THE weekend flashpoint that angered Socceroo legends, James Troisi left red faced and a new side of Victory that augers well.
It’s the key takeaways from Fox Sports’ Shootout program.
‘GIVE ME A BREAK’
IT was the flashpoint that could have ruined the top of the table blockbuster in front of 18,000 fans in the Hunter – but didn’t, thanks to the tenacity and guile of this Newcastle Jets outfit, who sealed a famous 2-1 win over Sydney FC on Saturday evening.
The result masked the flashpoint from a brilliant game of football, when Sydney FC defender Jordy Buijs hit the turf in dramatic fashion after a duel with Roy O’Donovan, who was sent off for a supposed hit to the face of the defender.
Despite playing with 10 men after the send-off, Ernie Merrick’s side showed they could mark their 10 year Championship anniversary with a very strong push for a repeat this season.
The merits of the card can be rigorously debated, but a bigger picture concern is the Dutch defender’s behaviour.
“I counted eight rolls,” John Kosmina fumed on Fox Sports’ Shootout program on Sunday evening.
“He got up and there was no mark there.
“(Referee) Chris Beath let that go in the run of play. If Buijs hadn’t been rolling around the ground thinking he was poleaxed, would the VAR have got involved at all?
“I don’t like that sort of behaviour.
“Then he gets up and pretends to fight him.
“Give me a break.
He added: “It’s a slur on the game. We cop a lot from other codes for this … this rolling around. If you got smacked on the head how do you have the energy to roll around like that?”
Mark Bosnich derided the conduct as “disgraceful”.
“You do not want to have that in your game. It doesn’t matter who it is,” he added.
“It is nothing to do with the culture of the country – it’s to do with culture of football. You don’t want to see players rolling around in that fashion … the match review panel should be stepping in saying …. Explain yourself, what is this.”
It could prove a seminal weekend for the Jets, with the way they beat the all-conquering Sky Blues, under adversity, in front of a fabulous crowd.
“It’s been a tremendous mix of exciting play but getting results… great to see a successful side in Newcastle. The spirit they showed was … simply amazing,” Ned Zelic enthused.
I FEEL SORRY FOR HIM
An exhilarating Melbourne Derby ended in comical circumstances on Friday night, when James Troisi was left red faced as he missed the target on an open goal, with Melbourne City Dean Bouzanis way downfield after trying to cause havoc with a late attacking raid.
“I felt sorry for him,” said Bosnich.
“I’ve seen far better players – and I don’t mean that disrespectfully – miss real sitters like that.
“It won’t be one he’ll put on his reel tape, but that’s one of the best games I’ve seen him play for a very, very long time.”
BUT VICTORY SHOWED A DIFFERENT SIDE
Kosmina hailed the variety Kevin Muscat’s side showed, declaring it “the best movement I’ve seen from Melbourne Victory all season”.
“It’s the first time I’ve ever seen wide men running through the middle, things we haven’t seen before. Look how it came off.”
He attributed the tweak to needing to be more adaptable with their AFC Champions League campaign concurrently running.
“They probably looked more of a counter attacking transition team than we’ve seen before.
“Playing in Asia, where you need to be compact and tight, you can’t leave spaces to be exploited.
“Muscat has looked at that. We’ve said he doesn’t have a plan B … he’s got one now.”