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

A-League 2018/19 Round 6 vs Melbourne Victory 01/12/2018 Marvel Stadium
0-4 Loss

We travel to Melbourne where results down there haven’t been good in a life time.

Check out Babbel’s post match press conference.

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Worst – Unchanged Lineup
Normally fans are happy to see a consistent lineup because it means that the team isn’t chopping and changing and results normally follow. Instead, I was annoyed that we had the same lineup as last week, because it meant that Ziggler was left at home yet again. Surely he is 100% now. Unless Babbel knew the Victory game was going to be tough and is saving him for an “easier” game vs CCM at home. Who knows anymore.
I also love reading #WSWSocialMedia whenever the lineups are posted.
1. “Where’s Roly?”
2. “Majok again?!! Ugh!”

So let’s address these:
1. Roly injured himself in training before last week’s game. The extended squad list during the week clearly lists that he is 2-3 weeks away. The game day post lists the game day squad. If you want info on players’ injuries, read the squad announcements on Thursday or Friday for an up to date timer on player injuries.
2. #IBelieveInAbrahamMajok I addressed this in last week’s Best and Worst. Read that for my thoughts. And stop ripping into a youth product from our academy for no reason other than “why don’t we sign CR7 to be our winger?”

Worst – Lazy Defending
Nothing worse than not taking your chances at one of the pitch to being lazy defensively and letting teams stroll right through unopposed. Again and again Kamau and Majok were defending in our box instead of our fullbacks Risdon and Llorente. The first goal especially, Llorente was ball watching at the D and poor Majok was left trying to mark Honda in the box.
Arms constantly were going up for “offside” despite a member of this disjointed back four keeping the opposition onsite every time.
Let’s not get into all the clumsy challenges that led to free kicks in dangerous areas and a penalty (albeit a soft one). This game highlighted yet again that Elrich is NOT a centre back. Babbel has to make a decision here. Play Ziggler or play Tass Mourdoukoutas since at least he is a centreback by trade. What do we have to lose? We’re losing anyway. At least test the young kid in the A-League and see if he stands tall.

Best – Vedran Minimises Damage
If it weren’t for Vedran, we would have lost 10-0. I haven’t given him any praise this season yet because he is just doing his job and mostly continuing from last season. But in Melbourne he denied the Victory a handful of goals and had to work quite a lot due to his useless defence in front of him.

Worst – AB10 Wasted
AB10 is a quality player. But he is wasted in this team and midfield when he has to drop to his defensive third to get a foot on the ball. There should be midfielders behind him and around him doing the work to win the ball and giving it to him in between the lines to actually cause damage consistently. Instead, he hardly touches the ball, has to drop REALLY deep to get it, then gets hacked. We need to utilise his talent properly. And we need to extend his contract. But the way the team is around him and the way he gets hacked every game, I’d be surprised if he even wants to remain. It’ll be up to Babbel to convince him to stay after we sign Schweinsteiger in the off season.

Worst – Inconsistent Officiating
Babbel’s press conference said it best:
“The penalty…unlucky for us. Second time with this referee. I think he likes the colour blue.
The first foul from us (Tarek Elrich) is a straight yellow card, to be fair looks to be more a foul on us than to them. First foul and he gets a yellow card. Riera got tackled three times from behind and nothing happens.”
Riera got fouled from behind 3 times within 2 minutes. The frustration on his face and AB10 after getting similar treatment is telling. They are thinking “what more do these players have to do to us before you start carding them ref?”
It is increasingly frustrating to keep seeing your best players hacked all game and the ref either waving it on, or barely calling a foul. No cards though.
I love that Babbel within a month of being in Australia has already picked up on bias towards certain teams and the inconsistency of the officiating. Welcome to #AleagueRefs Markus.

Best – Riera Survives, Tokich Plays
Thanks to OG KFC Bucket Hat with this one. Riera survived the constant hacks uninjured and Tokich got more minutes as he slowly makes his way into the starting XI.

Worst – February 2013
February 2013. Season 1. This is the last time we beat Melbourne Victory in Melbourne. 2013!!! I, along with thousands of WSW fans, was at that match as a massive tour of duty in our first season. Ono scored the winner and danced a jig in front of the travelling fans. It was a lifetime ago. We haven’t won down there against Victory since. How is that possible in a salary cap leagued? How can there be such one sided results favouring one team in such a league? It bewilders the mind.
Babbel questioned in his post match presser why players in the A-League play with fear. There is nothing to lose, there is no relegation, so why play scared of losing? There. Is. Nothing. To Lose.
It brings up his #mentality argument time and time again. WSW go into matches with fear and no faith in getting a result. Its like Rocky going in the ring to fight Clubber Lang with the wrong mentality and full of fear and expecting to lose.
So what I’m basically saying is…Wanderers need to find that Eye of the Tiger.

Worst – WSW Fandom Reactions
Look I get being angry and pissed off after a loss like that. I understand being frustrated with results when the team isn’t performing to what we expect.
Be angry, demand better. But direct your anger to the right areas.

Every time we lose we see the same things being posted by #WSWSocialMedia.
“Get rid of Lederer because he doesn’t spend any of his own money. Get new owners that care about the club. Let’s protest until the club spends money in a salary capped league after 6 rounds”
Newsflash. Lederer is the chairman and not the sole owner. There is a consortium of owners with a board. He personally is valued at over $800M but that doesn’t mean it is liquid cash. That is not how those evaluations work.

The club has spent the full salary cap and a marquee. So the argument of them not spending money on the squad doesn’t really have any weight. Question the recruitment as a whole, the commitment of the players and why Gombau was signing players before he was sacked.

The club signed a coach with pedigree, arguably the best assistant in Australia, and now the Bayern Munich strength and conditioning coach. So they ARE spending in the right departments.

The salary cap means you can’t simply terminate contracts because those wages will still be counted in the total salary spent for the club in that season. So you can’t just fire half the players. It’s not that simple. We have no room in the cap to do so. It is also why many clubs are reluctant to give players long term contracts because it has bit clubs in the arse in the early days of the A-League, with players signed onto hefty deals for 4 years. They then turn terrible and the club is stuck with them. Hence the mutual termination window. It’s a loophole to avoid their salary counting towards the cap.

So how do those calling for half the team to be replaced in January propose how that actually happens? Remember, there is a Visa restriction here so which Australian players are going to come to WSW in January to replace all the ones we let go? And then we’d have the excuse of “they need time to gel” until April. Urgh.

We’ve said time and time again on our podcasts that this will be a write off season. Babbel brought in AB10 who has shown quality and Ziggler who we’ve yet to see properly. Everyone else he inherited are leftovers of Popa, and Gombau signings that wouldn’t complain about his methods. I for one am willing to wait until the off season transfers to make a real judgement on Babbel. Half the squad is off contract at the end of the season. So then he really has no excuses when he gets to sign half a squad with his own players.

Worster – Back Home Next Week
Yay, back at (not so) Spotless on Friday where we play Central Coast into form. I wonder if they’ve had enough time to clean up from a concert a month ago yet?

See you space cowboy…

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