Our problem holding the ball in the second half seemed to have much to do with the O’Neill being overworked defensively (he had a stellar game, I thought). Perhaps this was because it is not yet clear that Retre can manage Brillante’s defensive load. Also, at RM, Caceres offered little defensive cover (apart from fouling) and little outlet in transition to attack. So, O’Neill, in Brillante’s absence, seemed to sit deeper covering for attacks coming down our right. With Grant also pinned back defensively and Caceres effectively unavailable for transition, Zullo was really our only option for direct transition. Given that KF kicked the legs from under Ninko all match, that avenue was also less effective than normal. This left our attackers abandoned, even if Alf and Brosque did a power of chasing and tackling.
We really need to fix that RM hole. Ivanevic looks lively when attacking but offers no defensive strength or grit, at this stage. Maybe if he fills out in the next year or two. However, the KF goalscorer, when shooting, took advantage of Ivanevic’s very poor positioning. I am not confident Caceres or even De Jong (current version) would have done better there, but an Adrian, Holosko or Kisel would have.
What about Grant to RM and Tratt to take RB? That would fix both attack and defence on the right side. Or Reza to RM?