The Good, The Bad & The Ugly of Round 3 of the A-League


-It’s not strictly the A-League but Western Sydney Wanderers are on the cusp of a truly historic moment for the sport that was in domestic disarray this time 10 years ago. Wanderers were by no means the better side on Saturday night in the first leg of the Asian Champions League Final but Tom Juric, the latest to be dubbed the next Viduka, slid the ball home to send the locals into delirium.

Many think of the RBB and a guy with the body of a ken doll holding a megaphone when it comes to the Wanderers but for anyone who was been out to Parramatta for a home game you also see it’s a community club in every sense of the word. It’s a club created from community meetings and listening to fans with many in the stands from different background and different generations with hearts and minds most definitely in the possession of the club that seems like it’s been around since the original Wanderers over a century ago.

Others will have better superlatives than I for how monumental it could be if Wanderers get a result in Ridayh next Sunday morning. Also spare a thought for Adelaide United who made the final in the early days of the A-League when the level of skill and professionalism was nowhere near what it is now. An effort that arguably was bigger than what Wanderers have already achieved.

-Ever since David Collins washed up at Sullivan Bay in 1803 there has always been a case of ‘anything you can do I can do better’ between Sydney and Melbourne and it seems it also extends to the A-League. It was Melbourne’s turn for the derby last Saturday night and much like the Sydney version the week before it had everything with the exception of no Brazilian melt down or a pitch invasion.

Love or hate Archie Thompson and Beshart Berisha, this game once again proved that they are the biggest big game players the league as seen in its first 10 years. Victory were irrepressible in the second half after jagging an equaliser moments before half time after City had shaded it as the better team for the first 45. Many thought Victory were favourites before the season and that view now would’ve gone ten fold. Much like Sydney FC showed last week Victory still own their town against the upstarts.

-In the early game on the Sunday Phoenix quietly continued their good start to season with a 4-1 belting of Newcastle in Wellington. Once again Phoenix was led by the in-form Nathan Burns who now finally seems to be finding the consistency he showed back as a talented young star with Adelaide United. Burns hasn’t had the best of times since leaving United in 2008. He was in and out of the AEK Athens side and then made an ill-advised move to South Korea where he hardly got a game before heading home. The one time Socceroo may finally be settled and at 27 there is still hope for his international career to continue after not getting a look in since playing as a super sub in the 2011 Asian Cup.

-United also continued on their way with a fantastic effort to do away with Perth Glory. While many could say Glory were just putting out their usual pish away from home but their set tactics were strangled by the cunning of Gombau and the work effort of his players in red who, like Victory, are the yardstick of the competition. This was all after the same players played 120 minutes on the Wednesday night in the cup against Sydney FC too.

-Let’s no forget Sydney FC though who had a good win in Brisbane to kick the round off on Friday. It will be remembered for the magnificent goals in a 2-0 win. The first one from Marc Janko is already being referred to as goal of the year. The Austrian International took advantage of a poor clearance from the Roar keeper (who we’ll get to in Ugly) and had the smarts to control the ball and then send it in to the empty net with the keeper off his line.

Janko’s goal couldn’t be matched but the Serbian Dimitrijevic tried with his curling shot finishing a fantastic 1-2 with the inform Alex Brosque.



-It’s safe to say the champs Brisbane Roar are in a massive rut. Their effort on Friday night was the worst since the Farina era with with a performance that had the clickkety clack sounds of Roar fans on keyboards all over the city after the game registering their disgust on social media and the like.

It’s more than just losing their star striker Berisha and right back Franjic though. It’s something more than Arnie’s anti-football tactics grinding down the side too. Roar offered nothing in any way as far as cohesive team work went. No passes strung together, none of the attacking flair of last season and a back four that has no idea at the moment. The defensive frailties may also be down to their reserve keeper Jamie Young who has had a horrendous time since returning to Brisbane and deputising for the injured Michael Theo. Bombscare might be the correct term to use if he wants to change his name like Theo did. Young did leave his former club due to a punch up with a teammate during a game. At least if that happens it will be entertaining for us watching at home.

Has that ‘Mulvey Out’ banner been retrieved from the trash by Roar fans yet?

-It was an awful crowd at the SFS during the week for the FFA Cup match between Sydney FC and Adelaide United. In what can only be described as an NSL type attendance less than 5000 lobbed to see a great match go to extra time. With the SFS being a bastard to get to at the best of times perhaps the FFA and Sydney FC missed a chance to take this game to the suburbs to show off the club and play up the grassroots angle this competition is supposed to promote, seeing as the crowd was so small. With Wollongong seen as a potential club when the next TV deal is struck; a game down at WIN may have sufficed to promote the club in the Sutherland area. The attendances for the FFA Cup as far as A-League clubs go are awful (and will be again for the Glory v Victory match) but much like the league 10 years ago it will start off small and build up big.



-It was disappointing to have the news confirmed this week that David Villa would be cutting short his 10 game ‘sentence’ due to family commitments and commitments to his parent club New York City. That doesn’t excuse his pissweak effort in the closing stages of the Melbourne Derby though. The 31 year old vanished as the game ticked on hardly making an effort to run and drive to try and get his side back in to the match. Yes, some of Muscat’s changes worked including putting the young Galloway in a more central role to nullify the Spaniard.

What wasn’t forgivable though was his stomping off the ground at full time and straight down the tunnel without shaking the hands of any Victory players. We get that he doesn’t want to be here but to show complete disrespect for the club makes you question the guest player appearance rule and whether it should be allowed. If buy outs like the City one happen then this kind of cheapening of the league may continue if not done right and other clubs are nothing more than like a franchise for a McDonalds in Springvale or Rockingham.

-Staying on City, their second half in the derby was nothing short of awful. With all the hype emanating from the club in the lead up to this season and a strong showing in their first match they only have 2 points from 9 to start the season. Perhaps the coach John Van’t Schip is a little too conservative with the squad that they have when it comes to strikers. When Villa leaves in a week and with Josh Kennedy set to not sign until January it will be left to the much maligned David Williams to lead the attack for City unless other changes are made. The owners of the club were in attendance on Saturday night and may hire and fire Ambromovich style until they get the right mix. If this is to happen it would create headlines but wouldn’t be a good advertisement for the foreign ownership and the league in general.

-Adelaide United’s Awer Mabil is a fantastic talent with rumours of a move to Germany coming up in the new year. After coming on as a sub against Perth Glory he scored a fantastic goal to put United 2-0 up but it was his second chance that made it on to wacky sports news the world over. After receiving a pass from Cirio and with an empty goal begging Mabil managed to somehow put the ball over the crossbar from a yard out. He’ll hope that doesn’t make the DVD being shopped around the potential new clubs in Europe.


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.


  1. Can’t say much for the standard of the A-League if Crio is getting a game for Adelaide. I thought his son Tom was the round ball enthusiast?
    On a serious note, the AFL must be getting twitchy about the A-League crowds. Caro on Offsiders said the Melbourne derby drew the 3rd biggest crowd at Etihad this year.
    Great stuff.

  2. Grest stuff Dennis. Thanks.
    Sydney look really good in patches – weren’t they dominant in that 2nd half v Reds?
    The send off stuffed the match and neither coach seemed commited to extra time.
    More FFA TV tmrw night – great midweek fayre!

  3. dennis_gedling says

    They’re very much a team that turns it on in the second half Sydney FC. Not sure if this is a Graham Arnold thing or it’s just the way it’s working out at the moment. Against Roar last Friday though they were all over them like a cheap suit from kick off. I actually forgot to mention Williams’ red card as one of the negatives. It’s like he dropped some high powered blotter acid at half time.

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