Pressure, control, Recoba, Garcia and ?a blinder
By IAN MONAGHAN
LISMORE soccer's favourite son, former Socceroo and SBS commentator CRAIG FOSTER, yesterday offered his five-point plan for success tonight against Uruguay:
1 CONTROL: "Firstly, we have to take control of the game, as we did in the first 30 minutes in Montevideo. We have to dictate the pace and not let Uruguay, an outstanding technical side, take over. We also must win a lion's share of the possession to create enough chances for us to score."
2. PRESSURE: "We have to pressure their defence more than ever before. In three matches (two in 2001 and last Sunday) we have scored just one goal, a penalty. We have to pressure Paolo Montero, who was playing as a spare man in Montevideo and was far too comfortable. We can't allow him to mop everything up. I'd even put someone on him and try to draw the errors, someone like John Aloisi, who I expect to play up front beside Mark Viduka. He (Montero) had a dispute over money with Uruguay and resigned from the national team; in seven games without him they conceded 11 goals; he came back for the past 11 games and they only conceded nine."
3 THEY KEY: "We have to stop Pablo Garcia in the centre of midfield from dictating the play. The Real Madrid midfielder is the absolute key to this game; he's the best 'reader' of the game they have, capable of stopping so many of our attacks. We should have someone like Marco Bresciano lurking behind our strikers, so that when we lose the ball Garcia is pressured."
4 THE ACE: Their ace in the pack is Alvaro Recoba. I wouldn't be surprised and would like to see Guus Hiddink put someone (perhaps even midfielder Vince Grella) on to man-mark him. Uruguay without Recoba is only half a team. At one stage in the 1990s Recoba was the world's most expensive player. He is genuinely gifted, not just on the set pieces."
5 A BLINDER: For the Socceroos to win their way to the World Cup finals, I believe that one of our attacking players must produce 'the game of his life'. It won't be good enough if we give just a good, solid team performance. There's a good chance we have to score twice against one of the toughest defences in the world. We need everyone at or near their best, as well as one ... might be Bresciano, Viduka or Kewell, if fit ... to have a real blinder."