Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Model Mass

AS refreshing, honest and humble an interview as you are likely to see was aired on Foxsports over the weekend.

If featured in the pre-match show of the Queensland Roar vs Melbourne Victory game, and in an era where players are "pumped" completely out of proportion by their player agents and hangers-on, listening to Massimo Murdocca candidly admit he was far from the finished product, that he wasn't quite ready for Europe and the Socceroos, was a strange, yet uplifting, experience.

Rarely, if ever, do we see a such honest appraisal, let alone from a footballer, and especially when so many players, motivated by the bright lights and big dollars, are fed and subsequently espouse false opinion of their ability.

Murdocca doesn't appear to fit that mould.

Long time readers of the blog know how much of a fan I am of Murdocca's energy and buzzability, and how I have been singing he and Matt McKay's praises since the early days of the A-League. The Mass and Matt show I dubbed it a couple of years back, and Murdocca certainly spoke of his affection for his side-kick in this interview, and how he wants to continue playing with McKay for years to come.

Murdocca, as a kid growing up at that wonderful NSL football nursery that was South Melbourne FC, had long caught the eye, and it's been great watching him establish himself in the often helter skelter world of the A-League, which too often demands that a player should resemble the Incredible Hulk.

Murdocca has proved there is room for the little fella, even if he has to run all day!

This year, while McKay has been relatively quiet by his lofty standards, Murdocca has taken his game to another level, and despite not yet having the goals to go with the workrate, there have been assists and the odd 'post'.

Frank Farina appears to have settled on Murdocca on the right side of a midfield diamond. In recent weeks, and especially against Melbourne on the weekend, he appeared to have license to roam as he liked, popping up wide on the right one minute, out on the left the next, and then driving through the centre of Melbourne's defence, attracting the attention of Michael Thwaite, and almost earning a penalty.

On a couple of occasions, almost emphasising his desire to stretch his game, he performed some wonderful work on the ball, turning one way, sending a defender the other. Some breathtaking energy, and remarkably for a player with such as high-octane game, not a yellow card to date, and only two in 61 A-League games (Danny Tiatto take note, or is it too late?)

A week earlier, away to Newcastle, he created one for McKay shortly after rattling Covic's up-right.

Still in his mid-20s despite being around for what seems an eternity, Murdocca still has time on his side, and if his attitude in this interview is anything to go by, who knows where it will take him.


Anonymous Ed said...

Could not agree more Tony. As a fan, Murdocca is just the type of player you love to watch. His heart ache expressed in the post match interview after the home loss to Melbourne looked as genuine as our own. First name on the teamsheet for me.

Wed. Nov. 12, 12:29:00 pm AEDT  
Blogger Hamish said...

Agree. Agree. Love him. Thanks Tony.

Wed. Nov. 12, 02:17:00 pm AEDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

some of those turns on the weekend were very pleasing on the eye. and completely bamboozled his marker. he is hungry. he will get a goal. with his skill level, it should be another aspect of his game.

they`re feeling the pressure up in roar land ... some are having trouble dealing with it, but mass is thriving.

if queensland get to the finals, i got a feeling that massimo will be a big part of it.


Thu. Nov. 13, 10:23:00 am AEDT  
Blogger Eamonn said...

Come off it guys.

These two M and M's are the reason The Roar are where they are particularly at home.

No goals or very few, rarely create anything for anyone at home and run like headless chooks.

Both are good players, but not good enough to break a team down or create anything.

Of course away from home they have more freedom, Mackay even scores.

Shove one of them to full-back and you change your attack and really have some energy going forward. And you might get a more creative midfielder in there as well.

Seo hasn't come forward for months, put Murdocha to full back and maybe slip in Minniecon, Zullo a little deeper...an overlapping Murdocho and allowing him to use his pace from deeper he may be more creative

If he created one goal just one at home..he'd be more creative

Persist with Mr Ever-Readies and that's what you'll get...heaps of effort, little guile.

and of course more home defeats.

The flatter to deceive, blind freddy can see it, not Frankie though.

They symbolise the League..effort, heaps of it, but when was the last time the little motor created any real chances for anyone...and don't even talk about having a shot..or dare I say it..scoring a goal himself...

More M and M's more home defeats..it's a no brainer innit:)

Thu. Nov. 13, 07:58:00 pm AEDT  
Anonymous Ed Vegas said...

Actually Eamon, Allthough I feel obliged to defent the little fellas, I have also had the thought that they would make fine wingbacks - they are both sturdy in the tackle for thier size and brave. The Roar have not had much luck in those positions, Seo ahs not been at his best this season and packer has been forced to use his weaker foot (at least I assume it is his weeker foot by the quality of the crossing) with an injury hit backline so far the full back positions have often been filled with stop gaps. Worth considering methinks.

Fri. Nov. 14, 11:06:00 pm AEDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

yeah, i gotta join in the defence. of murdocca at least.

he is playing wider on the right.

and in the last 2 games he is providing some excellent attack as well as all the running around.

at the start of the season he was guilty as charged, but something has changed just recently.

mckay? not as good as last year.

the fullbacks give very little in attack, which holds the team back.

the biggest problem is the pressure the team puts themselves under.


Sat. Nov. 15, 07:18:00 pm AEDT  

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