A–League Musings: Weeks 3 and 4

by Darren Lutton

With three weeks of the A-League done and dusted, Darren Lutton gives his thoughts on some of the big talking points so far and also looks forward to Week 4.

The crowds love a good rivalry

The rivalry round was a resounding success. The public voted with their feet and a record attendance was recorded with around 87,000 attending matches. Hats off to the FFA for this initiative. Here’s hoping it’s an annual event and a great tradition is built.

Melbourne Heart and Victory- great crowd, shame about the score

Almost half of the attendance was at this match alone so it was a shame that there were no goals for them to get excited about. The Heart must look at the Victory’s expensively assembled forwards and wish they had just one of them. Because no matter how much they huffed and puffed, they just couldn’t stick it in the back of the net. The build play from the Heart was much improved from previous weeks and they look like they’re about to hit some form and get some points. But boy, do they need some goals.

If the Heart’s need for goals is cause for concern how about the Victory? Three games, more forwards than you can poke a stick at, a marquee signing the envy of the league and zero goals. None. Nothing. Is it due to mismanagement? The formation? The fact that Harry Kewell hasn’t fully got going? It’s probably a combination of all three. As the disappointed Archie Thompson disappointingly remarked in the disappointing post match interview that it was a disappointingly disappointing performance and that his disappointing teammates were very disappointed. The Victory will come good, it’s just a question of whether or not they get a new manger to turn things around.

Newcastle go Back to the Future with Van Egmond

Last week I posted an article hoping that Newcastle (and seven other clubs for that matter) would appoint a manager capable of implementing a style of play to rival Brisbane Roar. Joy!! Gary Van Egmond has returned to the club he took to the title after a stint at the AIS. He has been making all the right noises about evolving the Newcastle style to get them back to a possession based short passing style of play. Music to my ears. BackPageFootball wishes him the very best of luck.

Perth have the momentum

It’s amazing what a win can do for a club. It’s also amazing what Shane Smeltz can do for a club. The game plan is simple. Defend for your life and give it to Smeltz with space to move.  Thus far the plan is working perfectly. Three wins from three. They don’t look the real deal and they’ll face tougher tests over the next few weeks but the early signs are promising.  Momentum can do amazing things for a club…

Have Sydney signed the next superstar?

Terry Antonis. Remember this name. Watch him play. As a 10 year old he won a competition to make a DVD with David Beckham. At 15 he signed with Everton but the deal was blocked by FIFA so he came back to Australia. He’s spent some time at the NSWIS and the AIS. He’s 17 now and showing a lot of promise. Perhaps his most brilliantly brilliant attribute is that he’s making Nick Carle look like a class player again. Now THAT is ability.

The weekend ahead

There are some very tasty fixtures this weekend. Which Adelaide will show up this week against the Roar?  Hopefully the good one will support Dario Vidosic as he takes on the team that gave him his break. The Mariners will be desperate to get some points on the board when they host the Glory. You can’t win the league this early in the season but you sure can lose it. Melbourne Heart will certainly be wanting to build on their performance last week when they take on Sydney. Gold Coast will be looking for their first win as the second Newcastle Van Egmond era begins.

Perhaps the best fixture of the weekend will be when Wellington take on the Victory. Wellington keep losing players to injury and suspensions. Despite this they are putting together some decent performances without necessarily getting the results. They take on the Victory looking for their first goal. The Phoenix drew a very healthy crowd the day of the Rugby World Cup final which is a very good sign. Can they get a bigger crowd this week? It should be great.

Author Info

Darren Lutton

Darren is a massive Manchester City fan based in Brisbane, Australia. He wishes he'd played outdoor football earlier than age 35 and is a decent goalkeeper. Although he doesn't support a particular team one day he'd like to own an A-League club.

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