The Best and Worst of Wanderers vs Adelaide United (Rd 14)

A-League 2018/19 Round 14 vs Adelaide United vs VAR 18/01/2019 ANZ Stadium
1-2 Loss

I’m back after a small break due to unforeseen circumstances. We face Adelaide at the cursed ANZ to try and get our season back on track, but KGJ would have none of that nonsense…

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Best/Worst – New Faces, New Formation
Look at the youth in that lineup. Half the lineup are young lads, mainly forced due to injuries and suspensions. It might be tough attending WSW games these days, but seeing these kids get their chance and actually go for it is a nice positive to look forward to.

Babbel tried something new this week with a 3-4-3 formation. Not sure if it was a tactical change to beat Adelaide (he said it was) or due to the personnel at his disposal. It was definitely different and I feel it didn’t really work in the first half at all. Our wings were exposed and it appeared that players didn’t know where they had to be defensively, and expected someone to be somewhere when they made a pass.
Thankfully he realised it wasn’t working and reverted to our usual system for the second half. He did say the players were too tired to do what was needed and to keep their brains working. So reverting to a system they know with their eyes closed helped us get back into the match.

Worst – Defensive Lapses Too Common
Despite everything else (we’ll get to that soon), we are still conceding too many soft goals. Teams have 1 chance and score a goal. It’s just not good enough. We’re letting players run right by us unchallenged, or watching as they shoot from distance. Why is noone sliding in putting their bodies on the line to stop that first goal? Everyone is just watching Goodwin pass the ball and Lia shoot. It’s the story of the season. Even Babbel has heart palpitations every time the ball goes into our half. He has no confidence in the defence. But shouldn’t he, as a defender himself, be able to rectify this? Or are the players simply not good enough?
This season is ending up being a long pre season for next season. If it helps Babbel choose who stays and goes, then so be it. But it goes without saying, we need to be challenging for honours next year.

(note the official video only shows the final pass to Goodwin…because of course it pretends the offside didn’t happen)

I’m done. Seriously. The VAR is there to correct errors. Black and white errors. Not grey errors because they can be interpreted a certain way. The penalty shout is a penalty. Compared to Keogh’s last week and Krishna’s vs Victory this week where both had minimal contact but were given. Cordier is barged off the ball, an arm is used and it is waved away. VAR says the decision stands. Fine. That moment in isolation can be considered not a penalty and not “clear and obvious” as an error. It is clearly a penalty though.

But the offside.
Firstly the linesman isn’t even standing in line with the last defender so his view is incorrect. Fine. This happens sometimes due to the speed of the game. But that is why VAR is there right? To correct these clear and obvious black and white errors.
Kris Griffith-Jones doesn’t even look at it. There was no indication that the VAR was looking at this goal. Because if the VAR DID look at this goal, it would not have stood. There was a clear and obvious offside in the lead up to the goal. There is absolutely no excuse why this goal stood. The VAR is there to rid the game of these errors. But it failed yet again.
Last week against Perth there are arguments that 3 of their goals should not have been given (Castro’s because Davidson came from an offside position and played at the ball, Keogh’s tap in could be argued he was marginally offside, and the penalty was a ridiculous decision), and now this week the same VAR, KGJ, refused to intervene and scratch off a clear offside.
If the goals were reversed, we all know that VAR would have scrutinised that offside to the nth degree and disallowed it. But the conspiracy lives on.

Twitter was going crazy when this offside and the penalty decisions were made. Even neutrals were saying WSW was robbed and these decisions were clear cut. I can’t wait for ref boss Ben Wilson to come up with another bullshit article explaining that these decisions were correct.

It’s a joke and no wonder WSW fans are turning away. Despite the results, add in the experiences at SOP and now every week we are getting incorrect, MAJOR, decisions go against us. Football is a game of margins and inches and when decisions like this constantly go against you, it’s increasingly difficult to counter them and force a positive result.
What rubs salt into the wound is official “match reports” fail to even acknowledge the contentious calls. No mention of a penalty call waved off and no mention of the offside.
Of course not.

I really hope the club are making complaints in the background because the amount of wrong decisions going against us weekly is beyond a joke now.
Go back to the B-League KGJ where these crap jokes belong.

Worst – Injury Ward is Full
This is getting to Season 3 levels of insanity now. Almost every senior player is injured. Riera, AB10, Yeboah, Bridge, Ziegler, O’Doherty to name a few. Probably more. Is it the thick and fast fixtures? I think it is. Playing every 3 or 4 days constantly all month is going to take a toll. Every team is feeling it and many squads’ depths are being tested. The A-League is going to have to rethink their Summer of Football strategy in future methinks. This week we’re playing away in Melbourne on Tuesday, then away in Brisbane on Friday. That is too short a turnaround for 2 away games.

But Best – Youth Shattering Glass Ceiling
All the injuries are forcing Babbel to look into the youth squad. He hasn’t been shy in mentioning multiple times that half our squad is under 22 years old. I don’t think he thought he’d use most of them throughout the season by the halfway mark.
Over the last couple of weeks we’ve seen Tate Russell solidify himself as our starting Right Back moving forward (will be tough for Risdon to get back in); Tas has come in as a Centreback replacement and has shown positive signs; Cordier finally got his starting debut after signing a senior contract a few weeks ago; Nick Suman has pushed Vedran to the bench until he learns what the box is. Throw in the likes of Majok getting more appearances and Baccus being a sure starter every week and it is safe to say the future is bright.
Well done to all the young lads taking their chance. It is very hard to break into an A-League senior side because spots are limited in the squad and on the bench. But these kids have taken their chance, represented the area with passion and heart and given the senior players something to think about.

Worst – Fashion is Highest Priority
Well according to most of the media and their social media accounts. Babbel wearing shorts in 30+ degree heat is more of a talking point than the officiating and the increasingly poor calls every week. Babbel implored the media to talk about it because they have the power to, but last week all they talked about was his f-bomb and this week his shorts.
Never change Australian football media.
Just quietly, apparently Kurz was wearing sport shorts and Warren Joyce wore shorts during the City match a day later. But you know, let’s talk about Babbel’s fashion every week as an easy subject instead of challenging the FFA and their personnel.

See you space cowboy…

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