What I learnt from Melbourne Victory vs Adelaide United

katie lambeski Roar Rookie

By katie lambeski, katie lambeski is a Roar Rookie

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    Adelaide United hosted Melbourne Victory on Friday night in a match that always stirs the passions of the fans. In an electric atmosphere, the hosts defeated the Victory 1-0 through an opportunistic Sergio van Dijk goal. Here is what I learnt.

    Melbourne Victory

    1. What a difference a week makes

    Compare the reaction after last week’s game against Sydney to this week. The reaction after this week’s game on twittersphere was extraordinary after this game.

    Apparently, Mehmet Durakovic should be sacked, Carlos Hernandez shouldn’t start ever again and Harry Kewell is a waste of money. My belief is that a side with plenty of attacking options is going to take time to adjust.

    This side needs to figure out what is the best set-up, and fast. It is going to take time, just not sure how much time there is for the Victory to do so.

    2. The defence is thin

    Here is the Victory’s defensive stocks available for this week’s Melbourne derby: Vargas, Fabio, Foschini, Franjic, Ferreira and Broxham with the last two names there midfielders more than backs. A little thin, isn’t it?

    Adrian Leijer, as captain, should have known better than to get himself sent off. His suspension leaves a gaping hole in defence, one I’m not sure how will be plugged.

    3. Might be time to change shape

    The last two games have seen the Victory start in a 4-2-3-1. Against Adelaide, Kewell started as the lone striker with Carlos Hernandez in the hole.

    It might be time for Archie Thompson and Kewell to start together up the front. Harry was isolated alone starting as the lone striker and Archie wasn’t at all effective out wide.

    I’d suggest a 4-1-3-2, with Kewell and Archie up the front, Rojas and Cernak on the wings, Hernandez in behind and Brebner screening.

    4. Durakovic needs to use his subs better

    A few curious decisions from Mehm on the sidelines against Adelaide. I agreed with Solorzano on for Thompson (who struggled), but taking off Rojas (who was clearly the best player for the Victory) was questionable.

    5. Try Isaka Cernak at defensive midfield

    Cernak is a player that works hard, can tackle and win possession. Mehm could do worse than placing ‘Izzy’ as a holding mid, possibly next to Grant Brebner or even in place of the feisty Scot.

    Final point: There should be no panicking from the Victory now. Things are going to take time, and I’m confident that the problems they have at the moment will be sorted out.

    Adelaide United

    1.What a difference a week makes

    United were very poor against the Glory away the week before. The Adelaide team that played the Victory looked a markedly different team to the one that played in Perth and in a much better way

    2. Dario Vidosic will have a big season

    Vidosic wasn’t quite ready for his sides trip to Perth the other week, but he was the key for Adelaide against the Victory.

    Starting behind van Dijk in a 4-2-3-1, Vidosic looked in good touch and was probably man of the match. Against Perth, United looked like they were missing a quality touch in the midfield and now they have got it in Vidosic.

    He will form a great partnership with van Dijk.

    3. Susak and McKain are rock solid

    The new Adelaide defensive pairing are quality pick-ups for Adelaide. Milan Susak, ex-Brisbane defender, put in a very strong performance against the Victory, possibly man of the match.

    Experienced defender and captain Jon McKain also gave nothing away. I get the feeling that this central pairing will be hard to get through.

    4. Sergio van Dijk will be a goal machine again

    Last year’s golden boot winner pounced on a very poor backpass from Victory defender Fabio to fire a shot past keeper Ante Covic to, as it would turn out, win the game for United.

    Van Dijk has a lot of ways in which he can score goals. Whether on his bald head, a rifle of a free kick (witness his free kick against the Victory last season) or pouncing in the box, van Dijk will be a key to how far United go this season.

    5. Fortress Hindmarsh

    I can’t see Adelaide dropping too many points at their home ground. They love playing there.

    Victory players looked a little intimidated by the hostile atmosphere the fans produced, just look at Ante Covic’s (almost costly) blunder in front of the Adelaide fans behind goal.

    I’ll back the Reds to win at Hindmarsh almost 100% of the time.

    Final thoughts: Their performance against Perth was an abberation. With Vidosic in, the side looks settled. They are set for a big season.

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    The Crowd Says (40)

    • October 18th 2011 @ 8:38am
      Qantas supports Australian Football said | October 18th 2011 @ 8:38am | ! Report

      Nice work Katie and a good read. I see you are based in Melbourne—my only advice to you would be to include the Storm, the Hearts and Melbourne Victory in your favourite Football teams on your profile. Having just Essendon doesn’t cut it for me on the Football Tab.

    • October 18th 2011 @ 8:46am
      Kasey said | October 18th 2011 @ 8:46am | ! Report

      I thought Susak started poorly but settled quickly and made up for the few handling errors he made at the beginning. I hope this week he picks up where he left off instead of giving the supporters heart in mouth type situations by being too slow to release the ball coming forward into the midfield zone. That said, the mcKain/Susak combo did mark HK completely out of the game and looks to be a great pickup for a Reds defence that strugled going in to the Finals last year after selling Fyfe to Busan I’Park in Korea.

      • Roar Guru

        October 18th 2011 @ 11:23am
        Katie Lambeski said | October 18th 2011 @ 11:23am | ! Report

        agreed…looks like he’ll form a good partnership with McKain…they’ll be the key for them

    • October 18th 2011 @ 9:03am
      Victree said | October 18th 2011 @ 9:03am | ! Report

      Not worried. Silly mistake cost us the goal. Always going to be tough coming back having your best defender sent off. Carlos and Soloarzano could have pinched an equaliser late in the game. Like your idea of putting Isaka as a DM.

      • Roar Guru

        October 18th 2011 @ 11:25am
        Katie Lambeski said | October 18th 2011 @ 11:25am | ! Report

        you are right to an extent, I don’t we were as bad as was being said, things need time to work out

    • October 18th 2011 @ 9:51am
      TomC said | October 18th 2011 @ 9:51am | ! Report

      Am I the only person who thinks that the MV defence is going fine? Its the midfield that’s the problem.

      The solution is not to take away defensive midfielders. The first thing to try is have one of the attacking midfielders drift a little deeper, to allow the others to stay closer to goal.

      Perhaps Durakovic should try a 4-3-3, with Solorzano, Thompson and Rojas up front, and Kewell sitting ahead of Brebner and Broxham.

      • October 18th 2011 @ 11:02am
        Bozza's Wig said | October 18th 2011 @ 11:02am | ! Report

        No you’re not alone. I think our so called ‘threadbare’ defence has held up really well.

        • Roar Guru

          October 18th 2011 @ 11:27am
          Katie Lambeski said | October 18th 2011 @ 11:27am | ! Report

          midfield needs to lift…Brebs hasn’t been at his best for these couple games, but I do believe our defence is thin. Take Vargas and Leijer out and there isn’t much. I love how Foschini and Franjic are coming along, but I don’t think they are quite the finished product yet

          • October 18th 2011 @ 1:09pm
            TomC said | October 18th 2011 @ 1:09pm | ! Report

            I’ve been pretty happy with both Foschini and Fabio, apart from the obvious couple of mistakes by the Brazilian.

            Foschini may be more comfortable pushing forward on the right if we could rely on the midfield to hold the ball for any length of time.

    • Roar Guru

      October 18th 2011 @ 10:22am
      Fussball ist unser leben said | October 18th 2011 @ 10:22am | ! Report

      Nice one, Katie – agree with most of your “learnings” from this match.

      However, I must say, you are a very brave person to publicly expose what you’ve learnt … seems most of the things we all learnt from last week’s MVFC v SFC match didn’t continue into R2! 🙂

      In relation to Cernak, I like your idea, however, given Cernak is used to playing wide, last week I suggested he could be ideally transitioned into a right wing back. He has a good football brain, is strong in the tackle and will crosses the ball well – three traits that, currently, are not obvious with Matthew Foschini.

      • October 18th 2011 @ 11:01am
        Bozza's Wig said | October 18th 2011 @ 11:01am | ! Report

        I actually think young Fos has done really well in the first two games. His confidence (and performances) will only grow.

      • Roar Guru

        October 18th 2011 @ 11:33am
        Katie Lambeski said | October 18th 2011 @ 11:33am | ! Report

        thanks mate 🙂 I put my opinions out there, i’m not afraid to do it. Cernak as right wing back might be something worth considering

    • October 18th 2011 @ 10:56am
      Fauntleroy said | October 18th 2011 @ 10:56am | ! Report

      Its all well and good to say “things will take time”, but we’ve just come off the longest pre-season in football history! In addition, Mehm had a number of Asian Champions League games as well. Are you suggesting that seven months is too brief to decide on formations and player roles?

      I’m sorry, but when teams like Brisbane are hitting the ground running, and Melbourne are still waiting to blossom “in the fullness of time”…in addition to the fact that they’re still making additions and deletions to their playing list, it can only be concluded that something has gone seriously wrong in the football management department. As it is, Brisbane are already 5 points clear.

      I have serious concerns for Melbourne’s coaching and football management staff. Between Mehmet, Muscat and Awaratife, we have a very inexperienced trio trying to manage what is a very demanding list. We can only hope Mehmet is a wonderful tactician, because what he has presented so far seems to be someone who is overwhelmed by the situation. Not unlikely, given his greatest coaching achievement is a very poor few years with Melbourne’s youth team.

      Mehmet should have been brought in as assistant coach, an experienced manager (from the list of “over 70 quality applications”) should have been brought in, and Muscat shipped off to learn his craft elsewhere.

      What I do agree with is that defence, whilst not the best, isn’t our key problem. Its our midfield. Cernak as a defensive mid, or even Rojas as a creative mid, might be the answer. Because Brebner and Broxham is clearly not going to work.

      • October 18th 2011 @ 11:06am
        Bozza's Wig said | October 18th 2011 @ 11:06am | ! Report

        Relax. What did Ernie achieve as a coach before he took charge in season 1? It’s only 2 games into the season. Get some perspective. Mind you if we don’t beat heart this weekend I’ll be calling for Mem to be sacked 😛

        • October 18th 2011 @ 12:18pm
          Fauntleroy said | October 18th 2011 @ 12:18pm | ! Report

          Indeed, what did Ernie achieve in Season 01.

          If you think Melbourne fans are going to be content with writing off Season 7 as a lead up to a killer Season 8, then perhaps they’re more patient than I perceived.

          Look I expect MVFC to come good in the second half of the season, but by then it will be too late. I just find it odd, that after articulating a new era of ambition, the board opted for a very inexperienced and not particularly well credentialed coach to lead this team.

          I won’t judge Mehmet by his media appearances – its not everyone’s strong point so that’s fine. But you must admit, coming our of the adelaide game and saying “we missed our chances” and basically blaming the ref!! What chances is he speaking of?

          Then, coming off the match the week before and saying “I wanted to sub Harry but he wanted to keep playing!”

          To me, that rings some serious alarm bells. Ditto the fact that it looks like Muscat, and not Mehmet, is running the show from the sidelines.

          • Roar Guru

            October 18th 2011 @ 12:56pm
            Fussball ist unser leben said | October 18th 2011 @ 12:56pm | ! Report

            @ Fauntleroy

            Did you have the same views about MVFC’s season this time last week, or is it the 90 minutes at Hindmarsh that has led you to realise the 1st half of the season will be a write off?

            If MVFC plays brilliantly on Saturday, will you have to revise your analysis again? Or, will you remain resolute that the season is over now that we’ve played 2 matches?

            Regardless of the result, or the style of play, on Saturday night – after 3 games of football – I still won’t be able to reach any intelligent conclusions – positive or negative – about the remaining 24 matches.

          • October 18th 2011 @ 1:12pm
            TomC said | October 18th 2011 @ 1:12pm | ! Report

            Hmm. If MVFC can’t get it together in the first half of the season, I don’t know why they’d find it better in the second half.

            I’m beginning to have serious concerns about Durakovic, as well. I was comfortable with his appointment after a creditable performance in the ACL, but nothing I’ve seen so far suggests he has a particularly good strategy for getting the most out of this team.

          • October 18th 2011 @ 1:47pm
            Victree said | October 18th 2011 @ 1:47pm | ! Report

            Harry fluffed a chance, Leijer miss kicked when Harry chested a ball down for him in the 6 yard box, Carlos had a shot that just went over, Solo almost one on one didn’t shoot early enough. We had some clear cut chances. Aside from Covic’s great save in the first half, Adelaide’s chances came once Leijer was sent off. Like I said, it was always going to be hard coming back when your best def gets carded but we nearly pinched it. I’m not going to worry on one poor performance two games in.

            PS: Injuries and the youngest squad in the league is what gave us such a poor first season.

      • Roar Guru

        October 18th 2011 @ 11:31am
        Katie Lambeski said | October 18th 2011 @ 11:31am | ! Report

        the ACL side is very different to the one playing now and you cannot compare game time with pre-season training. There is a massive difference between MV and Roar being that, the Roar have a set system that Ange can fit anyone in to, Victory are still finding it…thanks for the feedback

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