Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition! Our chief weapon is surprise. Surprise and fear, fear and surprise. Our two weapons are fear, surprise and ruthless efficiency. THREE. Our three weapons are fear, surprise, ruthless efficiency and an almost fanatical devotion to the coach.
Our four weap....no. Amongst our weaponry are such diverse elements as fear, surprise, ruthless efficiency, an almost fanatical devotion to the coach and a nice red uniform. Oh, damn. Never mind, we're back!
A number of the weapons that were on display early on in the season made a return during the match with Melbourne Heart. Whether through tiredness or a lack of discipline, the pressure on opposition midfields that had been so prevalent in the first ten rounds had disappeared.
But it was back. Even though Heart were able to have a decent amount of possession in midfield, every ball they played was made under pressure. They were not allowed to settle on the ball for long and pick out passes, as had been the case for much of the last month. A lot of the problems that Adelaide were encountering came down to the fact they were not working hard enough to close down teams.
It really is amazing how effective and successful you can be when you don't allow the opposition to just do as they please. The mark of a champion team is even when you are not playing at your best, you can still disrupt the other team so much that it gives you a chance in any game. We may not be back to playing the silky football from earlier rounds but the pressure allowed us to gain a result we may otherwise have squandered.
The other main weapon that returned was the magic of Marcos Flores. Perhaps inspired by the new Harry Potter film or maybe just happy to be playing a team that was not intent on kicking him out of the game at every opportunity, Flores produced some moments that made everyone's jaw drop.
His run down the right hand touchline in the second half was one of such skill and poise that it didn't matter that it ended in nothing. His ability to make players bite on fakes and stepovers, as Behich found out to his detriment at the end of that run, is something that has rarely been seen to this level in the A-League.
Very few players, past or present in the league can claim to have the ball control of the amazing Argentinian. When given time to turn at a defender, he is nothing short of deadly. Sure, he makes mistakes as does every player, but when he gets it right there is nothing an opposition can do to stop it.
The goal that he was credited with (although I believe it should be a Bolton own goal) was actually started by a Flores flick to van Dijk. He had no right to be able to get a meaningful touch on the ball, but he was able to guide it down to Serge who in turn played it through to Cameron Watson.
Which brings me to one Iain Ramsay. What a discovery this lad has been. He comes on and even when he doesn't score, more often than not he makes an impact. He made a great run into space at the back of the penalty area, instead of going after the ball which shows some great awareness for a young player.
And the composure he displayed to try and chip Bolton was brilliant. He could have tried to blast it into the net or bring the ball back inside to improve the angle, but he knew that Bolton was scrambling across the face of goal and was out of position and if not for a few inches he would have been celebrating a wonderful goal.
There is still a lot of improvement to be had by the team and with some very important players to return from injury, such as Daniel Mullen who should be back in action on Friday against Gold Coast and Nigel Boogaard in the centre of defence, the prospects of a great finish to the season are very high.
Just as long as the players maintain the workrate that they displayed on the AAMI Park pitch last weekend, the results will continue to come our way. Skill and class are important, but games are won and lost through hard work.
The Reds remembered that finally.