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About echidna

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  1. Great credit to our side for their commitment and some impressive, fast passing, but we need to keep going forward. Still worried about some of the defensive coverage and thought Kamau should have come on earlier. Cannot agree with Phil Micallef's comments that most fans would not agree with football continuing! We have little else to look forward to in these difficult times, and while it is still possible to play on I think most of us welcome it. Without a crowd I think it is a far better spectacle than AFL, while the number of dunderheads playing NRL will ensure they have enough positive tests to cancel their season, soon.
  2. Corica is deluded if he thinks Syd FC played well. We had greater hunger and intensity, while Sydney broke far too slowly to take advantage of our more aggressive play. Once more we turned the ball backwards on far fewer occasions than we did under Babbel. This and the nearly continual harassing and effort is the greatest difference so far in how this team is performing. Last night was a very enjoyable and well-earnt victory, but significant improvement is still needed: DG gave the ball away a number of times when under little pressure. If he had been honest with himself, he would have asked the ref to send him off earlier to spare us the frustration. I am not a fan of the so-called 'professional foul' - we can and should do better. Nor am I convinced about our backline - its organisation, coverage and play out. Pele used to say that every player should continually ask themselves the question: "If I got the ball now, what would I do with it?" Continually, you should be scanning the field around making a note of who is where and the pace they are moving, so when that moment comes, you are able to direct the pass or header to the right spot for one of your teammates. Watch Messi off the ball, and you will see him looking left and right and not just at the ball. He is continuously scanning and rescanning the field so that he can deliver that perfect pass that a great technician like him can do so easily. Very few A-League players do this. If they did, every last-moment play out of our penalty area or defensive header would find a teammate, not an opponent, enabling us to launch a counter-attack. Still, last night was the fourth good step in what will be a long march to a finals appearance. Let's hope the positive progression and relentless desire to move forward continues.
  3. No Keithie. I was taken straight to Canberra Hospital after the incident - which thankfully was just across the road from the ground. I never saw that guy again, and don't even know if he got a card of any colour!
  4. If we could only get our players 'in the zone' more often... Getting 'in the zone' (so-called) is something that is rarely experienced. I would have been sceptical that this higher level of awareness/skill/functioning/belief, much talked about as the aim for elite sports people was anything but fiction - but I have experienced it twice... In 1979 winger Ian Callaghan, still the all-time appearance record holder with Liverpool FC (and a former England international), played 9 games as a guest for Canberra City in the National Soccer League. I ran the school tour promotional program for the club and had arranged for Ian and I to visit Canberra Grammar on a Tuesday. Unfortunately, during a Social Soccer League game two days before, an opponent deliberately slammed his elbow back into my face as I slide-tackled him. He badly broke my nose. I turned up at Ian's house two days later to pick him up. He was shocked. I had a black eye and plaster the width of my forehead and down my nose. "The show has to go on, Ian. It is so hard to get into schools where rugby dominates, like Canberra Grammar!" After the slide show where I explained the history, spread, passion and attractiveness of football and Canberra's place in the NSL, we headed out to the main school rugby field where I ran a coaching skill session for about 25 students and 3 teachers. Ian flitted around offering advice to students (but in truth I had virtually forgotten about him). After half an hour, it was time for a game, so I started kicking my mass of rubberised Pele footballs from the half way line and over a goal line to the right of the rugby post. The third last ball struck the base of the right hand post. I stopped and turned to everyone and said: "I will now kick this next ball into the left hand rugby post!" Ian walked in front of me and looked at what eyes of mine he could see, with a 'you have got to be kidding!' stare. I ignored him and asked a teacher to stand at the half way line and tap the ball down the right wing just a few metres. If I had taken a few moments to think and doubt, I might have bailed out, for I had a badly broken nose that was plastered - from under which I could barely see; I was to kick a moving ball (that I would not put in motion) more than 45m; and I was 85% left-footed - and I had to kick it with my right from the right sideline into the left upright! The teacher touched the ball and I sent it curving in the air... it struck the ground in what would have been the edge of the goal area, took another bounce off a clump of grass, rolled into the base of the left hand post, took nearly half a roll over the goal line, before deciding to sit back against that left hand post! Cally turned to me in amazement: "That is unbelievable!" he cried. I just shrugged my shoulders and indicated it was nothing unusual (with a 'we Australians can do this sort of thing' attitude) as I told him I would practise chipping against crossbars when younger (true). In reality, I never gave myself a moment to doubt that I could do it! If any of you have ever played golf, you will know that if you have any doubt you can sink a putt, you will almost certainly miss it! Our players need to have belief that they can do things and try to get 'in the zone'. If they do, then even beating Syd FC a second time this season, is possible!
  5. That was much more like entertainment than most of the possession rubbish served up under Babbel. I remember one early home game (Brisbane, I think) where it was excruciating to watch. I wrote after that one that Babbel should find another team to coach - and I was right! I counted just three occasions where we turned the ball back through multiple players in succession when in possession, last night. I would much rather see the team win scoring multiple goals, while conceding, than just trying to keep a clean sheet. The energy and commitment lasted far longer than last week's 25min - and true, Kamau was terrific. We will face much tighter defences than Adelaide's, but we have to keep pushing forward, and being innovative in breaking through. All around this was a most enjoyable performance. Well done guys! More of this type and the crowds will come back!
  6. Simon Cox didn't do much but what he did was most promising. First, shielding the ball in the box to win the penalty, then placing a first-time touch into the right corner of the goal. The latter was certainly the touch of an instinctive goalscorer. If he can continue this standard of contribution, he is most welcome!
  7. Fantastic win away from home against recent ACL Champions. I have never cheered so much for MV, but even King Kenny deserved a crown tonight - his first decent performance of the year. That took incredible spirit to play in driving rain and win 1-0 (Nabbout) against such a well-credentialed side, even if they were in pre-season. Credit where credit is due - well done MV and their interim coach, who always seemed a better fit than Kurz. They are now into the group stage, and we can only wish them luck.
  8. I cannot recall Muller doing anything of real quality (since signing) in his total time on the field in a Wanderers shirt. His headed effort on the Saturday would have embarrassed an amateur!
  9. echidna

    Macarthur FC

    True, it is roughly the equivalent of a WSW Supporter membership, though given these are counted within our overall membership numbers, a pre-'kickoff' comparison is still valid. I think we had a total of around 3,500 members by first game day. Please correct me if I am wrong. Irrespective, it is a promising start for them one year out.
  10. echidna

    Macarthur FC

    Progress so far: Sponsorship, Charles Perkins Academy, training facilities and Foundation Membership sales are all very promising and good for football generally. The Foundation Member's shirt is particularly attractive. Will be interesting to see if they can exceed WSW's first membership numbers before a ball was kicked. I can certainly appreciate Flytox's keen interest given his origins in the area.
  11. Only Daniel Lopar can justifiably excuse himself from being a target of the following comments... To the WSW players: If you think repeatedly playing the ball back and shifting it slowly back and forth across the backline, without showing movement and desperation to go forward is worthy of playing for this club, find yourself another shirt to wear - we will be better off without you! To Coach Babbel: If you cannot instil more forward drive, energy and enthusiasm in your players - find another club. I am rarely angered by a performance, but I was about this one. The Melb Derby that followed showed more pace, dynamism and good football in its first minute than we showed in 90. Worse still, ours was the live free-to-air ABC TV game. Who watching would have been inspired to pay money to go and watch that rubbish? A team playing like that is utterly undeserving of being top of the table. Keep it up and Wanderland will look as vacant as Spotless!
  12. A few of us (me included) previously expressed hope that access to the active standing area not be sold on a purely one per seat basis, but that it be based more realistically on its greater standing capacity - moving us away from the vacant terracing look of our old home. Last night it looked pretty full - just the way it should be. So, does anyone know if access to the area was adjusted for standing?
  13. I agree with Wendy and Taurus' comments on the sound/noise. After being at the Leeds game I wrote that the ground really needs over 20,000 football fans to have atmosphere. From an access and visual perspective, it is certainly a great place to watch football, but Taurus is right: a closed roof stadium is probably the only way to maximise the noise. Let's face it, in terms of noise, things won't get much better than last night at Bankwest.
  14. A number of times over the last few years, when this issue of whether a ball has crossed the goal line and a goal possibly scored has arisen, I have contacted Fox Sports and pleaded with them to conduct a simple studio experiment - which you dear Forum member should perform right now… [Remember that the whole of the ball must have crossed the whole of the line…] Items needed: A football, a ruler and some commonsense. Place the ruler on the ground - the ruler represents the line. Place the ball in a position where you can see ‘grass’ between the ball and the line. This is easily seen from the line side of the ball, which is generally equivalent to the camera angle. From this angle you may seem sure that the ball has fully crossed the line. However, if you now look down or directly over the line there are a number of ball positions where parts of the ball in the air have not fully crossed over the line. Robbie Slater decided to prove at the end of the telecast that he knew better than VAR and that it was really a goal. He took a ball to the goal line and conducted the experiment - and was surprised to admit that you could see grass but that the ball was not across the line! So, he was wrong on his call and he is also wrong on his repeated (and stupid) claim that you have to raise your arms going up for a header. You do not have to. I played for 22 years and invariably won headers in defence and attack, but never raised my arms to endanger another player. I was well aware of the rules. Taurus is right about the sound, which is easier heard on TV thanks to broadcast microphones. Additionally, I think Schwegler was fortunate to not be carded earlier than he was, but the ref (and VAR) got every other decision right. Anyhow, it was a fantastic Derby and occasion, in which we were well outplayed, but with luck and a great keeper in Lopar, we survived to triumph. Bring on Brisbane!
  15. Interesting bit of photo-journalism on the ABC News website on the RBB and football: https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-10-25/western-sydney-wanderers-rbb-unique-opportunity-for-aleague/11618220 What irked me about this colourful piece was the stupid statement that implied football may have to go back to its post-WWII migrant ('ethnic') beginnings in this country to maximise its potential. Does the author even know football has been recorded as being played in this country since the 1850s! One would expect that someone writing a supposedly definitive assessment of the game would be better read!
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