The Good, The Bad and The Ugly of Round 17 of the A-League

THE GOOD

– Are the champs back? Three wins in a row and a foot hold in the top 6 seem to indicate they might be. These results have been against one team out of form and two others that are complete pish though, it has to be said. They also were not the most convincing of performances with two wins coming right at the death. They do seem to have some cohesion under Frans Thijssen though. This is also with Broich now back to near his dangerous best rather than sulking around the field pining for his lost Albanian love.

The much maligned Costa Rican Jean Carlos Soloranzo has a lot to do with the ship being righted. Booted from Roar after the signing of Berisha in 2011 he failed at Victory, milled about in Costa Rica playing four games in a season and then returned to the Roar this season where he has now scored five goals in the past six games. Will this last? A hamstring injury might derail that but Roar at least aren’t spent for the season like their grand final opponents Western Sydney are.

The big test comes this weekend when they host Victory in which will be Berisha’s first trip back to Lang Park since he headed south.

– The Phoenix might be in poor form (1 point in 9) but at least they had another win off the pitch with a game at their purpose built ’boutique’ ground named (get this) the “Brendan Foot Supersite Hutt Recreational Ground”. With Westpac Stadium being used for the Cricket World Cup the Nix were on the move like gypsies again, having to play at a ground built in conjunction with a local council and sponsored by a local KIA dealer. Sounds like something done by amateurs but it was worked for the first of its three games at the ground with just under 10,000 attending.

This is to the equal or better of what they normally get to the sparse Westpac Stadium with better atmosphere and more people closer to the action. Even Ernie Merrick has supported the move. The club might be on to something here with many clubs in MLS in the United States using more smaller stadiums to give fans a better experience and create more of a home ground advantage.

THE BAD

– Another week and another incident involving shambolic refereeing. Never in the short history of the A-League has there been a baffling penalty call like the one given to Sydney FC in ‘The Big Blue'(TM) on Saturday night. Not only was Victory’s Brazilian import Gui Finkler not even looking at Seb Ryall when trying to clear the ball out of his own penalty area but it seems he didn’t even touch him when Seb fell to the ground fooling the referee and sending the Sydney fans in to their usual bandwagon delirium. Seb even had the gaul to give Finkler a clip on the back of the head after the penalty was given.

The decision ultimately went a long way to costing Victory points but then again so did Victory’s common party trick of being unable to close out a game. Once again they allowed Shane Smeltz to go crazy against them, too. It’s only in these games that the New Zealand International seems to come alive with most of the season at Sydney FC so far spent on the bench, on the treatment table or with one eye on the exit door for his next big pay day.

At least the FFA have launched an investigation in to the incident to see if Ryall has a case to answer. Surely he does. Everyone bar Graham Arnold and anyone sky blue agreed that it was a nonsense penalty decision.

THE UGLY

– Much like refereeing decisions that put a rip in the space time continuum due to their shitness there seems to also be a weekly incident involving the Jets too. This week it was ex-Jets striker and general hero of the Hunter Joel Griffiths getting in to a spat with current coach Phil Stubbins. Griffiths was of course part of the ‘Newcastle 5’ sacked a couple of weeks ago in a day of bloodletting by the much loathed club owner and uber-bogan Nathan Tinkler.

How did they get in to a spat? Did they see each other down the shops? Were they arguing in an internet chat room about One Direction? No, it seems the five sacked were still training with the club but in a separate group which just means more questions than answers. If they are sacked then why are they still at the club? PFA issues with their contracts? [correct – Ed] Despite getting a point on the weekend and falling just short of getting a draw against the Roar, the situation is still, with all intents and purposes, a cluterf–k and needs to be resolved.

– As I write this some shocking news has come in that has left me speechless. That news is that Adelaide has a nightclub open on a Sunday. The news attached to it stating that Glory players Andy Keogh and Josh Risdon have been arrested outside said nightclub overnight I guess isn’t good for the league leaders too. One thing about Glory this season has been about the bond between the players. How far this bond goes might be an issue. There were the pictures on twitter of their Australia Day bonding sessions involving empty vodka bottles and the odd carton or two that has now been followed with this incident following their fortunate draw with United that afternoon that kept them top by a point.

How the club handles this could shape the rest of their season. Risdon and Keogh have been key players in Glory’s rise up the table. Suspension? Fine? Sacking would be out of the question considering it was a minor charge by as Omar Little says ‘a man needs a code’. With the club struggling for form at the moment and a show cause notice being issued last week about underhanded payments that will probably end up being a fine, Glory need to use this bond between the group to stick it out and hang on at the head of the table.

 

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. I’ve had enough of refs/umpires across a range of codes being protected species. Delovski’s penalty call was so far off the acceptable standard for someone officiating at the highest level, it was laughable. As you say Dennis, this isn’t an isolated incident – you could highlight some terrible officiating week-in and week-out in the A-League. Old mate Strebre needs to face the music for this, not be protected by the FFA and waved away with a ‘we all make mistakes’ shtick.

    No Broich, no Brisbane…

  2. As usual, Muscat was embarrassing – he is a disgrace and makes it difficult to support the Victory – otherwise a great side to watch (except for Berisha’s histrionics).
    The players aren’t good enough to knock the refs but a more important Q is how can the standard be raised. Perhaps the authorities could try an innovative approach – surely “bigger” leagues are out of season for much of our schedule. What about their refs coming over as scholarship/mentor status and helping improve our officiators, blend the rulings across regions and provide a reserve pool for aspiring full-timers in places like USA…don’t know why the refs aren’t more “International” like the players?

  3. Dennis Gedling says

    I think they did bring a couple of Japanese refs in the season before last but even one of them made a monumental cock up if I do recall.

    Bosnich’s four point plan on Sunday night made a lot of sense.

    -Referees can explain their decisions in the post game coverage.

    -Expand the experience of referees to include refs in Asia.

    -Pressure on FIFA to allow video challenges.

    -A summit including all key stakeholders of the game (FFA suits, coaches, refs etc.)

    Won’t happen mind.

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