The Roar
The Roar

Tim Palmer


Joined October 2012









Thanks Stuart, right back at you. I’m a diplomatic neutral but that said, I wouldn’t mind my prediction coming true…

Newcastle Jets vs Melbourne Victory: Who’s going to win the A-League grand final and why

Good question, haha. Nigel Pearson did it a few years back when at Leicester City but got a bit of stick for going against the norms. I think it’s just accepted tradition, even it’s not entirely logical for analysing the game – it probably helps for assessing the speed of the game at close hand, conferring with other coaches and making substitutions.

The most pressing issue from the Sydney Derby

Thank you both – very kind of you to say.

The most pressing issue from the Sydney Derby

Thanks for all the kind words so far, I wrote more on A-League tactics here –>

An appreciation of Shinji Ono’s performance against Sydney FC

I hate to link-spam but for those who have enjoyed this article, I have an Australian football tactics blog at

Ten talking points for Round 4 of A-League

I think this game will largely be dictated by whether Ferguson opts for the diamond or the 4-2-2, which obviously offers him more width. The latter would definitely target the vulnerable Chelsea fullbacks although would be more susceptible to allowing Chelsea’s band of three space in midfield, which would be less of a problem if Ferguson packs the middle with the diamond. Should be fascinating.

Chelsea-United an early title race test

I think Finkler missing might help them be a little more structured in midfield tonight, although if Adelaide do switch to a 4-3-3, as you say, or the touted 4-4-2 diamond formation being floated around by AdelaideNow, then we could be in for a really good game.

Ten talking points for Round 4 of A-League

Mike – really enjoyable piece.

I write an A-League tactics blog – shameless self-linking here: it can be found at – so have some experience in what you’re discussing here.

Do tactics have a role in football? Yes. Are they everything? No. As a lot of people have mentioned, football is a fluid game. It’d be silly to suggest that ‘Eriksen as the false nine was why Ajax beat City’: there are countless factors that influence how the game is played and the eventual result. Tactics are merely one part of that web, and as I have a keen interest in that particular niche, I write about that. I’d hate for anyone to interpret what I write as the definitive rule on football.

But then we have the other side of the coin, where tactics are by and large ignored as the ‘narrative’ becomes the focus, and as the tactics snobs you described will be quick to point out, isn’t the case. Tactics are intertwined into football at every level of the game. Currently, we have a landscape where the ‘mainstream media’ (and I say that carefully) presents the narrative, and ‘bloggers’ focus predominantly on tactics. Balance is needed, because neither focus is definitively more important than the other. It’s a fluid game, and the factors which influence it are also fluid.

Jonathon Wilson has been mentioned a lot on this article, and I think a few people might appreciate the following quote from the author, which can be found on the About page of my blog:

“I think there’s a danger that we strip tactics away from the emotion of football and I think, actually, the two things have to go hand in hand. Zambia’s a great example of that. You see Hervé Renard in the first half of the final; he actually punches his right back during the game. As he comes over to take the throw in, he clearly thumps him in the chest because he’s so annoyed by how far forward he going. And then at the final whistle he picks up the injured left back, and carries him onto the pitch to join the celebrations. You see the two sides of Renard as a disciplinarian, then as a much more avuncular figure: the great generous hero. And I think without those two sides, the players wouldn’t have done it. It’s not only legitimate to report on both; it’s essential to report on both.”

How important is it to understand tactics?

Apologies, that was my mistake and the article has since been edited. And yes, Daniel, you got it right. I did forget that there are other teams in the competition, which explains why I wrote about six other teams from outside Sydney before I had realised I had left out the last game through a simple and easily explained mistake.

Looking ahead to A-League round three