What a huge week it has been! Not only did Deadline Day deliver its annual taste of intrigue and excitement – who would’ve foreseen Dempsey ending up at Spurs? – but Sydney FC then had to go off and confirm the biggest signing in Australian football history!
Enough has been (and will continue to be) written about the class of Alessandro Del Piero, and the impact that he will have on the HAL. Marketing, legacy, television deals – everyone else can cover that. Here at The Blog FC, we’re most interested in how ADP is going to slot into Sydney FC’s line-up. How can the Sky Blues get the best out of the one they call Il Pinturicchio (‘The Little Painter’)?
First of all, lets accept that the team needs to built around him. There is no point in bringing in someone of Del Piero’s pedigree and forcing him to play a system that does not suit him. Second, let’s address the elephant in the room – his age. At 37, ADP is no spring chicken. We can’t expect him to play a high-tempo, defender harassing, pressuring role in the forward line – Wayne Rooney-stylez. Del Piero plays best as the traditional Trequartista, drifting between the lines, creating goal scoring opportunities for those around him.
The set up should look something along the lines of this –
We’ve chosen to leave out Terry McFlynn out – The Blog FC’s humble opinion is that he is the most overrated centre-mid in the competition – BUT if you must have him in, Antonis can move out on to the left, and Abbas to the bench.
Either way, Sydney’s starting 11 will have a quality look about them. The defence is perhaps a little weak, especially if Fabio forgoes any of his defensive duties, but this is countered by having two quality youngsters coming through (Sherlock & Grant), as well as the versatile Trent McClenahan, to call upon.
The centre of the park has the potential to be the best in the league. The industrious Emerton will shine now that the spotlight is not longer on him – and having him in the centre of the park will give him the best opportunity to do so. Alongside him we have Australian under-19s captain Terry Antonis. Working in tandem with two of the biggest and best names to ever grace the HAL, Antonis’s main brief this season is to act like a sponge – learn all he can from these two greats of the game.
Outside the engine room, there is the speed of Yau and the guile of Abbas. Breaking lines is the aim of the game, and if Del Piero is there to dish it up, it’s these two that will need to be on the end of it. Yau has already scored two goals in pre-season, and from all reports is set to be a cult hero for The Cove. It will be up to Yau and Abbas to provide the pace and energy (both offensively and defensively) that ADP cannot.
This leaves Krunoslav Lovrek to complete the 11. His job will be the point-man in this formation. Sitting on the shoulder of the last defender, getting in first at the front post, think a Besart Berisha ‘fox-in-the-box’ sort of player.
To be honest, the Croatian seems to be a bit of an unknown quantity, but if he can replicate his form from 06’ to 08’ (32 goals in 49 appearances in the Croatian top-flight) then he, along with the rest of Sydney FC, will be nigh on unstoppable.