Monday, July 09, 2007

Time Wasting

We're getting used to it now, or we should be. A distinctive feature of the Asian game is the use feigned injury as a time wasting device. They do it, the referee has no choice but to watch it happen, and it is apparently part of the accepted culture of play. Frustrating, yes.

The Socceroos have no meaningful choice in how they must approach this. It's no good Harry Kewell and John Aloisi wasting their stretched energy getting upset. They have to learn to use the couple of minutes to breathe, talk to each other and recharge some batteries as they get into their best positions, as no doubt the Omanese were doing.

If the Socceroos' greatest handicap is the conditions, then a shortened game, in itself, should suit them. A shortened game with intermittent rests (albeit always at the most inconsiderate moments) should suit them even more. They just have to use the playing time they have to get possession and organise a goal.

Seriously though, if this is the way it is, the quicker the Socceroos get with the program the better. They certainly don't have to engage in the behaviour, but they need to be prepared to use it for whatever opportunity it has to give, every time. They don't have a choice.

Adapting to the conditions means more than the weather, we have learned.

Blogger reviews of the actual game are at The Football Tragic, The Round Ball Analyst, A Seat at the A-League and Victory in Melbourne.

PS. I know I've given up blogging. Let's just say saying goodbye will be my fallback position whenever I don't post for six weeks. I'll just post when I have something to write about Soccer, however infrequently. And Jacob is encouraging me to do the Bloggers' A-League Tipping competition - he won the inaugural event after all - so I guess I will.



Blogger Neil said...

Thanks for the link to my blog on your blog and also for your comments. Yours is another blog that will gladly distract me from my work. Good to see so many people expressing their opinions about football in this country

July 10, 2007 8:49 am  
Blogger The Round Ball Analyst said...

thanks for the mention hamish....agree, terribly frustrating re the diving/feign, but it's been used as a time-wasting tactic for as long as I can option might be for fifa to legislate that anyone carried off on a stretcher cant come back on for a few minutes (say 2 or 3?)....lets face it, if you're legitmately injured it'll take a couple of minutes to get back on your feet and you might appreciate the few minutes on the sidelines...

so if you're not injured and the ref offers you the option of a stretcher and a few minutes on the sidelines, you'd get up?

Just thinking aloud....

July 10, 2007 5:37 pm  
Blogger Hamish said...

Tony, I agree that the clear way to address this form of time wasting is to mandate a time off the field - I was thinking 5 minutes. But this rule change isn't imminent, and my point is that right now the Socceroos simply have to swallow it and make the best of those conditions. Not ideal by any stretch, but there is no other choice, and frustration will not help their performance.


July 10, 2007 8:30 pm  
Blogger Hamish said...

Cheers Neil. Thanks for reciprocating a link to my site. It's as a community of bloggers that I think we can provide a genuinely useful product to football followers.

Good to see your blog, and with my heart firmly with the Roar, good luck to the Victory this season. They played by far the most consistently good football last time and deserve their champion status (for now).


July 10, 2007 8:35 pm  
Blogger Mike Salter said...

Hi Hamish,

Les Murray has suggested a solution to the problem in his latest article - and I'm of the same mind.

July 12, 2007 10:58 pm  
Blogger Rio said...

keep the ball out of play (by playacting, keeper delaying or fouling upfield) isn't the only way to waste time.

The Argentine team in late 80s, early 90s for example, was very good at wasting time by keeping possession at edges of the field and force opponents to foul them, then keep possession even longer.
I remember very clearly the Copa '93 final, Argentina basically forced the game into garbage time at around 60th minute. 30 minutes of time wasted and they looked good.

The Asian countries play a tempo control/ energy conserving game. To certain extends, they focused on fatigue managements.
So I thought Australia adapting 4-3-1-2 was a smart move, since it forces the opponent midfielders to move around.
However, apparently Culina just isn't good enough to play enganche. He gets shutdown and all 4 attacking players loses their lateral support. Without a secondary playmaker, the strategy is sort of obsolete and apparently only good enough to kill lower ranked teams.

July 30, 2007 7:44 am  

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