The Good, The Bad & The Ugly of Round 6 of the A-League

THE GOOD

-Well done to the Central Coast Mariners for showing some of the resolve that has had them punching above their weight since day one in this league. When 2-0 down against Melbourne City in front of a crowd that seemed to have been lobotomised given how lacking the atmosphere was they somehow managed to drag themselves back for a 2-2 draw right at the death. The dramatic equaliser from the ‘harsh yet fair’ captain John Hutchison was probably the most flamboyant thing that the dour midfielder will ever do unless he stars in a local theatre restaurant production on the life of Liberace or goes on to Dancing with the Stars. The comeback showed there was still life in the side after a horrible start to the season that turned around some 75 minutes in to this match. Phil Moss says he wants his players to bottle passion shown in the final minutes where they came back from the dead but with the squad they have and the issues they still face it’s not as simple as that.

 

-Before this round Brisbane would either slip further in to the mire or show they could still be a fluent beast. Their veteran creator Liam Miller had walked out, they had been humiliated at home by Melbourne City with tensions spilling over on to the pitch between their spud goalkeeper and an over the hill left back. They came up against another desperate team in the Jets on Friday night and ran a clinic. It was vintage Roar who dominated possession, worked just as hard when not in possession to pressure the Jets to cough the ball up and even could afford to have a penalty saved on the way to a 4-0 drubbing. It was irrepressible from the Roar and much needed for Mulvey and their own reputation by showing a cohesive team performance. To see if this is a mere little jump in form or a return to something near the colossus we used to know will be known a bit more when they host Victory this weekend.

 

THE BAD

-While Brisbane had some vindication after their awful start to the season the same can’t be said for their opponents last Friday night; Newcastle. You knew it was bad mojo when Phil Stubbins came out in the press conference saying the Roar’s Thomas Broich looked a little slower this season pretty much goading the star. In a limp performance that was in part down to Roar’s domination of possession the side looked completely out of date. Kick and rush tactics, long balls to no one and butchered shots on target.  There’s also some questionable tactical decisions. When chasing a lead the attacking Argentines Jeronimo Nuemann and Marcos Flores were left on the bench until being subbed on late (Nuemann) or not at all (Flores) which was baffling at best. Then there was the decisions made so far this season that included the much derided Dave Carney playing some roaming role in the midfield. Free range donkey perhaps you could call his position. Stubbins is a middle aged and English so seen as old school and not progressive compared to some of the more exciting continental based tacticians such as Joseph Gombau in the league which is unfair considering his distinguished career in Victoria and South East Asia. Stubbins is also a little hamstrung though with a list that’s one of the worst in the league with support that seem to go to the game for something to do in Newcastle on a Friday night. Then there’s the future of the club in its current guise that’s still up in the air with Nathan Tinkler trying to offload his licence among his many lawsuits.

 

-Speaking of Gombau. Rumours are filtering through that Yokohama Marinos are looking to the Catalonian as their new coach with immediate effect. With the style of play he has brought to the league so far on top of his eccentric demeanor and obvious love of his players (and twisties) it would a massive loss if he left way before his time. Let’s hope it is just bullshit.

 

-It’s been a while since we’ve had a complete spud be signed from overseas but Malick Mane didn’t disappoint in the past 6 weeks. The Senegalese striker was seen as a big coup for the Mariners after signing him on loan from a Swedish club but Malick didn’t settle in to say the least. His first game showed good signs but he eventually found himself out of the starting XI without making any impact at all. Then it blew up on Wednesday night following the Mariners’ loss to Adelaide in the FFA Cup Semi Final. Mane stormed in to the changerooms, through his boots on the floor and told his teammates they were ‘shit’ before storming out. Mane has now been sent back to Sweden. Remember when this happened about 3 times a season?

 

 THE UGLY

-Oh how we laughed during The Dream in 2000 when Roy and Hg made Fatso the Fat Arsed wombat their official mascot for the Sydney Olympics. So it was with with some bemusement that ‘Nut Meg’, who bears an uncanny resemblance to Fatso, was unveiled as the mascot for the Asian Cup. I guess he is cute and cuddly for the kids in a lovable rogue/Mick Molloy kind of way if released as a plush toy. It’s fitting though that a wombat is selected as the mascot seeing as that species of marsupial is only limited to the East Coast of Australia much like the Asian Cup so Western Australia miss out on both.

 

Mark Bosnich and Brett Emerton pose with AFC Asian Cup official mascot Nutmeg the wombat at Wild Life Sydney Zoo on November 11, 2014 in Sydney, Australia.

-I’m also hoping it won’t be ugly for the Socceroos performance in Japan that may have been played by the time this is published. With no room for friendlies before the Asian Cup this is the last chance for Ange to drill his beliefs in to the players he’s selected which again resembles a show called ‘Who wants to be a Socceroo’ as Francis Leach mentioned on ABC TV the other week. People are nervous.

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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