Bite-sized news for you to chew over - Davidson receives backing from Socceroos legend, Griffiths on his illustrious team-mates and much more
Former Australia left-back Stan Lazaridis has backed Jason Davidson to make the Socceroos left-back position his own. The 21-year-old had a debut to forget when he scored an own-goal soon after coming on in Wednesday's friendly against Scotland, but Lazaridis believes Socceroos coach Holger Osieck should turn to a natural defender like Davidson instead of using players out of position. "In truth, I don't like seeing players like David Carney, Matt McKay and Michael Zullo playing at left-back because it's not their natural position, and it shows," Lazaridis told The World Game. "I feel that if Jason Davidson continues to feature in a lot of games for his club then he deserves a chance to show what he can do. Not in the future, right now… He's a natural left sided defender and I would certainly like to see him given a go. It's all about positional sense. When you are not used to that role it's easy to get caught out."
Australian striker Joel Griffiths has revealed what it is like play alongside former English Premier League stars Didier Drogba and Nicolas Anelka at Chinese Super League outfit Shanghai Shenhua. The big-spending club signed the former in May, with Anelka having joined in January. Griffiths, who has three goals in nine league appearances this season after returning from injury, is relishing the opportunity to play alongside the two stars. "Anelka and Drogba are amazing players that can change a game in a blink of an eye," Griffiths told Four Four Two Australia. "They can read the game so well. Just watching them train and being able to pick their brains is priceless for me personally. Knowing that they are on the field you have a sense of confidence where you can give them the ball and you know they will find you, hold it up or create space for you and they are always aware of where you are."
Central Coast Mariners coach Graham Arnold has spoken of the challenge presented by New Caledonia's national team in the first match of their pre-season tour of the island nation. The Mariners drew their tour opener 1-1, with Bernie Ibini's early opener cancelled out early in the second half. Arnold's men will take on the hosts again on Saturday, with the coach delighted with the standard of the Mariners' opponents. "We put in a very good performance," Arnold said via club statement. "They beat New Zealand in the Oceania World Cup Qualifiers recently and for our first hit out we did exceptionally well. This game provided us a much higher intensity than probably any game in Australia could at this time of year, so I couldn't be happier with the start we've made."
Brisbane Roar have won their latest pre-season match, triumphing 2-0 over Peninsula Power on Thursday. The Roar opened the scoring against their Brisbane Premier League opponents in the 16th minute when Matt Jurman scored from inside the area, with new National Youth League signing Kwame Yeboah doubling his side's advantage in the second half. Ivan Franjic almost added a third as the game approached the final whistle when he took a free kick quickly, hitting the post.