|Derby Down Under: Oly-Ruben or Mr.Z ?|
Fri 08th Aug 2008 12:50 by Daniel J Sewart
Ruben Zadkovich is a player considered as having massive potential in Australia but departed under a cloud of rumors. Will he bring that potential to Derby or his reported attitude?
Ruben Zadkovich is a good player. An international at U20, U23 level, a full cap for Australia and now a goal at the Olympics must surely point to that. There is no doubting his ability and having seen him play some very good games on Australian soil, his energy, enthusiasm and single minded performances on the field for Sydney United were part of the reason they lifted the trophy a couple of seasons back.
He parted with the club on his way to Derby County in not so acrimonious circumstances with rumors of a falling out with Socceroo legend and Sydney manager John Kosmina. Both have very strong opinions and it seems that there was no longer room for both of them at the same club.
His last season was a bit of a rollercoaster ride being dropped from the squad and returning with much fanfare to replace an injured Juninho (yes that one!) with the mission of showing that skill everyone knows he possesses. Sydney didn't win the league and Ruben left the club under a cloud of rumors and speculation.
I was as surprised as anyone when I heard the news that the Rams had picked him up after his release. I always found him annoying, that is, in a good way for the team he is playing for (not for opposition teams or supporters such as me). He always seemed to be in his opposition’s face, single minded decisions that sometimes could be described as unnecessary and an engine runs very hard until the final whistle.
Coming off a season where that ‘killer’ glare was missing from the faces of most players wearing a Derby strip, fans would easily forgive some over ambitious challenges, if for no other reason than to see some heart and soul on the pitch once again. That is exactly what you will get from Ruben and plenty of it. Whether he can hold that aggression back and develop the finishing side of his game will determine how far he can go.
I always feel like he is three moves ahead of where he actually is on the pitch. He scoots around trying to hassle and create that he does not always effectively finish a pass or move as well as he could. If Paul Jewell can create a bit of calm in his game that utilizes his gut busting playing style, then he could be a very useful player for years to come.
His game for the Olyroos against Serbia was full of that trade mark running and some interesting challenges (as seen in the picture for this article) but no one could doubt he was out there to play. His goal came about from sniffing about as play developed and demanding to be a part of any build up that came near him.
As an Australian Derby County fanatic it is great to have two countrymen at the club even if Jewell could have chosen two with shorter names. That is a purely selfish wish as I may go broke getting them printed on my strips this season! Perhaps if you’re reading this Mr. Jewell, Dodd and Burns are also worth a look (actually…. they are!).
Sporting a Mohawk style haircut fresh for the Olympic Games, (I pity the fool who messes with Mr.Z!!....get it? the A-Team?) there is no doubt Zadkovich likes to stand out. While at Crystal Palace it was stated that he had the ability to be the next Tim Cahill. As a huge fan of Cahill if the Rams can get even half out of Ruben what Everton have out of Cahill, I will be more than satisfied.
While Rubens away the Rams will play! C’mon Ewe Rams! :0)
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Daniel J Sewart