Almanac Soccer – A League: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly of Round 26

THE GOOD

-Melbourne Victory or (in some freak occurrence) Sydney FC will win the premier’s plate and probably host the Grand Final after important and at the same time lucky wins on the weekend. Sydney FC outlasted a brave Newcastle Jets 4-3 on Friday night in one of the most entertaining games of the season. The win means Sydney FC have not lost an away game all season with one game to go which is a tremendous effort in such a tight league. Victory struggled to break down a team of kids from the Roar in what was their second game at Lang Park within 4 days but they prevailed thanks to some refereeing that was on par with the Glory’s accounts department. The FFA will be happy a cash grabbing Victory v Sydney final would be more likely than others with us common serfs who don’t support either team hoping an outsider like Wellington or Adelaide can make it in to the big one.

-Speaking of Phoenix, their game before the Newcastle v Sydney FC game on a very entertaining Friday night of action may be a defining moment in their season and shows they’re not mental midgets. The Phoenix was mugged in the first half by an opportunistic Mariners outfit with Phoenix having more possession but not having the end product. After a blunt assessment of their efforts by coach Ernie Merrick Phoenix they came back the second half.

At 2-1 the big turning point in the match was the subbing on of injury hit Costa Rican striker Kenny Cunningham who scored the equaliser and then dramatic and bloody brilliantly taken winner deep in to injury time to take the points and send their usually shirtless fans in to a frenzy. This was by far the Phoenix’s most successful ever season with goals scored and points collected, now just need to go one better than their 2009/10 finals campaign and make the big one with second place on the table still a possibility if they can beat Sydney FC in the final round in Wellington.

-It’s a bit questionable to be having Perth Glory related to anything good but the professionalism of Kenny Lowe and his players that weren’t taking a suspect payments was exceptional in the past couple of weeks. This had a lot to do with a great win over Melbourne City yesterday. A hattrick to a perhaps soon to be departing Jamie Maclaren put a typically inconsistent City side to the sword. Considering what has gone on at the club this week with their under fire owner you expected the side to lay down and die but they managed to put together one last decent effort in their last game of the home season in front of some 5000 or so fans with no interest in the Western Derby and mainly there to show support to Kenny and the players. The win was also a fitting farewell to at least important players with Danny Da Silva and Royston Griffiths departing for pastures greener. A lot more pain is to no doubt come to the club’s playing list with many more perhaps wanting out and a slash burn approach to be taken.

THE BAD

Adelaide United’s season is going down the drain. Melbourne Heart/City is normally the team that has the consistency and stability of plutonium but United has been equally as mental this season considering the talent. A strong win in Sydney has been followed up with a first half capitulation to Roar and loss to Wanderers in Sydney, not sparkling form coming in to the finals for a team with fans who are pessimistic at best with their side after so much heartbreak at the pointy end of the A-League season

Carrusca missing hurts them more than they like to admit. He is up there as the best in the league and the lynch-pin for a side still chasing their first A-League title but fights injuries on a constant basis. Gombau says they’re not panicking but then again there’s kids still living in poverty 25 years after Bob Hawke said there wouldn’t be. There’s also a big congratulations to defender Nigel Boogard who received his sixth red card in his A-League career on the weekend. This now breaks the record for the league which was held, of course, by Kevin Muscat.

-Not A-League related but poor Adam Federici. The Nowra born goalkeeper played in Reading’s FA Cup Semi Final against Arsenal early Sunday morning attempting to join a very selected list of Australians such as Marsden, Cahill and Kewell to play in the FA Cup Final. Unfortunately a howler by the 30 year old gifted the Chilean superstar Alexis Sanchez a goal that was the difference in their extra time 2-1 loss which left Federici inconsolable following the match. This is on top of once being seen as the up and coming future Socceroos goalkeepers but has been left behind in by the likes Ryan and Langerak in Ange’s brave new Socceroos’ world.

THE UGLY

-Jason Brewer has resigned from Glory accepting all the blame aimed at the club in recent weeks and heading back to his old job at another Tony Sage owned enterprise. The fans are happy he’s gone after this position became beyond untenable but still want his boss to hand in the keys to the club so they can start again and rebuild a relationship with the burgeoning greater Perth football community.

Someone who has finally played his cards in his whole drama is Nick Tana. The Perth multi-millionaire and founder of the club was slick in his loaded comments to SBS saying that he would bankroll the club if Sage had left yet without calling for Sage to give it all up. He would be welcomed back like Jesus back in to Jerusalem (minus the palms) but Tana wasn’t the perfect owner the first time around. His attempted sacking of the popular Bernd Stage in 2000, meddling with onfield affairs and disinterest in latter years got some fans offside while the deal he signed with Glory when owner of NIB Stadium bled the club try. Yet despite this, someone trusted like Tana (who almost took the Wanderers licence) could be the only one who could make this club commercially viable in any way in the future through marketing surrounding ‘the good old days’ and getting some old Glory names involved the club if they’re not already trying to sue the club or still bothering in any way.

Sage won’t give up the licence easily even if he entertains the thought of even doing so despite his unpopularity. Both Sage and Tana also have a history of stoushes over stadium costs in recent times too that of course played out in the local media. This will drag on and give journalist headlines for a while yet during the long off-season.

-The spat over ground availability won’t be going away soon with Victory all but assured of finishing top. If they do host the big one it won’t be at Etihad with the AFL or Etihad refusing to move the Bulldogs V Dockers fixture despite the fact the A-League decided would probably be way more profitable. The A-League will either have to move the game interstate which would put one of the most powerful clubs in the league way offside. Or they would have to play it at AAMI Park and lose a heap of revenue which wouldn’t impress the coffers but would improve the atmosphere and provide a more European feel. Then again Victory could blow it and all this will be a moot point.

About Dennis Gedling

RTR FM Presenter. Glory Guerrillas Producer and Co-Host. Contributer to Football Nation Radio and Football West. Worships at the feet of the mighty Cats, Socceroos, Matildas, West Perth, Glory and Glasgow's Green and White most of the time.

Comments

  1. Luke Reynolds says

    I’m sure K.Muscat very happy to lose his red card record. His former coach is doing great things with Wellington. Another great report Dennis, what a cracking finals series we look set for.

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