Saturday, December 5, 2009
Perth Glory captain
PERTH Glory captain Jacob Burns is facing an almost certain two-match ban for accumulation of yellow cards.
Burns, the most cautioned player in the A-League, is one of three Glory stars who will walk a yellow card tightrope during today's vital home clash with Brisbane Roar.
Dutch striker Victor Sikora and midfielder Adriano Pellegrino will receive one-match suspensions for accumulation of yellow cards when they pick up their next caution.
The penalty hanging over Burns' head is more severe because he has already served his first suspension this season.
Players are banned for one game on receiving their fifth caution, but then for two matches on picking up each additional three yellow cards.
Burns has seven for the season, while Sikora and Pellegrino have four each.
Burns can be forgiven for his record, considering the midfield workhorse is the A-League's most prolific tackler.
To avoid the two-match ban, he needs to avoid picking up a single yellow card for the last 11 matches of the regular season.
Given he is picking up cautions at the rate of 0.47 per match, the two-game suspension looms as a time bomb that cannot be avoided.
Burns said the penalty was tough given the short season, but he would not change his style of play.
"You can't go into games thinking, 'I can't make that tackle, I can't do that because then I'm gone for two games'," he said.
"At some point it may come sooner rather than later. You can't think about what team that's going to be or when it's going to come."
The 31-year-old has formed an integral partnership in central midfield with Wayne Srhoj, although Pellegrino has shown he is capable of filling a more central role when required, as he is likely to be called to fill in.
Players' records are wiped before the finals. Three yellow cards in the finals series triggers a one-game suspension.
Sikora and Pellegrino could be saved from suspension this season if they can avoid going into the referee's book for the next four games, because the automatic suspension trigger moves from five yellow cards to eight after Round 21.
Burns missed the Round 10 clash with Adelaide United after picking up his fifth yellow card and if he continues to pick up cautions at the same rate could be suspended for four more matches.
The fringe Socceroo is likely to leave Glory on an overseas loan deal before the end of the regular season to enhance his chances of being picked in Australia's World Cup squad.
* JETS STRIKE: The Newcastle Jets have kept Adelaide United anchored to the bottom of the A-League ladder with a 2-0 victory at Hindmarsh Stadium.
Captain Matt Thompson netted from close range in the 46th minute before South Korean Jin-Hyung Song converted an 80th-minute penalty.
It was the Jets' first consecutive A-League wins in almost two years.
Posted by Panchapor at 8:24 AM