The Best and Worst of Wanderers vs Newcastle Jets (Rd 5)

A-League 2018/19 Round 5 vs Newcastle Jets 23/11/2018 POS Stadium
0-2 Loss

Our first “home” game of the season on a Friday night against the 2017/18 runner’s up Newcastle Jets.

Check out Babbel’s post match press conference.

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Worst – Metal Detectors for Kids
A good old family night out at the football begins with me standing behind an 8 year old kid standing glumly with his arms out as a security guard waves a metal detector wand over him. The boy’s guardian was behind him and didn’t say anything and I was biting my lip to not question the reason why a kid that young is being subjected to that treatment.
I posted my disgust on Twitter and the responses were varied. Melbourne Victory fans were empathetic as they see similar treatment at their home games. What annoyed me was a few WSW fans replying that their kids were asking for metal detector checks and smiling and joking with their happy friendly neighbourhood security guard.
There is a stark difference between a kid, with their guardian’s permission, wanting to have “fun” with the security and the policeman; compared to a kid looking clearly unhappy having a wand waved over him as if he is a criminal.
I can already see myself being evicted and banned from home games in the future if/when I have kids and they are subjected to this treatment.

Worst – Second Class Tenants
Do you think we would ever see that terrible pitch with all that rubbish all over it served up to the GWS and the BBL? As Vince McMahon says, no chance in hell. It shows utter contempt to us as tenants. I would love to be able to read the Agreement between the club and the venue to see what they are actually obligated to provide. I deal with operational contracts and service delivery daily and my customers would be kicking and screaming and demanding incident reports, rebates, and explanations if delivered that pitch as a service. So I really hope JT and the club are tearing the stadium operators a new one because it is not the first time we’ve been given a pathetic pitch that is not even fit for a dog to shit on.

To add to that, there was no water available at the bar behind the active end. The reason given by those tending the bar was “they didn’t provide us any”. When queried if they were aware it was illegal under RSA Laws to not provide water at a bar, they knew. So how does this go unpunished and under the radar? Absolutely ridiculous. It also doesn’t help that they forced my SO to empty the water she was taking into the stadium because it was already “opened”. In the past we’ve been fine with bringing in water but now they make you pour it out and then don’t provide any to fill it up at the bar. F*** Spotless Stadium. I, along with pretty much everyone else, am over its terrible facilities and operation.

Worst – Roly Injured Too
Not seeing Roly on the team sheet at all had me wondering if he had a couple weeks of bad training sessions and was dropped or if his injury was worse than original though. It turns out he actually injured his hamstring during the week and is now out for 3-4 weeks. Alongside Ziggler, we’re definitely missing some experience and steel in the side. There were times during the game where if he got into some of those positions that you know he would have scored. Roly has started the season well in his new role out wide and I feel we’ve missed him in crucial moments the last couple of games. I’m not saying that Kamau, Fitzy and Majok haven’t played well when given the chance. Far from it…

Best – Majok Gets His Chance
Abraham Majok was granted a start in this game to replace the injured Roly Bonevacia. Sotirio remained on the bench. This confirms what I was saying last week where Babbel clearly sees Sotirio as a bench player because Majok leap frogged him completely into the Starting XI (Sotirio didn’t get subbed on). We’ve been screaming for these young kids to get their chance and Babbel gave Majok his. We’ve seen the young lad a bunch of times either in the ACL, last season cameos and in the FFA Cup Semi Final. This time he started on the wing, and I gotta say, I was impressed. He definitely took the opportunity with both legs.
He had no fear in taking players on and getting into great positions. He should have had a hattrick if his first touch didn’t let him down so often. But he has a bright future and we should be supporting him and encouraging him, not getting on his back.

Let me remind everyone waaay back to 2012 when Dino Kresinger started getting negative reactions from the crowd. We at ATB and other sections of WSW fans called for the response to Dino to change from malign to support. The next week he got subbed on at the away derby and was cheered loudly. Fist bump from Dino and he worked his butt off all season to become a cult hero amongst fans. He would not have worked so hard if he constantly was getting booed. He recognised our support and did everything he could to repay it.
We need to do the same with Abraham. Its early days in his WSW senior career. He has come through the youth ranks – exactly what we’ve all been calling for. He needs to play regularly for the first team to learn and adapt to the A-League. He’ll quickly learn that this is not the NYL or NPL2 and you won’t get that much space and time. A heavy touch more often than not will lose you the ball. He’ll learn and he’ll improve. We should be applauding him taking on players and getting into great goal scoring positions. Majok did everything right except score. It’ll come and he’ll celebrate with relief and pure emotion like Dino did.

Worst – Nothing to Show for Domination
It’s the story of our season. Dominate large portions of matches and have nothing to show for it. The opposition gets a couple of chances and they score. We’re lacking steel and organisation at times at the back and we’re lacking confidence and a killer instinct up front. It’s a deadly combination that leads to losing games. Babbel has to fix it. He was happy with the performance and said we were good for over 60 minutes – which is higher than previous weeks. We create chance after chance and no one is scoring. It also didn’t help that we hit the woodwork a bunch of times I lost count. When it happened the first time off Riera’s head I said to myself “Its gonna be one of those nights, isn’t it?”

Riera seems to be not getting the kind of service he requires, or the style around him isnt working yet. Our midfield needs a hard man so we don’t get run over all the time. This was 2 points lost at the very least. And next week we have to travel down to Melbourne to face a Victory on a high after beating SFC. We haven’t won down there against them in forever so Babbel has his work cut out for him this week. I still feel the return of Ziggler may change our fortunes but even that isn’t guaranteed for next week.

Worst – Wingers are Not Defenders
I saw a pattern materialise throughout the game. Consistently it was our wingers in our defensive box defending against Newcastle attacks. This didn’t seem right. Shouldn’t it have been our fullbacks in our box defending? When you have to have your front 3 all the way back in your defensive third all the time defending, something in the structure isn’t right. I’m not sure if it was due to Newcastle pushing forward or us all tracking back as a unit but it got worrying that Kamau or Majok had to make one on one tackles inside the 18 yard box time and time again.

Best – Planning For The Future
Babbel said in his post match press conference what we have 12 players over the age of 22 and 11 players under the age of 22 in the squad. I don’t think we’ve ever had a 50/50 split like that. Babbel obviously recognises that this can be seen as a weakness as these kids need minutes and experience. So he needs to use this season to bring these young players up to speed to be firing next season. It was good to see Majok start and Tokich make his way back onto the pitch after his injury and time away with the Young Socceroos. Baccus is starting every week and just need to start seeing Grozos, Roberts and co on the bench.
The A-League really needs to extend their bench…

See you space cowboy…

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