The Best and Worst of Wanderers vs Melbourne City (Rd 6)

A-League Round 6 vs Melbourne City – 12/11/2017 AAMI Park
1-1 Draw

Welcome to another edition of the Best and Worst series.

Please sympathy hit the share buttons as I write about yet another draw.

Gombau has named his first starting XI #WSW #🔴⚫️

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Worst – Bridge as CAM and Sotirio Included
I think I sum up everyone’s feelings when we saw this lineup. Ugh, Bridge as the no.10. Double Ugh Sotirio in the Starting XI. #GombauOut
It is a very “Popa inspired” lineup. But I’m going to give Gombau the benefit of the doubt for the next month. Sotirio has worked under him in the Olyroos. Gombau in the post match press conference stated he wanted more width, hence Jaush’s inclusion. Cejudo was carrying a hand injury (pun intended) and Herd must still be concussed. Thwaite made his way back into the heart of defence which pushed Hamill to right back. Interesting to see Baby Baccus make the subs bench.

Best – Peak A-League
This game was scheduled to start at 7pm local. The previous games beforehand apparently went over time which is fair enough because there is a mandate for the teams to have a certain number of minutes pre game for their warm up. The teams finally came out nearly 20 minutes late, we paid our respects for Remembrance Round and then kick off was delayed for some unknown reason. Everyone was looking around confused until finally the ref pointed to the goal net. Thankfully Captain Cornthwaite was there to use his height advantage to fix this tiny hole. But if the ball went in that way, we had VAR to look out for us anyway right Brenton Speed? (he actually said that)

Worst? – Playing Style Growing Pains
It was really obvious in that opening 15 minutes that WSW were trying to play a completely different style than they have been for the previous 6 rounds. We were doing short goal kicks and persisting to play out from the back. The inverted triangle in the middle of the park at times seemed lost and players weren’t where they were always supposed to be. I guess this is to be expected under Gombau and we need to show patience as the players are put through the paces to learn the style JG wants us to play. It got a little dangerous at times and luckily Vedran had a good game and kept City out during open play.

Best – Surviving the Onslaught
Despite being all over the place in the opening 15 or so minutes, WSW didn’t concede. City were playing a high press and not giving the Wanderers any space to move. I said it at the time to the Mrs that City won’t be able to keep this up all 90. They’ll probably drop off around the 20th. We just need to survive it. Lo and behold we did and we scored first. At times we even controlled the match and the commentators were astonished that football games ebb and flow like a seesaw.

Worst – Maccas VAR We Need You Right NOW!!11!!
Brenton Speed, on behalf of all Australian football fans, STFU.
I seriously believe these commentators have a contractual obligation to mention the “Maccas VAR” every 3 minutes. It was ridiculous how often they brought the VAR up, THEN they started actually calling it the “Maccas VAR.” One day I hope we get a second audio option, even if its in another language I can’t understand. It’ll be better than listening to these idiots.
On the VAR itself. What a joke. Jumpei is completely cleaned up in front of the ref on halfway, yet he gives the decision to City. Unbelievable. 10 seconds later they are going to VAR and awarding a penalty for a ball that Malik had no control over. This is not the first time this has happened to us. Last week an obvious WSW throw in was awarded to Victory and they scored off a free kick that was won immediately after that. The referee and VAR (and commentary) were extremely biased against WSW and it turned the game into a farce. Call me a one-eyed WSW fan if you want but that ref lost complete control of this match.

Best – Comedy Jaush
Only Sotirio could almost screw up a tap in. Riera wins the ball back on the edge of the box, Llorente picks it up and sends it across goals for Sotirio to almost overrun it, kick it between Galekovic’s legs to hit the post and then bundle it in. Selection vindicated? Riera seemed very happy for him so at least the team unity is still there.
Sotirio later had a great chance when Cejudo put him through but he slowed down instead of using his pace and just attacking the goal. He needs to back himself more.

Best/Worst – Changing Midfield
It seemed that Baccus was sitting deep with Bridge and Bonevacia in front of him. I feel that Roly is still more effective in an advanced role but perhaps Herd’s injury has forced the coaches to drop him back. We definitely lacked some steel in midfield though since Herd went off 2 weeks ago. When Cejudo came on, he played in the middle and not out wide, which some have been asking for. His vision was apparent when he went Sotirio on that run but I still feel like we’re lacking something from Cejudo. He shows glimpses but doesn’t take control of matches.

Best – Vedran Youshallnotpassovic
If it wasn’t for Vedran, WSW would have lost this match easily. He stopped one on ones, saved a free kick bound for the top corner and plucked the ball out of the air from crosses. He was only beaten by a controversial penalty. Easily Man of the Match, which I called on the ATB Twitter account at half time. Let’s hope he hasn’t used up all his powers and next week he has a major blunder.

Worst – Unhappy Riera
Its making all the headlines and the clickbait. Riera was subbed off and slapped away Gombau’s hand before he sat down. Gombau was asked post match what it was about and he said that Riera was unhappy because he didn’t get any service. Is that true? Is it the lack of service or the fact he got subbed off? I guess we can all make up our mind about it, but it wasn’t a good look when the marquee gets subbed off and slaps away the hand of the new coach. You’d expect it to be addressed behind closed doors and we probably won’t hear anything else about it.

Best – Undefeated
Grasping at straws here. But let me play devil’s advocate. We’ve played the top 3 and Victory away back to back and came away with a point in all of those matches. They always say you need to win at home and draw away. The next few games are Nix at home, Adelaide away and Brisbane at home before the next Sydney derby. Its simple. We need to win those game against the bottom half of the table teams if we want to stay in the top 4 at least. Gombau said in the press conference that he was very happy and satisfied how we played (he always says that). He wants his changes to happen very quickly so let’s see how long it takes to get where he wants us to be.

Bonus Best – Mrs With The Harsh Truths
On Friday we watched the end of the Sydney vs Central Coast game. The Mrs is in an A-League tipping comp so she tries to use knowledge of players and coaches to help her choose her tips. As she is looking at the live ladder she says something like “well they’ve gained 2 points on them.” It took me a moment to realise she meant the Mariners got 2 points for the win. I explain, its not 1991 anymore, teams get 3 points for a win now.
“Yeah well, your team hasn’t won in so long I forgot how many points a team gets when they win”
Touche.

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