Wednesday, June 8, 2011

The Azkals 23-man roster as I broke it

It has been determined that the PFF has released the roster that will going to Germany. Click after the jump to know the final list.

This is the roster they released earlier today, based from the training and tryouts that took place:

Goalkeepers: Etheridge, Sacapano
Defenders: Gier, Jonsson, Schrock, Borromeo, Del Rosario, Gener, Sabio, Cagara
Midfielders: Ott, Lucena, J. Younghusband, Caligdong, Rochlitz, Mulders, Margarse, Burkey, Becite
Attackers: Guirado, Araneta, P. Younghusband, Bahadoran

I believe that the true strength of the Philippines has been its defense. Yes, Simon Mcmenemy was mainly responsible with that with its virtual park-the-bus strategy while current coach Hans Weiss has gone with a more aggressive open football plan, but if you look up and down, the most talent we have lies with the back four or six.You might disagree because of the fact that the UFL All-Stars team netted four goals in the "Yanti Barsales testimonial match" last Sunday, but it can be said that 3/4 of that defense was not starting that game. Ray Jonsson was arguably the best defender in the Suzuki Cup, and Rob Gier was a presence as a centre back. Both were not at the University of Makati last Sunday. I have dubbed them, along with Lucena, Cagara and Schrock as the Eurofenders, as they all are based in Europe (Jerry and Dennis in Denmark, Stephan in Germany, Ray in Iceland, Rob in England)

The biggest problem that we will face is on the capability of our attackers to score. Ian Araneta has been much maligned for his lack of scoring prowess until his goal against Bangladesh in the Challenge Cup. Phil can get the job done, but he has gotten flak given the dalliances and distractions the showbiz industry poses. Consequently, the midfield should also provide opportunities that lead to goal scoring chances. Angel Aldeguer Guirado was a major boost, especially in the win over Bangladesh. Adding a Paul Mulders definitely helps given what he can do, and especially, his experience against "top" flight clubs.

Given this roster: the line-up that I would be most comfortable with goes like this.

Jonsson - Gier - Del Rosario - Schrock
Lucena - Borromeo
Caligdong - J.Younghusband
P. Younghusband 

This allows elements of the Mcmenemy defensive strategy to work with the Weiss aggressive connection. Depth issues might still be a concern, but with the recent tryouts and workouts that brought in the likes of Burkey, Rochlitz, and Mulders, that would be not as much as an issue.

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