Brisbane’s game is all about passing and movement but teams should be pushing forward to take the game to them and match them physically.
Brisbane Roar-s game is built all around passing and moving, and rotating of places as well. They move the ball very well, and teams have struggled with them not only moving the ball at speed but also that they change positions.
Once Brisbane get into that rhythm, as they did against Central Coast, they look like they-ll just take off where they left last season. It-ll be hard work to get a result off Brisbane Roar but it needs hard work.
Teams should be pushing further forward to take the game to them, and try to pressure them to stop them getting into that rhythm – if you win the ball higher up you will get opportunities. But then it-s about whether teams can take their opportunities.
If I was a central defender and Massimo Murdocca or Mitch Nichols was making that forward run, I need my midfielders to track the run as well. As a defender you try to keep your attacking player in front of you; as soon as he gets in behind you, he-s going to cause you all sorts of damage.
You have to adapt to any game. You have a week to prepare, no what their style, you-ve got plenty of time to work on how set plays, defensive strategies. You got all the time in the week to be prepared for that. That-s what every coach should be doing. That shouldn-t be any different who you-re playing.
If you sit back and give the Roar too much respect to pass the ball around, that-s exactly what they-re going to do to you. You need to have a go but you can-t press all the way through a football game.
You can give them space for 20 minutes and then say, “Alright now we-re going to put you guys under pressure and get right in your faces and we-re going to match you physically”.
None of the teams have really done that. Any big team – and I-m not just saying this in Australia – any big team in the world, if you-re organised as a unit and you put pressure on them as a collective, you-ll win the ball.
Then the opportunities will come and you have to take those chances. Turn it into a battle, turn it into a game that Brisbane Roar don-t really want to play.
I think Melbourne Victory could be the team to push Brisbane the hardest this season; they certainly have the best attack in the league, and they-ll cause any team problems.
Defensively, I think they-d like to have a bit more depth in case anything happened. But Harry Kewell can bring players into the game, that-s how he differs from Brett Emerton. If Harry has a great season, the three players in front of him will have great seasons.
Brett Emerton is a fantastic player but he-s more about working hard for the team. I-ve had a few conversations about how Brett can be used at Sydney. I think keeping him out wide, he may not get the involvement in the game they would like to see.
At this level, he would offer a great deal more from a central position; he-d get involved in the game more. There may be times when he-s stuck out there and if Sydney aren-t moving the ball well, he could get frustrated and Brett-s the type of player who always wants to be involved.
I was pleasantly surprised by Sydney though; both sides had great chances but Sydney showed that they could be a team that grows as the season progresses.
Of all the players, the ones who caught my eye last weekend were the goalkeepers! We-re should be talking about Brett and Harry, but Liam Reddy and Ante Covic were unbelievable.
And the reason I say that is they both made saves where on another day they could have conceded and the game changes but they both made great saves to keep the teams in the game. And Matty Ryan, unlucky to be on the losing side again for the Mariners.
Also, Billy Mehmet upfront for Perth showed real ticker and determination, which is something I think Perth will need to be a success. And he was well rewarded in the goal he scored; he put in excellent effort and looks like he-s set for a good season.