Friday, 28 October 2011

Adelaide 1-2 Sydney: Match Analysis

Sydney turned in a much improved and more fluent performance to clinch a confidence boosting three points at Hindmarsh Stadium, a venue they had gone three whole years without winning at. Adelaide were effective in patches, but still seem to miss the fluency of the squad Coolen inherited from Vidmar.

THIS ANALYSIS SHOULD BE REGARDED AS INCOMPLETE, but PM thought there was merit in posting the tactical diagram.

Adelaide System:
Coolen corrected a previous omission, with the shifting of Caravella back to his natural central midfield. No changes in the backline that saw off Victory, with Galekovic between the sticks, Susak and McKain paired in central defence, with Cassio and Malik at left and right fullback. Caravella was paired with Dilveski in a double pivot. Ramsey, Vidosic and Slory formed a fluid attacking trident behind Van Dijk, the lone striker.

Galekovic was superb. Good thing too, as the Reds needed their No 1 to be on his game. His shot stopping skills were showcased several times, with Antonis and Carle drawing assured saves. Eugene also left his line to claim potentially dangerous Emerton corners.

Sydney System:
Lavicka persisted in an identical system to the side that Brisbane cast aside 3-0. Reddy was injured, so Necevski resumed the see-saw duel for the right to be the Sky Blue custodian. Beauchamp and Bosschart were paired in central defence, with Coyne and Jamieson at right and left fullback. McFlynn and Kisel were again in central midfield, but Kisel was given more license to roam, with McFlynn screening the back-four. The attacking trident behind Cazarine the lone striker consisted of Emerton inverted on the left, Antonis on the right and Carle as the trequartista.

Joy down the left:
The left side of Sydney's formation was a productive route of attack. PM have written at length on Lavicka's utilisation of Brett Emerton; initally we suggested Brett's crossing ability would be more favourably deployed at fullback, where he would have time and space on the ball. PM then acknowledged that Lavicka's inversion of Emerton on the left was a clear signal that it would be his technical ability on the ball, attacking intent and chemistry with Nick Carle that would be prioritised by the lads from the Harbour City.

Against Adelaide, the combination of Emerton inverted on the left wing and Jamieson overlapping at left fullback was very effective. Clearly a factor in this improvement was increased cohesion brought about by time and familarity. But of more immediate concern was how lax Slory was in tracking his fullback. Emerton's cutting-in central dragged Malik, the Adelaide right back, into midfield. Jamieson was then free to overlap at pace, with Emerton laying on simple through balls for him to cross.

However, the question must be asked if this is the most effective way to utilise Emerton's abilities. Clearly, his talent is of such a high standard that Brett would perform proficiently almost anywhere on the pitch. But with Lavicka, and Sydney, able to call upon the Premiership class delivery from Emerton's right boot, a striker who thrives in the air in Cazarine, and a creative presence in midfield in Carle, perhaps Emerton at fullback is a route that should be explored, or at least Emerton at right wing with license to stay wide as a genuine winger. It is PM's feeling that Emerton's ability on the ball is wasted in being used as a decoy for Jamieson. Inverted, Brett is being used to tee up crosses, rather than drill them in himself.

PM do acknowledge however, that Emerton was very effective during Sydney's build-up play. Inverted on the left and compelled to come inside, his ability on the ball and vision in playing-in his team mates was a delight to watch.

Vidosic's Goal 29':
Although primarily a result of a horrendous Beauchamp error, and probably against the balance of play, Adelaide deserve credit for the fluency and speed of their counter-attack.

Carle was robbed of the ball in midfield, Dilveski intercepted, jinked past Emerton's challenge. He laid off to Caravella, who spotted Ramsey's run down the left, launched a through ball. Ramsey hung the ball in the air, Van Dijk knocked it down toward the box. Beauchamp attempted to cushion the ball blind for Necevski to secure. The ball fell to Vidosic, who kept his composure and scored.

Coyne's Goal 60':
Finally, Sydney's control of the play paid off. Caravella attempted a cross field pass to Ramsey, but it was intercepted by Beauchamp. Beauchamp laid off to an advanced Coyne, who advanced before laying off to Antonis. Antonis went wide right, before cutting back to Coyne making a run into the box, who finished with aplomb.

Carle's Goal 82':
This was a perfect demonstration of how Kisel's return has caused an upsurge in Carle's form. As PM have noted, with Kisel's presence in midfield, Sydney are more capable of distributing and maintaing possession. This allows Carle to receive the ball in more dangerous areas, where he can jink the first challenge, lay off to a runner, and make a run of his own. This as opposed to when Carle had to drop deep to receive, where he was forced away from the opposition goal.

Antonis laid off to Kisel on the right, Kisel was surrounded by three Reds who started to close him down. With a first touch pass, Kisel laid a through ball down the inside right channel. Carle latched onto the ball, and finished.

The return of King Karol Kisel:
Karol Kisel was an essential part of Lavicka's Double triumph, so it was hard to see why the Sky Blues let him depart for his native Prague. No matter, King Karol Kisel has returned, it is his assuredness on the ball that has Nick Carle on fire. Simply put, Sydney now have an able midfield passer, who can distribute the ball to the attacking four. This allows Nick Carle to play much higher up the pitch. Conceive the concept as 'saving' his flair for when it matters. Instead of Carle having to jink past challenges by opposition midfielders near the centre circle, he can now jink past last ditch tackles by opposition defenders.

With both sides playing fairly similar shapes, 4-2-3-1's with lone strikers, attacking tridents and passer/destroyer partnerships in midfield, the match revolved around individual battles.

Carle and Emerton set the example for the Sky Blues, working extremely hard off the ball, dropping back to defend. Ramsey, Slory and Vidosic however were clearly instructed to stay relatively high in attacking positions. This was probably the largest factor in Sydney's win; their players worked harder to defend, and Adelaide were more slack when the Sky Blues attacked.

Player Rankings:
Sydney | Adelaide:
10) Bosschart |  Malik
9) Beauchamp | Dilevski
8) McFlynn | Cassio
7) Coyne | Susak
6) Cazarine | McKain
5) Antonis | Ramsey
4) Jamieson | Caravella
3) Emerton | Slory
2) Kisel | Ramsey
1) Carle | Van Dijk

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