In A League of Its Own – Issue 14

Tom’s weekly outlook on the A-League

Nearly halfway through the season, and I want to take a look back at my preseason predictions. My winner at the beginning, was Wellington Phoenix, who haven’t really lived up to some expectations; they find themselves lying in 7th place without doing much. Most recently going down 3-0 to Adelaide on the weekend, succumbing to a 6-minute blitz from the Reds, who scored 3 in that block to assert their top of the table dominance even further. This also adds to my preseason prediction of the Reds being the most improved team in the league. After a disastrous campaign last season, Adelaide were sure to rise up the table, but nobody expected them to shoot up like they have done under new manager Rini Coolen. Revelation Marcos Flores, experienced Travis Dodd and front man Sergio van Dijk all scoring goals to lift their team further above the rest of the pack.

     The two Melbourne teams played on Saturday, with both handing in not only disappointing scorecards, but having shocking rounds as well. Heart hosted a rapidly rising Gold Coast, who after a poor start to the season, had bounced back with a couple of positive performances. Unfortunately for the 6-odd thousand fans at AAMI Park, neither side penetrated the oppositions’ goal enough to score. Heart had the majority of chances, but just couldn’t make any count.

     The Victory meanwhile, travelled to Brisbane to face an in form Roar who were coming off a mid-week confident boosting 2-0 win over the Mariners, but also 3 games in 10 days. Brisbane’s confidence wore on, as they won the game 2-1, but not without a test by Victory. Mitch Nichols was responsible for Brisbane’s 1-0 lead at the break, when he scored 26 minutes in. Robbie Kruse levelled things up 3 minutes after the 2 teams had returned from the rooms, and it had appeared for much of the half that Brisbane’s busy timetable was beginning to rub off the wrong way. Enter debutant Jean Carlo Solórzano, a new signing for the Roar who quickly made his mark, putting home what turned out to be the winner 14 minutes from time.

     At the very beginning of the season, most people would have tipped a Perth vs. Sydney game into Sydney’s favour. Before the game started on Sunday evening Melbourne time, a winless Sydney went to a Perth Glory fortress at NIB Stadium to try and get a point and restore some hope within the squad, and expel rumours of manager Vitezslav Lavicka getting the flick. Well, they didn’t get a point, they got 3. And they didn’t score a goal, they got 3. In a dominant display that reminded us who are the reigning champions, Sydney didn’t just beat, they demolished Perth Glory. Bruno Cazarine got on the scoresheet twice, with main man Alex Brosque scoring a brace. Sydney may not make the finals series, but with a couple more performances like that, who knows.

     The table now seems to be settling itself down, there are a couple of surprises; Sydney bottom, Adelaide top, but I like it. Different league positions each season is what other leagues lack, but the A-League provides. Some people may not like it, but I do. I think that it encourages fans to go to games even when their team isn’t doing well, because you never know, they might just win.

About Tom Riordan

Tom Riordan is in his second year of a Bachelor of Journalism at Swinburne University. He loves all sports, and plays for Brunswick Cricket Club. He supports the Western Bulldogs and can be found on weekends among half a dozen others in Q38 on the top level of the MCC.

Comments

  1. And of course parents should encourage son’s attendance at matches!! ;)

  2. Ian Syson says:

    Not Victory matches though. That would be a dubious exercise in relation to moral education.

  3. Martin Reeves says:

    Good work Tom, as always.

    I was at the Perth debacle on Sunday. Glory are in real trouble. Only 8k through the gates and the next match is midweek. Concerning times.

    Keep up your support of Melbourne Victory and the A-League.

  4. What about the Jets’ schemozzle?

  5. Ian Syson says:

    more of the same old sabotage Crio

  6. as long as it is someone else’s fault, nothing gets fixed.

  7. Heart game v Jets to be at Port MacQuarie.

  8. Ian Syson says:

    Crio. You’re right — I hope I wasn’t implying that the sabotage was completely external to soccer. There are people on the South Melbourne Hellas message board celebrating every stuff-up the A League makes.

    The Port Macquarie shift might be a godsend.

  9. Like the “Crio. You’re right”. More of that please.
    As for the rest, the games have been good this year, but everything else is still skaky in this comp.

  10. do you mean shaky or skanky — or have you come up with a new word?

  11. on topic – if adelaide win this week they’ll be clear favorites not just for the premiership, but the Championship also. Justified? Will they win? If Victory lose I reckon Heart displace them as Vic’s “team most likely”?

  12. Martin Reeves says:

    I managed to take my first look at Adelaide on the weekend. Very entertaining and will be hard to beat this weekend, and this season. I think Victory will go down to them, but will get a boost when Thompson and Kemp return.

    Brisbane have been impressive and SFC were faultless on the weekend.

  13. having watched the rise and rise of the adelaide reds from adelaide and being an adelaidian sort of got used to being let down by our own round ball boys,it has been thrilling to see such an improvement.as you said,tom,you expected great improvement from them this season but it has been the magnitude of their improvement that has everyone wondering what it is they have done to make them better ,or what is is they werent doing in years past to be better.imagine the same scinario from ,sa,richmond in the afl?
    so,that brings us to this weekend and the big game,the old sa vs vic showdown.for me,as a carlton girl,its a bit like playing collingwood,you just want to beat them under any circumstance and i am somewhat nervous.hope u enjoy the match and look forward to your report.go reds!!

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