Monday, 5 September 2011

Commentary on the Commentary

This installment of Commentary on the Commentary will be a short response to Robbie Slater's article which appeared in Fox Sports. In the next few days, Pass and Move will debut a new feature; Player Analysis. The first ever Player Analysis, will feature Tim Cahill, and will be a more complete attempt to refute Slater's article. It can be found here.

Two of Slater's tenuous assertions about the Thailand game is that Australia played poorly because we passed the ball too slow and that Australia's goals were opportunitic, and ultimately the product of luck.

Pass and Move readers will know that our slow passing was a result of a lack of mobility from the forwards and shrinking the playing area. Australia were playing on 2/3 of the pitch and only attacking on the right flank, and Cahill and Kennedy made no attempt to drag markers out of position and create space to be exploited. This was a result of Holger's unbalanced team selection. This is fully covered in the PM Match Report.

As for Australia's goal being the result of oppotunism; Slater recognises how reliant Australia were on the right flank, but doesn't recognise that our two goals were knowingly created by McKay and both goals were created from Australia's few forays on the left flank. Brosque and Kennedy, while displaying fine finishing skills, did not create these goals. McKay did, by creating passing angles and running in behind the defence. These two goals are fully covered in Pt 3 of the Match Report.

Slater grasps that Australia's performance against Wales was markedly superior, but seems unable to comprehend WHY or HOW this was the case. His proposed solution, that Tim Cahill should moved into mid-field to allow another striker, will be fully refuted in Pass and Move's new Player Analysis. So stay tuned.

Mike Tuckerman also castigates the Socceroos for long ball tactics. His article can be found here.

Tuckerman fully recognises McKay's influence, in creating both goals and conceding a goal. But he doesn't identify the problems with Australia's team selection that contributed to our lacklustre performance.  

Tuckerman claims it would harsh to drop Kennedy because of his goal and assisst. In point of fact, the only attribute Kennedy brough to those goals was finishing. McKay created both, and Kennedy offered no movement elsewhere. To create a more fluid attacking line, mobility above all else is necessary.

Both Tuckerman and Slater are right to laud Australia's performance against Wales, but despite there being only 2 personnel changes between that line up and the line up against Australia, are unable to specifically identify what went wrong. (Kennedy for McDonald and Zullo for Holman)

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