Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Tipping the First Round of Finals

Well with the 21 rounds over with Jacob is the clear leader of this competition. Tony is the only one who got a three pointer this week by predicting the Sydney vs Roar stalemate, and has thereby leapt straight back into contention. There are less points at stake each round now, but anyone can still win. It's also less predictable than ever.

Here are the pre-final scores:
Jacob: 37
John: 34
Tony: 33
Hamish: 32
Dave: 31
Drsimmo: 30

My tips for this weekend:
Sydney FC vs Newcastle Jets FC
Newcastle 1:3

Adelaide United FC vs Melbourne Victory FC
Adelaide 2:0

Jacob's Tips:
Sydney FC vs Newcastle Jets FC
Newcastle 0:2

Adelaide United FC vs Melbourne Victory FC
Adelaide 2:0

May the games be brilliant, may the best teams win, may good sportsmanship prevail on and off the field, and may there be no serious injuries.

A post script re: The Roar. Ke Serah. We can talk about ifs if we like. I'm not sure but I think it was Hegel who said something like, "If, if, if... if the sea boiled it would be full of cooked fish." Enough of ifs. "After all," said Scarlet, "tomorrow is another day."

Cheers to all.

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10 Comments:

Blogger drsimmo said...

G'day Hamish.

Bad luck with the Roar this season, but I think things can only get better next season. I hear that Chad Gibson and Remo Buess have been released, so that frees up some of the budget for more young guys to come in.

Anyway, here are my tips for the first leg of the finals.

Sydney v Newcastle: Sydney 2-1
I'm a bit concerned about the state of the pitch for this game. They've somewhat stupidly scheduled a rugby union game the night before at Aussie Stadium. Will this chop up the ground and will that affect Newcastle's style of play? Sydney to nick it in the end, and to thwart the Jets' attack thanks to the return of Mark Milligan. Hoping for a big 25K+ crowd for this game, but I won't be able to make it - work commitments keep me on top of a mountain until Tuesday :-(

Adelaide v Melbourne: Adelaide 2-1
Melbourne were not at all impressive against Newcastle; has their momentum been disrupted enough to bomb out in the finals? I kind of hope so! Adelaide on the other hand have built up confidence with two wins on the trot.

Oh, and I'm really annoyed with myself for not putting in a tip for the NZ v Perth game last week. In my mind I had NZ winning too. Oh well...

January 25, 2007 1:46 am  
Anonymous watt said...

May the best team win??!!

Who cares who the best team is?? this is football its not just any sport ffs!!

C'MON MELBOURNE!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I cannot believe you guys are all tipping Adelaide, you are going to be disappointed.

PS apologies if the above is a bit rough, with finals in a couple of days the part of my brain that is responsible for rational though (frontal/cerebral cortex?) is gone on vacations.

January 25, 2007 10:17 am  
Blogger The Round Ball Analyst said...

Hey Hamish and Jacob,

Bad luck last weekend. I just think when that push came to shove, Sydney, with its big game experience, just knew how to get the job done. Yes, they were hanging on at times in the second half, but the best defences can always absorb pressure.

The Roar had an up and down season and in the cold hard light of day, you sensed they felt they would have been lucky to have snuck in ahead of a team that had been docked 3 pts. One felt they were just happy to be in with a sniff. Packer's words afterwards told as much.

What do I reckon they need next season? a strong spine; 1. Top quality ball playing central defender, an organiser (Moore??). 2. Some depth in the defensive central midfield area. 3. One quality genuine wide player (Adelaide have a dearth in spagnuolo, petta, dodd and pantelis if he is back from injury. Are any off contract or looking for more game time?) 4.A genuine attacking midfielder cum striker 5. A striker

Who should make way? Buess and Gibson are already gone, but McLaren, Lynch and Yang are on borrowed time, or should be. Questions persist over Mori's availability for a season (If i was involved at an A-League club, and knowing his ambitions are in coaching, I would be looking to get him involved as an assistant manager/player, if not as a straight out manager, why not?) while Reinaldo (I understand he's on fairly cheap wages) might be worth sticking with, even as a squad player.

Anyway, enough of all that, time for some tips;

SFC 1 (Corica) v NJ 1 (Griffiths); agree with Simon, the pitch could play a role, but Sydney will also appreciate a decent surface given the way they knocked it around in the first half on Sat. Pity the scrums tonight will likely shift some of the turf. The Jets proved they can adapt in that game against the Mariners, so don't read too much into the way they played against Sydney when they tried to keep it on the deck. Syd have had a propensity to score first and try and protect it, dangerous against such a gifted team like Newc. If Syd score first, they should go for a second.

AU 1 (Fernando) v MV 2 (Thompson, Muscat); Adelaide's defence has improved, but I reckon both teams could sit deep, which will make it open, a game that would suit Melbourne.

Happy viewing!!!

January 25, 2007 10:17 am  
Blogger The Round Ball Analyst said...

watt, talk about simultaneous posting....

and you'll be happy to know i've gone for your victory.

Good luck.

January 25, 2007 10:20 am  
Blogger Mike Salter said...

Bad luck re Saturday, Hamish. As John mentioned, there was a clear handball from Talay in the box soon after that fantastic save by Bolton from Mori, which Shield missed. Mind you, I'm calling it just deserts after that ludicrous offside call that cost us a win in Perth earlier in the season. ;-)

My predictions for this weekend:

SFC 1 - NUJ 1

I reckon SFC will start brightly as they did at Suncorp, but then fade in the second half as they have done for about the last six games (they just are not fit enough). The stuff in this morning's paper about the contracts situation being "a massive distraction" is just kidology. If anything it will spur them on.

AU 2 - MV 0

Once you lose momentum it's awfully hard to get it back, and Adelaide seem to be running into some form now. Now that Burns has regained a bit of confidence, I expect him to have an influential game (ditto Owens if he's fit). The new kid Diego looks pretty useful too.

January 25, 2007 11:06 am  
Anonymous Dave said...

Well Hamish, the Roar boys put up a brave fight, but fell just short on Saturday.

I think this season is a salutary lesson in the wonders of consistency. If you look at the results, in rounds 1-7, the Roar collected 12 points out of 21 on offer; and in rounds 15-21, 13 points. What really cruelled their season was rounds 8-14, where they picked up only 4 points. Had they replicated their performances in the other rounds, they'd be sitting pretty in second spot right now.

Anyhow, that's that for this year, and so it's on to the finals. My tips:

Bling 0 Jets 2
Based on last week's efforts, Sydney will do well to hold the Jets to 2 here. After Alex Brosque scored against the Roar, they looked completely devoid of ideas. The Jets on the other hand have their tails up and will be looking to avoid a repeat of last year's early exit.

Reds 2 Victory 1
On form, Adelaide should romp this one in; but finals tend to bring out a lot more steel in most teams. I still expect Adelaide to win, but if last week didn't give the Victory the boot up the bum they sorely need, then nothing will.

P.S. Did I not get extra points last week for predicting the score in the NZ-Glory game? I know it was a nothing result, but still...

January 26, 2007 8:42 am  
Blogger Hamish said...

Sincere apologies Dave. I've made the correction, which leaves Drsimmo rather than yourself licking the spoon.

January 26, 2007 9:00 am  
Blogger john said...

Hamish

If we get the ifs then no one is julted into action. FFA needs to have a look at the Roar penalty count.

Did you see I gave you some New Corp ammo with lament 1 and 2?

Sydney FC vs Newcastle Jets FC
Newcastle 0:4
After next week, goodbye Terry. At least Miron gave us fish.

Adelaide United FC vs Melbourne Victory FC
Melbourne 4:3

This is going to be a tail bitter isn't it. How many send offs you recon? Diving in the box anyone?

January 26, 2007 11:43 am  
Blogger john said...

Mr Round-Ball Analyst said:
Mori's availability for a season (If i was involved at an A-League club, and knowing his ambitions are in coaching, I would be looking to get him involved as an assistant manager/player, if not as a straight out manager, why not?)

Interesting to see how Mori goes as a coach. The Roar boys need lots of practice running into the box and shooting - Mori could organise that (a few of us armchair boys could - but I think the first skill of a coach is communication, how good is he at that?

I tend to agree re-Lynch but we a lot of Scottish fans (across the A-League) - I hear them talking on the bus on the way home ....

Interestingly, the Roar brought Petta to Australia (with Lynch - I think Petta had been playing in Scotland - Celtic? I saw him play in a pre-season practice game against my local club Souths United. The Roar rejected Petta on fitness and they seem to have been fairly right - he only played 757 minutes. But Kossie said something like that he was the best foreign player or something...

January 26, 2007 12:06 pm  
Blogger drsimmo said...

Hurrah!

I'm off the bottom of the tipping ladder after picking the result and the score for the first time in ages!

Sydney still needs to score at least once next week though...

Go Sydney!

January 26, 2007 10:28 pm  

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