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Brisbane Roar coach Ange Postecoglou has hailed German playmaker Thomas Broich’s A-League introduction as one of the best in the competition’s six-year history.
Broich produced a sensational individual display in Brisbane’s 4-0 demolition of the Melbourne Heart on Saturday night, in his seventh game for the club.
The 29-year-old midfielder was at the heart of the Roar’s dangerous attack as they finally cut loose at Suncorp Stadium after scoring just three goals in their first six matches of the campaign.
For his reward, Broich, a former Germany Under-21 international, who played for FC Cologne and Borussia Monchengladbach in the Bundesliga, was substituted after 54 minutes by Postecoglou.
With the dominant hosts 3-0 up and the Heart also broken by a red-card to defender Dean Heffernan and a neck injury to skipper Simon Colosimo, the coach’s act underlined Broich’s immense value to Brisbane’s promising campaign.
“He wasn’t happy with me and he still isn’t happy with me,” Postecoglou said.
“He said ‘man down three goals up it’s a fun time’ but I just saw a smile beginning creep into his face and I thought I’d take him off and keep him angry.
“We’re going to need him for more important times I think.”
Like his youthful team, Postecoglou believed the best was yet to come from Broich, who can rival Adelaide’s Marcos Flores, Wellington’s Paul Ifill and Melbourne Victory’s 2006-07 star recruit Fred as the import to have made the biggest immediate bang.
“He’s getting better and you look at all the imports and very few of them make an impact straight away,” he said.
“It’s a tough league and I think he’s one of the best in adjusting really quickly.”
While the Roar, second last in 2009-10, are riding high in second place on the ladder with 12 points, only behind last season’s wooden-spooners Adelaide, the Heart are in dire straits.
Melbourne’s newest club were outclassed and exposed for a lack of pace and skill, continuing to bring into question the age of a team that contains five of their best players over 30.
If not for one of them, Clint Bolton, the scoreline could have been much scarier as the 35-year-old goalkeeper snuffed out a countless number of the Roar’s 22 shots at goal.
The Heart must now lick their wounds until their Melbourne derby against the Victory which has been postponed until October 8 to avoid a clash with the AFL grand final replay.
But the prolonged torment will be tempered by defender Michael Beauchamp’s return from suspension, Colosimo can overcome injury and Brendan Hamill, Eli Babalj and Jason Hoffman should return from representative duty.