Five things we learnt in the A-League this weekend

16/09/2018 Posted by admin

Perth Glory players celebrate a goal by Andrew Keogh in the A-League match against Sydney FC. Photo: Mark Nolan

1. Perth are the real deal.

It has taken nine games but any doubt that Perth Glory are genuine title challengers were washed away with the storm that preceded their comeback victory over Sydney FC on Thursday night. The league leaders cemented their spot at the top of the table and underlined their title credentials with two goals in seven minutes against another pre-season favourite for the ring. Often this season they have displayed genuine quality but this round they finally matched that with the mentality required to go far in this competition.

2. Owners aren’t ready to have controlling stake.

They may have improved revenue streams at their clubs and, sure, there is an argument that they should have a greater say in operations – but this was a week we learnt A-League owners still haven’t shown the pragmatism to have a controlling stake in the competition. The handling of the Mariners’ one-off game at North Sydney Oval along with the Wanderers’ approach to player payments again highlighted how a league run by owners would be fraught with danger. The Wanderers’ management of the Club World Cup prizemoney dispute has been diabolical and could undermine Tony Popovic’s season while the Mariners continue to alienate rusted-on fans in pursuit of a historically nonchalant supporter base.

3. Wellington Phoenix are in the entertainment business.

No club in the A-League has to work as hard to capture fans’ attention than Wellington Phoenix. Few in Australia care too much for the New Zealand club and results alone aren’t sufficient enough as a history of being erratic is well ingrained in viewers’ minds. Instead, they have to entertain when they win. Much like their Rugby League brethren, the New Zealand Warriors, they have to possess flair to make Australian’s stand up and victories have to be emphatic. This season, they’re doing that. The pace of their attack, the skill of their forwards and the creativity of their midfield might just make them everyone’s second favourite team this season.

4. Sydney FC need reinforcements.

It is no indictment on the present crop of players but the two long-term injuries at Sydney FC have crippled their chances of clinching the premiership. They were strong against Perth Glory, close to a win even, but they were visibly slower without the nimble duo of Corey Gameiro and Ali Abbas. Now void of their work rate and speed on the left flank, the club appear somewhat vulnerable. A breakaway is appearing with the Glory joined by Melbourne Victory and Adelaide and if the SKy Blues hope to close that, at least one good signing is required.

5. NSW Coasties out at sea.

The capitulation of both Newcastle Jets and Central Coast Mariners said just as much about them as it did about their opponents. Sadly, neither of the two look like making their mark on the season even with the generosity of the A-League finals series. The Jets crumbled like a cellar dweller after the Phoenix equalised, so much so the New Zealanders netted two more in 10 minutes. Tellingly for the Mariners, they fought hard for a 3-0 loss to Melbourne Victory. Without direction in attack and leadership in defence, it could have been much more ugly. Days at the beach.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

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