The Good, The Bad and The Ugly of Round 20 of the A-League

THE GOOD

It might get a bit like a broken record this week but Sydney FC march on with another win. The result didn’t make them look dominant performance-wise but they now sit on the doorstep of the top two and are clearly the form team of the competition. I mentioned all of this last week and again I’ll mention Marc Janko. The big Austrian (captain of his country no less) scored again with a goal that would have been on the highlights reel of a tricky winger with a clever finish from a tight angle and a shit celebration to follow. He now equals Berisha’s record for most goals in succession in the league and is a handful. Maybe it’s all that taurine in the red bull, his personal sponsor.

While Janko’s goals have been very important it is also down to one of the signings Arnold made during the Asian Cup. Senegalese International Mickael Taveres has quietly gone about his business since signing for the club and has transformed the team. The defensive midfielder can stay in front Sydney’s defence which means their full backs can attack more and get more crosses in to Janko. Profit! He also complements Milos Dimitrijevic who plays a more ‘box-to-box’ role which also leaves Antonis as a very handy super sub on the bench. It sounds a little simplistic to say that is why they are now looking very much like likely lads but this move and the tweeking Arnie is doing is working with interest.

– Again, kind of repeating myself from last week but the Phoenix continue to impress with another win over a fellow challenger. In their final game at their makeshift ground the Phoenix outlasted a currently out of sorts United 2-0 thanks, again, to the wonderful signings Nathan Burns and Roly Bonevacia. An X-Factor in a tight finish to the season could be the signing of the ex-Jets firebrand Joel Griffiths. The veteran can be described as a little combative at times but he scored in only his second game and like Smeltz for Sydney FC could be that perfect player on the bench to use when it’s an emergency and the coach needs to break the glass. This week Phoenix travel to Perth for the long distance derby for a battle between first and a second. Can Phoenix make the final? It would probably be the FFA’s worst nightmare.

– Remember Dimi Petratos? He was probably the best of many wonderkids that was part of Brisbane Roar’s all-conquering title winning side last season scoring a hattrick against his old team Sydney FC and complementing Thomas Broich on the other wing pinging in crosses for Berisha to put in the back of the net at will. Well, he’s a been a bit quiet this season and this may be due to someone else keeping him out of the side: Brandon Borello. After scoring for Roar in their huge win against Urawa Red Diamonds in the champions league midweek, the 19 year-old South Australian did it again in the Roar’s fourth win in five matches with his goal the difference against Wanderers.

This kid really has seemed to have found his feet under the temporary Roar coach Frans Thijssen after being all but ignored by Mike Mulvey to prove that his form for the Under-20 Australian side isn’t a fluke. Watch this boy.

 

THE BAD

– Victory fans left AAMI Park with more steam coming out of ears after some would say being robbed by the referee in another match. While the Sydney FC debacle a few weeks ago was just that for its blatant stupidity in the penalty decision there was a bit more of a grey area with that offside call that wasn’t given on Saturday night. The lack of an offside call ultimately saw opponents Perth Glory go ahead 1-0 through their rough diamond Andy Keogh right on half time. While benefit of the doubt is supposed to be given the attacking team in a tight call such as this (to promote more scoring in the sport), the decision made a tense atmosphere with so much at stake even more vitriolic in a game that had both sets of fans in a state of cat like readiness in between the baying at the officials.

The flag should’ve gone up and it didn’t. Just like a handball was missed when Glory had a chance in the second half to complement a handball by a Glory defender right on half time that also would’ve resulted in a penalty. Then there was also Mitch Nicholls’ second yellow card was probably a tad harsh and Fahid Ben Khalfallah’s flailing limbs. All agree that the officiating, again, was abysmal in a game that was dramatic as it was tough.

Whether or not that was truly the reason Victory dropped points can be debated about on social media comments sections and internet forums like most do in modern times when skiving off work but the fact is they did drop points again. In the past 10 games they only have one more point than Glory and two points than Adelaide. These two teams have been getting written off in the press and by fans more than Victory have post-Asian Cup. A suprising stat when Kenny Lowe trotted it out in his post match interview on Saturday night. With Ansell and Delpierre now finally together in the middle of defence Kev finally has his first choice pairing and he has no excuse as to injuries or suspensions at the back now. With the best team on paper their continuing dropping of points adds more intrigue to what is going to be a fascinating end to the season in seven weeks’ time. Maybe they have been shafted by the refs or unlucky in some other way.

THE UGLY

– Or should it be the repetitive? Once again going over old ground City kept up their usual inconsistency having a day out against United last week and then falling to crisis club Central Coast Mariners 1-0. While Liam Reddy made a fantastic save at the death to keep it 1-0 to the Mariners, Melbourne City were largely second best. This was second best to a club that had for some reason sacked their coach Phil Moss on the Friday – some two days before the match – rather than the customary time of earlier in the week so the team could prepare. I could go on again about the City coach, the money men who own the club losing patience with said coach and a top heavy side but its been said by better people than I and less often.

– Once again a potential ‘ugly’ and this is a personal opinion but the Foo Fighters haven’t released anything scarcely relevant in almost 18 years. Still, they’re popular and have been playing at big shows over the country these past couple of weeks. Three of these places have been venues that also host A-League games. While it’s hard to tell if Suncorp was affected – seeing as it looks like a World War One battlefield at the best of times – NIB Stadium and Hindmarsh both hosts games this weekend and are hoping their quite lush surfaces hold up following the concerts by the Fooeys with their dad rock.

 

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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