Will Super Dario steal the show from Kewell, Emerton?

Tony Tannous Columnist

43 Have your say

    Australia's Dario Vidosic (centre) takes the ball up field despite pressure from Paraguay's Dario Veron. AAP Image/Dean Lewins

    Australia's Dario Vidosic (centre) takes the ball up field despite pressure from Paraguay's Dario Veron. AAP Image/Dean Lewins

    While most of the pre-season attention has been on a pair of big name returning Socceroos, in Harry Kewell and Brett Emerton, less heralded in the mainstream was the return of another 2010 World Cup representative, Dario Vidosic.

    After four seasons in Germany, where his career never quite took off at FC Nuremberg and a couple of other clubs he was loaned out to, Vidosic returned home in the off-season, aged only 24, keen to re-ignite his club and national team career. 

    For a player, nothing quite stacks up to the feeling of playing regularly, a challenge the likes of Mathew Leckie and Matt McKay currently have to deal with. 

    For Vidosic, there’s little doubt the motivation was to get back home, have a few good seasons, and see where that eventually leads him. 

    Perhaps even seeing the career of his former Roar teammate McKay take off over the past year or so, for both club and country, at the age of 28, has provided Vidosic with the confidence to come home and work on his game over the next couple of seasons. He has time.

    On Friday night, in what I thought was a high quality affair at a packed Hindmarsh Stadium, Vidosic gave Adelaide United and A-League fans a taste of what we might expect throughout the season, turning on a man of the match display to steal the show from Kewell. 

    Indeed, it was rather ironic that Vidosic, who started his career at the Roar in a wide area, played an influential role in the hole behind Sergio van Dijk, while Kewell, who Mehmet Durakovic admitted would be playing behind the strikers when he was signed, was often left isolated up front, in the number nine role. 

    The move by Durakovic, no doubt designed to accommodate the returning Carlos Hernandez, back-fired, with Kewell becoming an increasingly peripheral figure as the pumped-up Reds controlled most of the match with their up-tempo pressing style. 

    Vidosic, a modern day attacker, blessed with great mobility and a very strong work-rate, was a key influencer in this space. 

    Indeed, while much was made of the Fabio error in the lead up to the only goal of the game, look closely at the highlights and you’ll see it was Vidosic closing down the Brazilian, forcing him to rush his distribution. 

    It’s the type of detail that will please not only Rini Coolen, but Holger Osieck, who has taken to the pressing work of Alex Brosque at national team level, a trait he showcased in his time in the A-League. 

    While Vidosic’s defensive work was a feature of the week two blockbuster, it was also his movement, set piece work and subtle work on the ball that caught the eye. 

    Finding space in and around twin holders Grant Brebner and Leigh Broxham, and drifting into wider areas when the space opened up, Vidosic’s combination with his front third team-mates van Dijk, Andy Slory and Zenon Caravella was always in-touch.

    Indeed, there was seamlessness about the way he slotted into the 11 after missing Adelaide’s opener in Perth. No doubt this understanding was honed in the off-season, a luxury neither Emerton nor Kewell had after signing late for their respective clubs.

    While Vidosic spent most of his formative years, for club and country, playing out wide, it seems Coolen is determined to use him centrally, as a replacement for the wonderful Marcos Flores. 

    Like Flores you can expect to see him not only occupying the central corridor, but using the flanks when the likes if Caravella and Slory drift infield.

    Whether Vidosic can be as influential a creator and finisher as Flores remains to be seen, but on the evidence of his first display, where he managed nine shots and a couple of finals balls, he’ll go mighty close.

    After upstaging Kewell last week, he gets his chance to match-up against Emerton on Saturday, and there’s no doubt he’s determined to put on a show.

    Speaking after Friday’s win, Vidosic stopped short of throwing down the gauntlet to Kewell and Emerton, but emitted a steely tone of determination. 

    He is here to get the business done and make a statement or two of his own.

    Tony Tannous
    Tony Tannous

    Follow Tony on Twitter @TonyTannousTRBA

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    The Crowd Says (43)

    • October 19th 2011 @ 4:27am
      Axelv said | October 19th 2011 @ 4:27am | ! Report

      It was really cool seeing him on One, playing for Nuremberg a couple of years ago. In what is a such a big football league that I knew little about, it was hard to imagine that one of the players out there was an Australian. He’s also impressed me when he’s come on for the national team while under Pim. Under rated star signing for Adelaide, my friend says that it’s concerning that he is no longer overseas, but in my opinion it’s great that he’s back in the A-League!

      Tony what did you think of Adelaide’s overall performance? Especially before Fabio’s pressured error (by Dario). I felt that it wasn’t until Adelaide were a goal up and when Leijer was sent off that Adelaide played well. For the last 30 minutes of the game they were very confident and passing well, but for the first 55 minutes they seemed quite incohesive and were resorting to long balls.

      • Columnist

        October 19th 2011 @ 7:58am
        Tony Tannous said | October 19th 2011 @ 7:58am | ! Report

        Axel, thanks for the question. I actually thought it was an excellent performance all round from the Reds. Obviously Rojas pushed them in the early going, but the thing I enjoyed about Adelaide’s performance was the mentality.

        They were right up for match and the tempo and intensity was very high. If they can maintain that motivation, they’ll be hard to beat.

    • October 19th 2011 @ 7:19am
      Midfielder said | October 19th 2011 @ 7:19am | ! Report

      Tony wow what a player and one of the reasons I have AU as my team to beat this year…

      Tony as an aside a new book is being released on 31 October and one I tho would appeal to you called The Aboriginal Soccer Tribe … http://www.magabala.com/catalog_new/product_info.php?cPath=148&products_id=135

      Back to Dario … fast good touch… can hardly wait to see him at Bluey…

      • Columnist

        October 19th 2011 @ 8:03am
        Tony Tannous said | October 19th 2011 @ 8:03am | ! Report

        Ditto Mid, looking fwd to getting to Bluetongue and SFS (and maybe Ausgrid) to see Vidosic.

        On the John Maynard book, looks a really exciting addition to the Australian football literature, and with the media launch this morning, expect plenty of great press over the next few days.

      • October 19th 2011 @ 8:07am
        Kasey said | October 19th 2011 @ 8:07am | ! Report

        Mid, thanks for sharing that link, I’ll be hunting down a copy of that book ASAP. I’ve always wondered if Our National style of football would be ‘found’ if we could convince more players from an Aboriginal/TSI background to take up football, as I am usually in awe of the silky skills displayed by some of the Indigenous background players in the AFL.

    • October 19th 2011 @ 7:29am
      Lucan said | October 19th 2011 @ 7:29am | ! Report

      Vidosic is a quality footballer. I would expect him to head overseas again in the next couple of years. Perhaps the J-League will suit his style.

    • October 19th 2011 @ 8:01am
      Kasey said | October 19th 2011 @ 8:01am | ! Report

      Vidosic was completely the difference between a lackluster United away to Perth and a much more dangerous looking Reds at Home to Victory in Rd2 IMO. With Super Dario in the centre pushing right and Slory taking the delivery of overlapping wingback Cassio on the Left and Caravella playing the role of spoiler/ball winner/distributer in the middle, much like former crowd favourite Jonas Salley used to, I think United’s Midfield is one to look out for this year, which I have to admit I didn’t think I’d be saying after the departure of Marcos to china:(

      • October 19th 2011 @ 11:35am
        punter said | October 19th 2011 @ 11:35am | ! Report

        I think Caravella is the most under rated midfielder in the world.

        • October 19th 2011 @ 11:58am
          punter said | October 19th 2011 @ 11:58am | ! Report

          Sorry not in the world, in the A-League 🙂

          • October 19th 2011 @ 12:11pm
            jmac said | October 19th 2011 @ 12:11pm | ! Report

            now there’s a player I’m happy to talk up, punter. nothing like a bit of exaggeration to ram home a point 😉

            • October 19th 2011 @ 2:53pm
              punter said | October 19th 2011 @ 2:53pm | ! Report

              Yes jmac, always very impressed with him at Gold Coast & he looked good too last Friday. Very rarely loses the ball or put a stray pass.

    • Roar Guru

      October 19th 2011 @ 8:53am
      Fussball ist unser leben said | October 19th 2011 @ 8:53am | ! Report

      Tony, I’m sure even H & Emmo wouldn’t mind seeing an Aussie youngster, who has lots of potential, take the headlines away from them.

      I thought Dario was super on Friday night – as you said he was playing centrally in a role where I haven’t seen him before.

      It’s obviously too early to make a call on Dario, but 1 fantastic game from 1 start is not bad! We all knew Dario has the basic tools – technique, conditioning and tactical nous – to be one of Australia’s elite footballers, but the final building block is now up to Dario.

      Does he have the mental toughness to produce top football performances every week for 25 more weeks? Only time will tell – his past 4 years suggested he found it tough to consistently perform in the Bundesliga, but so would 99.9% of pro-footballers on the planet.

      In the HAL, there will be no external influences to stop Dario from becoming an elite pro-footballer and an integral part of our NT – it’s all up to him and I really hope he takes the next step.

      • October 19th 2011 @ 9:03am
        jamesb said | October 19th 2011 @ 9:03am | ! Report


        i think what happened in the Bundesliga was that dario wasn’t enjoying his time or football their and was receiving mixed messages.

        one example Dario stated was that in one week, he would be the best player in the team according to his coach, the next week he did’nt appear in the squad!

        so maybe that’s one of the reasons Dario is back in Aus, to enjoy his football again

        • Roar Guru

          October 19th 2011 @ 9:28am
          Fussball ist unser leben said | October 19th 2011 @ 9:28am | ! Report

          @ jamesb

          Yes, I read that story and I’m sure it’s tough to move to the other side of the world as 20 year old – leaving family & friends – to a country where you don’t speak the language, you aren’t used to the conditions (playing in snow) and you’re competing for your job every minute of every day.

          I know I couldn’t do it – certainly not at 20 years of age.

          But, that’s what’s required to succeed as an Aussie pro-footballer in Europe – Harry did it; so did Emmo, Bozza, etc. etc.

          A wonderful article by our first celebrated and successful Aussie export (I think he’s proud to be referred to as an Aussie these days) appears on the FFA website and shows just how tough it is to make it o/s: http://www.footballaustralia.com.au/news-display/Star%20homecomings%20hark%20new%20football%20era/41252

          Thankfully, we now have a vibrant local league so players don’t need to move o/s at a young age.

          A mature Matty McKay today made his first start for Rangers at Ibrox against Liverpool and was awarded the sponsor’s “Man of the Match”. I reckon players should really stay in the HAL until their mid-20s and develop mentally before moving o/s.

    • October 19th 2011 @ 8:55am
      jamesb said | October 19th 2011 @ 8:55am | ! Report

      Vidosic could have a successful HAL stint of a couple of years, go overseas for about 2 or 3 years, then come back to the HAL and finish his career off

      when Vidosic played in the HAL before, he showed glimpses of what he can do. I think this time round, i reckon Dario can become one of the most important players in the HAL.

      Dario could be another Matt Mckay

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