Friday, October 31, 2008

Chippers not so Chipper

So a few developments with Socceroos players.

Harry Kewell has hepatitis, although his condition is thought to be likely genetic and certainly uninfectious, he's had it since he played for Leeds. So no real story except some journalist thought it was juicy. One interesting quote came from Kewell's manager Bernie Mandic told
"Bottom line, Harry does not have and has never had any infectious disease,"
He must be some kind of superhero.

Scott Chipperfield is to undergo surgery for a urinary tract infection (ouch), which means he'll be out until January. It's an annoying set back for another Aussie scoring regularly for his club Basel. Although they have lost three games in the Champions League, Chipperfield is Basel's joint leading scorer having struck four times in 10 Swiss Super League matches this season. Obviously he will miss the Bahrain match for the Socceroos.

Scott Mcdonald scored the opener for Celtic, as they cruised past Kilmarnock in their recent Scottish Cup quarter-final clash. It was a neat header from a cross, beating his man to the ball Mcdonald gave the keeper little chance. It's good to have players who can work a set piece. Speaking of which, team mate Japan midfielder Nakamura knocked in a free kick sweetly with his left. Something to look ot for when we meet them in qualifying.

Luke Wilkshire scored for Dinamo but it was too little too late as they went down 3-1 to city rivals, and league leaders CSKA Moscow.

That's about it, feel free to post stuff I might have missed.

Check this video of Chipperfield rejecting a Brazilian jersey.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Djite and Troisi Delight Turkish Club Genclerbirlig with Draw

Two fringe members of the socceroos, Bruce Djite and James Troisi, both scored in a 2-2 draw for their Turkish club Genclerbirlig. So it seems Turkey delights other attack minded Aussies securing a league draw away to Denizlispor. Both goals were scored in the first half and both put Genclerbirlig in the lead.

Elswhere Scott mcdonald set up a goal for Cillian Sheridan and came close to scoring one himself in Cetics 4-2 win over fellow SPL side Hibernian.

In the EPL, Richard Garcia played 12 minutes plus injury time to round out Hulls 3-0 win over West Bromwich Albion. Emerton and Grella both played in Blackburn's 1-0 loss to Middlesborough. Cahill is still suspended..

In the English championship, Sterjovski scored for Derby although they were beaten 3-2 by Blackpool.

Has anyone seen how Emmo and Vinnie go together at Blackburn? I haven't caught a match or even any footage of it.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Kewell penetrates the Greecey box.

No puns intended.

The lean turkish club Galatasary, has beaten a sluggish Greecey Olympiakos outfit 1 - 0 in thier UEFA Cup Match last night.

Socceroo Superstar Harry Kewell scored the winner with a glancing header off a corner.

The Game was played at Ali Sami Yen stadium and brought in about 45,000 in attendance.

Check out the below video for what the game was like, also, leave a comment.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Bahrain and Japan, Socceroos go for Road Double

I was looking at the table and the schedule of matches for the Socceroo's qualifying campaign for yet another World Cup in South Africa and noticed how spread out the games are. We've got one more game this year on the 19th of November in Bahrain, then one next February, one in April then three in June over 11 days. Then I started looking at the two nearest fixtures in more detail.

The Socceroo's latest victory puts them on top of the ladder, always a good place to be. The next match is against Bahrain away, the same night Japan are away to Qatar. This means that if Australia win and the other match is a draw, we would be four points clear of Japan. Either way it goes, this next round will shape how easy it will be for Australia to qualify. That's why I think most Aussie players will make themselves available for this fixture. I'm pretty sure it's not in an international window for the European players, but they know how much more easily they could sleep if we can get some more away points and continue to rough house this group.

Next game is (11th of February) Japan at home, if we can sneak a draw or a win there we will be in a strong position, I just keep thinking if the Socceroos win both, we will be at least five points clear of our nearest rival. With only one more away game (Qatar- Ha-ha) amongst three at home to follow, this is a scenario that would make us Australian Soccer fans sleep a little easier too.

Japan away is the bigger test, although we most recently lost to them at the Asian Cup, we can draw on the memories of Germany. Most of the same players are with the squad too, should be a good game regardless of result, with both teams chasing three points.

I don't know about Bahrain though, anyone know much about this team? Japan recently took three points off them in Manama, but Bahrain took three off them during the previous phase of qualifying. Australia beat them twice in qualifying for the Asian Cup, but apparently that was their under 23 side. This is being touted as a banana skin for the Aussies, as long as their isn't too much home ground advantage, ie food poisoning, I think with a full strength team we will win it. All I really want though is for the game to be televised at a regular hour its on a Wednesday for crying out loud.

Flag of Australia Flag of Bahrain Flag of Japan Flag of Qatar Flag of Uzbekistan
Australia 10 Jun '09 17 Jun '09 4 – 0 1 Apr '09
Bahrain 19 Nov '08 2 – 3 1 Apr '09 17 Jun '09
Japan 11 Feb '09 28 Mar '09 10 Jun '09 1 – 1
Qatar 6 Jun '09 1 – 1 19 Nov '08 3 – 0
Uzbekistan 0 – 1 11 Feb '09 6 Jun '09 28 Mar '09

Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts
Australia 2 2 0 0 5 0 +5 6
Japan 2 1 1 0 4 3 +1 4
Qatar 3 1 1 1 4 5 −1 4
Bahrain 2 0 1 1 3 4 −1 1
Uzbekistan 3 0 1 2 1 5 −4 1

Thursday, October 16, 2008

The Socceroos Smash them like Air Qatars

Austalia Four, Qatar Zero.
(i think we get to name their country now)

Emerton got a double,

Kennedy got a double assist and a header,

Cahill scored the opener and a drew a foul in the box.

Could this game have been any better.
Yes but only slightly, it could have had Jesus Kennedy healing Kewell and Viduka and Hollman could have got another falcon.

The Goals:

1. Australia had monopolised possession on the sodden surface and had already set alarm bells ringing in the Qatar penalty area on a few occasions before Luke Wilkshire, looking increasingly assured in the right-back role Verbeek has settled him in, combined with Brett Emerton.
Wilkshire took a return pass from the Blackburn utility and flighted a cross into the penalty area, which was headed on by David Carney then touched wide by Josh Kennedy into space where Cahill lashed home in the far corner, giving Qatar's stand-in goalkeeper Abdul Aziz Ali no chance.

2. Australia doubled their advantage eight minutes later, and again Cahill was a central figure in winning a penalty. Emerton's cross was delivered to the far post and as Cahill leapt acrobatically to try and volley, Qatar centre-back Abdullah Koni made contact with the Australian midfielder.
Emerton stepped forward and drove to his left. Aziz guessed the right way and got a hand to the ball but could only deflect it into his own net.

3. The thrid goal came after more possession dominance from Australia, The ball was tapped around beautifully until Australia had an over lap on the right wing, Kennedy laid a perfect ball onto the running Emerton. Emerton approached the ball in the top corner of the goalie-box and slotted it first time into the out streched keeper, who looked to have saved it, but it rolled powerfully spinning back into the left post and into the back of the net.

4. The last goal came after more beautiful play from the Aussies, it looked a similar build up to their last goal, however, the Aussies took the second phase option spread it back first, then down the right wing, then lobbed a cross into Kennedy, who had two defenders on him. At this point for some reason, the Qatar keeper charged to catch the ball. I dont think Kennedy noticed, because he still finished it next to the post. Kennedy looked very pleased and then Cahill jumped on him.

The Australians played very much the formation we expected, 4-5-1, or 4-4-2, depending on whether you view Scott Mcdonald or Cahill as another striker. It was a back 4 (from left to right) of Chipperfeild, Neil, Moore, Wilkshire. Defensive midfeild was Culina, Carney on the left, Emerton on the right, and Cahill and Mcdonald in the Attacking midefielfer and Shaddow Striking roles. And there was of course ozzyfootball's own Jesus Kennedy up front.

The only injury concern was fullback Scott Chipperfield, withdrawn at halftime against Qatar with soreness.

This team played so well you might see Kewell coming off the bench in the future and Viduka definatlty wouldn't be a certain to play if fit.

It was one of the best games I have seen, bar the Japan come from behind after a dubious takle on Schwartzer.

Kennedy is my MOTM, who was yours?
Want to see the goals? check out this sweet youtube!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Viduka for 2010?

With all this talk about Viduka wanting to come back and play for the roos when he's fit, its got me to thinking, what would the team be like if he and everyone else was fit?

Here's my idea.
This sucks for Bresciano, Culina and Grella, I'd really like to have Grella there, but then you have to get rid of someone else. What socceroos team would you like to see play in the future, near or far?

Monday, October 13, 2008

Vidukan't the Socceroos Can!

Injured Socceroo striker Mark Viduka has joined the Australian squad in Brisbane, not that there's any chance of him playing. He was consulting with the Socceroo's medical staff to help overcome a troublesome Achilles injury that has had him sidelined from Newcastle United in the EPL. Although this injury is likely to see him miss up to six months of competitive football, his presence in Brisbane is the strongest indicator yet that the door has not closed on his international career.

The Socceroos play Qatar on Wednesday, a game that if won should put them on top of the standings for the final group of qualifying. Australia are favourites, but Qatar are a different team this time with a new coach and most likely some new ideas.

The make up of our team is becoming more clear Neill, Moore and fellow veterans Scott Chipperfield and Brett Emerton were missing from Monday night’s training session. So it seems that perhaps Moore has pipped Coyne for the starting central defensive role. Carney trained in LMF while Chippers was preferred in the LB in previous sessions. All of this may be irrelevant as it's in Verbeek's interest to keep the opposition guessing as to the make up of his side.

I can't wait to see this one, hopefully a cracking game with lots of goals (for us). A lot will depend on our ability to contain Qatar's main offensive threat Sebastian Soria Quintana. Born in Uruguay, a fact that should add some extra incentive for our boys. Our main threats will be a red hot Cahill and our obvious height advantage in Kennedy. Both of these players scored against Qatar last time we won in Australia, and perhaps could have got a hat full. If we can get crosses/corners and quality balls (thanks Wilkshire) we will put Qatar under all sorts of pressure.

Go the Socceroos! Or as we at Ozzy Football like to call them, Jesus and Pals.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Red Hot Adelaide Beat Bunyodkor

Adelaide have defeated fancied opponents Bunyodkor 3-0 in the first leg of the AFC champions league in what continues to be a historical campaign for the A-League team.

Playing against a team that included the Brazilian (fading) superstar Rivaldo and coached by the legendary Zico the Reds were determined not to let emotion cloud their desire for a home victory. The most telling sign of this was a fantastic tackle by Robert Cornthwaite (pictured) in which he won the ball, a free kick and muscled Rivaldo to the ground forcing him off for treatment.

Adelaide were somewhat fortunate to get the result, at half time the score was 0-0 and the tourists had the run of the play. The second half was different with regards to the score, but for most neutrals, the Uzbeks had a more dominant performance. Finishing with more possession and more shots, they may feel somewhat cheated, but anyone who follows football knows that in the beautiful game, goals are all that matters. Another telling statistic was Adelaide had zero corners for the entire game, weird for a game when they put three past the goal keeper.

Adelaide's goals were something to behold though, at least the first two. Both were manufactured by Brazilian Cassio with sweet left footed crosses. The first (57m) hit the chest of his compatriot Diego, centrally, on the edge of the box. Diego produced a magnificent first touch to chest down and volley from the penalty spot, all on the run, fizzing the ball into the right corner. The second (76m) went to the far post where Travis Dodd out jumped two defenders heading on to Fabian Barbiero who put his classy header past the helpless keeper. For Adelaide's third goal a flying Cassio was somewhat softly fouled while running full pace at goal, just inside the box. The subsequent penalty was stroked home by Christiano (another Brazilian) in the 88th minute, sealing a somewhat unlikely rout.

The next leg is in Tashkent on the 22nd of October, which will be a tough ask for the Uzbeks, needing a 4-0 scoreline to beat Adelaide on aggregate. The final will be against either Gamba Osaka and fellow J-League team Urawa Red Diamonds (drew 1-1 overnight). Where will Adelaide's seemingly destined run end?

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

The Dutch Beek Culls 7 Roos

Verbeek cuts the squad to 28 for the Qatar match on the 15th of October.

Kewell, Bresciano and Grella have been omitted due to injury.
And four A-league players have been released.

The squad stands as this:
Jacob BURNS FC Unirea Valahorum Romania
Tim CAHILL Everton England
David CARNEY Sheffield United FC England
Scott CHIPPERFIELD FC Basel Switzerland
Robert CORNTHWAITE Adelaide United Australia
Chris COYNE Colchester United FC England
Jason CULINA PSV Eindhoven Netherlands
Bruce DJITE Genclerbirligi SK Turkey
Brett EMERTON Blackburn Rovers England
Eugene GALEKOVIC Adelaide United Australia
Richard GARCIA Hull City FC England
Brett HOLMAN AZ Alkmaar Netherlands
Scott JAMIESON Adelaide United Australia
Mile JEDINAK Central Coast Mariners Australia
Josh KENNEDY Karlsruher SC Germany
Scott MCDONALD Celtic FC Scotland
Craig MOORE Queensland Roar Australia
Stuart MUSIALIK Sydney FC Australia
Lucas NEILL West Ham United FC England
Jade NORTH Newcastle Jets Australia
Michael PETKOVIC Sivasspor Turkey
Paul REID Adelaide United Australia
Mark SCHWARZER Fulham FC England
Matthew SPIRANOVIC FC Nurnberg Germany
Shane STEFANUTTO FC Lyn Oslo Norway
Mile STERJOVSKI Derby County FC England
Archie THOMPSON Melbourne Victory Australia
Luke WILKSHIRE FK Dinamo Moscow Russia

Still no Nicky Carle, what are your thoughts, I'm not a fan. I think even without making the team he's overrated.

Revised Ozzy Football team to play Qatar selection:

Goal Keeper: Mark Schwarzer.
Centre Backs: Craig Moore, Lucas Neil.
Wing Backs: Scott Chipperfield, Luke Wilkshire.
Defensive Midfeilder: Jason Culina.
Centre Midfeilder: Tim Cahill
Winger Midfeilders: Brett Emerton, David Carney
Shadow Striker: Scott McDonald/Holman. (Beek can make that decision)
Striker: Josh Kennedy (c)

with Spiranovic, Sterovski, North or Holman/McDonald to play off the bench depending on the situation.

Tell us what you think?

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Sticky Verbeek names 35 Man Squad

Socceroos Squad:
Mark Bresciano, Jacob Burns, Tim Cahill, David Carney, Scott Chipperfield, Shannon Cole, Robert Cornthwaite, Ante Covic, Chris Coyne, Jason Culina, Bruce Djite, Brett Emerton, Eugene Galekovic, Richard Garcia, Vincenzo Grella, Brett Holman, Scott Jamieson, Mile Jedinak, Josh Kennedy, Harry Kewell, Scott Mcdonald, Craig Moore, Stuart Musialik, Lucas Neill, Jade North, Michael Petkovic, Paul Reid, Mark Schwarzer, Matt Simon, Matthew Spiranovic, Shane Stefanutto, Mile Sterjovski, Archie Thompson, Alex Wilkinson, Luke Wilkshire

Pretty massive squad, can't really argue with it, Verbeek seems to have covered all bases.
Impossible to tell who will end up playing in the game against Qatar on 15th October in Brisbane.

This is the Ozzy Football team for that game (based on this squad of course, without injury as an issue):
Goal Keeper: Mark Schwarzer.
Centre Backs: Craig Moore (QLD give him super powers..."roar"...), Lucas Neil.
Wing Backs: Scott Chipperfield, Luke Wilkshire.
Defensive Midfeilder: Vince Grella.
Centre Midfeilder: Tim Cahill
Winger Midfeilders: Brett Emerton, David Carney
Shadow Striker: Harry Kewell.
Striker: Josh Kennedy

Possibly used subs (not just on the bench to make up the numbers) : Marko Bresciano, Scott McDonald, Jason Culina, Mile Sterjovski, Chris Coyne, Matthew Spiranovic.

Any Arguments on this team? seems to be so symmetrical, attack can come from everywhere. even Neil is in goal scoring touch.

Here's a youtube of some pretty magic stuff, Bresciano's and Chipperfield's are my favourite.