield, which could make life a little difficult for Culina and Cahill.

An early goal would be great, but if it doesn't come, Australia must demonstrate control and keep probing patiently. A point wouldn't be terminal, but three would be a great step towards 2010.


Blogger pippinu said...

I'm having trouble seeing a straight out 442 tonight.

I've created a lenghty discussion on why in my blog:


Wed. Oct. 15, 11:08:00 am AEDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hi tony,

whatever shape a team uses is an important issue (does the shape fit the talent you have? how will it effect the opponents etc etc)-

but the bigger question to my mind is does the team want to attack? no shape is inherently attacking or defensive. a scared team in a 4-4-2 is gonna start deep and stay there, maybe try to win some corners. just because it is a 4-4-2 doesn`t make it attacking. a lone striker supported by a stack of midfielders flooding forward isn`t defensive. for me, italy`s world cup winning side showed that formations aren`t defensive / attacking, people are. whilst workmanlike, they attacked, they got forward, and they won it.

anyway, tonight`s game. timmy is back. this guy could almost have stepped out of a roy and the rover`s comic book. he never plays scared. never stops believing, and will add to the team`s positive outlook.

also, pim is looking confident, and that has spread through the whole team.


Wed. Oct. 15, 11:25:00 am AEDT  
Anonymous dhd said...

Hi Tony,

Lots of media coverage and good vibes leading into this Qatar game.

Haven't seen such bullish optimism from the team and scribes since just prior to the Asian Cup tournament...

Lets hope they are to keep their collective wits about them, and play some good football besides.

As you point out, coming away with a point wouldn't be fatal, but its like noone is even contemplating that other result.

I saw none of the away game against Qatar but i recall a sense that we got one against the run of play somewhat, then stung them twice more as they pushed to try and get back into the game.

Still, after some years in Asia its good to reflect on how exciting it is to have meaningful games more often, which was something of a mantra during the last days in Oceania.

I would love to see Archie Thompson playing off josh kennedy

Wed. Oct. 15, 12:58:00 pm AEDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tony, I hope that whoever starts between Holman, Macdonald and Thompson gets himself a goal - they all need one, don't they!

I'm hoping it's Thompson and that he has a blinder, but if it's either of the other boys and they play well, I'll be happy.


Wed. Oct. 15, 02:50:00 pm AEDT  

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