Newcastle Jets 0 Brisbane Roar 0
Western Sydney Wanderers 1 Perth Glory 0
Central Coast Mariners 6 Melbourne Victory 2
Wellington Phoenix 2 Adelaide United 2
Melbourne Heart 3 Sydney FC 1
And Then There Were Two
Western Sydney Wanderers‘ 7th win in a row and Central Coast Mariners‘ 6-2 thumping of Melbourne Victory has set the scene for the last five rounds of Season Eight of the A-League – it’s a two horse race for the title. After Graham Arnold spent two season’s being Ange Postecoglou’s whipping boy when Ange was coaching the Roar, Arnold finally got a win over his old nemesis when the Mariners rolled the Victory. Despite a huge improvement for the Victory over last season, they seem to have hit a ceiling in their performance having lost three on the trot, including losses to the Mariners and the Wanderers. Does Ange has the right players at the Victory yet to replicate the results he achieved at Brisbane? I think not. Personally, I think the club still needs to shed some deadwood (*cough* Broxham) and crucially, I don’t think they have a captain capable of leading them to championship honours in Adrian Leijer.
Brisbane Roar played out a scoreless draw against the Newcastle Jets. I believe its their first scoreless game during the regular season in over three years. The Roar were a little hard done by to have a legitimate goal disallowed for offside but a draw was probably a fair result overall. With five rounds to go, its anyone’s guess whether they can finish in the Top Six. Their week to week form is so wayward its hard to tell. On the plus side, the Roar have now gone over 300 minutes without conceding a goal.
Wellington Phoenix coach Ricki Herbert stood down after his side’s draw against Adelaide United. I’m not really a fan of how the sport in general plays hot-seat with the coaching role and the A-League is no different. We still haven’t finished the regular season and there have been six managers that have either been shown the door or stood down already (Roar, Phoenix, Adelaide, Sydney x 2 and Perth). I would like to have seen Ian Ferguson and Ricki Herbert given the chance to see out the season with their clubs which both still have a mathematical chance to reach the finals.