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» One Touch Football - Archive » Football » A-League 2007/2008 (Page 1)

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Author Topic: A-League 2007/2008
Willie1Foot
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So, how do our Aussie-based members think their favourite A-League team will go this year?

I think Sydney will once again be mid-table. They're no stronger than they were last year, but I think some of the others have purchased wisely.

We have bought this fella . I think he'll probably be OK when he's on the pitch, but will give the physio a serious workout.

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Jamzinho
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I'm expecting Adelaide to make the 4 again this season, even after the change of coach. They have some decent youngsters in Burns and new signing Sarkies, plus Djite, Mullen and Ontong. Last season none of the strikers really scored with the exception of Burns, so hopefully Paul Agostino can contribute.

The fallout from the grand final defeat wasn't great, and is largely responsible for John Aloisi not coming back to his home town which is a shame.

I'd imagine it will be Melbourne, Sydney and Adelaide plus one in the finals again. Not too sure who the other clubs have picked up though.

Juninho should be an interesting signing - I would think he would fit in well. He's certainly a far more entertaining prospect than Sheringham or Fowler who were suggested in the press. (Although expat/local Liverpool fans might have appreciated Fowler).

I'll be interested to see how the crowds hold up over at the Dome this year.

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Jamzinho
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I'd imagine it will be Melbourne, Sydney and Adelaide plus one in the finals again.

Having said that - I see Sydney are bottom of their pre-season cup group!

It's good to see the league following the AFL rule of spreading the pre-season cup games around the country - there can't be many games going on in Darwin normally!

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Trimster
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Glad you are calling it "A League 2007/8", rather than the "A3" or "Version 3" it is known as in some circles... almost like it is some sort of computer game...!

I agree that Sydney may struggle... particularly if it is true that Carney and Milligan are about to land European contracts.

My team Adelaide United have purged the old Kossie/Veart/Ross Aloisi abrasive, physical long ball style, and look set to play a more cultured brand of football under Aurelio Vidmar, based around younger players like Burns, Djite, Spagnuolo, and Sarkies, who may develop into the decent midfield playmaker that he never quite managed at Melbourne Victory. Paul Agostino, back home after 12 years playing in England and Germany, may add a cutting edge to the attack (once he recovers from his injuries). Susak, a youngish centre back signed from Vojvodina, looks like a good signing; as does the Brazilian left back Cassio, who (inevitably) looks like a potential Roberto Carlos with his free kicks.

Hard to say how things will pan out this season, but I don't think Melbourne Victory will run away with the title so easily again. I'm predicting maybe third or fourth for Adelaide.

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Uncle Ethan
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It's good to see the league following the AFL rule of spreading the pre-season cup games around the country

Well, except for Perth. Glory has not played a single game at home in the pre-season competition.

Recruiting here has been awesome. The new owners promised much and the fans have been enthralled as we have been linked with every creaking has-been who has pulled boots on somewhere in Europe in the past 15 years.

The excitement reached fever pitch when our massive signing was finally announced (drum roll) - Haydn Foxe. In a stunning and not at all predictable development he is now injured.

The Perth Glory website does not list players as defenders, midfield, forwards in the traditional manner.

This is because they have four goalkeepers, eight defenders, nine midfielders and two proper strikers and it would look like the coach is a stupid fucking knob who intends to play seven-two-one this season.

(Aside: Why do we have four goalkeepers in such a small squad? Good question but I can't sodding answer it. One has a broken leg, two are teenagers and the other is crap.)

The midfield features, or rather won't, Stan "For Fuck's Sake Just Wear a Wig" Lazaridis.

In a drugs saga that makes the Tour de France look like the benchmark for dealing with such matters, Stan may or may not be playing and may or may not know that before the season actually starts, because the FFA have only had about a year to sort it out.

There are just two real strikers. Glory have also listed Jamie Harnwell as one. Last season's captain and makeshift forward, he played everywhere but in goal and ended up leading scorer. His reward was to be told through the papers that he was quite welcome to fuck off as the coach didn't rate him.

One of the real strikers is a product of the that previously unheralded home of unidentified talent, the Croatian second division.

The second is a State League player who did bugger all in the A-League last season but who has been scoring for fun pre-season and is now officially our great (only) hope.

A cunning ruse has been used to cover the fact that this recruitment process appears to have consisted of sticking a pin in a list of names in a pitch black room.

The website lists some defenders as midfielders, has a separate section for attacking midfielders and lists some midfielders as wingers.

This brilliant effort is in no way hampered by the fact that the goalscoring rate in total from the five alleged attacking midfielders/wingers last season was er, nothing. Not one. None. Zero. In any competition at all, ANYWHERE.

Football being football, this astounding incompetence has led Perth to a successful pre-season. They have reached the semi-final of the "Oh, Were they Playing Last Night? I Didn't Realise, Cup"

Because the FFA's map of Australia pre-dates the founding of the Swan River Colony by Captain Stirling, and has "Here be Dragons" printed where WA would be, I cannot actually say how they have been playing.

If the FFA grant us the luxury of the occasional home game once the league campaign starts, I will look forward to delightedly hailing Ron Smith as a coaching genius and regaling all on OTF with tales of attacking football and derring do. Or not.

[ 01.08.2007, 06:38: Message edited by: Uncle Ethan ]

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Melbourne Arab
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Thanks to a disinterested local media, I feel depressingly ignorant about who will be playing for the other teams this year. Might be wise to leave predictions until the eve of the season so we can see if Milligan and Carney are still at Sydney.

On the face of it, Melbourne have a much stronger squad, although not necessarily a better starting 11, than last time. There were 2 big weaknesses last season. One was a lack of width so, hopefully, Keenan and Kemp as overlapping full backs can provide that with the occasional cameo appearance from Caceres. Lack of depth was the other problem. Fortunately, most of the dross outside last year's starting 11 has gone. The replacements can't be any worse.

Players Out

First team regulars Simon Storey and Fred. No-one will notice the former has gone travelling around Europe; the latter, of course, was brilliant and, depending who you believe, doubled or trebled his salary by moving to the US.

First team regulars in season 1 who couldn't get a game in season 2 Vince Lia, Michael Ferrante, Mark Byrnes and Kristian Sarkies. These players were among the main reasons Melbourne were rubbish in the first season of the A League. The first 2 are now with Wellington, which doesn't bode well for their prospects, and Byrnes is in the Victorian League. Sarkies, now with Adelaide, is the interesting one. When the A League started, we were told he was one of Australia's brightest young talents and a genius with a dead ball. None of this talent was ever evident and his corners invariably failed to get beyond the man on the front post while his free kicks ended up either in the Yarra behind one goal or in Vodafone Arena behind the other. He struggled to get a game in season 2 but, finally, scored twice when Melbourne fielded a reserve team at Perth after the league had been won. One of the goals was direct from a free kick. He reverted to being hopeless after that until he scored the 6th goal in the Grand Final in the 93rd minute when Adelaide were demoralised, knackered and down to 10 men. It was a good goal though. Maybe he'll succeed at Adelaide ( he's still only 20) but, late last season, Leigh Broxham, who is 2 years younger than Sarkies, made a handful of first team appearances and looked 10 times the player Sarkies is.

James Robinson an Englishman who fluked the 93rd minute winner against Adelaide which led to Melbourne hosting the Grand Final. Apart from that, he was a big, useless lump. Has joined Perth Glory.

Brazilians who aren't Fred Claudinho and Alessandro. The former scored on his debut against Adelaide but was back in Brazil by Christmas. The latter was, inexplicably, a crowd favourite. Fair enough if you enjoy watching keepy-uppy or fancy backheels. If you want a player to pass to team mates, score the odd goal and put in the occasional tackle, he definitely isn't your man.

Players In

Carlos "El Zorro" Hernandez the big signing, the man to replace Fred. Ernie Merrick reckons he's a "Fred who scores goals." Played for Costa Rica in the last World Cup. Specialises in long range shooting.

Ljubo Milicevic Australian international signed from the Swiss League. Much is being made of the fact he played for FC Thun against Arsenal in the Champions League.

Joe Keenan an Englishman signed from the Dutch League who played a couple of times for Chelsea in the Vialli era. Has reportedly been outstanding in pre-season games.

Matthew Kemp signed from Adelaide. Missed the Grand Final through suspension. All I really know about him is that he was brilliant against Melbourne in Adelaide last season.

Kaz Patafta young Aussie signed on a 1 year loan from Benfica.

Leandro Love Brazilian striker signed on a 1 year loan from J League side Vissel Kobe.

Daniel Vasilevski former Perth Glory player though I'm not sure he ever got a game.

quote:
I'll be interested to see how the crowds hold up over at the Dome this year.
The club are aiming for 20,000 season ticket holders. At the moment, they've got 12,500 with 4 weeks to the first home game.

It was strange last season that "going to the soccer" suddenly became fashionable after the stadium move. I've no idea if it will last. The early weeks could be difficult. SEN radio, who've been really supportive of Melbourne Victory, now have the rights to the AFL and are covering 5 games every weekend with several hours of studio analysis and phone-ins before and after the game. The A League won't get a look in until October. The Age, which sponsors the club, might be less enthusiastic as well given the strong performances of Victorian AFL clubs this season. And all this, of course, comes on the back of a disappointing Asian Cup.

From a personal point of view, I've renewed our season tickets but I don't like the fixture list. 7 of the 10 home games are on Friday and Saturday night and, with St Kilda getting more of the "prestige" night slots this season than any other Melbourne club (that'll change next season!), I'm sick of all these bloody night games!

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Gangster Octopus
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I wore my Melbourne Victory shirt for the first time the other week. No-one seemed to recognise it.

After that little opener by UE, I'm already looking forward to this season for more posts on Perth Glory...

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Trimster
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Comments on a couple of the players you have mentioned, MelbArab......

I also thought Sarkies was overrated when I first saw him playing in the A League. But I saw him playing for the Olyroos a couple of times earlier this year, and he looked excellent. Don't know whether he will become Adelaide's main playmaker this season, but Viddie seems to have faith in him.

And I wouldn't put too much faith in Matt Kemp being the solution to Victory's wide problems. In his many seasons at Adelaide City and Adelaide United he was nothing more than an honest plodder, who never really raised his game to a higher level, or even managed any level of consistency. He was one of the poor devils Kossie had playing left back at one stage, despite the fact that his usual position was right-sided midfielder.

And I thought Broxham was excellent when I saw him playing for the Olyroos against Iran...

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Willie1Foot
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Latest word is that the formerly excellent, but recently inconsistent David Carney is off to Sheffield United, to be brought on further by Captain Marvel, whilst the consistently excellent Milligan might be staying after all after apparently flying off to France without the club's permission for a trial, then refusing to play right-back in the trial and flying home without having kicked a ball in anger. I still think we need a decent striker. Brosque is quick and nothing much else. Zdrillic was better last year than in Season 1 and tries his heart out but was still ordinary. Brendan Santalab is an unknown quantity and Vidaic is really a signing for the future (and to meet the A-League's 'youth' criteria).

Juninho might score a few though if he's not crocked and Muscat is kept away from him. I'm sure our Kevin would love to have his scalp on his belt.

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Melbourne Arab
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According to today's newspaper (well, ok, it's The Herald Sun) Adrian Leijer could be off to Fulham. He's been linked in the past with Leeds and Rangers and it's inevitable he will end up in Europe at some stage but I was hoping he'd be around for 1 more season. According to The Hun, however, Fulham have actually made a firm bid.
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gypsydownunder
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I'm looking forward to the new season. I went once last season to see Sydney v Queensland and the little GDU loved getting her face painted and the crowd in The Cove [we were on the side by the corner flag].

I also went to two of the Asian Games and I like the ground.

So this season, with it been so hard to go to the Swans, it's time to take the little GDU to a few move games.

Don't like the fact that my local team are the so called glamour team though. Would prefer if we lived nearer to the Central Coast, but we don't.

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Uncle Ethan
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I wore my Melbourne Victory shirt for the first time the other week. No-one seemed to recognise it.

You were in a mainstream Australian television station's sports department, presumably.

If you had hit someone then they would have immediately recognised it as a football shirt and run a story on soccer violence. Why do all these wogs not follow a proper man's game like AFL, drone, drone; offside is silly, blah, blah; not enough goals, yabber, yabber.

Didn't Santalab play for Sydney United in the NSL?

Zdrillic being able to walk through the tunnel and onto the pitch without getting stuck, Winnie the Pooh style, was an improvement on season one (pot, kettle, etc).

Let's hope Liejer has better luck than Ahmad Elrich who has played six games in two years. When he left I reckon he was a much better bet than Carney who will be snapped like a twig in the Championship (this prediction guarantees a stellar career for the young chap).

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Melbourne Arab
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Leijer has signed a 3 year deal with Fulham.

http://www.melbournevictory.com.au/default.aspx?s=mvfc_newsdisplay&id=18715

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Trimster
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Well, Adelaide United and Perth Glory are through to the final of the "Pre-Season Cup". Both had 3-2 wins in their semi-finals, Glory over the CC Mariners, and United over Qld Roar. Incredibly, the final will be played at Hindmarsh, meaning Perth haven't had a single game at home. I don't know the logic behind this, unless the teams are just pulled randomly out of a hat.

More strange A League logic was in evidence at Hindmarsh yesterday, when the Roar lined up in their proper strip of orange shirts, blue shorts and maroon socks... instead of the usual all-white strips that A League clubs have been using. It was enough to cause a colour clash with Adelaide, who play in red shirts and shorts and blue socks. I suppose they thought that because the match wasn't being televised it didn't matter!

Despite this, it was an entertaining match (for a glorified pre-season trial game!), with Adelaide going 3-1 up on the hour, then rather desperately hanging on by the skin of their teeth after Roar scored a second on 73 mins. New Brazilian left back Cassio was involved in all three Adelaide goals: his hopeful punt forward from the kick off led to an opening goal after only 15 seconds; his 45 min. cross was headed home by ex-Celtic player Bobby Petta; and then scored his 60th min. goal with a nicely placed free kick.

Danny Tiatto of Qld.Roar received the game's only yellow card.

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Melbourne Arab
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Point to remember Trimster: history tells us that whoever wins the Pre-Season Cup goes on to play in (and lose) the Grand Final.

Amusingly (although I probably shouldn't say that) Melbourne and Sydney will be playing off for 7th and 8th place on Saturday.

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