In that little square between the other team's box, and the corners, there is an invisible force-field that only the bravest Jets players approach.
I know this because I have seen our left and right wing players look nervous as they approach that area, and either play the ball off backwards or sideways, or put a looping cross in hoping that someone will get on the end of it.
Alright, let's go back a step. Or two.
In the early passages against Adelaide last weekend, I counted at least 17 passes between Jets players in one passage of play. A lot of it was sideways, backwards, then forwards again. And this, to me, was very encouraging. Control the ball and you control the game.
The Adelaide crowd didn't have much chance to get into the game because their team couldn't get much joy for at least the first 30 minutes or more. Way to take the away crowd out the equation Jets.
Movement through the middle was a little more difficult, and with this evolving style of play, it was inevitable that the Jets would either lose possession or pass it backwards again. Not that there's anything wrong with that. There was a problem that the movement of the ball was too slow and transition was slow, but let's leave that issue for now.
Where it got frustrating was up front. I think we were playing too narrow. I really can't understand why though, if we're playing a 4-1-2-3. They should be able to spread very wide with three in the front line. Maybe the idea was to always get the ball to Frannie Jeffers who was in the middle.
There are a number of clear sections of the field when creating an attack, and I'm sure van Egmond knows that you must bring the ball into the midfield, then spread it wide to stretch the other team, disrupt their shape, then bring play back into the centre of the park around the opponent's box.
Where we're failing at is the weak underbelly - the sides of the box. That's where you can either sneak in behind, or play some cheeky balls across the box. These are the hardest balls to defend against.
What we seem to be doing in this area, is getting close to the box and then looping the ball in diagonally. Unless you really have the other team on the back foot, it isn't going to work. They will be facing towards the ball and can see everything before them.
But if you work the ball down towards the side of the box, with two or three players, then play it back into the middle, all hell breaks loose. Why? Because you draw defenders away from the goal, and when the ball does go in the middle, they're looking out to the side, and over their shoulder to see if there is another attacker behind them. It's confusing, there are bodies everywhere. And our attackers are all facing forwards, looking to the ball and the goal. It's also very hard to play the offside trap.
Once or twice in that game, I saw Ruben Zadkovich trying to get into the corner, but no one was there to help him and he was soon closed down by Adelaide defenders.
This wide play is really for Tarek and Byun to do. They either don't have the confidence to run at (or around) defenders, they haven't been told to get VERY wide, or they aren't supported enough when they get there. Whatever the reason is, they have to get wide and deep to create more opportunities.
So that's why I found the game against Adelaide very frustrating. Adelaide didn't have much possession (if I remember correctly, it was about 37 percent - not good enough for a home game), the Jets strangled them and that's one reason it was dull for Adelaide supporters. Another reason it was frustrating was that the Jets just couldn't penetrate and get many chances away.
The Jets need to find their mojo again in the front third and it will come good. Brockie and Griffiths have been very good this season and things will improve. If the passing game through midfield links with an array of options in the final third, our attack should really sting. If.