The Good, The Bad & The Ugly of Round 23 of the A-League

THE GOOD

Game of the round was most definitely out West where Glory finally had a little luck go their way for their first win since January 2. It was a game that at halftime Glory looked like having no chance of winning being 1-0 down after an insipid first half against a side with nothing to play for. Wanderers were expected to bring the kids over for the game with such a busy schedule but they went full strength and were fantastic for the most part. Personally this was also the first time I had seen Kerem Bulut in the flesh and boy can he play. Size, strength and pace are all in abundance with this most fractured of talents. He just needs to work on brain power to be the complete package.

But I digress, back to Glory. Even with a host of young players missing on international duty with the Olyroos, Glory still managed to fight back against a side also missing senior players. The much maligned Richard Garcia controlled the midfield while the equally criticised Brazilan winger Sidnei was having his best game of the season. Even when Glory had blown a 2-1 lead they still kept going for the win they desperately needed and got it through a quite stunning strike from the Bunbury boy Josh Risdon to give the smallish crowd something to be very happy about.

The RBB were over from Sydney for the game too giving Perth Oval a bit of colour and vibrancy with one lady mimicking the famous Colombian bird man who is normally seen a major tournaments. There were the odd flare or eight but the validity of them can be debated at another time.

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Seen as the biggest clash of the weekend it was a shame that Sydney FC’s thrashing of the league leaders Phoenix was completely shadowed by Australia’s cricket triumph in Melbourne. Sydney were merciless against the apparently high flying Phoenix even with their star man Marc Janko on international duty. Phoenix were also decimated by the international weekend (see ugly) but they were completely outplayed by a Sydney side who had a mere blip the week before against Melbourne City.

It has almost been a week but well done to the Socceroos for their 2-2 draw with the world champions Germany in everyone’s favourite town; Kaiserslautern. It wasn’t like Australia were plucky underdogs parking the bus and taking their chances against a dominant German side. They controlled the game at times and played the game with the measured attacking system that Ange has developed over time and has proven to be very successful. Vaughan’s article on the Socceroos draw on the site also asks if this reinvented side has won back the hearts and minds of casual fans after the conservative years of Verbeek and Osieck.

The Olyroos have also been doing quite well in recent qualifiers for Rio 2016 albeit against weak opposition in the first round. This team has promise with Taggart fit again, Brillante now at a club that appreciates his talent in Italy along with Amini, De Silva and Liverpool’s Brad Smith all developing nicely. This is also with the currently injured Terry Antonis, Corey Gamiero and Kwame Yeboah to all come back, too. After a disastrous time for the side in previous qualifying campaigns hopefully this talent can right the ship.

THE BAD

Pop a fork in Brisbane, they’re done. It was a horrible week for the champions with their washed out farce on Sunday, a complete humiliation by the Wanderers on the Wednesday and then a meek performance against City in their big 6 pointer on Saturday night. The Dutchman Frans Thijssen hasn’t really improved things after Mike Mulvey was sacked and not making even one sub on Saturday was bizarre to say the least. He was always supposed to be a fill-in until the end of the season but they are currently a team going nowhere. Injuries have been a massive issue in the past month or so (Broich is their heart and soul) but they would have to now rely on City being more erratic that normal to sneak in to the 6.

Adelaide United fans are frustrated at the best of times but another injury to their star man Marcelo Carrusca must have them wondering what they have done in a past life to deserve such luck. The skillful Argentine, who is one of the best players in the league, if not the best, scored the only goal in a tight affair in Newcastle but has again been struck down with a quad complaint that will keep him out until at least the finals. There was also a nasty incident involving their other key player, Nigel Boogard, landing on his head and being stretchered off. Can one of the others from United’s latin clique fill the massive void left by the #10? They need someone to lift with so much at stake and still currently in fifth.

THE UGLY

Not a great day for the Phoenix yesterday. Their first game back at Westpac Stadium in quite some time was windswept to say the least. The game was also starting around the same time that Martin Guptill was being sent off the MCG in abrasive fashion by Brad Haddin didn’t help. It meant most in Wellington would have their eyes on the cricket rather than this clash so a paltry 6000 were in attendance and that’s being generous.

While the timing was awful for the game that was their biggest of the season, they were again decimated by an international weekend. With both New Zealand and Australia in action with friendlies the Nix were missing key players Burns, McGlinchey, Boxall and Fenton with young guns Boyd and Stevens also missing. While most clubs can survive without a one or two players missing, Phoenix are fielding a second string side whenever the international team is in action because their core group is made up of All Whites players. It just seems a tad unfair.

Foxtel and their thirst for every last penny means there is no rest for teams over the international break which kind of dilutes teams and makes it an uneven competition. In a league that is so tight this season (2 points between the top 5 teams) a lot is at stake, so surely something can be done to bring the A-League in line with the rest of the world and not play on designated international weekends. I wonder if they have this problem in Bhutan.

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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