Maaan, bad week. I watched zero games except for the Jets game (gay) and the second half of the Adelaide v. Melbourne Heart match.
So here are the scores of the weekend games..
Melbourne Victory v. Perth Glory – (2-0)
Haven’t seen highlights. Will not watch highlights. The Victory continue their rise up the table. Pricks.
North Queensland v. Brisbane Roar – (0-2)
Ahhh the Roar’s march towards the Championship continues but I really want the Fury to be around next season..daaaaamn
Gold Coast United v. Central Coast – (P-P)
Postponed after 20 minutes because of adverse weather conditions, despite almost 11,000 fans turning up to the match. Really devastating for the Gold Coast after Clive Palmer had given tickets away for free and over 20,000 were snapped up…Hopefully we see another free fixture for this struggling side who also MUST stay in the A-League.
So onto the games I watched/briefly watched..
Adelaide United v. Melbourne Heart – (1-2)
I saw the second half of this match and to be honest it was all Heart. Adelaide looked like scoring a second on the break and definitely had the better chances after the first half ended 1-0 to the home side.
However Heart pressed and their perseverance was rewarded on the 89th minute when Colosimo jumped highest to head home a corner. It was poor defence from the Reds, who had scored late in the first half through a skilful header from Sergio van Dijk.
The Heart pushed on after their equaliser and Aloisi became the hero of the match, sending in a shot off the outside of the boot into the net. He was teed up by the blundering Jason Hoffman (I reckon his touch was a fluff) and I believe the former Socceroos’ shot was heading wide before taking a deflection off Adam Hughes and settling into the net past Galekovic.
A great win for the Heart and it stopped a seven game losing streak. Yewwwww!!
Wellington Phoenix v. Newcastle Jets – (4-0)
Now. Before I head into this report I would like to say that the performance from the Newcastle Jets was absolutely abysmal, however two of the goals for the Phoenix should not have been awarded and we did have a lot of players out through injury and suspension. Regardless though, this was a poor showing from a side which had gone seven games unbeaten.
We were missing Milicevic (and his replacement Regan was having back troubles as it was), player of the year Wehrman, as well as Zadkovich, not to mention Wheelhouse, Kantarovski and Bridges.
The team was obviously affected, most clearly by the loss of Wehrman (who calms down our midfield and can hold onto the ball) and Milicevic (who has the ability to play the ball out from defence). We also lacked any penetration down the right wing which Zadkovich usually provides, while Kantarovski is a class act and could have filled the hole left by Wehrman if he had been fit.
Anyway the inexplicable decision to start Jacob Pepper (a youngster with no experience) over Patafta was a joke. Culina had spoken about the fact that Patafta had had three chances this season without impressing, though all those opportunities had been 20-30 minute cameos off the bench…this was the chance to give the kid his first start and see if he could grab it with both hands. However Pepper was given a starting role instead, and no offence to him but the youngster had a shocking game. I’m not saying he won’t develop into a top player, but young players like Pepper need to be given their debut when they have experienced heads around them such as Wehrman and Milicevic to guide them on the field. It was a stupid decision and another vote of non-confidence in Patafta, who really hasn’t been given a fair go in the A-League.
Anyway, saying that, experienced Italian Fiorentini also had a poor, poor game, and that is where the match was lost…Pepper and Fiorentini never had control of the central midfield role and it showed, we were hopeless at containing the ball and that is where the responsibility of the central players come into the game. I swear Fiorentini made more wayward passes than good ones, I would love to see his passing statistics…
With the lack of service you also can’t blame our debuting new striker Tomislav Misura, who also had a poor match and only succeeded in getting a yellow card for a stupid challenge on Jade North. Though in my eyes anyone who puts North on his arse is a God, I love him. But yeah, the lad had a shit game though really didn’t have much to work with so I don’t think he should be judged on that performance alone.
Let us get away from the deficiencies of the Jets however and talk about the goals, which I believe only brings up more questions about the quality of referees in the A-League.
So the first goal was a result of the brilliance of youngster Marco Rojas (making his full debut) but also because of the poor defence from a number of Jets players. The tracking back and communication from Pepper and the ultimately hopeless D’Apuzzo allowed Rojas to split them and run between them, laying off the ball to Greenacre, who delivered a cross for Tim Brown to head home. Not only were D’Apuzzo and Pepper caught out in defence but an absolutely half-hearted challenge from Jesic on Brown from the resulting cross was equally pathetic.
Anyway, 1-0 down, but with Wellington’s start striker Paul Ifill off early due to injury there was still hope..
To the second goal now. On 31 minutes. PISS OFF REFEREE. I really should look up who the ref was on the Internet but I can’t be stuffed. It was a soft call to award a free kick. I know I’m bias but that was not a foul. The problem is some referees in the A-League give them, some don’t. We need to become consistent in our refereeing. It’s a joke, are we a physical league or are we a soft, South American/Spanish League? Let’s make our minds up and give referees a reference point.
It wasn’t a foul for the free kick. But disregarding that, the Jets defence fell asleep, Wellington took a quick restart and scored of the resulting cross. Good goal. Poor defence. Poor initial decision. 2-0.
Ok, now to the third goal just before half-time. Rojas sent a corner in, Jacob Pepper failed to clear a ball he really should have booted skyward if he had more experience, and Greenacre shot the ball towards the net, with Elrich clearing the ball off the line. However, despite the clearance the goal was given as a result of the linesman’s flag.
It was not over the line. SIMPLE. How anyone could claim that the WHOLE ball had crossed the line is beyond me. Look at the replays. I have a sneaky suspicion that the FFA may have leant on media organisations to report that the ball had clearly crossed as a result of the criticism that has been aimed at A-League referees recently. For Foxsports and other sources to suggest the decision was correct is astounding. IT was not over the line. Man. But despite that Jacob Pepper again showed his lack of experience when failing to clear a ball in the box. Out of his depth to say the least. Poor kid.
I won’t talk in full about the rest of the game. Basically the Jets played slightly better, but that was to be expected with the Phoenix conserving energy with a three goal lead. Haliti could and probably should have had two goals to his name but in truth we were poor and deserved the thrashing. To make matters even worse former SCUM Mariner Dylan Macallister scored the fourth goal in the 88th minute.
On the substitutes, Patafta came on and looked hopeless, but I still feel he should have got the nod over Jacob Pepper, I’m extremely disappointed he didn’t. I also feel Branko has been a bit of an ungrateful manager when he handed Misura his debut over Petrovski, with the veteran saving our skins with last-minute goals in the past few games. Yes he is old, but if a player is performing, give him a chance. Man-management Branko, man-management. Keep them happy buddy.
So tactics and team selection was in my opinion totally wrong for this game, but that doesn’t save the players who were chosen in the starting eleven from criticism, they were useless. Even without the two dodgy goals we still deserved the loss.
Hopefully we see an improvement when we travel to the in-form Melbourne Victory. SHIT.