Sydney’s Del Piero dream fading fast

Joe Gorman Columnist

By Joe Gorman, Joe Gorman is a Roar Expert

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    Alessandro Del Piero brought with him plenty of excitement to the A-League. AAP Image/Joosep Martinson

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    At present, Alessandro Del Piero is Sydney’s gift to the A-League. With the Sky Blues unable to find any consistent form so far this season, Del Piero’s presence has proved to be a great marketing tool for opposing clubs.

    As Shaun Mooney illustrated in his statistical breakdown of the A-League’s attendences, “the Del Piero effect” has generated considerable increases in attendances at Sydney’s away games as well as games at the SFS.

    Indeed, Sydney have only won two of their eight games on the road. Fans in Brisbane or Melbourne, for example, can admire Il Pinturiccio’s feints and dummies, but still walk away with three points. Win win.

    You’ve got to feel for Tony Pignata and the board at Sydney FC. It wasn’t meant to be this way.

    The excitement generated by Del Piero’s signing in September was palpable. Memberships and shirts sold at unprecedented rates, while Western Sydney Wanderers and Newcastle Jets both scrambled for their own marquee players.

    Sydney’s audacity quickly redefined the role of the marquee player.

    Four months on, however, and the Harbour City club remains anchored to the bottom half of the table, with an interim coach and a string of injured players.

    True, Sydney were able to scrape past Melbourne Heart at home on Sunday, but the performance did little to suggest that they are a top-six side.

    Worse still, commentators are already predicting that Alessandro Del Piero’s time at Sydney may be ending soon, with ominous reports in La Gazzetta dello Sport further feeding the rumours.

    Of course, for the moment they are still rumours. Del Piero has a little over a month to decide whether he will commit for another season, which is likely to be his last as a professional footballer.

    It will be hard to criticise Del Piero if he does decide to leave at season’s end. The ultimate professional, he has remained jovial and approachable in his ambassadorial role, while putting in polished performances in trying circumstances.

    Indeed, it was his cross that set up Rhyan Grant for the winner against Melbourne Heart on Sunday, deep into injury time.

    Yet he looks tired and frustrated at his fellow players and the coaching staff. His outburst at Ali Abbas on the weekend was, one feels, a sign of his growing dissatisfaction.

    When Del Piero arrived, we were assured by the club they had their own internal structures in place, which their star signing would simply have to fit into.

    But considering interim coach Frank Farina has been given the freedom to bring in his own fitness coach in Anthony Crea, and football director Gary Cole was sacked midway through the season, it appears the board are still thinking on the run.

    If Farina fails to make the finals, it’s likely the club will look for a replacement – their eighth coach in just nine seasons.

    When former coach Ian Crook resigned in November, I wondered whether Sydney FC would have started the season better without the pre-season drama. Certainly, the pressure to perform would have been far less intense.

    Now is not the time for such hypotheticals, however. With just over two months of football remaining before the finals, time is running out for Sydney to properly capitalise on their marquee man.

    The signing of Joel Griffiths may help relieve some of the pressure from Del Piero. So far he has been deployed up front and in the midfield by Sydney, but his best position is as a seconda punta: the ‘second striker.’

    Perhaps Griffiths will provide a better foil than Yairo Yau, who is not a natural centre forward.

    While Del Piero’s individual skills are sublime to watch, it would be nice to see him play in a functioning football team. Good players always perform better as a cog in a wheel, rather than having to carry their teammates.

    The contrast in the way Tony Popovic has integrated Shinji Ono into his squad at Western Sydney Wanderers could not be more stark.

    Should Sydney FC fail to keep Del Piero for a second season, it would be disastrous for the club’s public image.

    In any event, the longer Sydney fail to perform with Del Piero in the squad, the more the romance wears off. It would be sad to see Del Piero leave early in his contract, but who could blame him if things don’t improve?

    ‘Project Sydney’ is fading fast.

    Joe Gorman
    Joe Gorman

    Joe Gorman is a football journalist with a particular interest in sports history. After completing his thesis on football in Australia, Joe started with The Roar in October 2012. He tweets from @JoeGorman_89.

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    The Crowd Says (62)

    • January 17th 2013 @ 4:54am
      Johnno said | January 17th 2013 @ 4:54am | ! Report

      Del Piero has been a hit for the A-league like Dwight York was in 2005/6. I still believe the forign marquee rule should be lifted too, 2 per team. Or even push the local marquee rule up to 2 per team.
      So say 2 local marries per team, and 1 foreign marquee.
      Think about it. A team like Sydney FC could then have say Kewell and Neil in there team. Or Cahill and Schwarcher. Hows that.

      • January 17th 2013 @ 6:05am
        Thomas said | January 17th 2013 @ 6:05am | ! Report

        Is this true,I heard on twitter the NY Cosmos, a second division club is looking to get Del Piero? It would for the second half of the NASL season. This Cosmos team, seem to have a lot of money, their funding a 400 million dollar stadium. http://www.newcosmosstadium.com. I never heard of the Cosmos before, do you think Del Piero would go to a NASL club? or just a twitter rumor?

      • January 17th 2013 @ 7:52am
        Qantas supports Australian Football said | January 17th 2013 @ 7:52am | ! Report

        Gotta say Johnno, I agree with 100%…

      • January 17th 2013 @ 8:58am
        Christo the Daddyo said | January 17th 2013 @ 8:58am | ! Report

        Where is the money coming from? Most of the clubs are losing money hand over fist as it is.

        I’m really on the fence with marquee players – I’m not sure whether they’ve actually ever worked. ADP has worked from a marketing point of view and he has exhibited the occasional sublime moment on the field, but the reality is that SFC are still a long way off the pace and will in all likelihood miss the finals. So it can’t really be argued that he has benefited the on-field performance.

        Ono is the reverse – I don’t think he’s done much for the marketing department, but his on field contribution has gotten better and better as the season has progressed.

        Heskey – started well on the field, but he’s really tailed off lately. And may have had a slight benefit off field.

        No idea how much any of these players are being paid, but I would suspect it isn’t worth the return – whether you measure that by on or off field criteria.

        • Roar Guru

          January 17th 2013 @ 9:15am
          Fussball ist unser leben said | January 17th 2013 @ 9:15am | ! Report

          “No idea how much any of these players are being paid, but I would suspect it isn’t worth the return – whether you measure that by on or off field criteria.”

          You’ve got to be kidding? Even by the most modest calculations, Del Piero would have delivered a positive return on his TWO year contract in the space of a few months.

          “Where is the money coming from?” It’s coming from wealthy owners, who have invested in a football club because they LOVE the Game. Do they expect to make money from their football club investment … hell NO.

          Some wealthy men like to throw money into racing yachts or racing cars … they don’t expect to make money from such ventures. They do it because they enjoy that activity.

          • January 17th 2013 @ 11:25am
            Neil said | January 17th 2013 @ 11:25am | ! Report

            Just because we are following the AFL Aussie Rules model and have a salary cap in the A League, (which is way, way too low) and unlike nearly every other football competition around the world which does not have a salary cap, it seems that folks posting here also believe clubs should follow the AFL Aussie Rules model with clubs operating at a profit. Guess these folks aren’t aware that Manchester City when winning the EPL in the 2011-2012 season lost A$150 million – which was considered a good financial result – as the club lost $A300 million the season before.

            • January 17th 2013 @ 11:40am
              Minister for Information for the Democratic People's Republic of Football said | January 17th 2013 @ 11:40am | ! Report

              The salary cap is fine at the moment. For all the talent we have in our league there’s also plenty of turkeys going around in the HAL at the moment who are lucky to be making what their making (SFC a case in point). Paying them more will not make them better players. Also it would be financially irresponsible to raise the cap at the moment.
              Let the clubs pay the big bucks on top quality marquees and genuine local talent. The rest can pick up the crumbs.

          • January 17th 2013 @ 2:28pm
            Christo the Daddyo said | January 17th 2013 @ 2:28pm | ! Report

            Fussball, he hasn’t signed a two year contract. He signed for one year, with another year’s extension if both parties want to activate that option.

            The financial model of relying on wealthy owners throwing money at football teams works on one level in other parts of the world because they a) have enough wealthy people, and b) are happy to have leagues dominated by a handful of clubs. However it means that some (many?) teams will never have a realistic chance of winning a competition.

            While I’m usually a supporter of free market principles, it doesn’t work in the professional sporting world. Not if you want competitive leagues.

            • Roar Guru

              January 17th 2013 @ 3:28pm
              Fussball ist unser leben said | January 17th 2013 @ 3:28pm | ! Report

              David Traktovenko, who owns Sydney FC, is one of the richest men in Australia.

              Regardless, after 7 years of private ownership in the A-League, the League title has been won by 5 different teams

              That’s pretty damn competitive!

          • January 17th 2013 @ 3:49pm
            Peter Care said | January 17th 2013 @ 3:49pm | ! Report

            Melbourne Heart owners expect a return on their investment. For them it’s a profit making venture. That’s why they run a low cost operation and are planning break even this season. As an example of their low cost, their marquee is Fred and they have no Australian Marquee. Part of their profit making plan involves developing young players and then sell them overseas at a profit.

            • January 17th 2013 @ 5:10pm
              Stevo said | January 17th 2013 @ 5:10pm | ! Report

              Yes but I’m not holding my breath waiting for us to win silverware. Low cost model for modest return. Well at least we’ll survive while the bigger spending clubs need to go in search of more wealthy owners and sponsorship 🙂

        • Roar Guru

          January 17th 2013 @ 12:14pm
          apaway said | January 17th 2013 @ 12:14pm | ! Report

          Christo

          ADP paid for himself after Sydney FC’s first home game of the season, when almost 36,000 fans turned up and spent more merchandise money in a single day than the SCG/SFS Trust has ever recorded in any other day in their history.

          • January 17th 2013 @ 2:21pm
            Christo the Daddyo said | January 17th 2013 @ 2:21pm | ! Report

            Not at $2m a season he didn’t.

            I’m not arguing that he (along with Yorke) weren’t significant signings for the A League, but there’s no way Sydney FC have made a direct financial profit on the expenditure associated with signing Del Piero.

            • January 17th 2013 @ 2:54pm
              Jon stevens said | January 17th 2013 @ 2:54pm | ! Report

              Approx 40000 shirts & an extra 4000 average attendance and they break even. Not sure where they’re at but I think they’ll do it easy

            • Roar Guru

              January 17th 2013 @ 3:37pm
              Fussball ist unser leben said | January 17th 2013 @ 3:37pm | ! Report

              After 8 rounds, SFC crowds:
              Last season: 98,988
              This season: 161,008

              Assume, average ticket price: $25

              Total INCREASE in gate receipts this season = $1.5m

              Add,
              Merchandise: estimate $2m extra PROFIT
              Sponsorship: >$1m increase
              Media exposure/advertising: ??? estimated at several $million

              Ale has been a gold mine for SFC.

              • January 18th 2013 @ 8:52am
                Christo the Daddyo said | January 18th 2013 @ 8:52am | ! Report

                Agree that he has brought very significant revenue into the club, but I would love to see the true (i.e. complete) financials at the end of the season. Not that that will happen of course…

        • January 18th 2013 @ 10:14am
          Michael said | January 18th 2013 @ 10:14am | ! Report

          Having had the pleasure to watch ADP live now 6 times, there is no doubt he is worth the money on the field. Yes he does look a little agitated now days but that is to be expected and regardless every time I am able to sit and watch this master control a football I get to go home with a big smile on my face.

    • January 17th 2013 @ 6:31am
      Johnno said | January 17th 2013 @ 6:31am | ! Report

      NY cosmos actually in many ways are one of the most famous footballing teams of the 70’s . A real cult following, 70’s studio 54, retro team. Pele, and Beckanbauer, played for them in New York.

    • January 17th 2013 @ 7:22am
      Realfootbal said | January 17th 2013 @ 7:22am | ! Report

      His value is 80% publicity, 20% playing. Way too much has been made of his contributions on the park. He still has the technique, yes, but his pace has utterly gone and, frankly, he plays like his age. Sure he put in a good cross on the weekend. Big deal. An average grade footballer can put in a good cross; my U15s can put in a good cross. This thing we have where journalists and fans – some a least – feel the need to worship at the alter of a 38 year old footballer a decade past his peak is, from my perspective, another manifestation of the good ole Australian cultural cringe.

      Del Piero has made a great contribution to the A-League. It has been a PR contribution, one which, to all intents and purposes, has pretty much run its course now. Objectively, as a player, apart from the flashes of technique that play like an echo of the player he was, he is well of the pace of the A-League and, I strongly suspect, creates more problems for Frank Farina than he solves. What does a coach do with Del Piero – the 38 year old, not the player of the highlights reels? He doesn’t have the engine for midfield, nor the pace, and doesn’t have the pace to play in the front line. A role off the bench for the last 20-30 minutes is the logical option for making the most of Del Piero’s strengths, but that appears to be politically impossible.

      The parallels with the Kewell experiment at MV are uncanny. However, Kewell at 34 was capable of contributing much more dynamically on the park than ADP. Yes, I know, he’s a latter day saint, but at 38 his very obvious physical limitations as a footballer are the elephant in the room that no one wants to mention.

      Sadly, courtersy of the ongoing inability of Sydney FC to recruit anything resembling a decent coaching staff and playing squad, the long term effect of his presence may well be negative. Already, the Italian media are treating the A League with a derision it most certainly does not deserve because of the nation’s exposure to the football, if that’s what it is, played by Sydney FC. Rather than being a trailblazer for others to follow to the A League, the net result, in Italy at least, is unfortunately more likely to be a cautionary warning to other players.

      • January 17th 2013 @ 8:32am
        jacket said | January 17th 2013 @ 8:32am | ! Report

        You don’t need searing pace, if you have a football brain, the ability to find space, pick passes, the technical ability to control and pass the ball so you make the opposition worry about you and obviously a killer instinct in the penalty area. ADP, even at 38, has these, I don’t think you understand football and how it works after reading your post.

        • Roar Guru

          January 17th 2013 @ 9:52am
          Fussball ist unser leben said | January 17th 2013 @ 9:52am | ! Report

          100% agree, jacket.

          AUS football has gone past the antiquated notion that speed is the ultimate arbiter of “what makes a good footballer”.

          The best playmakers in the world are not greyhounds: Xavi, Iniesta, Pirlo, Sneijder, Schweinsteiger, etc. What they all have are: super technique, football intelligence .. and a will to win.

          Like the best in the world, Ale still has all these attributes.

          • January 17th 2013 @ 10:05am
            Realfootball said | January 17th 2013 @ 10:05am | ! Report

            Pace, however, remains an essential. I was not saying that pace is the be all and end all – I agree that it is part of a much larger equation. Glen Hoddle was notably lacking in speed, but his technical gifts compensated.

            That being said, ADP’s pace has now dropped to the point where his technical skills do not compensate. To compare him to Xavi and the like is completely fatuous. These players, though possessing limited pace, are far quicker than ADP is now. There really is no comparison.

            The determination of some posters in these threads to ignore clearly observable fact in favour of how they would prefer reality to present itself is quite striking. You can and should do better than this, Fussball.

            And let me be very clear: I at no point referred to “searing pace”. That was not my point at all, jacket and fussball, and you should have read my post properly before issuing simplistic and inaccurate responses.

            • January 17th 2013 @ 10:35am
              fadida said | January 17th 2013 @ 10:35am | ! Report

              Agree RealFootball

            • January 17th 2013 @ 11:47am
              Minister for Information for the Democratic People's Republic of Football said | January 17th 2013 @ 11:47am | ! Report

              ADP has not lost pace dramatically RF. He’s lost motivation. It’s obvious to me every time I see his body language on the field. A whole season of a Ferrari racing alongside HQ Holdens tends to have that effect on you.
              Mind you that is a comparison to his team mates at SFC and not a reflection of the league as a whole.

            • Roar Guru

              January 19th 2013 @ 7:42pm
              Fussball ist unser leben said | January 19th 2013 @ 7:42pm | ! Report

              “That being said, ADP’s pace has now dropped to the point where his technical skills do not compensate.”

              I hope you watched today’s match, SFC v NIX?

              Quick thinking & technical perfection are the attributes I look for in the play-maker’s role. Pace is a completely irrelevant attribute.

        • January 17th 2013 @ 10:09am
          Realfootball said | January 17th 2013 @ 10:09am | ! Report

          Jacket, I have a solid playing background and I coach. I think its fair to say I have a sound understanding of how football works. After all, it’s not rocket science. Your naive and superficial response says far more about the limitations of your own conception of the game than mine. I suggest that in future you avoid making unnecessarily pejorative statements about perfectly reasonable and considered posts.

          • January 17th 2013 @ 10:36am
            fadida said | January 17th 2013 @ 10:36am | ! Report

            Agree again RealFootball

          • Roar Guru

            January 17th 2013 @ 12:47pm
            apaway said | January 17th 2013 @ 12:47pm | ! Report

            Realfootball

            I’m not deriding your coaching knowledge, and would agree that ADP is not as quick as he was. But to say he’s 10 years past his prime might be stretching things a little, given he came straight from a Juventus team that went through the last Serie A season undefeated, to Sydney FC.

            I’d also contend that a player of Del Piero’s quality needs both workers and thinkers around him, and at no stage this season has he had both. The arrival of Joel Griffiths and the re-introduction of Jason Culina might just be the thing to spark a SFC resurgence (but I am being optimistic here). Yairo Yau, with anything approaching a decent touch, would have had six more goals than he currently does thanks to Del Piero’s delivery.

            Does he create more problems for Farina than he solves? It’s an interesting way of viewing his on-field role but I shudder to think where SFC might be had he NOT been there at all. I don’t think Del Piero’s presence creates problems for a coach. Rather, I think the coach should not rely on him to solve as many problems as he is currently being asked to. Another post in this thread pointed out that Sydney have scored the 4th highest number of goals in the league, while conceding the most. The problem is therefore not really at Del Piero’s end of the park. I know some may argue about cause and effect if ADP does not have the pace to hold up the play if the ball is turned over but if Sydney play the right sort of system that’s not his job. Two hard-working screening midfielders should be able to compensate just as Erik Paartalu used to do for Thomas Broich, or Schweinsteiger does for Podolski, Ozil et al.

            Personally, as a coach, I’d love to have a “problem” like Del Piero.

          • January 18th 2013 @ 7:00am
            jacket said | January 18th 2013 @ 7:00am | ! Report

            Realfootball, in your original post, you put ADP was 80% publicity and 20% playing and that he only put one good cross in, that an under 15 can do, i would not expect that kind of comment from someone who has got a solid playing background and coaching in football do you? PS @Fadida I’ll save you the trouble of typing a response by telling everyone that you’ll be agreeing with all of Realfootball posts.

        • January 17th 2013 @ 10:18am
          Qantas supports Australian Football said | January 17th 2013 @ 10:18am | ! Report

          +1 Jacket, totally agree with you 100%

        • January 17th 2013 @ 10:34am
          fadida said | January 17th 2013 @ 10:34am | ! Report

          I agree with a few of RealFootball’s comments here Jacket. Firstly though, you simply can’t polish a turd, and Sydney as it stands are a turd. Messi at his best would struggle with the lack of quality around him (or maybe not!)and ADP is finding this, and it only highlights his shortcomings.

          Watching the Sydney v. Heart game I couldn’t help but notice how much ADP was struggling physically. He was playing like someone much older than his 38 years. The modern game, at all technical levels is about mobility. His mobility looks to have deteriorated significantly from the start of the season(?heat). From a footballing perspective as a coach I’d be wondering whether he is not becoming something of a liability – particularly in a turd team. Is he worth signing for a second season based in decreasing returns ON the field? He has no recovery as RealFootball pointed out. When he loses the ball (which happens a lot more now that the opposition can read him +lack of teammate support ) Sydney are essential defending a man short, no great thing for a defensively suspect team. As a coach how do you incorporate such a luxury player into a defensive shape? You can’t high press because he simply can’t apply any pressure and opponents dispossess him and confidently run past him.

          Overall he has been magnificent for the league, as Fuss has pointed out, and it’s a shame he’s playing in such a poor side from an Italian media point of view (the league has come so far so I can live with poor reviews from 1 country). However I have my doubts about any of the leading A-league sides making the most of him though, mainly because of the tempo they wish to defend at. Had ADP gone to Liverpool as was suggested he would have embarrassed himself in such a high tempo league. Skills are brilliant but the legs have totally gone.

          • January 17th 2013 @ 10:52am
            Qantas supports Australian Football said | January 17th 2013 @ 10:52am | ! Report

            ADP has one ordinary game of the season yet SFC still win against the Heart.. Defending is not an issue now Farina has introduced Triantis and Culina who is back to his best. All ADP needs to do when SFC lose possession is to fall back into SFC defending half to close the gaps. And that is what he has done all his life—the Italians defend zonally not high up the park pressing. Farina knows it know, and has altered the way SFC will defend in the future.

            • January 17th 2013 @ 11:19am
              fadida said | January 17th 2013 @ 11:19am | ! Report

              I understand the tactics re zonal defence. But as a coach would you build a system around an increasingly injured player who may not be there next season and have to start all over?

              The title contenders MV and CCM and possibly Adelaide all play from the back. Pressing high is a great way to stifle them and create goal scoring opportunities. Sitting back on half way concedes possession to them and allows them to dictate play. Roar started to struggle last season when teams pressed them high, rather than drop off.

              If you are going to apply low pressure you then need pace and quality to exploit on the counter. Do Sydney have this? Will Sydney be stuck in their own half knocking long clearances back to their opponents? From what I have seen Sydney are still looking to press high anyway…

              • January 17th 2013 @ 12:08pm
                Qantas supports Australian Football said | January 17th 2013 @ 12:08pm | ! Report

                First of all, the Italians have always played from the back using a zonal defence—hardly ever use the high up the field pressing game. High up the field pressing game doesn’t have monopoly on playing from the back. You build a system that works with the current players who happened to be on your roster for this season now. ADP came in late (not match fit) a manager who resigned his post who had a disruptive preseason with unfit players and injuries, only going through the motions.

                Finally the players are much fitter now under Farina, who has brought in some new found spirit to the team. Of course this will not do for next season, but this season, the objective is to get into the playoffs to regains some lost pride and make a statement—-next season will be different again..

                Who knows if ADP will be part of it or not next season..? I don’t think he will somehow and return to Italy leaving a wonderful legacy behind—of how football should be played—with brilliant technique and vision–how to make something out of nothing to turn a game.

                I’ll bet right now the youngsters at SFC have picked up on how he shields a ball—how he feigns to deceive a defender, and how he puts in pin point crosses that, result in goals..

      • January 17th 2013 @ 8:53am
        Kasey said | January 17th 2013 @ 8:53am | ! Report

        In a complex team sport such as football, one player amongst the 22 on the pitch is never going to have the effect a marquee QB(or 1st round draft pick like RG3) would have in a gridiron team. ADP has been brilliant for the profile of the league, and before that statement gets pooh-poohed, at least SFC had the foresight to chase a ‘marquee/publicity player’ who had played the game before;)

        His output(goals scored and assists etc) on the park should be viewed as the cherry on top IMO.

      • January 17th 2013 @ 12:02pm
        AGO74 said | January 17th 2013 @ 12:02pm | ! Report

        I don’t think ADP’s pace has anything to do with it. He’s never been about pace. That’s not what made him great and I have never heard anyone say that is one of his strengths. Its about skill, technique and vision with ADP. Always has and always will.

        If you are going to make reasons why he looks flat sometimes, I would put that down to the hardness of the tracks we play on here in Australia rather than a lack of pace or condition. The more I think about it, the more I think this has contributed to hampering Brett Emerton’s performances since his return and Emmo is a guy who has always relied on pace as one of his strengths. Playing on such hard tracks is so much more physically taxing for an older player compared to the softer grounds of Europe.

        Besides all that, I don’t think ADP has run his course and I hope to hell he stays. Forget his talents for a second. The guy is a gentleman and has been an absolutely fantastic servant to the A-League. Your comparison to Harry “only two media performances a month in my contract” Kewell is way off target. The only comparison you could make between H and ADP is that coming into the team so late did not assist either themselves or their teams.

        On the field, if Sydney can put together a half decent team you will see ADP performances go to another level. You don’t just go from being an important contributor to the undefeated champions of Italy to not being able to perform in the A-League in less than a year.

      • January 18th 2013 @ 10:16am
        Michael said | January 18th 2013 @ 10:16am | ! Report

        I remember sitting in awe when I first saw him live for the first Newcastle game. And have been blown away every time since. It is a privilege to see a player of his skill play live in my national league. On a team level, if Sydney can develop their current players to work around ADP or bring in the required talent to do so the man could control a game without having to move more than 5 meters.

      • January 22nd 2013 @ 8:12pm
        Emanuele said | January 22nd 2013 @ 8:12pm | ! Report

        Your comment demonstrates when your wrote this you have never played at a high level,our you have a biase against older or slower players,as the game after your comment this 38 year old scored 4 goals in a match,not with pace but with skill and mastery…..having watch him train he trains a hour after everyone else….nothing takes away from legendary skill or hard work…p.s. he has scored 9 goals with a poor team…end of story

    • January 17th 2013 @ 8:14am
      Qantas supports Australian Football said | January 17th 2013 @ 8:14am | ! Report

      “At present, Alessandro Del Piero is Sydney’s gift to the A-League.”

      A good read Joe, what a player ADP is and still better value than the run of the mill average player at 25 yrs old. His lack of mobility is more than made up with his vision on the park. Simply knowing where to be to masterly send in a game winning pin point cross in the 93rd min. I have been very impressed with his vision—ie in reading of a game. It’s unfortunate he lacks a bit of pace, but he really makes up for it with his cultured technique along with his little shuffle to deceive his opponent, before putting his teammate through on goal, which results in either winning a match or snatching a vital draw… Love the man..

      • January 17th 2013 @ 8:51am
        nachos supreme said | January 17th 2013 @ 8:51am | ! Report

        Looking forward to watching the side in the coming weeks, as Triantis and Culina spend more time together….
        Central Defense remains an issue but I think if the central mids can gel and hang onto the pill the likes of Grant and Fabio can add some width which will hopefully take some pressure of ADP. All he needs is a metre or two and a couple of runners who aren’t brain dead.
        I can live in hope anyways…

        • January 17th 2013 @ 9:22am
          Qantas supports Australian Football said | January 17th 2013 @ 9:22am | ! Report

          “Triantis and Culina spend more time together…”

          What a find young Triantis is, and alongside Culina who will mentor him along his career nicely.. Just a a few more good runners around ADP and it will be smooth sailing from now on… It was great to see SFC finish the match last Sunday full of running—even ADP was moving along from wing to wing like a young 25 year old.

          • January 17th 2013 @ 11:14am
            nachos supreme said | January 17th 2013 @ 11:14am | ! Report

            I really think this Triantis guy is potentially a very good player.For a guy as young as he is, I love his composure and decisiveness.

            A mentor like Culina should be great for him. Things going well I can see ADP enjoying the service in the weeks to come. Especially if the wide players do their job.

            Just on ADP’s movement. I think the reason he’s looking slow at times is that he’s buggered. He’s having to do way too much defensive work.

    • January 17th 2013 @ 8:35am
      MV Dave said | January 17th 2013 @ 8:35am | ! Report

      Geez, love to be able to comment on his playing contributions but l live in Melbourne…and we ain’t seen him yet! Unfortunate scheduling but neither Victory or Heart have played SFC at home yet even though they’ve played at SFC 3 times combined so far. Would have guaranteed a 50,000 plus at Etihad earlier in the season but will still sell out AAMI on Australia Day.
      On TV his onfield overall contributions across 90 minutes seem to be diminishing with his lack of pace/fitness and the fact that the team around him is poor but…he is still able to make decisive contributions at important times eg last weeks cross for the goal. Look forward to seeing him in the flesh if he is not injured this weekend.

    • January 17th 2013 @ 8:38am
      Christo the Daddyo said | January 17th 2013 @ 8:38am | ! Report

      While Sydney has copped a right old bollocking for their season so far it is interesting to put some of the emotion away and look at some facts.

      Apart from the top 3 (Reds, Mariners and Victory), Sydney is actually keeping pace with all the other teams in terms of goals scored. So there is not too much of a problem there. Which is why the signing of Griffiths is slightly odd…

      The actual trouble comes when you look at the goals conceded, where SFC are easily the worst in the league. While it’s the defenders that have copped pretty much all of the blame to date, I wonder whether Del Piero’s lack of pace is a significant factor in this. When he loses the ball there is virtually no pressure on the opposing player who gets a free ride on getting it very quickly into Sydney’s defense.

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