The Best and Worst of Wanderers vs Adelaide United (Rd 8)

A-League Round 8 vs Adelaide United – 26/11/2017 Hindmarsh Stadium
0 – 2 Loss

Welcome to this week’s edition of the Best and Worst series. Did anyone actually pay attention to the game? Unfortunately all talk and rage is directed at the officials and their influence on the game.

Share around for the rantz.

Best – Finally a Game!
Yes! After 2 long weeks we finally get to watch our beloved Wanderers play in the last match of the round at 7pm on a Sunday night. We are all excited for the upcoming game to play against an Adelaide team who played 120 minutes on Tuesday night in the FFA Cup final. They were torn apart on multiple occasions that night so we all go into this optimistic for a good result and Gombau’s return to Adelaide. Bring it on!!

Here's how we'll be lining up tonight against Adelaide! #WSW #🔴⚫️

A post shared by Western Sydney Wanderers (@wswanderersfc) on

Best/Worst – Starting XI Selections
Head scratching ensues. The graphic shows an inverted triangle in the midfield with Cejudo and Bonevacia behind Riera. Melling as a screener in front of the back four. Jumpei and Sotirio get the start again which forces Baccus to be dropped for the first time since last season some time. Was it to do with his acquittal of the assault charges from earlier this year? It was probably more to do with the fact that Melling is more of an enforcer DM whereas Baccus is more of a playmaking one. Makes sense on paper, but Baccus must feel hard done by. By pushing Cejudo into the middle, it means someone has to miss out. Baccus was the casualty this time.
Herd was in England with his newborn child and Lustica came back from injury to play in the National Youth League the day before.

Best – Players More Comfortable
Definitely noticeable early on in the match was the players seemed a lot more comfortable in their roles and positioning compared to 2 weeks ago against Melbourne City. Gombau has had 2 uninterrupted weeks to get his team playing the way he wants them and compared to that first match in charge, it was chalk and cheese. Despite what I said earlier about Melling sitting in front of the back 4, it was interesting to see Roly drop between both centrebacks to pick up the ball and carry it forward. So is it a dynamic middle 3 where Melling drops deep when we’re defending but Bonevacia is the one to start attacks? We didn’t really get enough time to make a complete judgement because disaster struck and the entire game turned into a farce.

Worst – VARce
Oh man, where to start?
Riera is clearly held back by an Adelaide defender, the ref ignores it and the VAR sees nothing wrong with it? Okay fine. We play on.

Cornthwaite is then booked for a shoulder barge to break up an attack. You could argue it was shoulder to shoulder and/or it was his first foul, but Chris Beath is trigger happy like always.

Soon after the ball is kicked at point blank range into Cornthwaite’s hand. Play is waved on for 2 minutes. THEN the VAR steps in to tell Beath that Cornthwaite handled the ball and it should be a penalty. Beath points to the spot and gives Cornthwaite a second yellow card.

Let’s remind everyone what the Laws of the Game actually say regarding handball:

So having been reminded of the actual law of the game…can someone PLEASE explain how Cornthwaite was judged to have handballed the ball AND given a yellow card? Cornthwaite made no attempt to deliberately handle the ball, the ball was kicked into his hand at point blank range, it was waved play on until Adelaide complained – so much for the rule where players weren’t allowed to ask for the VAR.
Yet later in the game an Adelaide player deliberately handballed and WSW were lucky to just get a freekick for that infringement. Shouldn’t that have been a yellow too?

The farce continues with Referee boss Ben Wilson stating because (it) was a “handball stopping a promising attack”.


The “pundits” on TV all argued that the yellow was incorrect, but all said the penalty was correct. How? Where in the laws does that constitute a penalty?
Both decisions were wrong. Simple as that.

It gets better. Adelaide score a goal, all replays show Baba Diawara offside and the ball touches his boot. He interfered with play, he played at the ball but the goal stood. VAR looked at it, we all starting to believe in hope that the VAR will work for once.

The goal is given. The explanation is given that the VAR could not conclusively rule Baba Diawara off-side for Adelaide’s opening goal against Western Sydney, because of camera angles and a skerrick of doubt that saw the VAR defer to giving the advantage to the attacking team..
Funny. Everyone watching at home and the commentators were unanimous that he was offside. But those paid to actually officiate the game state the angles were inconclusive? Get VARked.

So we’re up to 3 decisions the VAR got wrong by my count.

They finally got 1 right, but the fact that it had to go to VAR was a joke. Garruccio comes flying in and almost breaks Bonevacia’s knee with a studs up challenge. Everyone sees it first go and calls for a red card. Chris Beath has to go to VAR. How does he not see this? How does the Assistant Referee not see this as it happened right in front of him? We wait….VAR is checking. THEN Beath has to go look at the screen. How about just going to the screen right away? Why does it take 3 minutes for a clear cut red card to be issued?

The game was over after Cornthwaite was wrongly sent off. And because of the rules, WSW technically cannot even appeal it because it was a yellow card. What a joke. We waited 2 weeks for our team to play and this is what was served to us. Apparently we only have a 25% win record when Beath is in charge.

Best – Passionate Captain Cornthwaite
Onya Robbie. Tell Beath what you really feel. Those complaining that Robbie disrespected the referee here have no idea. Beath deserves everything he gets here because the entire run of events was a joke.
Cornthwaite showed true passion and is what we, as Wanderers fans, expect from our leader on the pitch.

Worst – No Time for Cejudo
Unfortunately, after Cornthwaite was sent off, Cejudo was sacrificed for Hamill to come on and plug the hole at the back. There have been many wanting to see Cejudo in the middle and he finally started there, but it wasn’t really long enough for me to make a judgement if it worked or not. He has had some minutes there at the back end of games but hasn’t been used consistently enough. I’m not sure if the middle is his best position. It might get a bit crowded in there for him and he has played on the wing for the majority of his career. We seemed to have something good going when he was on the left with Llorent behind him, Roly behind Riera and Baccus/Herd in the engine room. Herd’s injury and now fatherhood has seen him miss a month of games so there’s been stop gap solutions utilised. I’m not sure what our best XI is at the moment and who plays where.

Best – Captain Skywalker Hamill
What a meteoric rise by this guy. Lambasted by fans for the past 2 years, brought in due to injuries and international call ups for his teammates, solid games all round and a goal in the derby. This past week he is voted to be part of the Captaincy Group by his peers and the very next game he is subbed on FOR the red carded captain and given the armband. Its hilarious and such a strange subplot to this entire season thus far.

Best – Vedran Keeps Us Alive
If it wasn’t for Vedran for the majority of this match, we would have lost by more than 2 goals. I do question his decision to come out of the box for the first goal and leave the goal effectively open, but prior to that he made some good saves and claims. He had a similar performance in our last match also. Out of everything this season, I don’t think its our goalkeeper or defence that is the problem. Its our toothless attack not winning us games.

Worst – Goodbye A-League
This is sad. A lot of my Twitter timeline during this match had hardcore WSW fans completely giving up on the A-League. There were declarations that they will now refuse to watch the A-League until VAR is removed. Others stating that they will no longer attend away matches (personally I refuse to go to away matches because of the ridiculous price gouging WSW fans are subjected to). Many love Wanderers but hate the A-League and how it is run by numpties.

It is becoming increasingly clear this season that the FFA simply do not care about the A-League this season. All metrics are down, TV viewership (so much for that Commercial Free To Air Saturday time slot huh?), attendances, engagement and general interest. No one even knows when games are on, and when they are on, its on a Thursday night or 7pm on a Sunday. The Champions barely get a crowd, other teams attendances are dropping, WSW fans are staying away because of their distaste of Sydney Olympic Park and now this VAR fiasco is pissing the entire football community off.

The FFA are obviously too busy trying to keep their jobs alive and engaging corporate lawyers to take on FIFA this week. The silver lining is hopefully FFA are removed by the FIFA normalisation committee. Someone that actually cares about football in this country is instated and a proper timeline of expansion, promotion and relegation is seriously looked at.

The league is stale, even hardcore fans are feeling it. How do you get new fans in when we are even getting over it.

Best – Win or Lose
Next round we finally play at home again. Remember its at ANZ because Spotless are useless on a Saturday afternoon. Despite me complaining for the better part of 8 rounds. I’ll be there. It’s becoming tougher and tougher, but my FOMO means I don’t want to miss out on Maccarone scoring a hattrick against us.
See you all there.

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