Marking the marquees

Did Del Piero deliver? Did Broich bring Brisbane to the boil? Did the big names match the hype and marquee status on the opening weekend?

Did Del Piero deliver? Did Broich bring Brisbane to the boil? Did the big names match the hype and marquee status on the opening weekend?

Thomas Broich
The German playmaker wasn-t at his most effective in the season opener.

Roar went out with an exciting, creative midfield of Broich, Nichols and Halloran supported by Erik Paartalu but came up against an aggressive and powerful Glory force in Burns, Miller, McGarry and Dodd.

Unable to impose themselves on the game as the Glory pressed, disrupted and tackled hard, Broich was kept to a few dangerous free-kicks, which his teammates should often have done better with. We know he can do better and he will see better days. 7/10

Melbourne Heart must thank their lucky stars for their Brazilian playmaker. What he lacks in pace he more than makes up for in vision, and John Aloisi might just have found some excellent support in Patrick Gerhart and Richard Garcia, both of whom made impressive contributions in their first games for the club.

But Fred remains the creative hub of this team; he started the move that led to Williams-s opener and his ability to bring his teammates into the game will be crucial to Heart this season. 7/10

Marcos Flores
His team may not have won but Flores stood out as arguably Victory-s best performer.

His vision and technique, as illustrated in the clever through ball to Archie Thompson in the lead-up to Victory-s equaliser, shows just how potent Ange Postecoglou-s fluid attacking unit could be in time. We only got a taste of it in this game. 8/10

Emile Heskey
A tough start to his A-League career, it perhaps wasn-t all Heskey-s fault that he struggled to make a tangible impact for the Jets. Deprived of decent service, the Englishman was left waiting for his teammates to play the right ball and then get into the right position to receive it.

That said, he was still looking a little rusty and failed to trouble the Reds backline to any great effect. Jets fans will hope to see their big name living up to the billing soon. 6/10

Shane Smeltz
A win for the Glory but an average day at the office for the usually reliable Kiwi striker. He missed a sitter early on and with the battle being fought out in midfield, didn-t really get the service he needed to trouble the Roar backline.

It-s unfortunate for Rado Vidosic that Glory got their winner when Roar took their foot off the gas and gave Smeltz’s replacement Billy Mehmet an almost unchallenged header to win it. 5/10

Alessandro Del Piero
The Italian master now knows what he-s signed up for in the A-League, and it was frank initiation in Wellington, too often a rock upon which Sydney FC flounder.

Deployed as a deep-lying no.9, Del Piero found it hard to get into the game, often having to keep dropping deeper than any no.9 should, as his teammates struggled to keep up with their marquee man’s understanding and requests for the ball to be played to his feet.

Once in a more regular no.10 role, he began to have more influence but again, the downfall came in the understanding with his colleagues. Finding the best way to build his team around his star man appears to be Ian Crook-s biggest priority. 7/10

Shinji Ono
He was only on the pitch for about half an hour but the former Japan international showed enough to suggest he could quickly become the Wanderers- star turn.

In poor conditions, there was a slight touch here, a dribble there – just enough to whet the appetite and perhaps convince a few sceptical fans that missing out on Michael Ballack wasn-t such a bad thing after all. 7/10

The views expressed in this article are purely those of the author and do not reflect those of FFA or the Hyundai A-League.