Here’s hoping Arnold lets Rogic and Amini loose

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    Graham Arnold has his side purring. (AAP)

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    It’s still a few weeks away, but hands up who else is licking their lips at the thought of watching youngsters Tomas Rogic and Mustafa Amini in the same Central Coast Mariners 11 in the run in to the finals and throughout the Asian Champions League?

    With Amini and the rest of the Mariners’ Olyroos contingent not due back in Gosford until the end of next week, we won’t get to see them together this Saturday, against the Wellington Phoenix. But hopefully it won’t be too far away.

    It’s a prospect that whets the appetite, two of the competition’s most exciting creative products, on the same pitch, at the same time.

    Given that Amini will be off to German powerhouse Borussia Dortmund next season and that Rogic has initially only signed a five month contract, it’s a combination we might not get to see for too long.

    So if they do come together, either in the A-League or Asia, here’s hoping it’s a blast.

    But hang on, I hear you ask, don’t they both play in the same position, at the head of Graham Arnold’s midfield diamond?

    Well, yes, but when you have players as prodigiously talented as these two, you find a way to integrate them both.

    Good players, they say, can play anywhere, and when they’re on the same pitch as other equally gifted players, they are invariably on the same wavelength.

    That’s what I suspect we’d get from Rogic and Amini, two game-smart footballers combining rather seamlessly.

    If Arnold wanted to stick to his preferred diamond, he could comfortably use one at the head of his four-man midfield and the other as a second striker.

    Looking at Rogic’s early work, both for the Mariners first and reserve teams, he looks a natural goal-getter and the type of player that can play as a second striker, where he can peel off into the wide areas and create from outside to in.

    But for now, while Amini is away, Rogic is being used to un-lock the door from in behind the strikers.

    Against the Melbourne Victory at AAMI Park on Friday night, the Canberra-born youngster looked at ease in the number 10 role, gliding around the midfield in the opening exchanges, picking up the ball, shaking off opponents and dribbling into space, all the while keeping his head up, surveying his options.

    Even before his superb opening goal there were a couple of snippets that showed his quality.

    Watching him balance and control the ball with the left foot, it was perhaps no surprise to learn that futsal played a role in Rogic’s development, with the youngster representing the Futsalroos as the AFC Futsal Championships in Tashkent in 2010.

    There’s no doubt that Arnold and his team have missed Matt Simon since his emotional Big Wednesday farewell, and while on-loan Heart of Midlothian striker John Sutton has been brought in to add some physicality, it might take Arnold a few weeks yet to find a workable front third.

    In recent weeks Bernie Ibini has looked rather lost without Simon, while the likes of Adam Kwasnik, Daniel McBreen and Troy Hearfield have all struggled to fill Simon’s void on a consistent basis.

    In that sense, Rogic and Amini, working together, influencing the Mariners’ front third, might help solve Arnold’s puzzle.

    It’s a tantalising prospect and the hope is it might be the start of something big for Australian football.

    Tony Tannous
    Tony Tannous

    Follow Tony on Twitter @TonyTannousTRBA

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    The Crowd Says (10)

    • February 14th 2012 @ 10:02am
      Midfielder said | February 14th 2012 @ 10:02am | ! Report


      If I compare the two Musty is the move creative, whereas Tomas is the better shot taker ….

      I agree that Musty should stay as the ten with Tomas moving into the second striker position…

      An interesting story is why the Mariners have such talent in their youth teams and continue to attract more…

    • Roar Guru

      February 14th 2012 @ 10:07am
      Fussball ist unser leben said | February 14th 2012 @ 10:07am | ! Report

      Yes, Tony, as a football fan, I’d love to see Arnie release all 3 in a game (preferably not against MVFC)!.

      However, I’d be surprised if this happens since Arnie seems to be very conservative with using the kids under his tutelage and, given Arnie’s success with identifying and developing precocious football talent in Australia, who am I to argue with Arnie decision.

      Along with the rest of Australian football fans, I was super-impressed by Tomas Rogic last Friday.

      It’s only when I watch the game live at the stadium that I can appropriately analyse the full capabilities & limitations of a footballer.

      And, in this game, Rogic seemed to have it all: poise, balance, great 1st touch, vision to make the right pass, intelligence to run into the right spots to receive the ball, accurate passing and oh, yeah … that shot of his wasn’t bad either!!

      I don’t recall seeing Amini play for any length in CCM’s matches in Melbourne, but I like what I’ve seen on TV.

      And, let’s not forget Bernie Ibini. He only played a cameo role on Friday but I was sitting in the South Stand (the end CCM was attacking in the 2nd half) and had a close view of Ibini, who just glides across the park, is extremely comfortable on the ball and has a powerful shot … he just needs to be more consistent with his aim.

      Exciting times for Australian football – the structures are now in place for (hopefully) Australia to have a never-ending production line of technically-gifted footballers.

      • February 14th 2012 @ 10:22am
        nordster said | February 14th 2012 @ 10:22am | ! Report

        so glad Ibini was spared the purgatory of u/23s international football. “I like the way he moves” the song from whatever ad thats in was written for him. 🙂

        very true what you’re saying about appreciating off the ball play much more in the stadium. Have even plonked down for Gold seats next season … yes CCM are starting early (free ACL tix included!)

    • February 14th 2012 @ 10:36am
      Midfielder said | February 14th 2012 @ 10:36am | ! Report

      I could wax on and name some others but in the youth team and some of these players signed into the firrst team are some hughly talented kids….

      It’s interesting when you watch a game against a team like MV…. half the run on team Socceroos …. you feel can our kids match them ….

      We will always be a club developing youth and tho the MCOFE [Mariners Centre of Football Excellence] I feel we will have if not the best youth players close to it….

      We have another number 10 in the youth team of huge ability as well … thre are clubs like us around the world from small regions who will never get the big sponsors nor the huge gates … so need to rely on junior development to stay in touch…

      • February 14th 2012 @ 3:33pm
        Punter said | February 14th 2012 @ 3:33pm | ! Report

        Without doubt, CCM leads the league in developing young players along with Brisbane Roar & Melbourne heart. Not surprising 2 of these 3 are the best teams in the league in the last 2 years. The Gold Coast are also providing a couple of talented players.

        I really hope the CCM gets their owners sorted out soon, there is definite room for clubs like CCM, from the smaller regions but relying on shrewd junior development to stay in touch in the A-League. The 3 outstanding Mariners youth players of Ibini, Amini & Rogic look very technically good, as Fuss says, it’s exciting times to see these different type of players coming up thru the ranks.

    • February 14th 2012 @ 1:08pm
      Midfielder said | February 14th 2012 @ 1:08pm | ! Report

      Very sad news about Rangers today… no matter what side of football you sit it is always sad to see a huge club fold like this and from all reports with everyone taken by surprise…

      Respect to Rangers fans out there you have been a great club…

    • February 14th 2012 @ 2:01pm
      Peter Kandy said | February 14th 2012 @ 2:01pm | ! Report

      Hi Tony, This is exactly what I and a work colleague were talking about yesterday! Great minds think alike 🙂 He certainly has the skill set to play as a support striker. And just think with Ibini in there too they might have the future Socceroo front third! I was at the game last weekend and Rogic’s performance blew me away.

      The kid has serious talent! So composed on the ball and skilful. Looking forward to seeing how he progresses..

      By the way i agree with Fussball – Ibini made us all (Victory supporters) panic when he came on, he’s lethal!

    • February 14th 2012 @ 3:34pm
      Bondy said | February 14th 2012 @ 3:34pm | ! Report

      I’ve only seen glimpses of Rogic so we should cool our jets so to speak, I think Musty should run the middle of the park and possibly Rogic up front ,I’m getting confused because we have so many options to choose from .

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