Sunday, 30 October 2011

Best New Signings

It's now Round 4 of the A-League season, which means that new arrivals have now add a little over a month to settle into their respective clubs and adapt or be accommodated into the preferred style of play.

Which players have looked the most impressive in their new surrounds? Add your own opinons in comments below.

McKain has looked dependable taking charge of the Adelaide back line and providing leadership within the squad.

Issey and Berisha have taken to the Roar's possession football like fish to water, performing solidly with Besart's hat-trick a definite highlight. But Matt Jurman is undoubtedly the standout debutant. Calm and assured in possession, reliable in distribution, accomplished in the tackle, Jurman is a defender who recognises that the best stoppers spend as little time as possible sliding in for desperate last ditch challenges. They actively pre-empt threats, and play out from the back.

Kofi Danning has mostly been used as a weapon off the bench, his lighting pace utilised to push opposition sides back into their own defensive halves. While his short time on the pitch for Brisbane tends to reinforce the perception of Danning as a one-trick pony, when that particular trick allows you to burn an entire back-line, complaints tend to be minimal.

Central Coast:
Adriano Pellegrino has received a far amount of criticism but just because he has been given the trequartista role doesn't mean everything that happens on the pitch is his fault. In truth, Pellegrino has performed ably as the creative hub of the Mariners.

Gold Coast:
The Dutch Duo Jungschlager and Beekmans have been handed Culina's and Caravella's keys to the Coast midfield. Again, they have performed solidly without being spectacular. Maceo Rigters has really impressed, with his intelligent running, superb crossing and attacking intent.

Everyone thought Fred's return to Melbourne, albeit to his former club's cross-town rivals, would herald the resumption of Fred's scintillating performances as a trequartista. In truth, van't Schip has pulled off another bit of managerial trickery by converting Fred to the deeper lying regista role.

The two arriving wingers, Williams and Dugandzic have been inverted from their preferred sides. They have clearly been given license to show case their acceleration and speed, and added much needed verve to Heart's forward line. Either used to exploit vacated space or lend close support to the lone forward, the two wingers have been energetic and nigh unstoppable.

Terra's performance, as the only false nine in the league, have been particularly interesting to watch.

Harry Kewell has displayed his own class without elevating the performance of his team. Nevertheless, his technical ability was never in doubt. He has also proven wrong misguided accusations of lacking fitness.

Solorzano, while being restricted to cameo appearances off the bench, has looked very dangerous and lively.

Ryan Griffiths has been in impressive form. A fairly versatile striker, Griffiths offers lethality, pace, determination and a mean free kick.

Liam Miller has been in stunning form as the midfield creator. Even more impressive is the fact that he has done this in Ferguson's rather antiquated 'British' 4-4-2, without the security of an extra holder or the luxury of an extra attacker or true withdrawn striker to do the hard running. His long range passing ability and technical quality in clsoe quarters is self-evident, but undoubtedly what has set Miller apart is his intelligence and creative vision.

A close second for Perth, who deserves a mention, is Andrezinho the South American winger. While he isn't an overtly creative player, what he has brought is pace to burn.

Brett Emerton and Nick Carle may be on the marquee wages, but it is King Karol Kisel who has produced marquee performances. Last season, Carle was very clearly missing a true midfield passer who could distirbute possession allowing Nick to focus on creating. Kisel's return and ability to control and maintain possession has unleashed Carle's potential.

The Nix experienced a rather sullen off-season, but light has returned at the end of the tunnel in the form of  Dani Sanchez, the impressive Spanish trequartista. Reared in the home of possession football, La Liga, and having blossomed in the school of hard knocks, the SPL, his creative vision and technical quality in close quarters has proved essential for the Kiwis.  

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