The Good, The Bad and The Ugly of Round 16 of the A-League

THE GOOD

The Western Sydney Wanderers actually won a game! The Asian Champions did well to have a good win over the Phoenix – who were no slouches – in front of a great crowd of almost 13,000 in Penrith. Forgotten Socceroo Nikita Rukavystya also finally had a goal for the Wanderers too with a cracking strike from inside the box after turning his defender. Even with Phoenix (who normally have a decent record in Western Sydney) pummeling the goals the Wanderers went back to their old ways of being an immovable object and were worthy of the points.

What does this mean for Wanderers this season? Well not a lot as they have little chance of making the finals, but it takes the pressure off Popovic for a bit. It also means they now are no longer capable of taking out of the record for lowest amount of points in a season too. It also shows getting rid of the some of the more ‘white ant’ element of the squad was justifed with the Brazilian Vitor Saba turfed out as expected after a horrible stint with the club. It had been 288 days since their last win in the A-League with a deep exhale from Parramatta all the way to FFA HQ.

Melbourne Victory completely shat the bed the other week in Perth as Coe and his back four allowed Glory to somehow score two late goals which let the home side escape with a draw. After this capitulation how would they handle the attacking prowess of City in the derby? Quite well it turns out. In a 3-0 win that showed the rest of the league what they can do Victory would probably be just as happy with a clean sheet as they would with the goals considering their defence is seen as their achilles heel.

It was also two goals in two games for the Kiwi International Kosta Barbarouses. The speedy winger/forward is having a fantastic season but his lack of finishing has been holding him back until the last couple of weeks where he’s finally found his scoring boots. With losses to Glory and United also helping Victory along with the return of Delpierre and captain Mark Milligan imminent they’re looking very good for the run in.

Oh and Ange showed up with the Asian Cup too. Top night as they say in the classics.

THE BAD

– It was a little bit of a surprise when Fabio Ferriera left Adelaide United for the Central Coast Mariners. The man from Portugal headed to Gosford and would’ve made his debut against his old club if not for a ‘gentleman’s agreement’ between the respective coaches Josep Gombau and Phil Moss. This was an agreement where the Mariners would not play Ferriera against United unless a finals match (very unlikely).

The move smacks of something from the NSL or even the Stewart Inquiry. All it needed was Tony Labozetta having a hand in it. The player wanted to play, commentators labelled it as pathetic while former Mariners coach and football director Lawrie McKinna said that would never happen under his watch. A professional league doesn’t need something like this.

– Those poor poor Newcastle Jets. After something similar to the ‘Red Wedding’ from Game of Thrones, the side was still under the control of Tinkler, still barely holding a squad together and still coached by Phil Stubbins. After all of this they now had to get on the pitch again missing hundreds of games of experience. In front of a very small crowd with a smattering of protesters they held their own against the Roar coming back from 1-0 down to be the better team in the second half. Of course struggling teams in this sport are denied glory in many tragic ways and it was the case with this game too. With pretty much the final kick of the game a typically dangerous Broich free kick somehow made through a forest of legs and in to the back of the net to win the game for Roar 2-1. The term ‘shit out of luck‘ would be a good way to describe the team from the Hunter at the moment.

THE UGLY

– Another week another case for wondering what drugs A-League referees are actually on. This week out west, Kris Griffiths-Jones decided to let the game descend into a farce at times overshadowing Sydney FC’s biggest win of the season and more dropped points for the league leaders. Following a penalty that was a touch soft (depending on your view) there was the incident between new Sydney FC signing Jacques Faty and Dino Djulbic.

Yes it looked ugly and involved more than one player, but perhaps normally that may have resulted in a yellow and talking to rather than a red for each player with warning signs before this that the game was getting heated and intervention was needed. Then there was Petkovic staying on the pitch a fair bit longer that he perhaps should have, too. Great drama for the neutral I guess. While Glory deserved nothing from the game it is the poor officiating that can cost this league some post Asian Cup momentum with some of the more established fans of the sport that are more inclined to sit at home and watch games from overseas on pay TV rather than give the local comp a go. They don’t need much of an excuse to look down on the league and grab the remote.

The red cards are ugly for both Glory and Sydney FC with both having big games next week but Victory would be loving it. The Glory loss meant they were now only one point off the Perth side at the top while their opponents this week, Sydney, now don’t have a recognised pair of central defenders following the suspensions dished out to Petkovic and Faty.

-Being in Perth we do unfortunately have a love of glassing each other, a dying economy and stoneage drinking laws but three things we thankfully don’t have here are:

1-Pokies in pubs.
2-Alan Jones.
3-John Laws.

The last of these poxes on the nation interviewed Tim Cahill last week in a chat that was bizarre to say the least. After being continually asked about how much money he earns Tim promptly hung up on Laws and went back to packing for China. Whilst not strictly A-League related perhaps it shows that the sport is now getting somewhere near middle Australia when a has-been hate filled old man is using an Socceroos star for cheap publicity for his flagging show.

 

 

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.

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