After watching the previous 4 games of the season where we have conceded 11 goals and scored 2, I think it’s safe to ask the question where to from here?
Yes, we won the derby breaking a 3 year streak. However did that really mean much when we lose the next 3 games in a row? To go from the highs of the Sydney Derby to the 2-0 defeat to Perth all but sealing us to no higher than 6th on the ladder and guaranteeing us an away final. And with Wellington and Newcastle right on our heels behind by 2 points we may not even make the finals at this rate. Even Mariners are looking more likely to take that 6th spot that we are. The only comfort we can take is that we probably won’t finish last thanks to Adelaide’s abysmal season.
And in the Champions League to be completely outclassed in all aspects, save for Neville and Nichols linking up for our first goal of the group stages. Yes people will argue that we had no chance against the likes of Oscar and Hulk, but we have won the ACL before, in what seems to be a distant memory. I might also remind people that a Brisbane Roar side beat the team with the worlds highest paid player Carlos Tevez, and both Sydney and Melbourne made the round of 16 last season with all the Asian money being thrown around.
Gone are the days that our defence won us matches, when we had Spira, Golec, NTS as our CBs. Now we have Borda and Hamill at CB representing us in the intercontinental competition. Although mind you Hamill was there in 2014, only at his native RB position where he isn’t just as useful as a traffic cone. If Clisby and Neville can back up after 3 days, why can’t Aspro and Cornthwaite?
Instead we have stacked our midfield, and even after a 5-1 defeat Popa spits out the same “we won possession” line. Last time I checked, the team with the most goals won the match, not the team with the most possession.
Image credit: AFP PHOTO / Johannes EISELE
So back to the original question of where to from here?
It’s clear that on 0 points and a GD of -8, we face a mountain of a climb to get out of the group stage of the ACL. In fact if we don’t get a win from FC Seoul then we may as well throw our youths players onto the pitch to give them a run.
We must now turn to the A-League and play our best starting XI each and every week to give ourselves the best chance at making that 6th place. And who knows, from there we may cause an upset against Perth, City or Roar. We have had draws with all of them this season so there is no reason that we can’t match it with them and push for a win, possibly even in extra time. After that we would play Sydney FC for the 4th time this season. By the way, is anyone starting to get sick of derbies yet? 3 a year is too many, to play a 4th time is overkill.
After we topple Sydney FC again we then travel to Melbourne to face off against our toughest foe yet, Melbourne Victory who have whopped us 3-0 in both games so far. If we can best Victory, we would see our first toilet seat coming home to Western Sydney.