It’s not often I am lost for words just ask those around me, but last night’s Newcastle V Adelaide just doesn’t have many highlights for either team, so much so that I considered cleaning my bathroom at halftime instead of watching the rest.
Whilst a win is always great and I don’t like to see us be beaten, a game with a little life never goes astray. Adelaide that started the game looking the most promising with a good tempo in the first twenty minutes, with Goodwin and Kitto finding the ball out wide, but no one was making the inside runs to capitalise. Newcastle were playing their fourth match in twelve days (like a continuation of the summer of heroes) which included a trip to Japan and had Vargas missing from their frontline, and Hoffman missing from their defence.
Adelaide were without Elsey after an impact injury against the Wanderers, he was expected to be cleared for this match but wasn’t named in the squad. No further information seems to be available on his injury. This game showed Adelaide now lack depth at each end, whilst we will make finals I am concerened about progression from there. With Regan leaving the club and no replacement made, which is a whole other can of worms, a process that was seemingly supposed to occur in the January transfer window but a clerical error saw the end of that!
I think someone needs to re-read the rule book. With Elsey under an injury cloud, we are left with Jakobsen as our only centre back. Marrone had to step into the centre back role in his 200th appearance and worked hard in this position to have a positive influence on the game. Our lack of defensive depth saw the players constantly scrambling to get back to support. I guess the positive of that is we put in a team effort to cover this deficit. Izzo had a clean sheet, in his fiftieth appearance for Adelaide, so that’s another positive, I just wish we could have messed up Moss’ sheets!
Whilst we secured the signing of Thomassen as our striker, we are yet to see him really take control of this position. This could be the poor balls fed to him or it could still be a sign of something systemic within the side. With both sides only managing two shots on target each. Goodwin launched one at the goals at the 42nd minute mark which hit the crossbar, our best attempt for the match. Adelaide had ten corners, seven of which came in the first twenty eight minutes, but frustratingly didn’t manage to convert any of them into a goal. Adelaide may need to start playing less football tennis at training and focus on corner kicks.
The second half was basically a copy and paste of the first half, players from both teams scrambling managing to put passes together, but no finishing finesse. Newcastle had the best chance of the half at the 67th minute mark when Champness’ volley almost went in under the bar.
The sharing of points from this game will make it hard for Newcastle to crack into the six, and Adelaide need to find a way to hold on as their season looks to be an uphill battle from here, if they don’t start to win a few games again.
By Michelle Reid