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Griffo

Roar Guru

Joined July 2009

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In general the coach has to take some of blame for the play that is mentioned.

I didn’t see Poppa screaming from the technical area for more players to sit higher up when in defence vs Jets.

There is a lot of similarity in play at times – keep possession even if you need to take it back to the keeper, again and again – so is this the coach playing safe, or lack of quality players recruited?

I think a little of both.

But it is a results business. Kenny Lowe went all out attack with little defensive shape for Perth. Poppa as he does has strengthened defence and largely kept the attack.

Why have so many people stopped watching the A-League?

It’s probably worth running the stream even if watching the tv (FTA) – hands up who has OzTAM?

All stream connections are counted (as would be FoxSports, Telstra, and Kayo) so worth checking in and adding to the tally.

Ditto for TenPlay app Saturday nights.

Why have so many people stopped watching the A-League?

Great summary, thanks for submitting.

Can’t disagree with any of it.

Much has been made of O’Donovan coming back and flooding the score line with goals. Can’t see that at the moment but then if the quality of balls from collective attack improves…but that requires changing and that is looking unlikely.

We are unlikely to bring in a player or two in January – the owner has offloaded other football assets and the Jets are the proverbial eggs in the basket – so unless things are mixed up, we could be back to regular seasonal programming at 7/8th spot.

Tactics, vol.1 : New-castle, old failings

1-1 WSW vs CCM
3-1 Sydney vs Nix
2-1 Victory vs Adelaide
2-0 Perth vs City
1-1 Jets vs Roar

Jets and Roar have a reasonably close history of results with Roar more than likely to snatch a win at Hunter Stadium but a draw more likely. Jets need the win, which is my tip 😉

I expect WSW to bounce back after last weeks poor showing, if not there are some worrying signs ahead. Riera not looking happy or remotely inclined to score at the moment which is a shame as he can’t complain about some of the balls coming his way.

I think Sydney, Victory, and Perth should have comfortable wins.

The Roar's A-League expert tips and predictions: Round 7

Jackson had a really poor game last round – two woeful clearances that resulted in goals.

Either Vujica is not training as hard, or his height is against him this season.

Cobourne seems better in his preferred midfield role but could slot in for either Jackson or Georgevski (who also seems out of sorts with alarming regularity).

With Martin Lee ditching both his Chinese side and Segunda Division sponsorship in Portugal we may have enough funds for a January striker signing but Merrick’s last word was he wouldn’t need to.

Hoff either has to be a wingback or on the bench, his career goalscoring form is back to normal levels.

Kanta’s usual struggle has returned: trusting and overcoming injury to get a good run of fitness.

Jair has to be tried as a striker to shake out of goal scoring malaise.

Moss
Vujica Boogaard Toppor-Stanley Georgevski
Kanta/Cobourne Ugarkovic
Vargas
Petratos Jair/Thurgate Cobourne/Thurgate

Or a formation with Vargas and Petratos centrally, with Petratos more forward in transition in their defensive third without the ball as he still does less defensive duties than Vargas.

The Roar's A-League expert tips and predictions: Round 7

I don’t think all NPL clubs would put their hand up for the second division, but enough would plus any A-League expansion bidders not deemed ready enough but could start and grow.

I think a second division needs realistic expectations on ‘metrics’ and infrastructure but I suspect this isn’t being looked at in that way, and so funding is required but cyclically there isn’t enough for that part of the game.

The current second tier (NPL) is semi-pro at best so another layer above could work initially if travel etc. was taken care of, if a plan and future is shown.

While p/r wouldn’t come in straight away, a league cup could pit teams against each other right off. The new second tier could get auto-entry to the FFA Cup.

In a few years when growth has occurred, start checking if a consistent performing club can step up to A1; and an NPL club is ready to go into this second tier.

Eventually with growth p/r can come into play for A1/2 and so on.

There are numerous ways expansion can occur. There is no perfect storm on where or how to start but there has to be a beginning. There has to be a plan that doesn’t involve Foxtel handing over more money.

The A-League can't afford to delay expansion any longer

Agree Mid.

And just a brilliant, positive story with football as the backdrop.

No nothing to spruke about there at all…

The A-League can't afford to delay expansion any longer

Rick, is this a new type of fantasy league where on one side is one poster’s predictions, yours on another, and we all pick who is right for the winner-takes-all-glory?

Will Foxtel buy the rights to host this on Kayo?

It should help tide us over until expansion teams kick their first ball on anger…

The A-League can't afford to delay expansion any longer

Agree Waz – got to get expansion right.

And whatever the new leadership is at FFA have to start leading with some actual long term planning, and that includes what to do with a change of broadcasting, both in name and platform.

More importantly doing what is right for football. The rest will follow, not the other way around.

The A-League can't afford to delay expansion any longer

It seems like metric-propping derbies are seen as a panacea rather than a short term fix.

Diluting derbies may back fire if poorly chosen and the newness wears off.

Choose teams for the long term growth of the league, not short term numbers on a chart for the next media release or enhancing a companies ad buying clout for their revenue.

The A-League can't afford to delay expansion any longer

This is a good point Ben. Saw a headline (FTBL website I think) on how Aussie coaches should leave Australia and take up roles in Asia ( due to lack of opportunities at home).

Cynically it could be seen that this experience may not count as highly domestically as lower European or youth levels which doesn’t seem right.

Apart from Rudan and Corica there has not been any new Aussie coaches in the A-League for what seems like a while.

In part I think there is a high risk with rookie coaches but this doesn’t stop foreign coaches being employed sometimes with a handful of experience if any or with titles behind them.

Let's talk about Australian managers

Agree with that. I think there was a reason Hoffman was recast as a fullback, and he had better games last season out wide with an attacking licence.

Vujica is a surprise bench warmer so can only think he’s physically not up the list over Jackson – or possibly height differences – but with Georgevski out he may be in and replaced with Katroumbis.

While I couldn’t see them releasing O’Donovan in that way I don’t think Martin Lee’s Trump embargo issues are helping. Merrick has indicated there is no need to recruit a striker in January already. This could be a reoccurring pattern at season’s end if O’Donovan remains at a cheaper price and Trump doesn’t stop stoking his ego.

I hope O’Donovan fires some double figures quickly but there are a few worries before then.

Another difference is Vargas: I think he is another that controls tempo but is a little more able to defend than Petratos. Good distributer but Jair is no Nabbout, or O’Donovan which preseason was in scoring form only to miss eight A-League games.

Let's talk about Australian managers

“…and certainly in the earlier years of his tenure he relied heavily on a ravenous work ethic and pointed sense of aggression to overwhelm teams early before settling back to defend.”

I think for Muscat this is still very evident, without the ‘early’ part at times. Still when looking at success rate vs ‘quality/perceived beauty of football’ then would he change if that is working for him and delivers championships?

Kewell I think saw an opportunity to progress Notts to the next tier in one season than he did at Crawley, which had a similarly rocky start but results improved.

This only highlights another factor in a coaches success: decisions on accepting the next appointment. Popovic as well saw an opportunity ‘overseas’ but perhaps thought he could work around the mechinations of the club but ultimately that can be hard to overcome even with a good record with wholesale board changes, and in Arnold’s case at Vegalta, a lack of support or differences as well that he was scouting for players in his hotel room every night over a number of weeks.

Right now if Arnold quit the NT, who out of Muscat and Popovic would get the nod, if going for an Aussie coach? There are some murmurings of Muscat’s desire for the NT role, while Popovic is seen as a future NT coach, with his Perth stint so far not doing his chances any harm.

Kewell I think has a good football brain (based on hearing interviews in the past) and has a name that opens doors for him where perhaps others can’t (although Popovic was assistant at Crystal Palace I think before quitting for WSW post).

Right now Kewell’s next posting might be very important, and whether he can get an offer above League 2 or spend the next few years working his way up, I think any success in future will put him in the frame as NT coach at some point.

Let's talk about Australian managers

A good comment. Re: Jets and Ugarkovic was further forward last season, leaving Kantarovski more as the screen or to slot in as a third ‘CB’.

Jets now seem to be back to previous seasons (and a lot of teams are doing it as pointed out), passing sideways on the backline to go vertical up the line, to cut back in in midfield, before going wide and crossing in (and Australia did this a lot in recent games).

Perhaps due to Kanta being out early season, and not having our usual wide wing-backs providing better balls (Jackson is more prone to hoof it and hope; Georgevski a bit better but a little out of sorts so far).

And I don’t think Jair is very happy out wide, although it should be no surprise given ‘attacking wide player’ was the first label before ‘striker’ or ‘attacker’ applied to his singing.

That is not the Jets only issue but we are (to me) much slower in attacking, have poorer distribution, lack at times quality ball from out wide, and don’t have make-shift striker/s with a higher goal ratio.

Let's talk about Australian managers

1-2 : Adelaide vs Roar
1-3 : CCM vs Sydney
2-0 Victory vs WSW
0-3 Nix vs Perth
1-2 City vs Jets

The Roar's A-League expert tips and predictions: Round 6

Of course there is a problem.

But what is the solution?

There seems to be a bit of head scratching going on, which doesn’t bode well for considering solutions.

Is Taggart the man now that Timmy’s time is up?

It’s not always clear why venues are changed.

There are clauses I believe for lighting requirements for FoxSports to telecast picture quality based on LUX requirements; there was also supposedly one where professional players needed certain lighting or pitch conditions for insurance requirements, but that seems a bit off. (Especially more so after Friday’s game which might not have gone ahead in FFA Cup).

A-League clubs are an afterthought when it comes to stadium deals

Just wait until Venues NSW schedule Monster Trucks at Hunter Stadium sometime early March…

…or just another pop concert at Suncorp.

You have to wonder what sort of clauses A-League clubs are signing if they have to put up with that?

I think it is both a lack of options due to the type of stadium preferred by the FFA, and probably little to no clause on the ground presentation/requirements.

If there were options and Venues NSW lost business, the pitch conditions would improve.

The Jets have few options: No. 2 Sportsground pitch (Jets W-League and Y-League homeground) was in a poor state and had their last home game moved to Hunter Stadium.

The old Birmingham Gardens stadium (NSL side Newcastle Breakers) was talked about as a buy-back from greyhound racing (not happening with Martin Lee cutting costs), while I don’t know if Magic Park is suitable for longer term play without temporary seating on three sides but pitch is generally good.

Pop poll for Sydney FC fans and the club – would you prefer Jubilee as your homeground? Is it easier to get to?

Probably cheaper to rent…

A-League clubs are an afterthought when it comes to stadium deals

I thought that to be allowed into the MLS you had to have your own stadium.

Perhaps some adjustment of criteria for new clubs entering the A-League, or why this has been a focus on bids.

A-League clubs are an afterthought when it comes to stadium deals

Been going on for years.

I thought both refs did a good job. Can’t recall if some of ours went over earlier in the year.

A nice measure for our refs and exposure for players to AFC officials as well.

City coach baffled by A-League guest refs

Generally the top team gets the most notice – a barnstorming Roar run up the table will right the scales of article justice, I’m sure…

The Roar's A-League expert tips and predictions: Round 5

1-1 WSW vs Jets
1-2 Nix vs Adelaide
2-1 Roar vs City
3-2 SFC vs Victory
4-0 Perth vs CCM

Jets have been working on attacking combinations in the break. They haven’t been playing badly but have a real need to work the ball into the final third faster, with a little more thought, and with some numbers.

I’ve tipped a win but a draw is likely. The second last of what is a tough start to the season with 2 (h): 4 (a) games. A win or at least a point vital or the middle rounds of the season could become difficult.

I think Roar should do City who appear a little out of sorts while Perth should be too much for CCM to handle.

Adelaide might have the quality to trouble the Nix at home who want to continue a reasonable start to their season.

Similar with Sydney who should be too strong for a wily Victory who will be equal to the strong midfield battle this game should dish up.

The Roar's A-League expert tips and predictions: Round 5

Cahill was a midfielder moved into the striker position to take advantage of his ability to score consistently. We have needed to live without him and will definitely need to now he’s gone (but not forgotten).

Similarly I could see Leckie move from the right-side attacking role (to make way for the likes of Boyle and maybe Arzani) and fill in the central striker role. His conversion from right-side isn’t that great, but he has shown an ability to get on to balls into the box, latest as shown vs Lebanon.

The goal scoring issue will be about the right player (who can score) not so much the type of player (striker), as is shown by Cahill.

As left back has been, goal scorers is still ongoing since the last Asian Cup which appeared almost an anomaly with the various goal scorers we had.

We have a number of attackers coming through so I am hoping one of those will convert easily to a central role. Leckie, Nabbout, perhaps even Rogic if you needed to include Luongo and Mooy…

How will the Soceroos fare without Cahill?

As I said the other day Mooy is great at controlling the tempo (or slowing it down) but Arnie appears to be setting up for a direct and fast-paced attack. Both aren’t compatible.

Again Luongo, Player of Asian Cup 2015, sat out this game where he would have been better in Mooy’s ‘10’ role and perfect to test.

I think Leckie showed he has an instinct and technique to shoot – Mabil/Boyle Leckie Arzani/Boyle could be the front three I’d like to see. Jurić may have a confidence problem but he was out of sorts last night

But we need goals scoring solutions and fast. Jurić is not it when he’s like this.

Armini had a few errors that were glaring and perhaps why he’s a fringe player.

Pretty much agree: a team looks like firming, but Mooy looks to be starting for the Asian Cup.

Aaron Mooy might not have what the Socceroos need

+2 to all the above.

Tim Cahill is our greatest Socceroo, and he deserves a fitting farewell