Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Addendum to Besart Berisha

PM recently analysed the 7-1 thrashing Brisbane dolled out to Adelaide.

That isn't to say Berisha is a 'simple poacher' - that dubious honour belongs to none other than Shane Smeltz, the A-League's own Michael Owen. To again use the Torres metaphor, Berisha's pace and aggression was used to push back the Adelaide centre backs to expand the space between the Red's midfield and defence, something Smeltz isn't capable of.

When a side score seven goals, you know you have seen a special team. When a player scores four of those seven, you know you have seen a special player. Besart Berisha recorded the fastest ever A-League hat-trick, with 3 goals in 6 minutes.

Besart's marauding performance last night immediately brought to mind Fernando Torres (in his Merseyside pomp of course). It wasn't hard to perceive the similarities in both players' style of play. Both hard running and clinical finishers, fatally under-rated physically, fearsome acceleration; strikers who convert through balls and and low crosses as opposed to being lumbering target men.

What was most remarkable about Berisha's double brace was how similar the goals themselves were. The first half hat-trick all originated from the left. The second was practically an action replay of the first; with the ball being weighted into the the box, Berisha accelerated from behind the closest centre back and got across his marker to finish on his first touch.

Another interesting feature of the game was how little Berisha featured in build-up play. Simple poachers are often dismissed as offering little more than a close range goal threat. In a side as focussed on retention of possession as Brisbane, Berisha only attempted 7 passes all night, and was only successful with 5 of them, 4 of which would have been his goals. This indicates how little Berisha offered in a creative sense. Contrast this to Alex Terra of Melbourne Heart, who operated as false nine and was heavily involved in constructing attacks."

No comments: