The Good, The Bad and The Ugly of Round 24 of the A-League

THE GOOD

– Will the real league favourites please stand up? While Kev wants their collective arses still in the seats it seems Victory may now have to claim favouritism no matter how much they hate it. Their 3-0 demolition of the Phoenix in New Zealand was one of the more impressive wins of the season. It was all happening early on when Gui Finkler scored after some wonderful support from Berisha. With Milligan now settled back in after various Socceroos adventures their midfield has its steely resolve back in front of a leaky defence.

With a game in hand and two of their four games left being against Tweedledum and Tweedledee (the Mariners and Jets) even the scatty nature of their back four and much derided keeper Nathan Coe can’t stop Victory finishing top no matter what Muscat says or denies now.

– Graham Arnold may have moaned and wailed about tactics like someone on the raft of Medusa but United got the points and were back in business on Saturday night. A wonderful and long overdue strike from Awer Mabil late on was the difference at a virtually empty and rain sodden Sydney Football Stadium. Mabil’s strike was great and all but the true hero was Eugene Galekovic. The Socceroo and long time shot stopper for United made a string of unbeliebable saves to deny Sydney and show perhaps why he is still the best keeper in the league. It was also impressive for United to win without their talisman Carrusca in the damp conditions that would normally limit their free flowing style.

THE BAD

– New rorting allegations made against Perth Glory are again very serious. With the amount of monumental cock ups made by this club since the inception of the A-League being found guilty and being booted out of the finals when currently in second place may be the death knell for the ‘brand’ of the club with many fans walking away for good. This is all still hearsay of course with no official word yet from FFA HQ about a punishment with Glory being given until Wednesday of this week to reply; it doesn’t look good though.

It also doesn’t look good when the controversial owner of the club, Tony Sage, tries to distance himself from the affair leaving his CEO Jason Brewer out to dry. Many will not return to the club with him in charge and want change but then again takes the licence. There are only so many situations like what with happened to the Perth Wildcats when Jack Bendat brought the club to save it from extinction more than anything else. While a club from Perth will always be around (as per the TV deal) things may have to change depending on events this week.

It will also be interesting to see how the FFA dish out punishment if it comes to that. This could be a landmark case for which all other punishments will be handed down should rorting like this be proven and happen again. And it may well happen again with these allegations being unearthed by a journalist, not the FFA which poses even more questions about what clubs get away with at times. For once I agree with Craig Foster in that all clubs should be investigated for the integrity of the league more than anything.

– While there was perhaps a legitimate excuse for Phoenix’s shellacking by Sydney the week before there was really no excuse for their loss to Victory which is its second 3-0 capitulation in as many weeks at home. Victory were fantastic but Phoenix again failed to show any control or swagger that the club had shown just two weeks ago to put them top of the league. Their squad is threadbare at best but being cut open two weeks in a row like this must kill the confidence of the squad. Merrick has been shown to be a master tactician. Let’s see how he turns this around.

THE UGLY

– Changing the channels after the humiliating loss for the Cats to the A-League showed another bleak and dark situation on my screen. It wasn’t the scoreline (Glory won 2-0 afterall) but Hunter Stadium looked like something from an Eastern Bloc country circa 1981. A near empty stadium, driving rain, an industrial surrounding and disgruntled locals were the order of the day. What is left of the Jets’ faithful ‘squadron’ group also managed to unfurl a banner again asking Nathan Tinkler to get out of their club. Well it referred to a muppet so I can only assume it’s Tinkler. All that was needed was a half time display by Hind Helicopters and a tank drive-by.

It doesn’t look like Tinkler will be relinquishing control any time soon. Footage yesterday showed Tinkler having a beer and a laugh with another ‘benevolent leader’ in Tony Sage but when will the tiny crowds and complete and utter loathing of his ownership and the coach he installed at the club get to a point where the FFA have to step in? Tinkler is no fool and can provide examples of the FFA stepping in and messing up previous situations. Jets fans just have to sit tight much like their opponents yesterday.

 

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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