Could Victory start the season without a recognised striker?

Daniel Quinn Roar Rookie

By Daniel Quinn, Daniel Quinn is a Roar Rookie

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20 Have your say

    Melbourne Victory take on Perth Glory in the FFA Cup final. (AAP Image/Martin Philbey)

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    Melbourne Victory and Ange Postecoglou pulled off the fantastic signing of Marco Flores in July, but many questioned how the Argentine would fit into the Victory’s system.

    With Brazilian Guilherme Finkler already signed before Flores’ arrival, it’s a genuine question for the Victory.

    Both South Americans play the typical “number-ten” role, sitting in behind the striker, while linking the midfield and attack. So does that mean only one could start?

    In the preseason 3-0 defeat of Victorian Premier League side Moreland Zebras, Postecoglou played no recognized striker in the first-half, with Flores and Finkler interchanging between the striker and number-ten positions, making it hard for the duo to be marked.

    Moreland Zebras player/coach Grant Brebner told the media after the game he didn’t know where they were actually playing.

    “Flores and Finkler, their movement was fantastic. I still don’t know now where they were really playing because they were all over the place.

    “I don’t know who their centre-forward was and I don’t know who the one behind was, because they were interchanging and it’s hard to mark,” Brebner said.

    The two-time A-League Champions were missing Archie Thompson and Marco Rojas, who were on international duty and those two weren’t the only forwards left out as Danny Allsopp sat on the bench.

    Allsopp did come on after the break, but the Victory weren’t as successful as in the first half where mauled the Zebras.

    The outstanding movement though doesn’t stop with Flores and Finkler.

    Julius Davies and Theo Markelis out wide had wonderful first-halves, connecting with the central duo, while manoeuvring their way inside the opposition box before scoring.

    Davies and Markelis had the support of fullbacks Spase Dilevski and Sam Gallagher who ran riot down the flanks, threatening from wide positions and linked up well with the wide men.

    Meanwhile Diogo Ferreira and Leigh Broxham screened the back four, but the latter unexpectedly provided two goals on the night, setting up Davies, Markelis and also winning a second-half penalty.

    Broxham under previous managers has played in a more deeper ball winning role, without really penetrating the opposition box, but Postecoglou seems to have found another side to Broxham’s game.

    Victory were ever so impressive, although the A-League powerhouse was missing Adama Traore, Jimmy Jeggo and Billy Celeski. Adrian Leijer and Mark Milligan started on the bench as well.

    Leijer playing the last twenty minutes, his first preseason minutes as he recovers from hip and groin problems was more positive news for Victory fans.

    Postecoglou didn’t put out his strongest eleven however Moreland, the VPL’s second last side, struggled for most of the first-half as they were overwhelmed by Victory’s quality.

    The A-League season less than a month away and Postecoglou’s Victory seem to be hitting their straps.

    With Flores and Finkler already producing a lively partnership, could the Melbourne Victory start the A-League season with no recognised striker? And what does that mean for Allsopp and Thompson?

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    The Crowd Says (20)

    • Roar Guru

      September 9th 2012 @ 7:50am
      TomC said | September 9th 2012 @ 7:50am | ! Report

      Only got to see highlights of the game against Moreland, but Davies really took the eye didn’t he? Looks like Ange has him earmarked for an attacking role on the left side where he mght be able to get some space to run at defenders.

      Anyway, really good, well argued article. Not something I’d considered before, but as you say if Finkler, Flores, Davies and Markelis are all good enough to start in attacking positions, maybe the aging Thompson and Allsopp are relegated to subs?

    • September 9th 2012 @ 8:12am
      Midfielder said | September 9th 2012 @ 8:12am | ! Report

      I suggest Fuss be trailed …. I can see him up front leading the team…

      • Roar Guru

        September 9th 2012 @ 10:11am
        Fussball ist unser leben said | September 9th 2012 @ 10:11am | ! Report

        Middy, my boots are sparkling & the kit has been ironed & is hanging perfectly in the cupboard. Now, it’s a matter of just waiting for the phone call from Ange … as I’ve been waiting for the phone call from Ernie, Mehm & Jim 😉

        • September 9th 2012 @ 10:18am
          Minister for Information for the Democratic People's Republic of Football said | September 9th 2012 @ 10:18am | ! Report

          I’ll see you on the park fuss. Just scrapping mud off the boots now. 😉
          Roar team Sydney vs Roar team Melbourne.

        • September 9th 2012 @ 10:26am
          Midfielder said | September 9th 2012 @ 10:26am | ! Report


          I look forward to seeing you [that trim, lean, muscular , body of your’s] wearing the number 10 shirt ….

          Even have a chant for you …

          2, 4 , 6 , 8,
          Who do we appreciate
          Fussie Fussie Fussie
          Ya Ya Yaaaaaaaaaaa

        • September 9th 2012 @ 10:49am
          Rusty0256 said | September 9th 2012 @ 10:49am | ! Report

          I’ve always thought of you Fuss as more of an old style ‘libero’ using your guile, experience and just a touch of arrogance, to snatch the ball from the feet of young spotty-faced attackers (to this day TC has yet to beat your offside traps), before charging forward to spray passes into the attacking third.

          I think the main issue with Victory’s coaches giving you the call Fuss; they just haven’t thought of a way to best harness your skills 🙂

          • September 9th 2012 @ 11:08am
            Minister for Information for the Democratic People's Republic of Football said | September 9th 2012 @ 11:08am | ! Report

            Indeed. 😉

          • September 9th 2012 @ 2:22pm
            Midfielder said | September 9th 2012 @ 2:22pm | ! Report


            Link of Fuss scoring a goal…

            Fuss send this into AP and you will get that trial…

            • September 9th 2012 @ 3:50pm
              Rusty0256 said | September 9th 2012 @ 3:50pm | ! Report

              Can hear the Les Murray commentary now… “FussBAAAAALLLLL!!!!”

        • September 9th 2012 @ 4:29pm
          c said | September 9th 2012 @ 4:29pm | ! Report

          i luv u fuss 🙂

    • September 9th 2012 @ 11:04am
      Campbell said | September 9th 2012 @ 11:04am | ! Report

      I think the best news in this is that Broxham isn’t played as a ball winner as he has so inconsistently been for the last few years. He never passed forward except once or twice a game. This created frustration in the fans as there was a central midfielder who you know wasn’t going to play it forward. He’s a very one task guy.

    • September 9th 2012 @ 11:13am
      Rusty0256 said | September 9th 2012 @ 11:13am | ! Report

      Excellent article Daniel.

      I’ve seen most of the pre-season games in Melbourne and I have also got the impression that Ange is not playing with central strikers; what we seem to be seeing is a constant interchange of 5, sometimes 6 attacking third players. Even when Archie has been there he is not sticking to what we have normally seen of him in the past. One moment he’s setting up an attack from the wing, next he’s deep in almost defensive midfield with 4 or 5 attackers ahead of him. And then on top of that you’ll get a (typically in the past) defensive Leigh Broxham powering into the penalty box, with our key attackers behind him!

      Whatever Ange is doing, it looks highly complex and will, I would imagine, require a very high level of aerobic fitness. If it works in the much bigger matches that lie ahead of us (keeping in mind most of the opposition up till now has been pretty ordinary) it’s going to be pretty special to watch.

      And just as Ange predicted; it looks nothing like the formations and playing style of the orange-men to the North.

      • September 9th 2012 @ 4:25pm
        Bondy. said | September 9th 2012 @ 4:25pm | ! Report

        There shouldnt be a need for central striker/s all the time, using three across the front or as Ange has used alternating with the number 10 or in the hole, Brebner who we all know states there for the Moreland zebras we didnt know who to mark, thats Anges job Grant to make you forget or not know what your doing out there.

    • September 9th 2012 @ 11:24am
      Minister for Information for the Democratic People's Republic of Football said | September 9th 2012 @ 11:24am | ! Report

      A little self-indulgent nonsense here but things are looking very good for our game at the moment so why not…
      Ca plane pour moi basically means “I’m feeling really good at the moment”. Have a nice sunday people.

      • September 9th 2012 @ 11:28am
        Minister for Information for the Democratic People's Republic of Football said | September 9th 2012 @ 11:28am | ! Report

        Try again…

        • September 9th 2012 @ 2:22pm
          TC said | September 9th 2012 @ 2:22pm | ! Report

          Ca plane pour moi is a good choice.

          Apart from the catchy chorus, it allows everyone to do the pogo dance to it (made famous by Monsieur Bertrand himself).

    • September 9th 2012 @ 1:27pm
      Rusty0256 said | September 9th 2012 @ 1:27pm | ! Report

      Now if we could just teach the North End some French (yeah, right) that would make a great chant song…

      • September 9th 2012 @ 6:35pm
        Minister for Information for the Democratic People's Republic of Football said | September 9th 2012 @ 6:35pm | ! Report

        If only Dukes were still playing…MARK VI..DU…KA. Fits perfectly. You might actually drag the big fella out of his reclusive lifestyle and along to a few more games.

        • Roar Rookie

          September 9th 2012 @ 8:06pm
          Stevo said | September 9th 2012 @ 8:06pm | ! Report

          Dukes only turns out to HeartFC games coz he likes our colours and we have more Slavic ‘ichs than the other mob 🙂

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