The Good, The Bad and The Ugly of Round 18 of the A-League

THE GOOD

– There was nothing good to come out of Cyclone Marcia really but the postponement of the Roar V Victory match on Friday night now means Archie Thompson will now be playing his 200th game for Melbourne Victory in Melbourne. It’s deserving and should be celebrated no matter what your thoughts are on Archie. The smiling assassin has been another example of the stability at Melbourne Victory over their 10 year history being woven in to the fabric of the club like Kevin Muscat and he is only rivaled by Shane Smeltz or Besart Berisha for the best striker the league has seen. And it also seems he can keep going scoring goals and molesting corner flags for a couple of years yet. A true icon of the league in it’s first decade and a great milestone coming up this weekend.

– After having a couple of beers with [Adelaide] United fans before the Asian Cup Final they didn’t want to hear about any praise we had for their side and chances of winning the league this season. Two losses in the big one to Victory still bears scars with psychologists in Adelaide making a roaring trade from the Reds capitulations over the years. The win on Saturday night against the Wanderers was rousing though. A dramatic late winner to the star creator Carrusca after knocking on the door all through the second half has them just off top spot with Reds fans perhaps believing again they’re a chance after such drama…but don’t bring it up!

THE BAD

– There has always been a stereotype that people from Sydney are fickle when it comes to attending matches. It doesn’t help this view then when the back in-form Sydney FC can only attract just over 14,000 against a team from a couple of hours away. Normally there was always some kind of trackwork going on to stop fans from Gosford coming down to Sydney on the train but not this time which made the 100 or so away fans attending to support the Mariners also disappointing. Arnold’s teams are never teams that will have you thinking Brazil 1970 and regaling your kids in years to come, but they are finally on the right track after season after season of amateur performances on and off the pitch.

Is this not enough for Sky Blue fans to come down? Maybe they’re waiting for big games or the finals to make that effort. At least the ones that did attend saw a wonderful game with two special goals from Sydney and one from the Mariners.

– Speaking of the Mariners, their foray in to the Asian Champions League in 2015 was brief to say the least. The struggling side were played off the pitch by Chinese club Guangzho R & F with only just under 3,000 in attendance – and many of those supporting the Chinese side. This heaped more pressure on Phil Moss, the club man with the heart of gold but a very short expected life span as an A-League coach. It also didn’t help that the third goal was one of the most awful own goals you will ever see from anyone with Josh Rose’s pass back to the keeper like something you would do while playing FIFA on the X-Box and wanting to throw the game. Just a terrible night in Gosford but did they really need the Champions League this season? They’re struggling to field a full squad at times in the A-League lately.

THE UGLY

– The league in over 10 years has had its fair share of foreign players that have been less than successful. For every Berisha, Broich or Fred there’s been three Leandro Loves having fans of the sport swear to never watch A-League again. Then there are marquee disasters like Brian Deane and the coke-bloated Mario Jardel. It’s a shame then when a name player who makes the grade gets injured with it very doubtful he’ll play in the league again. Damien Duff could’ve been perceived to have been coming to Melbourne to pick up a paycheck and swan around with his history of two premier league titles and cup wins with Chelsea and Blackburn. He didn’t though. Duff showed up on day one for pre-season training and was the model professional even in the autumn of a career that sees him as one of the greatest Ireland has produced. After 11 games for City though it seems it’s over with an ankle/achilles injury putting the winger out for the season and with Duff indicating he wants his kids to go to school in Ireland, it seems that’ll be it. Oh well, I’m sure some Brazilian journeyman fresh from the Maltese league will take his place and then leave after three months.

– You know Rugby is back on when pitches seem not as pristine and there’s hastily painted over advertising signs on the pitch. Ground sharing is a given in Australia with a lack of major venues for major domestic clubs but it always makes it look a bit, well, shithouse. There’s nothing that can really be done about it of course. Just a gripe unless everyone does the Phoenix option and puts up a temporary ground.

 

Follow Dennis Gedling on Twitter: @ColonelDG

 

 

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. Peter Fuller says

    Denis,
    I’m very pleased by your noting Damien Duff; his behaviour and performance has been noteworthy, exemplary even. I’ve no doubt that he has provided the very best model for City’s younger players, and his determined running has never flagged during matches, even when he has lacked support. He will be a huge loss, although that was certainly disguised in the second half against Adelaide, when everyone lifted, not coincidentally IMO when David Williams was subbed in.

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