After his stellar brace against Wellington last week, it is no surprise that Brett Holman heads into Friday’s elimination final against Western Sydney as one to watch.
Why he’s important
With Western Sydney Wanderers unbeaten in their last six A-League matches, another commanding display may be required of nifty playmaker Brett Holman if Brisbane Roar are to book a semi-final date with Melbourne Victory.
While Tony Popovic has stated his side will not target the likes of Holman and Jamie Maclaren, it is believed the Wanderers will apply a high press at Suncorp Stadium – an approach the Red and Black tend to take in their bigger matches.
With Holman at the core of Brisbane’s go forward play, the Roar’s hopes may rest on what he is able to do with what little space he is afforded by the Wanderers.
His season so far
While knee surgery sidelined Holman for six weeks earlier in the season, a lengthy lay-off did not appear to set him back. The former Socceroo netted the winner in his return to action the last time Brisbane and the Wanderers met and is currently in a rich vein of form.
Stunning goals and an exquisite passing catalogue aside, Holman’s tenacity and competitive edge will also be key for the Roar in a do or die clash. If Brisbane are to outscore a high-pressurising Wanderers outfit, they must first outwork them.
No player on the Suncorp Stadium turf will want a result more than Holman, whose positivity may just carry his teammates to victory.
Despite losing some zip that saw him feared in the Eredivisie both on and off the ball, Holman has wasted no time adjusting to the quickness and physicality of the A-League. In just 19 games, the former AZ Alkamaar midfielder has created 22 chances and scored five goals for Brisbane – impressive stats that are hardly typical of A-League newcomers.
Thankfully for Roar fans, Holman’s big-game experience and outstanding football IQ means he can change a game in an instant – regardless of opposition tactics.
Not only does the 33-year-old possess an impressive passing accuracy of 76.2%, his intelligent movement off the ball frees up wide men Brandon Borello and Thomas Broich, who can cause the high-pressing Wanderers back line some serious problems.